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January 17, 2020

On The Web

Companies

Libra Association Forms Steering Committee to Guide Technical Development

CoinTelegraph

“The Libra Association — the government body of the eponymous stablecoin introduced by Facebook in late 2019 — has formed a new committee to guide the network’s technical development. According to an announcement on Jan. 16, the Libra Association has voted to establish the five-member Technical Steering Committee which comprises leading experts from various firms in the fintech and blockchain industries. “

Companies

China’s $7.6 Trillion Online Payments Market Is No Longer Enough For Jack Ma’s Ant Financial

Forbes

“Jack Ma’s Ant Financial grew to become one of China’s largest fintech platforms by providing e-wallet services and online investments to hundreds of millions of consumers. But amid mounting regulatory pressure, Ant has sights on a new market. Ant’s president of advanced technology business group, Geoff Jiang, told FORBES ASIA in an interview that the operator of the popular Alipay e-wallet wants to offer Chinese banks a wide range of technology products and services. Although the company spent years competing with them in payments and wealth management, it now plans to sell in-house expertise to the same banks and help them digitalize their operations with tools such as cloud computing and data analytics.”

Use

Vivint Smart Arena Going Fully Cashless After Successful Trial

SportBusiness

“Vivint Smart Home Arena, the home of the National Basketball Association’s Utah Jazz, is going fully cashless following a successful trial late last year. Beginning January 18, the sports and entertainment venue will only accept credit, debit and prepaid cards, and mobile payments for sales at all food and beverage points of purchase, the box office, and Utah Jazz Team Store.”

January 16, 2020

TOP POST

Deals

The Seeds of Visa’s $5.3 Billion Acquisition of Plaid Were Planted More Than a Year Ago

Quartz

“Visa’s $5.3 billion acquisition of Plaid, one of Silicon Valley’s hottest startups, came after conversations between the companies’ executives intensified in late 2019. But the idea had been planted long before, with discussions at the highest ranks of the largest US card network that go back more than a year. The rationale is clear: In a world where billions of credit and debit cards have already been issued, the Visa and Mastercard duopoly need to prepare for a time when consumers move beyond pieces of plastic ( and metal ) to pay for things.”

On The Web

Systems

Former Regulator Known As ‘Crypto Dad’ to Launch Digital-Dollar Think Tank

Wall Street Journal

“J. Christopher Giancarlo, who stepped down as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission last year, said he was creating the nonprofit Digital Dollar Foundation to study converting the dollar into a fully electronic currency based on blockchain, the technology that underpins bitcoin. The U.S. risks losing the advantages it enjoys from having the dominant global currency if it falls behind rivals like China, which is working on creating a digital yuan, Mr. Giancarlo wrote in an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal in October.”

Use

The Way to Indians’ Wallet Is Through Cricket. Just Ask PhonePe

Quartz India

“Cricket is a religion in India, and digital payments major PhonePe knows it better than anyone. The secret sauce for the success of the Walmart-backed company, which has lately been breathing down rival Paytm’s neck, is cricket sponsorships. PhonePe first invested its marketing spends into cricket in mid-2018 with the Asia Cup. After seeing a positive response, it upped cricket-related advertisements, the Flipkart-owned brand told Quartz.”

On The Wires

Companies

PayPal Processed Record $10 Billion in Charitable Donations in 2019

“PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL ) today announced that it processed a record $10.3 billion in donations to charities around the world in 2019, and more than $1 billion in the month of December alone, as mobile and other digital channels continue to change how donors engage with nonprofit organizations. Twenty-one percent of all donations processed by PayPal in 2019 were made through mobile devices.”

January 15, 2020

On The Web

Companies

Amazon Enters Partnership With Indian Retailer to Sell Online

Card Not Present

“Amazon is partnering with India’s second largest retail chain in an effort to further its reach into the country. The online retail giant said this week it will become the official online sales channel for India’s Future Retail. While Future Retail has more than 1,500 physical stores around India, this will be its first large-scale online sales venture.  The two have entered into a long-term business agreement which will make Amazon India the authorized online sales channel for Future Retail stores. The focus will be on groceries and general merchandise, and fashion and footwear.”

Deals

Raisin Acquires Choice Financial to Let US Banks Offer Customized Savings Accounts

Mobile Payments Today

“Raisin, a Berlin-based wealth management platform, agreed to buy Choice Financial Solutions, a software firm that will allow American banks and credit unions to offer a broader range of savings products directly to their customers or through the Raisin platform.  Choice FS, which originally launched in 2010, will allow banks to offer customized short and long-term savings products that offer for example, cash distributions at set periods over time or ad hoc withdrawal availability.”

Deals

Tradeshift raises $240M and appears to put its expected IPO on hold — for now

TechCrunch

“What this new funding means it that Tradeshift is effectively delaying its IPO to get its “house in order” in the context of a new economic environment that has become skeptical toward tech IPOs in the wake of the WeWork debacle, which saw public investors cool toward new tech company listings. Although the company isn’t saying this, perhaps in this instance, its motto should be temporarily changed from “shift happens” to the more apt “shit happens.””

Deals

Mobile payment app Lydia raises $45 million round led by Tencent

TechCrunch

“French startup Lydia is raising a $45 million Series B round (€40 million). Tencent is leading the round with existing investors CNP Assurances, XAnge and New Alpha also participating. If you live in France, chances are you already know Lydia quite well. The company has become a ubiquitous mobile payment app, especially for people under 30 years old. Think about it as a sort of Square Cash or Venmo, but for France.”

Global

Opinion: Canada’s Sub-standard Payments System Is Only Supporting the Incumbent Banks, Not Canadians

The Globe and Mail

“As a course correction, Finance Canada must seek legislative amendments to the Canadian Payments Act authorizing paytech companies as eligible members of Payments Canada and enshrining competition as a stated public policy objective for the payments system. Furthermore, the Minister of Finance should issue a directive to Payments Canada requiring the completion of the proposed real-time payments system no later than the fourth quarter of 2021. Canadians have waited far too long to reap the benefits of an efficient and competitive payments system and cannot afford to wait any longer.”

Global

IDology’s ExpectID to Offer Integrated Global Capabilities, Enabling Secure and Frictionless Identity Verification Across Borders

prnewswire

IDology , a GBG company, today announced that its ExpectID solution will incorporate additional countries from North America, South America and Europe. By internationalizing the leading identity verification platform, multi-national organizations will be able to verify and authenticate more customers safely, in real time and without friction.  ExpectID uses an innovative, multi-layered process to access thousands of data sources containing billions of public records to instantly verify an identity, while also providing predictive, intelligent information around that identity. The integration of international data enables companies to leverage one vendor with one service gateway to onboard and authenticate customers from multiple countries and with easier reporting to more effectively stay on top of fraud trends.”

Providers

ICICI Bank launches India’s largest API Banking portal with nearly 250 APIs

ICICI Bank

“The ‘ICICI Bank API Banking portal’, which consists of 250 APIs, enables developers of prospective partner companies across the globe to seamlessly sign up on it, create an application, select the application, test it out and get the sample code. With this, businesses, fintechs, corporates and e-commerce start-ups can easily partner with the Bank and co- create innovative customer solutions in a frictionless manner, all from the convenience of a single portal. The usage of ‘ICICI Bank API Banking Portal’ simplifies the process of digital collaboration for a partner company with the Bank and reduces the time taken to develop a business solution to a few days. This significantly raises productivity for partner companies. Typically, an API integration would take a few months.”

Reports

App stores saw record 204 billion app downloads in 2019, consumer spend of $120 billion

TechCrunch

“Consumers downloaded a record 204 billion apps in 2019, up 6% from 2018 and up 45% since 2016, and spent $120 billion on apps, subscriptions and other in-app spending in the past year. The average mobile user, meanwhile, is spending 3.7 hours per day using apps. This data and more comes from App Annie’s annual report, “State of Mobile,” which highlights the biggest app trends for the past year, and sets forecasts for the years ahead.”

Reports

U.S. Bancorp’s Merchant Volume Rises 10% While BofA Sees Big Zelle Growth

Digital Transactions

“Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp reported $119.1 billion in merchant volume versus $107.8 billion in 2018’s fourth quarter. Transactions totaled 1.69 billion, up 13.8% from 1.49 billion a year earlier. That generated $409 million in non-interest income, a 5.1% increase. The revenue growth was “driven by higher sales volumes and merchant fees,” U.S. Bancorp said in its earnings report….BofA reported Wednesday that its customers sent and received 95 million payments via Zelle in the fourth quarter, up 86% from 51.1 million in year-earlier period. Payment value totaled $23.8 billion, up 76%. BofA says it has 9.7 million active Zelle users.”

On The Wires

Deals

Very Good Security Announces Strategic Investment From Visa

yahoo

“Very Good Security (VGS), a leader in modern data security and custodianship, announced today that it has received a strategic investment from Visa Inc. to expand access to VGS’ infrastructure-as-a-service for financial technology companies (fintechs) and large enterprises. Visa joins other notable investors, including Goldman Sachs, Andreessen Horowitz, Vertex Ventures US, and Max Levchin (co-founder of PayPal), in advancing VGS’ mission to provide a better approach to data security, privacy and compliance.”

Use

Caltrain Launches New Caltrain Mobile Ticketing App

“Caltrain Mobile will enhance the overall customer experience for Caltrain riders by making it unnecessary to visit ticketing machines before boarding at stations. The app offers One-Way, Day Pass and Zone Upgrade digital tickets for adults and passengers who qualify for discounted fare.”

January 14, 2020

TOP POST

Deals

Visa to Pay $5.3 Billion for Fintech Startup

Wall Street Journal

Visa Inc. V 0.81% said Monday it would buy Plaid Inc. for $5.3 billion , as part of an effort by the card giant to tap into consumers’ growing use of financial-technology apps and noncard payments. More consumers over the past decade have been using financial-services apps to manage their savings and spending, and Plaid sits in the middle of those relationships, providing software that gives the apps access to financial accounts. Venmo, PayPal Holdings Inc.’s money-transfer service, is one of privately held Plaid’s biggest customers.”

On The Web

Providers

Islamic Fintechs Are on the Rise — but Will They Survive?

Sifted

“Fintech is a crowded space. But a new subgenre is emerging to attract the world’s 1.8bn Muslims with a Shariah-compliant alternative. Young Muslims want in on Europe’s fintech scene. Their pitch is that Muslims, who make up 20% of the world’s population, have been underserved not only by traditional banks, but also by modern fintechs. Shariah law forbids Muslims from earning or paying interest, engaging in “unequal transactions” or supporting “unethical” investments. Most European financial institutions therefore do not cater for halal (permissible) trading, savings, insurance or mortgages, and brick-and-mortar Islamic banks like UK-based Al Rayan have been slow to catch up.”

Regulation

Britain Bans UK Consumers From Using Credit Cards to Gamble

Reuters

“Britain’s 24 million adult gamblers will not be able to use credit cards to gamble under a new rule designed to prevent consumers from building up too much debt. The Gambling Commission said on Tuesday the ban, which comes into effect on April 14 2020, will apply to all online and offline gambling products apart from ‘non-remote lotteries’ – lotteries where payment is made face-to-face.”

Reports

Consumers Are Satisfied Making Contactless Payments, But Security Concerns Linger

Digital Transactions

“Even though contactless credit and debit card transactions made by tapping a card against a point-of-sale device rely on the same standard as EMV dipped transactions, consumers have different impressions of the security benefits, a newly released study says. Indeed, 81% of the 1,350 consumers surveyed for the “Emerging Trends at the Point of Sale” report released Monday by FreedomPay Inc. and Ingenico Group.  have an overall positive impression of contact EMV payments, compared to only 59% for contactless EMV payments. Arlington, Va.-based Hanover Research conducted the survey for the report. It also canvassed more than 350 merchants.”

Security

India’s About to Hand People Data Americans Can Only Dream Of

“India has more than 560 million internet users, all generating data by the terabyte. Soon they’ll have an unprecedented amount of control over their digital financial footprints, with the ability to decide what to share, with whom, and for how long. India’s top banks are getting ready to roll out a system that gives consumers access to a wide swath of their financial data and allows them to share it instantly. Backed by the Reserve Bank of India, it’s an ambitious approach that combines privacy protection with credit reporting: if it works, it could unlock the credit market for millions of Indians while offering new levels of data security and consumer control.”

Systems

Twitter Planning Bitcoin Payments As Tips on Its Platform

Livemint

“Twitter is considering a feature that would allow users to tip one another – in Bitcoins though. The Information reports that the micro-blogging platform is working on implementing a new payment feature to let people send money to each other. It is not yet clear whether the Twitter tipping feature would integrate with Jack Dorsey’s other company, Square, which is a financial services, merchant services aggregator, and mobile payment company based in San Francisco.”

Use

Buy Now, Pay Later Now Available In-Store at Major US Retailers

prnewswire

“Klarna, the leading global provider of buy now, pay later payment solutions for online and mobile shoppers, today announced it is enhancing its shopping service platform by launching in-store payments for US consumers. With the majority of retail transactions in the US still taking place in-store, and mobile in-store payments projected to reach $223 billion by 2023, Klarna is now partnering with leading US retail brands such as Good American and Planet Blue to offer customers a seamless, personalized and engaging shopping experience, no matter where, when or how they shop.”

On The Wires

Security

Nok Nok Labs Joins Forces With BBVA to Boost the Use of Authentication on Mobile Banking Services

“Nok Nok Labs — one of the driving forces behind the new FIDO (Fast Identity Online) standard aimed at strengthening the security of biometric systems on mobile devices, today has partnered with banking leader, BBVA. The agreement is part of BBVA’s strategy to improve the security and user experience of its mobile banking services through state-of-the-art biometric capabilities.”

January 13, 2020

TOP POST

Tech

Wirecard Partners With Sprint to Drive Cashierless Checkout

Bank Innovation

“The Sprint Curiosity network connects to in-store beacons and electronic shelf labels. Shoppers will activate an app, walk into the store, pick up their purchases and leave without having to wait in a checkout line. Instead, the IoT network will charge a saved payment method from the customer’s app. With the network monitoring where customers go, retailers will be able to provide a customized experience for shoppers. For example, the retailer could send that shopper alerts for products that correspond to their transaction patterns.”

On The Web

Companies

Cross-border Payment: Ripple, Siam Bank Partner to Launch App

Cryptopolitan

“Currency exchange and remittance network technology company, Ripple, looking to expand its presence in Asia has partnered with Siam Commercial Bank to create a mobile application powered by blockchain to deliver fast, cheap and instant cross border payment. The application to be developed by Ripple apart from delivering cheap and fast cross border payment will also enable QR (quick response) code for Siam Bank customers to enjoy remittance services alongside micropayment services.”

Domains

Visa to Let Merchants Accept Contactless Payments on Android NFC Phones

NFC World

““Tap to Phone makes it easy for sellers to use Android smartphones to accept payments without any additional hardware. It’s as simple as downloading an app. “This means millions more sellers everywhere will be able to accept contactless payments using current-generation mobile devices. Customers win too, as they’ll be able [to] make payments in seconds by simply tapping their contactless card, phone or watch to the seller’s Tap to Phone-enabled smartphone.” “While 40% of the national GDP in emerging markets is contributed by small and micro-sellers, fewer than 10% of these sellers accept digital payments,” the payments network adds.”

Providers

Hong Kong’s First Digital Bank Offers 6% Rate That Tops HSBC

“The first of Hong Kong’s new generation of digital banks has announced its arrival with an introductory rate of 6% or higher for deposits. ZA Bank Ltd. , one of eight firms preparing to start digital-only banks in Hong Kong, has begun a trial run that pays a select group of depositors over 3 percentage points more than established banks such as HSBC Holdings Plc and Standard Chartered Plc . Though many doubt the new banks will be able to maintain such rates, the offer is a warning of upcoming competition for the the city’s $410 billion local currency time-deposit business.”

Providers

Former Google Pay execs raise $13.2M to build neo-banking platform for millennials in India

“Two co-founders of Google Pay in India are building a neo-banking platform in the country — and they have already secured backing from three top VC funds. Sujith Narayanan, a veteran payments executive who co-founded Google Pay in India (formerly known as Google Tez ), said on Monday that his startup, epiFi , has raised $13.2 million in its seed financial round led by Sequoia India and Ribbit Capital. The round valued epiFi at about $50 million.”

Regulation

India Orders Antitrust Probe of Amazon, Walmart’s Flipkart

Reuters

“India ordered an investigation of Amazon.com Inc and Walmart’s Flipkart on Monday over alleged violations of competition law in the latest setback for U.S. e-commerce giants operating in the country.  The Competition Commission of India (CCI) said it was ordering a wider probe following a review of allegations that Amazon and Flipkart were promoting some “preferred sellers” and in turn hurting business for other, smaller sellers.”

Reports

Gen Z, Millennials Heart Contacless for Payments, Loyalty

Mobile Payments Today

“Ingenico Group and Freedom Pay unveiled research this week that found that despite the fact that more than half of shoppers reported encountering a technical problem during a mobile checkout experience, about three-fourths still believed contactless payments were a good option for shopping or engaging in a loyalty program.  The study, conducted by Hanover Research, revealed that age is a huge factor in accepting contactless payments as 70% of Gen Z consumers and 74% of millennials reported satisfaction with using contactless.”

Reports

2020 Outlook: Blackhawk Network CEO and President Previews the New Ways Shoppers Want to Pay In-Store

WFMZ.com

“Mobile wallet adoption is on the rise and can generate nearly $190 billion in transaction value in the U.S. by 20211, but there is still a disconnect between digital payments and in-store point of sale,” said Roche. “We have seen incredible success stories in other markets like Asia, and the global share of mobile wallet market size is projected to reach almost $3 trillion by 20222. U.S. retailers have a huge chance for engagement and for driving greater footfall in their stores by leveraging omnichannel payments experiences and better acknowledging the digital shopper. I look forward to exploring this opportunity gap with NRF attendees.”

Users

Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass: ‘Amazon Is Working’

CNBC

Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass says the retailer’s partnership with Amazon is going well, despite Kohl’s reporting dismal holiday sales that cast doubt on the strategy. “I get this question, ‘Is Amazon working?’” Gass said Sunday at the National Retail Federation’s annual Big Show in New York, in an interview with CNBC’s Courtney Reagan . “Amazon is working. This returns program is working. We’re seeing the traffic. We’re getting new customers.””

Users

NY Lawmakers Propose Electronic Payment Platform for the Unbanked

Non Profit News | Nonprofit Quarterly

“More than one in four Americans lack adequate access to credit. Nationally, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) reports that 6.5 percent of households are unbanked and 18.7 percent are underbanked. How can this be remedied? One option that NPQ has covered would be to activate the US postal system to provide limited banking services, a practice that is common in other countries and was practiced in the US itself from 1911 to 1967. At the federal level, US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has been a leading advocate.”

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