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June 20, 2019

On The Web

Domains

N26 Launches MoneyBeam for UK Users

FinTech Futures

“N26, one of Europe’s largest digital banks, has introduced MoneyBeam for its UK users, allowing them to send money instantly to fellow N26 users. The digital bank conducted research which exposed the contentious nature of splitting bills, as more than a quarter (27%) of UK adults regularly take the hit and pay the tab in full just to avoid an argument.”

Domains

Shopify Announces New Partner and Developer Tools, Plus an AI-powered Fulfillment Network

VentureBeat

“Shopify today announced a slew of enhancements to its direct-to-consumer platform for brands. The company announced a new Shopify Plus for enterprise, unveiled its next-generation Point of Sale (POS) software, and added more language, payment, and store capabilities. The company also gave developers a handful of new tools. But the biggest news was arguably the AI-powered Shopify Fulfillment Network.”

Global

Online Retail Sales Suffer Slowest Growth on Record, As Bad Weather and Gloom Start to Bite

InternetRetailing

“Bad weather, Brexit and no Royal Weddings or football tournaments to boost the public mood, May has logged the worse online sales growth ever, according to the latest IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index.   May continued the discouraging 2019 trend of below-average sales growth, with just +1.9% year-on-year (YoY). When compared to this time last year, which saw the strongest May growth for online retail since 2010, the state of online retail remains rather tough.”

  • Tags:
  • UK

Regulation

Tariff Pressure Takes Aim at Payment Equipment Once Again

Digital Transactions

“While legislators and regulators focused much of their attention on the Facebook-backed planned Libra cryptocurrency this week, tariffs on Chinese-made goods re-emerged in Washington as a threat that could raise prices for merchants and merchant acquirers. The Electronic Transactions Association payments trade group filed comments with the Office of the United States Trade Representative opposing the Trump Administration’s proposed 25% tariffs on Chinese-made cash registers, point-of-sale devices, and related equipment. ETA interim chief executive Amy Zirkle testified Wednesday before an inter-agency federal committee taking comments on the plan.”

Regulation

Facebook Called Before Senate Panel Over Digital Currency Project

Reuters

“The announcement comes one day after the social media giant unveiled plans to launch a global cryptocurrency, which immediately attracted attention from regulators across the globe, and skepticism from Washington. Representative Maxine Waters, the Democrat who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, said Tuesday she planned to similarly call Facebook to testify, and asked the company to halt the project while policymakers studied it. In May, the leaders of the Senate Banking Committee wrote to Facebook seeking information on rumors of its cryptocurrency project, and how it would protect consumer information.”

Systems

Berkshire Bank Commits to RTP With Global PayPlus Selection

FinTech Futures

“Massachusetts-based Berkshire Bank is to adopt The Clearing House’s real-time payments (RTP) network and has chosen Finastra ’s Fundtech-derived Global PayPlus for connectivity, writes Martin Whybrow. The bank will be among the first regional players in the US north-east to offer real-time payments capabilities. Global PayPlus will provide access to the ISO 20022-based RTP.”

Tech

Alexa, How Can I Fly to Mumbai?

Reuters

“Airlines are concerned that Amazon’s quiet launch of domestic plane ticket sales in India last month is only the start of a global trend and the beginning of a battle for control of valuable traveller data. For years, airlines have found it difficult to compete with online travel agencies like Expedia Group Inc and corporate travel agents that control a large number of customers, Travelport Chief Executive Gordon Wilson said. “They have nothing left if Google is in that position, or Amazon,” he said at a CAPA Centre for Aviation conference this month. “I think the airlines are being very watchful over this.””

Tech

HonkMobile Launches App-free Apple Pay NFC Payments

NFC World

“Parking payments specialist HonkMobile has unveiled a ‘virtual parking meter’ that uses Apple Pay’s new support for NFC tags to let iPhone users tap an NFC sticker to quickly make a payment via Apple Pay — without first needing to download an app or register for a service. HonkTap is now live “in select cities across North America” with 10,000 HonkTap signs and structures to be installed across 20 cities in Canada and the US by the end of summer 2019, the company says.”

Uncategorized

Chip Cards Make Gains, but the U.S. Still Lags Most of the World in EMV Adoption

Digital Transactions

“EMV chip card payments made substantial gains in the U.S. last year, but the nation still lags most other regions in EMV penetration, according to new figures from payment card standards body EMVCo. Some 53.5% of general-purpose U.S. card-present transactions in 2018 were so-called chip-on-chip, meaning both the point-of-sale terminal and the card were EMV-enabled, up from 41.2% in 2017, EMVCo data show. EMV penetration is highest in EMVCo’s Europe Zone 1 consisting primarily of Western and Northern Europe, with 97.3% of 2018’s POS transactions EMV-enabled—down slightly from 98.6% in 2017.”

On The Wires

Use

PayByPhone

paybyphone

“PayByPhone, a leading global provider of mobile parking payment solutions, today announced availability of PayByPhone services through Amazon Echo Auto. Echo Auto connects to Alexa using a mobile device and plays through car speakers via Bluetooth or auxiliary input, allowing users access to over 90,000 skills all from the driver’s seat.”

June 19, 2019

TOP POST

Systems

Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency: Where Are the Banks?

The Block

“JPMorgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citi and more are conspicuously absent. Each reaps billions in fees annually by issuing credit cards, acting as merchant processors/acquirers and providing other commercial and retail payment services in a complex payments system . This business could very well be up for grabs in a world of frictionless global merchant and P2P payments with dramatically lower fees. Furthermore, banks are heavily regulated in the U.S. and in other countries. A partial list of the regulators that JPMorgan answers to will make the head spin. As a result, banks are understandably hesitant to dabble even in established cryptocurrencies. They certainly are not prepared to be founding members of a pre-launch “stablecoin” project set to be released in 2020 by the earliest with many details still to be worked out.”

On The Web

Deals

Razorpay Lands $75M Funding Led by Ribbit Capital

The Economic Times

“Razorpay has raised $75 million (about ₹525 crore) in its latest round of equity financing, led by financial technology-focused investment firm Ribbit Capital, which will see the Bengaluru-based business-tobusiness payment solutions company double down on its new business lines.”

Deals

Token Raises $16.5M in Funding

FinSMEs

Token , a San Francisco, CA- and London, UK-based open banking platform, raised $16.5m in funding. Backers included Opera Tech Ventures, the venture arm of BNP Paribas, Octopus Ventures and EQT Ventures. The company intends to use the funds to expand adoption of its open banking platform and accelerate new ways of innovating payments with digital money and ID solutions.”

Deals

Whitebox Raises $5M for Its E-commerce Logistics Platform

TechCrunch

“The company works with both startups and more established brands, giving them the tools they need to run direct-to-consumer e-commerce businesses. Customers include McCormick, Starbucks, KitchenAid, Bare Bones and Super Coffee-maker Kitu. As Startzel put it, “All our clients need to do is send us their product, and then we take care of everything.” That includes listing the products on different online marketplaces, promoting those listings with ads and actually sending the products to customers once they’ve been purchased.”

Regulation

Cryptocurrency Startups Are in Limbo As Regulators Grapple With Risks

Wall Street Journal (paywall)

“Around 35 to 40 companies involved in digital assets have applied with U.S. securities regulators to become brokerages, with many hoping to launch electronic trading platforms, according to the Blockchain Association, an industry group. None of the applications has been approved since regulators stepped up enforcement actions against issuers of cryptocurrencies in early 2018. The roadblocks faced by the startups suggest that other companies pushing into cryptocurrencies , such as Facebook Inc., may also need to grapple with skeptical regulators and potentially extensive delays.”

Systems

Real-Time Payments Aren’t Just Faster, They Are Change Agents

Forbes

“Real-time payments (RTP) aren’t just faster, they will change the way businesses operate, according to Citizens Bank, which surveyed more than 150 businesses ranging in size from $10 million to more than $500 million. Ninety percent  of businesses expect RTP to dramatically transform the way business is done. Nearly two-thirds of respondents said that RTP will likely mean the end of cash and check payments.”

Systems

Facebook’s Cryptocurrency Is Already Facing Political Pushback in Europe

CNBC

“Hours after the company announced its crypto ambitions, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire poured cold water on the project.   Le Maire said it was “out of the question” that Libra becomes a “sovereign currency,” Bloomberg reported , citing comments made on Europe 1 radio. “It can’t and it must not happen,” he added. The Group of Seven (G-7)— which includes France, the U.K. and U.S. — is looking to set up a forum to assess the risks of digital currencies like Libra to the financial system. That’s according to the Financial Times , which cited a letter from Le Maire and Banque de France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau. The group will include central banks and the International Monetary Fund, the FT reported.”

Systems

Facebook Talked to the Fed About Libra Coin, Chairman Powell Says

CoinDesk

“Speaking during a press conference that followed a two-day Fed policy meeting, Powell was asked if he or the Fed had any concerns about Libra affecting the central bank’s ability to conduct monetary policy, as well as if Facebook met with Fed officials. “You know Facebook, I believe, has made quite broad rounds around the world with regulators, supervisors and lots of people to discuss their plans and that certainly includes us,” he said. As for potential effects on monetary policymaking, Powell said that “we’re a long way from that,” going on to note that “digital currencies are in their infancy.” “So essentially…not too concerned about the central banks no longer being able to carry out monetary policy because of cryptocurrencies or digital currencies,” he continued.”

Systems

Facebook’s Calibra Is a Secret Weapon for Monetizing Its New Cryptocurrency

The Verge

“Facebook’s announcement this morning of a new cryptocurrency, Libra , and the nonprofit association that will oversee it raises questions about the future of global banking and Facebook’s role in it. But behind Facebook’s ambitions to create a quasi-nation state ruled by mostly corporate interests is a secret weapon, one the company hopes it can use to create another platform used by billions of people — and generate enormous new revenue streams along the way. It’s called Calibra, and it’s a new subsidiary of Facebook the company is launching to build financial services and software on top of the Libra blockchain. At first blush, Calibra resembles a fairly standard payments company — but its tigh”

Users

China’s Unmanned Store Boom Ends As Quickly As It Began

Nikkei Asian Review

“When Chinese tech companies started rushing to open unmanned convenience stores a couple of years ago, some seasoned bricks-and-mortar players said the trend would soon hit a dead end. They were right: Across China, shops once considered the future of retail have been shutting their doors for good. In May, on Huaqiang North Road in the heart of Shenzhen’s electronics shop district, a Buy-Fresh Go store that had been held up by the media as a model of automated retail closed after only about a year. The store had been stripped of all its high-tech equipment and an ad seeking a new tenant was placed at the entrance.”

On The Wires

Use

Global Software Leaders Xero and Stripe Join Forces to Bring Seamless Payments to Millions of Small Businesses

“The global partnership, announced at Xerocon San Diego 2019, will enable new payments experiences that are more seamless and efficient for small business owners and their advisors around the world. Xero and Stripe are building new tools to invoice customers more efficiently, bring additional insights on their business performance and get paid, no matter how or where they do business.”

June 18, 2019

TOP POST

Systems

Facebook Unveils Cryptocurrency Libra As an Alternative to Bitcoin

Wall Street Journal (paywall)

“Facebook Inc. formally announced plans to launch a cryptocurrency called Libra, promising a secure blockchain-based payment system backed by hard assets and designed for mainstream users. Facebook named early Tuesday a series of big, corporate partners —including financial-services heavyweights Mastercard Inc. and PayPal Holdings Inc. and tech giants Uber Technologies Inc. and Spotify Technology S.A.—that it said will help it create a “secure, scalable and reliable” crytocurrency.”

On The Web

Global

Indian Central Bank to Review Data Storage Rules for Payment…

Reuters

“India’s central bank will look into concerns about data storage rules that have been raised by companies, a government statement said on Tuesday, months after entities such as Mastercard and Visa were forced to store more of their data locally in the country. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) last year mandated companies to store their payments data “only in India” so that the regulator could have “unfettered supervisory access”.”

Regulation

Facebook Token Runs Into Instant Political Opposition in Europe

Bloomberg

“Facebook Inc.’s ambitious plan to roll out its own cryptocurrency ran into immediate political opposition in Europe, with calls for tighter regulation of the social-media giant.    French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the digital currency known as Libra shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for traditional currencies.”

Tech

Mobile Payments up but Pace of Growth Slows

Roll Call

“Payments made through mobile apps like Apple Pay are rising, but at a slower rate than in past years, according to a report by the Electronic Transactions Association. U.S. consumers spent $64 billion through mobile wallet apps or dedicated apps from a retailer last year, up from $45 billion in 2017, the ETA said. The 42 percent rate of growth in 2018 was down from 51 percent in 2017. The pace is expected to slow to 37 percent in 2019, resulting in $88 billion in consumer spending by such means.”

Use

Governors Call on Congress to Pass Cannabis Safe Harbor for Financial Institutions

findknowdo

“In a letter to Congress, the governors advocated for the Secure and Fair Enforcement (“SAFE”) Banking Act , or similar legislation, to remove legal uncertainty for banks and credit unions seeking to provide marijuana financing. As previously noted , the SAFE Banking Act creates protections for depository institutions that provide financial services to cannabis-related legitimate businesses and to service providers for such businesses. According to the governors’ letter, without the services of banks to help manage the businesses, the cannabis industry is forced to rely on cash to transact legal cannabis business, which poses an additional burden on state and local agencies, as well as an employee safety risk.”

On The Wires

Use

FlexWage Empowers People With More Ways to Access Their Pay

Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ:FISV), a leading global provider of financial services technology solutions, announced today that on-demand payment pioneer FlexWage Solutions is expanding the ways wage earners can receive their pay to align with how people live and work today. In addition to being able to access their pay on-demand via a FlexWage-branded card, earners can now send their pay directly to their checking accounts at the time of their choice via Fiserv technology.”

Use

It’s Time to Enable People to Use Their True Name on Cards

Mastercard Global Hub

“Today, Mastercard is making a commitment to address this challenge by introducing the True Name™ card. We are working with partners to create a product, as well as a sensitive and private process free of personal questions, that will allow for true names, not deadnames, to appear on cards without the requirement of a legal name change. This will ease a major pain point for the transgender and non-binary community. Mastercard calls on the industry to apply these standards for everyone, ensuring a way for people’s financial products to reflect their true identity.”

June 17, 2019

TOP POST

Deals

Ripple Announces Strategic Partnership With Money Transfer Giant, MoneyGram

“Ripple, a provider of leading enterprise blockchain solutions for global payments, has agreed to enter into a strategic partnership with MoneyGram (NASDAQ: MGI), one of the world’s largest money transfer companies. Through this partnership, which will have an initial term of two years, Ripple would become MoneyGram’s key partner for cross-border payment and foreign exchange settlement using digital assets. In conjunction with the partnership, Ripple has agreed to provide a capital commitment to MoneyGram, which enables the company to draw up to $50 million in exchange for equity over a two-year period.”

On The Web

Companies

Facebook’s Cryptocurrency Partners Revealed—we Obtained the Entire List of Inaugural Backers – The Block

The Block

“Facebook has been quietly building out its cryptocurrency for over a year, and it looks like that time has been well spent, enlisting the support of some of the most prominent companies across payments, retail, and technology. As recently reported by The Wall Street Journal, Facebook’s cryptocurrency will be governed by a consortium of firms known as the Libra Association, which includes the likes of Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal. But The Block has gotten its hands on consortium marketing materials and can now report dozens of firms not previously known to be involved, including investors such as Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, and non-profits including Mercy Corps. Calibra, a subsidiary Facebook formed to oversee the social media giant’s crypto efforts, is also among the founding members, according to a source familiar with the matter.”

Deals

PayFit Raises $79 Million for Its Payroll Service

TechCrunch

“French startup PayFit is raising a new $79 million funding round (€70 million) from Eurazeo and Bpifrance. The company first started with a payroll service for small and medium companies in France. It has evolved into a full-fledged HR solution for multiple European countries. PayFit uses a software-as-a-service approach so that small companies can easily manage payroll and HR information from a web browser. Everything stays up-to-date and compliant with labor regulation.”

Deals

SpotOn Raises $40M, Adding up to 50 Hires in Chicago

Built In Chicago

“If you recently bought something from a local business, you may have SpotOn to thank for the transaction. The fintech company creates products for all things related to the merchant service industry. Its platform manages point-of-sale transactions, but it can also help businesses with everything from their websites, marketing, appointments, customer reviews and more. SpotOn works with small- to medium-sized businesses, and it’s seen a lot of growth of late. The company has added over 3,500 clients in the past 90 days, and revenue has grown more than 400 percent in the past year.”

Domains

India’s Payments Firm MobiKwik Kick-starts Its International Ambitions With Cross-border Mobile Top-ups

TechCrunch

MobiKwik, a mobile wallet app in India that has expanded to add several financial services in recent years, said today it plans to enter international markets as it approaches profitability with the local operation. The company is kick-starting its overseas ambitions with cross-border mobile top-ups support. The 10-year-old firm said it has partnered with DT One , a Singapore-headquartered payments network , to enable international mobile recharge (topping up credit to a mobile account), rewards and airtime credit services in more than 150 nations across some 550 mobile operators. The feature is now live on the app.”

Risk & Fraud

Nearly a Third of Retailers Say Online Sales Represent the Greatest Increase in Fraud at Their Companies

Digital Commerce 360

“Nearly 50% of retail loss prevention professionals are getting bigger budgets to help quell fraud, according to a report released by the National Retail Federation earlier this month. 44.5% of loss prevention professionals surveyed said their budgets for loss prevention efforts are increasing, and 68.2% say they’ll allocate additional resources to stop fraud, most of that in technology. About one in three (28.6%) surveyed professionals say they will add staff resources—and are looking for professionals with analytical, cybersecurity and investigative skills, the NRF says.”

Risk & Fraud

Millions of Venmo Transactions Scraped in Warning Over Privacy Settings

TechCrunch

“A computer science student has scraped seven million Venmo transactions to prove that users’ public activity can still be easily obtained, a year after a privacy researcher downloaded hundreds of millions of Venmo transactions in a similar feat. Dan Salmon said he scraped the transactions during a cumulative six months to raise awareness and warn users to set their Venmo payments to private . The peer-to-peer mobile payments service faced criticism last year after Hang Do Thi Duc , a former Mozilla fellow, downloaded 207 million transactions. The scraping effort was possible because Venmo payments between users are public by default. The scrapable data inspired several new projects — including a bot that tweeted out every time someone bought drugs.

Systems

Circle Will Sunset Its Circle Pay App To Concentrate on Cryptocurrency Projects

Digital Transactions

““Over its successful, five-year lifespan, Circle Pay was a pioneering social-payment app,” Boston-based Circle said in a Thursday blog post. “Circle Pay has clarified the path forward by highlighting the robust, global demand for people to exchange value as seamlessly as they exchange information. However, that demand largely relied on interfacing with the traditional financial system and untokenized fiat currencies.” The appearance of fiat tokens and so-called stablecoins that take the volatility out of cryptocurrencies “is significantly advancing our original vision and providing more global, seamless opportunity for people around the world,” the post continues. “As such, we believe that it is appropriate to retire Circle Pay at this time.””

Systems

Jack Dorsey Answers Our Questions About Square’s Plans for Bitcoin

Hard Fork | The Next Web

“Dorsey explained that the promise of cryptocurrencies (and, of course, blockchain) are inherently geared towards consumer empowerment, offering previously unprecedented levels of transparency and control. Crucially, he regards both technologies as a logical (and perhaps inevitable) step in the evolution of the online ecosystem.”

Tech

Mastercard Priceless Experiences: Voice is the next frontier

Cards International

“Cardholders looking for memorable experiences while holidaying or want a special encounter closer to home can now access experiences through Mastercard’s Alexa-enabled or Google smart speaker, as well as through Priceless.com. The voice assistant will be available later this summer. Cardholders will be able to hear about a wide variety of experiences available in cities. These include New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago. The process is extremely simple; users access experiences by asking their speaker to “Open Priceless Experiences.” Smart speaker owners will know the skill has activated thanks to the immediate chime of the Mastercard sonic melody.”

Use

Columbia Care Launches Credit Card for Medical Cannabis Industry

Cards International

“Columbia Care, a multistate operator in the medical cannabis industry, has launched a national credit programme across the US. The Columbia National Credit programme (CNC Card) enables the company capable of accepting a credit card for cannabis purchases. The launch follows a pilot in New York in the second half of last year.”

Use

Bank Compliance Jobs at Risk as Nordea, Danske Target Robots

Bloomberg

“The two biggest Nordic banks have both recently beefed up their compliance units significantly. Both say the extra headcount is temporary. Nordea Bank Abp has hundreds of employees who scrutinize billions of transactions in order to catch anything that looks potentially criminal. It’s a costly, inefficient system that Mikael Bjertrup, head of the bank’s financial crime prevention unit, plans to change.”

Use

Target Checkouts Hit by Outage for a Second Day in a Row

TechCrunch

“Like many other companies, Target uses NCR as a vendor to help accept payments, and on Sunday afternoon NCR experienced an issue at one of their data centers. While this was not an issue within Target’s technology system, Target was unable to process select card payments at some stores for about 90 minutes.”

Users

Forget the Mall, Shoppers Are Buying Gucci at Airports

Wall Street Journal (paywall)

“Makers of luxury goods from liquor to perfume think they have found the antidote to the fading American shopping mall : airport terminals. The world’s airports, drawing ever more travelers with time to kill, have become havens of high-end shopping, where stores sell $400 bottles of whiskey and $4,000 purses against the backdrop of day spas, hot springs and, in one case, a butterfly garden. For the first time last year, Estée Lauder Co. generated more revenue at airports globally than at U.S. department stores, which for decades had been beauty companies’ biggest sales driver. Other luxury-goods companies, from spirits maker Bacardi Ltd. to Kering SA’s KER +1.60% Gucci, are also expanding their presence at airport terminals.”

On The Wires

Risk & Fraud

Visa Prevents Approximately $25 Billion in Fraud Using Artificial Intelligence

“Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) today announced new analysis showing Visa Advanced Authorization (VAA) using artificial intelligence (AI) helped financial institutions prevent an estimated $25 billion in annual fraud—making the global payment ecosystem safer for retailers and consumers.i VAA is a comprehensive risk management tool that monitors and evaluates transaction authorizations on the Visa global payment network, VisaNet, in real time to help financial institutions promptly identify and respond to emerging fraud patterns and trends. Visa processed more than 127 billion transactions between merchants and financial institutions on VisaNet last year, and employed AI to analyze 100 percent of the transactions—each in about one millisecond—so financial institutions can approve legitimate purchases while quickly identifying and preventing fraudulent transactions.”

  • Tags:
  • AI

Tech

Volante Technologies Launches SEPA Instant Payments As a Service on Microsoft Azure for RT1 and TIPS

Volante Technologies Inc. , a global provider of software to accelerate digital transformation and modernization, today announced that it is providing end-to-end SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) instant payments processing as an on-demand managed service on Microsoft Azure. Volante’s SEPA Instant Payments as a service will provide all payment service providers (PSPs) certified access to the two principal pan-European schemes, EBA CLEARING’s RT1 and ECB’s TIPS, through the high-speed, secure messaging and low-latency SIAnet network.”

Tech

US Payments Forum Provides Best Practices for In-store Contactless Acceptance in New Resource

U.S. Payments Forum

MTA’s recent launch of OMNY ¹ and initiatives from several large financial institutions to offer contactless cards are evidence of the growth of contactless adoption in the U.S. As more opportunities arise to tap to make a payment, clear communication at the point of sale (POS) is needed to indicate that contactless cards and devices are accepted. The U.S. Payments Forum is helping issuers and merchants to improve this experience at the POS with a new resource describing best practices for contactless acceptance. The white paper, “Consumer Experience at the Contactless Point of Sale” can be downloaded at https://www.uspaymentsforum.org/consumer-experience-at-the-contactless-point-of-sale/ .”

Use

Animation, Sound & Vibration – How Visa Is Reinforcing Consumer Trust in a Changing Payments World

“Visa (NYSE: V) today announced global adoption of its sensory branding suite in 25 countries via more than a dozen new partnerships. The suite is comprised of sound, animation and haptic brand cues that occur with a Visa payment transaction. In a digital world increasingly filled with voice-commands, networked appliances and unattended retail environments, Visa’s sensory branding cues offer new ways to enhance the customer experience and convey the trust and security that the Visa brand represents.”

June 14, 2019

TOP POST

Uncategorized

Facebook’s New Cryptocurrency, Libra, Gets Big Backers

Wall Street Journal (paywall)

Facebook Inc. has signed up more than a dozen companies including Visa Inc., Mastercard Inc., MA +0.19% PayPal Holdings Inc. PYPL +0.68% and Uber Technologies Inc. UBER -0.52% to back a new cryptocurrency it plans to unveil next week and launch next year. The financial and e-commerce companies, venture capitalists and telecommunications firms will invest around $10 million each in a consortium that will govern the digital coin, called Libra, according to people familiar with the matter. The money would be used to fund the creation of the coin, which will be pegged to a basket of government-issued currencies to avoid the wild swings that have dogged other cryptocurrencies, they said.”

On The Web

Providers

Monzo Launches Its ‘bank of the Future’ in the US

The Verge

“As Monzo doesn’t have its own US banking license, the features will be a little different. “The main thing that will be removed is lending,” says Blomfield. “We’re not a bank [in the US], so we won’t be lending customers money.” The majority of existing Monzo features will be available in the US, including things like notifications for payments and tap-to-pay (contactless) payments. “

On The Wires

Deals

PPRO Acquires Allpago to Become the Market Leader in Local Payments

PPRO , the cross-border e-payments specialist, is today announcing the acquisition of Latin American payments provider allpago to create the world’s leading platform for local payments. Allpago is the preeminent provider of payment and gateway services in Latin America covering 90% of the market1. This expansion is a transformational step for PPRO to meet its ambition of globalizing the company and build upon its recent expansion into Asia-Pacific and North America.”

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