Payments News
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for more than 17 years. Glenbrook curates
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March 2, 2021

On The Web

Companies

PayPal Is Moving Aggressively To In-Store Contactless Payments Tapping A $19B Opportunity

Forbes

“The digital wallet that allows contactless payment is rapidly becoming the payment method of choice thanks to its greater convenience. No self-respecting Millennial or GenZ consumer would be without one. Cowen Equity Research found that 70% of consumers surveyed last year planned to use more digital payment offerings post Covid-19. But it’s not just younger consumers. Everybody is leaning into the contactless payment lifestyle due to pandemic-induced heighten awareness of touching dirty surfaces.”

Deals

Czech On-demand Grocery Delivery Startup Rohlik Bags $230M to Expand Across Europe

TechCrunch

“Food delivery — whether it’s ready-made orders from restaurants, meal kits or groceries — has been one of the most-used services in this last year of living under the cloud of a global health pandemic, and today one of the companies with ambitions to build a pan-European empire in the third of these categories is announcing a major round of funding to help it get there.”

Deals

South Korea’s Coupang Seeks Up to $3.6 Billion in New York IPO

Bloomberg

“South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang Inc. is seeking to raise as much as $3.6 billion from an initial public offering in New York, which will rank as one of the largest-ever Asian listings in the U.S. Seoul-based Coupang and some existing shareholders are offering 120 million shares at $27 to $30 each, according to a filing Monday. At the top end of the range, Coupang will be valued at as much as $51 billion based on the number of shares outstanding.”

Regulation

Apple and Google Lobbyists Are Swarming Arizona Over App Store Bill

Protocol

“Arizona State Rep. Regina Cobb hadn’t even formally introduced her app store legislation last month when Apple and Google started storming into the state to lobby against it. Apple tapped its own lobbyist, Rod Diridon, to begin lobbying in Arizona. It hired Kirk Adams, the former chief of staff to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, to negotiate with Cobb on its behalf. It quickly joined the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, which began lobbying against the bill. And lawyers for both Google and Apple went straight to the Arizona House’s lawyers to argue that the bill is unconstitutional.”

Risk

Checkout Skimmers Powered by Chip Cards

KrebsOnSecurity

“Easily the most sophisticated skimming devices made for hacking terminals at retail self-checkout lanes are a new breed of PIN pad overlay combined with a flexible, paper-thin device that fits inside the terminal’s chip reader slot. What enables these skimmers to be so slim? They draw their power from the low-voltage current that gets triggered when a chip-based card is inserted. As a result, they do not require external batteries, and can remain in operation indefinitely.”

Systems

Caribbean Central Banks Forge Ahead With Digital Currencies – Electronic Payments International

Electronic Payments International

“Two Caribbean central banks have introduced central bank digital currencies, overtaking developed countries which are still at the investigation stage. An underbanked sparse population, spread over many islands, makes the Caribbean an ideal test case for CBDCs, which promise lower transaction fees and economic growth, Robin Arnfield reports The world’s first live CBDC, the Sand Dollar, was launched by the Central Bank of the Bahamas in October 2020, while the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) is preparing to launch its DCash CBDC following a pilot.”

Use

Interchange Adjustments Will Add a Net $889 Million to Merchants’ Costs, an Analysis Says

Digital Transactions

“With the two big payment networks set to raise by hundreds of millions of dollars the cost U.S. merchants pay for card acceptance, e-commerce merchants could see fee boosts while some segments—like travel-and-entertainment and low-ticket-value, quick-service merchants—could see some reductions.  In total, rate tweaks scheduled by Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. for next month will generate a net $889 million more in so-called interchange costs annually. That’s according to estimates by CMSPi, a retail-payments consultancy. Interchange fees are set by the networks for acquirers, which invariably pass the costs on to merchants.”

On The Wires

Companies

Nacha Announces Early Warning Services As a Preferred Partner for Account Validation | Nacha

“Early Warning Services, LLC has returned as a Nacha Preferred Partner for Account Validation. Early Warning values that as a Preferred Partner, they are part of a select group of innovators that Nacha recognizes for offering products and services that align with Nacha’s core strategies to advance the ACH Network… More than 2,500 companies rely on Early Warning’s intelligence to get in front of fraud. In its role as Trusted Custodian® of bank-contributed data, Early Warning offers a full suite of solutions that enable financial institutions to fight fraud, mitigate risk and better service their customers for account opening, funding, and payment experiences.”

Companies

Square Financial Services Begins Banking Operations

“Square, Inc. announced its industrial bank, Square Financial Services, has begun operations after completing the charter approval process with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Utah Department of Financial Institutions. Square Financial Services is an independently governed subsidiary of Square, Inc. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, its primary purpose will be to offer business loan and deposit products, beginning with underwriting and originating business loans for Square Capital’s existing lending product. Moving forward, Square Financial Services will be the primary provider of financing for Square sellers across the U.S.”

Deals

GTreasury Acquires Coprocess, the Leader in Intercompany Netting Solutions

GTreasury , a treasury and risk management platform provider , today announced the acquisition of Coprocess , the leading provider of intercompany netting solutions . Adding intercompany netting to the GTreasury platform and ecosystem gives corporate treasurers the ability to significantly streamline their settlement processes, cut costs by reducing payments and FX volumes, and add new automated efficiencies into their treasury workflows.”

Domains

DailyPay Expands Platform: Announces Integration Offering For Human Capital Management And Payroll Industries

DailyPay , the recognized gold standard in the on-demand pay industry, today announced the launch of a game-changing new product, ExtendPX , for human capital management (HCM) and payroll service providers. ExtendPX moves DailyPay beyond their traditional On-Demand Pay (ODP) business offering. The announcement of ExtendPX will enable every Payroll, HCM and TMS (Time Management Software) company in the U.S. to offer highly demanded on-demand pay services through a customizable, modular on-demand pay solution that can be embedded into the product suite that they offer to their customers.”

Global

Payments Canada Selects Interac Corp. As the Exchange Solution Provider for Canada’s New Real-time Payments System, the Real-Time Rail

“Payments Canada announced today the selection of Interac Corp. as the exchange solution provider for Canada’s real-time payments system, the Real-Time Rail (RTR) . This announcement follows a selection process that included participation from the Bank of Canada. The exchange solution provided by Interac will allow Payments Canada members participating in the RTR to send and receive RTR payment messages. The partnership will leverage Interac’s existing infrastructure in Canada’s payment ecosystem and its existing connectivity to nearly 300 financial institutions. To enable the settlement of RTR payments in real-time, the exchange solution will interface with the clearing and settlement solution being provided by Mastercard’s Vocalink .”

Providers

Spreedly Launches New Partnership Program for Payment Service Providers

“Spreedly, the provider of a secure, agnostic, and flexible platform that welcomes all payments participants, today announced the creation of a new partnership program built for gateways and other Payment Service Providers (PSPs).   The Partnership Program was created to further support a vision for a diversified and inclusive payments ecosystem — one offering connectivity and flexibility for all players, including payment service providers globally.”

Providers

Treasury Prime Partners With Marqeta, Bringing Modern Card Issuing to Its BaaS Platform

“Treasury Prime, the leading Banking as a Service (BaaS) company, announced that it has partnered with Marqeta , the global modern card issuing platform, to bring Marqeta’s modern card issuing capabilities to the Treasury Prime API. For the first time, fintechs and other companies that want to embed banking services, can get access to both banking services and card issuing via a single API. The Treasury Prime-Marqeta partnership is live today with LendingClub Bank , National Association (successor to Radius Bank) and will be live in March with Piermont Bank .”

Uncategorized

Codat Announces Strategic Investments by PayPal Ventures and American Express Ventures

Codat , the API-based platform for business data, today announced strategic investments from PayPal Ventures and American Express Ventures. Amex Ventures and PayPal join previous investor in Codat’s Series A Index Ventures. Along with the announcement of these new investments, Codat also formally launched its U.S. operations. Codat is the fintech startup powering the small and medium business data ecosystem. Codat’s API connects the tools and services that small businesses need for their operations and handles the heavy lifting of integrations—ultimately leaving providers free to focus on improving their offerings for small businesses.”

March 1, 2021

TOP POST

Glenbrook

Will Digital Cash Be the New King of Payments? – Payments Views

Payments Views

“Central banks around the world are in the process of developing digital cash, commonly known as central bank digital currency, or CBDC. At Glenbrook, we’re kicking off a series of Payments Views posts that explain CBDC and its implications for various aspects of the payments value chain.  In this post, we start with a couple of basic concepts: what is digital cash, what is CBDC, and why is 2021 a pivotal moment for CBDC?”

On The Web

Companies

Paytm Claims Top Spot in India’s Mobile Payments Market With 1.2B Monthly Transactions

TechCrunch

“Paytm, India’s most valuable startup , said on Monday it processed 1.2 billion transactions in the month of February, illustrating the level of penetration it has made in one of the world’s fastest-growing payments markets where it competes with Google, Facebook, Amazon and Flipkart-backed PhonePe . Paytm said its users made 1.2 billion transactions last month across several payments modes, including wallets, plastic cards, internet banking and UPI. This is the largest volume of transactions reported by any payments firm in India and Paytm claimed that it has consolidated its leadership position.”

Deals

SoftBank to Merge PayPay and Line Pay Apps in Japan

Bloomberg

SofBank Group Corp. ’s telecom arm, which on Monday completed the merger of its Japanese internet business with messaging service owner Line Corp. , plans to combine the payment apps of those two entities. The company will fold Line Pay into PayPay, backed by SoftBank Corp. , its Yahoo Japan unit and India’s Paytm, in April 2022 provided it secures all the relevant regulatory approvals, according to a joint statement from the two payment operators. SoftBank had kept mum on the possibility of a payments merger, saying only it aimed to extract synergies from the overlapping businesses.”

Deals

First Boulevard Raises $5M for Its Digital Bank Aimed at Black America

TechCrunch

“The murder of George Floyd last May ignited many things in the United States last year — one of which that was perhaps unexpected: a rise in the number of digital banks targeting the Black community. Some members of the Black community took their belief that big banks are not meeting their needs and turned them into startup concepts. One of those startups, First Boulevard (formerly called Tenth), has just raised $5 million in seed funding from Barclays, Anthemis and a group of angel investors such as actress Gabrielle Union, Union Square Ventures’ John Buttrick and AutoZone CFO Jamere Jackson.”

Global

China Charges Ahead With a National Digital Currency

The New York Times

“Annabelle Huang recently won a government lottery to try China’s latest economics experiment: a national digital currency . After joining the lottery through the social media app WeChat , Ms. Huang, 28, a business strategist in Shenzhen, received a digital envelope with 200 electronic Chinese yuan, or eCNY, worth around $30. To spend it, she went to a convenience store near her office and picked out some nuts and yogurt. Then she pulled up a QR code for the digital currency from inside her bank app, which the store scanned for payment.”

Global

New Rules for Buy Now, Pay Later

NewsComAu

“Australia has become the first country to implement industry standards for the buy now, pay later (BNPL) sector, designed to ensure safe practices and “name and shame” dodgy lenders. The new code drafted by the Australian Finance Industry Association will come into effect on Monday and is the first pledge by the emerging sector to improve safeguards for customers. Companies such as Afterpay, Klarna and Zip will have to adhere to new rules such as caps on the number of late payments a person can accrue, and mandatory financial checks before purchasing.”

Global

Digital Finance: EVOLET Driving Financial Inclusion in Malaysia

The Edge Markets

“Last March, which was roughly a year after he had the conversation with the migrant worker, Yu launched EVOLET, a secure digital wallet with a complimentary pre-paid Mastercard service as an alternative to bank accounts for migrant workers. Convenience for workers aside, the digital wallet — licensed by Bank Negara Malaysia — is fashioned first as a payroll management tool, which is an immense cost-saving service for employers, as disbursement of cash is very costly and oftentimes perilous.”

Global

China Fintech Curbs That Hit Ant Were No Surprise: Ping An

Bloomberg

“China’s curbs on fintech that thwarted a massive stock sale by Ant Group Co. have been under consideration for years and weren’t a surprise to those in the industry, according to an executive at China’s biggest insurer by market value. Like Ant, Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. was in the midst of planning a public listing for a fintech unit when regulators began issuing a flurry of rules to contain the country’s burgeoning online lending industry.”

Global

Kenya Is Preparing to Crack Down on a Flood of High-interest Loan Apps

Quartz Africa

“A new Kenyan bill seeks to license and regulate digital lending platforms in the country, in a bid to clamp down on the issuance of high-interest loans as well as the predatory practices that have accompanied the industry’s massive growth. Mobile lending apps have become an easy source of credit for Kenyans who don’t have accounts with banks and other traditional financial institutions, or the regular income needed to borrow from such establishments.”

Global

India’s Reliance Partners With Google, Facebook for Digital Payment Network Bid: ET

Reuters

“India’s conglomerate Reliance Industries has partnered with Facebook Inc, Google and fintech player Infibeam to set up a national digital payment network, Economic Times newspaper reported on Saturday, citing unnamed sources. Last year, India’s central bank invited companies to forge new umbrella entities (NUEs) to create a payments network that would rival the system operated by the National Payments Council of India (NPCI), as it seeks to reduce concentration risks in the space.”

Systems

Customers Are Reporting Credit-card Payment Crashes at Restaurants and Stores Across the US, Including Chick-fil-A and Ikea

Business Insider

“Businesses across the US are accepting only cash as their credit-card payments systems are down. Fiserv, one of the leading payments providers in the US, told Insider, “A widespread internet service provider outage has impacted multiple businesses today.” Ann Cave, a company spokesperson, added in an email: “Some Fiserv services that rely on internet connectivity were interrupted. The majority have been restored and we are fully focused on restoring the remainder.” Fiserv declined to name its internet service provider.”

Tech

Amazon Go Rival Bets Pandemic Made Case for Cashierless Stores

Bloomberg

“A startup selling Amazon Go-like checkout technology to retailers has raised money from investors at a $1 billion valuation, minting a new unicorn a year into a pandemic that has helped bolster the case for cashierless stores. Standard Cognition Corp., based in San Francisco, offers a package of cameras and software that tracks browsing shoppers and automatically charges them when they exit. Circle K, the convenience store chain owned by Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., is installing Standard’s technology in an Arizona store, with more to follow. Compass Group PLC, a U.K.-based food-service conglomerate, is also a customer.”

On The Wires

Companies

ACI Worldwide and InComm Payments Partner to Digitize Cash Payments, Driving Financial Inclusion Amid the Pandemic

ACI Worldwide (NASDAQ: ACIW), a leading global provider of real-time digital payment software and solutions , and InComm Payments , a leading global payments technology company, today announced a partnership that will digitize cash payments through the use of a barcode payment token, making it easier for consumers to pay bills. For some consumers, such as the unbanked or underbanked populations, cash payments are essential. With ACI Speedpay and InComm Payments’ VanillaDirect Pay, consumers will follow the account provider’s process to get a barcode printed, scanned from a website, or sent to their phone via text or through ACI’s moBills digital wallet feature.”

Companies

Visa’s Mission to Digitally Enable Small Businesses Gains Momentum Across Europe

“Visa (NYSE: V) today announced more than 100 partners across Europe have joined the Where You Shop Matters initiative to help small business owners build digital capabilities and continue serving their communities. More than two million small firms across Europe have received support since the launch of the program in summer 2020. The announcement marks a major milestone in Visa’s commitment to help eight million small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) in Europe – and 50 million globally – to get online, adapt and future proof their business.”

Deals

Klarna CEO Challenges Tech to Focus on Global Sustainability in $1 Bn Funding Round

“Klarna, a leading global retail bank, payments and shopping service, today announced it has secured $1 billion USD in an equity funding round to accelerate international expansion and further capture global retail growth. The 4x oversubscribed round included a combination of new and existing investors and closed at a post-money valuation of $31 billion USD, making Klarna the highest-valued private fintech in Europe and the second highest worldwide(1).”

Deals

Cardlytics to Acquire Dosh to Bolster Digital Advertising Offering

Cardlytics (NASDAQ: CDLX), a digital advertising platform, announced today its planned acquisition of Dosh , a cash-back offers platform, for $275 million in cash and stock. Founded in 2016, Dosh is best known for creating a consumer app that provides cash back for millions of consumers from thousands of merchants. The Dosh app delivers an individualized consumer experience, providing the right offer to the right person at the right time, which has resulted in year-over-year growth in new brands leveraging its advertising platform to drive sales. In the past year, Dosh expanded its product offering by enabling financial institutions, neo-banks, and fintech companies – like Venmo, Betterment, and Ellevest – to rapidly deploy its platform in their own digital channels to remain top of wallet with customers.”

Domains

Paysafe Partners With RentMoola to Enable US Renters to Pay Rent Online With Cash

“Paysafe, a leading integrated payments platform, today announced its expanded partnership with RentMoola, the North American online rent payment platform. Building on its long-standing payment processing partnership with Paysafe, RentMoola has now added the company’s Paysafecash™ eCash alternative payment method to better serve U.S. tenants whose payment preference is cash.”

Providers

Splitit Announces Record Year With 300% Revenue Growth in 2020 Fueled by Partnerships With Stripe, Visa and Mastercard

“Splitit, a global installment payment provider, today announces another record year of growth, including three consecutive quarters of 200% year-over-year growth as the company further solidifies its position as the only buy now pay later option that enables consumers to use their earned credit. With the company’s new $150 million credit facility from Goldman, it is well positioned to continue its momentum in North America.”

Security

E-Complish Partners With Plaid for Real-Time Bank Account and Balance Verification

“E-Complish, a provider of custom payment processing solutions, has teamed up with data network Plaid, a data network powering the digital financial ecosystem to streamline the ACH payments processing flow for E-Complish customers. The partnership will allow E-Complish customers to verify that a consumer’s bank accounts are active and have an acceptable balance in real-time. With Plaid’s technology, E-Complish customers can enable their end-users to seamlessly and securely access their account information in compliance with NACHA guidelines.”

Tech

Ethoca Delivers Deeper Consumer Engagement and Improved Transaction Clarity in an Increasingly Virtual World

Ethoca, a Mastercard company, is leveraging an industry-leading network, collaborative technologies, and deep relationships with payments stakeholders around the world to help businesses satisfy the growing demand for improved digital experiences. With its newly introduced Consumer Clarity™ solution (formerly Eliminator), Ethoca not only delivers greater transparency and trust into what consumers have bought, but helps businesses better connect with customers via one of their most trusted and highly frequented channels – their digital banking applications.”

February 26, 2021

On The Web

Companies

Stripe Is Seeking More Funding As Valuation Takes Off

Barron's

“Stripe is fundraising for a financing round that values the digital payments company at more than $100 billion, four banking and private-equity executives familiar with the matter said.  It’s unclear exactly how much the San Francisco company is seeking. One banker said Stripe is targeting $1 billion to $1.5 billion, while others pegged the total as closer to $5 billion. Stripe declined to comment.”

Deals

Stori Raises $32.5M in a Lightspeed-led Series B to Build Mexico’s Credit Card for the Masses

TechCrunch

“While credit cards are commonplace in the United States, they are far less ubiquitous in many other countries, particularly those in Latin America. In Mexico in particular, cash remains the dominant method of payment, with an estimated 86% of all payments being in the form of cash. But card usage is growing as more people are shopping online than ever before. According to one recent study , Mexico topped the list of the world’s fastest growing e-commerce markets. Meanwhile, only 37% of Mexicans over 15 years old have a bank account , according to recent World Bank stats.”

Deals

Stitch Emerges From Stealth With $4M for Its API Fintech Play in Africa

TechCrunch

“Stitch wants to provide full API access to financial accounts across Africa starting from its first market, South Africa. With its API, developers can connect apps to financial accounts. This allows users to share their transaction history and balances, confirm their identities and initiate payments. We’ve seen a wave of API-led financial services companies proliferating around the globe. Plaid leads the way in the U.S. Sweden-based fintech Tink has also been dominant across Europe, while Truelayer and Belvo are holding the fort in the U.K. and Latin America.”

Domains

Eftpos Launches Peer-to-peer Real-time Payment Service on Beem It | ZDNet

ZDNet

“Eftpos has launched a digital payments capability to facilitate peer-to-peer (P2P) real-time transactions. The service is a deposit and withdrawal messaging capability so users can make payments from their accounts using Eftpos between Australian debit cardholders “in seconds”. The payment service has initially been launched on payment app Beem It , which it bought in November from its former owners the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank, and Westpac.”

On The Wires

Deals

Mobility Capital Finance Inc. Receives Capital Investment From Mastercard

“The inequities in today’s financial system have left many Americans without access to affordable services, instead relying on payday lending, expensive cash checking services and remittance fees. Mobility Capital Finance (MoCaFi ), a financial technology, mobile-first banking platform, and Mastercard are partnering to bring alternate financial services to underserved communities with a specific focus on providing tailored digital tools, and new payment cards to low wealth minority and Black communities. Mastercard has now furthered its commitment with a capital investment in MoCaFi.”

Domains

Plastiq and Ramp Partner to Enable Businesses to Pay for Virtually Anything With a Credit Card

Plastiq , an intelligent payments platform, and Ramp , America’s fastest growing corporate card, are announcing a new partnership that helps businesses pay for virtually any expense with the Ramp card. With this partnership, customers can now track, manage, and control every dollar of their company’s spend in a single place, including larger expenses that don’t normally fit on a credit card like rent, advertising, and supplier costs .”

Domains

Lightspeed Partners With DLocal to Power Payments for Independent Merchants in Mexico

dLocal , the foremost payment platform connecting global merchants to emerging markets, and Lightspeed (NYSE: LSPD) (TSX: LSPD), a leading provider of cloud-based, omnichannel commerce platforms, today announced a new partnership. The collaboration will allow Lightspeed merchants to accept local payment options across Latin America as the small business market in that region undergoes a rapid digital transformation.”

Providers

Varo Bank Introduces Varo Believe, a New and Better Way for Millions of Americans to Build Credit

Varo Bank , the first all-digital nationally chartered bank in the US, today introduced the Varo Believe Program*, an innovative credit building product that includes a Visa credit card and credit monitoring. The Believe Program is aimed at the 45 million Americans who are “credit invisibles” – meaning they have insufficient credit history to qualify for credit – and the millions more who are seeking to improve their credit score.”

February 25, 2021

TOP POST

Providers

Affirm to Launch Buy Now, Pay Later Debit Card

Reuters

“San Francisco-based Affirm Holdings Inc said on Thursday that it is planning to launch its first payment card allowing users to pay for some purchases in installments, as the buy now, pay later (BNPL) sector booms. Founded in 2012, Affirm has become one of the most well known buy now, pay later firms in the United States, giving consumers the option to easily spread payments for online purchases.”

On The Web

Deals

Anchorage Set for Growth Following $80M Fundraise

Cointelegraph

“Last month, digital asset entity Anchorage received a bank charter from the United States Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, or OCC. This month, the outfit has added $80 million in funds.  “Today, we are pleased to announce that Anchorage has raised an $80 million Series C, led by GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, with participation from a16z, Blockchain Capital, Lux, and Indico,” a Thursday blog post announcement from Anchorage says .”

Deals

Coinbase Reveals $1.2 Billion Revenue in Plans to Go Public

The Verge

“Coinbase has publicly filed paperwork to list its stock on the NASDAQ exchange, a huge step forward in the first major public offering for a cryptocurrency company. Coinbase’s S-1 was published on Thursday morning, after being confidentially submitted to the SEC in December. In an attached letter to investors, founder Brian Armstrong presented cryptocurrency as an equalizing force in financial markets — and Coinbase as the company at the forefront of that change.”

Providers

NatWest Open Banking Upgrade Wants to Try and Kill Off Cheques for Good

TechRadar

“NatWest has unveiled a significant improvement to its open banking payments service . The enhancement to Payit by NatWest is aimed primarily at business users and promises to offer added convenience when companies need to send payments.   Payit by NatWest will now let businesses send payments directly to their customers without needing to have their bank details, relying instead on the power of open banking . The new feature will effectively eradicate the need for cheques and even bank transfers.”

Providers

Capital One Starting to Raise Credit Limits in Hunt for Growth

Crain's New York Business

Capital One Financial Corp. has begun to lift borrowing limits for certain customers as it seeks to restart growth in its sprawling credit-card business. Increases are being offered to existing customers with both prime and subprime credit scores, Chief Executive Officer Richard Fairbank said at a virtual investor conference Wednesday. The company continues to hand out smaller credit lines to new customers .”

Risk

McDonald’s, Sift Partner on International Mobile Ordering

www.qsrweb.com

“McDonald’s has partnered with digital trust and safety provider, Sift , to safeguard and streamline the customer experience on the QSR’s mobile app in select countries across Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania, a news release said. Through the partnership, McDonald’s will have access to Sift’s machine-learning technology and global data network for customers using its mobile order-ahead and contactless payment options, which have both increased in popularity since the pandemic.”

Systems

Fed’s Digital Dollar Would Look Nothing Like Bitcoin

Bloomberg

“Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently mentioned the idea of creating a so-called digital dollar — a new form of electronic currency that would make the payment system easier for Americans and presumably compete with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. But there’s little rationale for a government-managed online dollar that looks anything like Bitcoin. There are probably better ways for the Federal Reserve to make it easier and cheaper for Americans to pay for things.”

Tech

JPMorgan’s Blockchain Payments Test Is Literally Out of This World

Reuters

“JPMorgan Chase & Co has recently tested blockchain payments between satellites orbiting the earth, executives at the bank told Reuters, showing that digital devices could use the technology behind virtual currencies for transactions. The so-called Internet of Things (IoT), where devices connect to one another, is most associated with consumer electronics, including smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home, and banks want to be ready to process payments when these smart devices start doing transactions autonomously. Umar Farooq, the CEO of JPMorgan’s blockchain business Onyx, thought space was a cool place to try it out.”

Use

Twitter Announces Paid Super Follows to Let You Charge for Tweets

The Verge

“Direct payment tools have become increasingly important for creators in particular in recent years. Patreon has been hugely successful, and other platforms including Facebook, YouTube, and even GitHub have all launched direct creator payment features. Twitter will presumably take a cut — the company has been hinting at subscriptions features that would offer it a new source of revenue — though it doesn’t appear to have said yet what that fee will be.”

On The Wires

Domains

Nets Integrates PayPal Into E-commerce Checkouts

“European payment services provider Nets now offers PayPal as a payment option for its merchants in the Nordics.  ​Nets customers in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden will find PayPal available on the Nets e-commerce platform, NetsEASY, along with cards and local payment options for SMBs. Nordic merchants – particularly those with an international customer base – will benefit from a broader range of payment alternatives presented in a seamless customer interface.”

Domains

Western Union Expands Global B2B Payments Platform

“Western Union Business Solutions, the payments arm of the Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement and payments, announced the expansion of its global capabilities, bringing faster and more transparent payment services to business customers. Western Union Business Solutions has integrated SWIFT Global Payment Initiative and increased its international currency options within its WU® Mass Payments API to 130.”

Systems

Early Warning Services and The Clearing House Now Enable Zelle® Payments on the RTP® Network

“Early Warning Services, LLC and The Clearing House (TCH) today announced Zelle® transactions can now be cleared and settled over the RTP® network . “Demand for faster payments has never been higher, and today’s integration milestone eliminates lengthy and costly legacy processes that have long been barriers to many real-time payment settlements between financial institutions,” said Lou Anne Alexander, chief product officer, Early Warning Services .”

Systems

Our Strategic Approach to the FedNow Service ISO 20022 Message Specifications

“The new year is off to a fast start for the FedNow Service. We recently announced the 120+ strong pilot participant roster and a narrowed timeframe — now 2023 — for our industrywide service launch. Next on the horizon is the publication of the ISO 20022 message specifications for the FedNow Service. These specifications will define the message flows and formats that FedNow users and service providers will need to support at the initial service launch. As we move closer to the March publication date, we want to share the planning process behind the specifications to give you a sense of what to expect when we release them.”

February 24, 2021

On The Web

Deals

New Finablr Owners in Merger Talks With Bahraini Payments Firm

Bloomberg

“The UAE-Israeli consortium that acquired UAE Exchange is in merger talks with Bahrain’s BFC Group Holdings to create a Middle Eastern remittances and currency firm with more than 24 million customers in 30 countries. Prism Group AG and Abu Dhabi’s Royal Strategic Partners teamed up in December to buy the assets of Finablr Plc , the London-listed payments firm that collapsed after disclosing more than a $1 billion in hidden debts.”

Global

European Banks Seek Technical Partners to Help Build Rival to Visa and Mastercard

Finextra Research

“The European Payments Initiative, a bank-backed joint venture that aims to build a rival to Mastercard and Visa, has put out a Request for Information for ‘qualified technical partners’ to help build its central infrastructure. Backed by 31 major Eurozone banks and acquirers Wordlline and Nets, the EPI is striving to create a unified pan-European payment system, offering a card for consumers and merchants across Europe, a digital wallet and P2P payments.”

Global

SMEs Can Now Use Facial Recognition to Apply for DBS Online Banking Accounts

The Straits Times

“Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners now simply need to face a camera to authenticate and verify their information while setting up a corporate account online with DBS Bank. DBS said the new facial biometrics feature runs on the Government Technology Agency of Singapore’s (GovTech) SingPass Face Verification technology. Previously, business owners who qualify for straight-through processing need to manually key in their DBS digibank credentials to confirm their application, the bank said on Tuesday (Feb 23).”

Global

State Bank of India Joins JPMorgan’s Blockchain-based Payment Network – ET BFSI

ETBFSI.com

State Bank of India has tied up with JPMorgan to use the US bank’s blockchain technology to speed up overseas transactions. The tie up is expected to reduce SBI customers’ transaction costs and time taken for payments, sources said. Time taken to resolve cross-border payments-related inquiries can be reduced to a few hours from up to a fortnight, they said. This will help cross-border payments reach beneficiaries faster and using limited steps.”

Global

Open Banking Is Coming to Nigeria

TechCabal

“Last week, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) released draft regulations for the open banking framework in Nigeria. It’s in line with the prediction by Stears Business that conversations around open banking regulations would move forward in Nigeria in 2021. What’s all the fuss about? Open banking, often described as the future of banking, is the idea that traditional banks should share the transaction data of customers with fintechs, challenger banks and other third parties. It sounds simple but the implications are far-reaching. With shared transactional data, customers can compare banking services easily and decide between banks.”

Industry

Covid-19 Shopping Makes Card Fees a Bigger Burden for Merchants

Wall Street Journal

“Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. are planning to raise swipe fees for some types of credit-card purchases in April, adding to the squeeze felt by restaurants, retailers and other merchants already struggling through the Covid-19 pandemic. What’s more, customers’ switch to online shopping during the pandemic—a trend heralded for keeping businesses afloat when people are reluctant to venture inside stores—is also creating extra costs for merchants. Swipe fees, which merchants pay when a customer pays by card, are often higher on online purchases.”

Providers

VibePay Continues the March to Bring Open Banking to Consumers

Financial IT

“VibePay has today announced it is bringing together AISP and PISP, leveraging its ability to practically apply Open Banking technology and take it to consumers. VibePay users can now connect all of their bank accounts to the app, giving them the power to view all of their balances, transactions and make payments in one place, regardless of who they bank with. VibePay is the UK’s Open Banking champion, bringing this technology to businesses and consumers like no other. By building directly on top of Open Banking, VibePay is a bridge between what the technology enables and what consumers need. Making it useful and impactful to consumers’ financial lives.”

Systems

Petal Takes In $126.6M Debt Facility To Provide Access To Credit

Crunchbase News

“Credit card company Petal closed on more than $126.6 million in debt facility backed by Silicon Valley Bank and Trinity Capital that will enable it to expand its credit card programs. Founded in 2016, New York-based Petal aims to make financial services more accessible, allowing people to build credit and spend responsibly. The company uses machine learning to expand credit access, particularly to those who are new to credit and overlooked by big banks.”

Systems

The Federal Reserve Suffers Widespread Disruption to Payment Services

CNN

“The Federal Reserve suffered a widespread disruption in multiple payment services Wednesday, including a system that banks and businesses rely on to zip trillions of dollars around the financial system each day. After experiencing problems for several hours, the crucial payment system, known as Fedwire, resumed normal operations shortly before 3 p.m. ET, according to the Fed’s website .Other Fed services are still down, however.In a statement, the Fed blamed an “operational error” and said it is working to restore services and communicate with customers.”

Tech

Google’s Redesigned Digital Wallet Tries to Make Payments Feel More Personal

Wall Street Journal

Alphabet Inc.’s Google is trying to draw more people to its payment app and keep them there longer with features such as a reward system, new financial management services and a format for listing payments that evokes text-message conversations. The Google Pay app will eventually offer Plex, mobile checking and savings accounts being introduced by Google in partnership with 11 banks and credit unions.”

On The Wires

Deals

NMI Acquires USAePay to Expand Omnichannel Payment Offering

NMI , a leading global payments enablement technology company, today announced it has acquired USAePay , a payment solutions company. Bringing together the NMI and USAePay solution sets allows the combined entity to better serve its joint partners and the market by expanding NMI’s technical capabilities, offering more choice and further establishing its leadership in global omnichannel payments.”

Providers

Afterpay and Stripe Partner to Offer ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Payments for Merchants

Afterpay (ASX: APT) the leader in “Buy Now, Pay Later,” today announced a partnership with Stripe, the technology company building economic infrastructure for the internet. The two companies are joining forces to offer Afterpay’s payment service to Stripe merchants through an easy and seamless integration. The partnership allows both new and existing Stripe merchants to easily offer Afterpay – giving their shoppers the opportunity to receive their items immediately and pay in four installments, without the need to take out a traditional loan or pay upfront fees or interest.”

Systems

Versabank to Launch VCAD, World’s First Bank-issued, Deposit-based Digital Currency

“VersaBank (TSX: VB) (“VersaBank” or the “Bank”), a North American leader in business-to-business digital banking and technology solutions for cybersecurity, today announced it plans to launch a strong encryption based digital currency (cryptocurrency) represented one-to-one by a Canadian dollar bank deposit with the Bank, to be known as VCAD.  VCAD is expected to be the first digital currency to represent a fiat currency, as well as the first in the world digital currency issued by and backed by deposits with a North American bank.”

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