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January 22, 2021

On The Web

Deals

Sweden’s Trustly Plans $11 Billion IPO As Digital Payments Boom: Sources

Reuters

“Swedish payments firm Trustly plans to take advantage of a surge in digital transactions in the COVID-19 pandemic with a second-quarter flotation that could value it at up to 9 billion euros ($11 billion), people close to the matter said. The initial public offering (IPO), likely in Stockholm, is one of a number of technology listings expected in Europe as investors flock to growth stocks in strong equity markets.”

Regulation

President Biden Freezes FinCEN’s Proposed Crypto Wallet Regulations

Cointelegraph

“One of the first actions President Joe Biden has taken on his first day in office is to freeze Federal regulatory process, including the controversial self-hosted crypto wallet regulations proposed by former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The announcement came in a White House memorandum for the heads of various federal agencies, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) included.”

Systems

Cryptos Won’t Work as Actual Currencies, UBS Economist Says

Bloomberg

“The sharp selloff in Bitcoin this week is stoking fresh questions about the sustainability of the cryptocurrency boom. Prices for the digital asset have tumbled 14% this week, marking the steepest decline since March. Bitcoin was steady on Friday, holding near $31,000 and commentators have cautioned that a sustained drop below $30,000 could presage further losses.”

Tech

Nine Out of 10 UK Card Payments in 2020 Were Contactless

ComputerWeekly.com

“Contactless payments accounted 88.6% of total card payments in 2020 as restrictions on contact-based payments drove people to the payment method, according to data from Barclaycard. Despite many shops closing for long periods during various lockdowns to reduce the spread of Covid-19, the total value of contactless payments increased by 7% in 2020 compared to 2019. For example, there was a 29% increase in the use of contactless in UK grocery stores.”

On The Wires

Domains

MoneyGram Expands Real-Time Digital P2P Payments With Visa Direct Through New Checkout.com Partnership

“MoneyGram International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MGI ), a global leader in cross-border P2P payments and money transfers, today announced the expansion of its Visa debit card deposit service across Europe. The expansion has launched in collaboration with Checkout.com, a leading global payment solution provider, utilizing Visa Direct, Visa’s real-time push payments platform. MoneyGram customers can now use the Company’s website or leading mobile app to send money in near real-time to Visa debit card holders across 575 corridors from 25 countries in Europe.”

January 21, 2021

On The Web

Deals

TransferWise Picks Banks to Spearhead Blockbuster Flotation

Sky News

“TransferWise, the British-based payments group, has picked two of Wall Street’s biggest players to spearhead a bumper flotation that could be among the most prestigious in a bulging pipeline of London stock market debutants. Sky News has learnt that TransferWise has appointed Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley as joint global co-ordinators for its long-awaited initial public offering (IPO).”

Domains

Kenyan Banks Rattled As Mobile Payment Platforms Surge in 2020

Totaltelecom

“The Kenyan banking industry has reportedly lost around $11 million in revenue from card payments to telco mobile platforms in the last nine months With the coronavirus pandemic still ongoing, bringing with it a host of economic struggles, Kenya’s banks are feeling the strain. But this is not just a matter of fewer transactions taking place during this difficult period, but also the medium through which these transactions are being made.”

Global

France to Shut Almost 40% of Cash-Handling Centers

Bloomberg

“The Bank of France will shut down more than a third of its cash handling centers by the end of 2022 as the Covid-19 pandemic accelerates a decline in the use of notes and coins.    Operations will cease at 14 of the 37 centers that stock currency and replace damaged notes and coins. The central bank estimates the network would be 40% underused if it remained as expansive as it is now.”

Industry

This Year Payments Will Be Faster, Smarter and More Inclusive

International Banker

“The payments industry has entered a new era. The way we transacted changed as we physically separated – accelerating the shift to digital commerce that was already underway long before the pandemic hit. And, the way consumers transact will continue to be shaped by this new normal long after the pandemic subsides. The last year has illustrated the urgency of being able to disperse funds quickly, transact digitally, and continuing the disruption of the existing payments value chain, including growing competition from telecommunication and technology industries providing payment services to customers.”

Providers

Scoop: Chime Makes a Fifth of Its Income From Customers Paying ATM Fees

Axios

“Chime, a fast-growing online bank most recently valued at $14.5 billion , derives about 21% of its revenue from fees its customers pay for using out-of-network ATMs, according to financial data obtained by Axios. Why it matters: Banking alternatives like Chime aggressively market themselves to consumers who have been burned too often by bank fees. Chime claims it has “no hidden bank fees,” while Varo advertises itself as “online banking with no fees.” By the numbers: Chime’s annual gross revenue per user was $208 as of June 2020, according to data Axios obtained. While most of that came from debit card interchange fees, 21% came from charging customers for using out-of-network ATMs.”

Reports

Legally Speaking, Is Digital Money Really Money?

World Economic Forum

“Countries are moving fast toward creating digital currencies. Or, so we hear from various surveys showing an increasing number of central banks making substantial progress towards having an official digital currency. But, in fact, close to 80 percent of the world’s central banks are either not allowed to issue a digital currency under their existing laws, or the legal framework is not clear. To help countries make this assessment, we reviewed the central bank laws of 174 IMF members in a new IMF staff paper , and found out that only about 40 are legally allowed to issue digital currencies.”

On The Wires

Companies

PayPal’s Xoom Adds UPI Payments Enabling NRIs and PIOs to Remit Money to India in Real Time

“Xoom, PayPal’s international digital money transfer service announced its integration with NPIL’s/NPCI’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI), a real-time payment system facilitating inter-bank transactions in India. Non-Residential Indians (NRIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) living in the United States (US), Canada and Europe can now remit money to their family and friends in India. Using UPI to send money to India via Xoom is easier as overseas senders only need to know Indian receivers’ UPI identity (ID) to send remittances instantly, 24 by 7 and 365 days of the year.”

Industry

ACH Network Volume Climbs 8.9% in Fourth Quarter | Nacha

“Strong growth continued on the ACH Network in the final quarter of 2020, with 7 billion payments made, an increase of nearly 9% from a year earlier. Combined with data on check payments, the results show the dramatic impact of the pandemic on the use of payments by Americans, businesses and government agencies compared to a year ago, before the pandemic had significantly impacted the U.S. economy.”

Reports

ABA Releases Updated White Paper Regarding Cryptocurrencies and Digital Assets

“On January 19, 2021, the American Bar Association (ABA) Derivatives and Futures Law Committee’s Innovative Digital Products and Processes Subcommittee (IDPPS) Jurisdiction Working Group released an update to its comprehensive white paper addressing jurisdictional issues associated with digital products, including cryptocurrencies and other digital assets, and digital p rocesses, such as blockchain. [1] Michael L. Spafford, Chair of IDPPS, and Daren F. Stanaway, Vice Chair of the Jurisdiction Working Group, [2] were contributing authors to both the original white paper and the 2021 update.”

January 20, 2021

On The Web

Companies

WeChat Advances E-commerce Goals With $250B in Transactions

TechCrunch

“WeChat continues to advance its shopping ambitions as the social networking app turns 10 years old. The Chinese messenger facilitated 1.6 trillion yuan (close to $250 billion) in annual transactions through its “mini programs,” third-party services that run on the super app that allow users to buy clothes, order food, hail taxis and more.”

Domains

PayByCar Comes to 30 Massachusetts Gas Stations

Finextra Research

“PayByCar, Inc., an innovative provider of transactional vehicle payment solutions, has announced the implementation of their services at all 30 Alltown gas stations in Massachusetts, where customers will be able to pay for gas and other goods directly from their mobile device, without ever having to take out cash, a credit card, or mobile app. Those with E-ZPass™ toll transponders who register for PayByCar™ on the PayByCar website (www.mypaybycar.com) will be able to easily pay for their fuel, without having to touch the gas station keypad, by using their transponders.”

Domains

Expensify in Talks With SPACs About a Potential Merger

The Information

“Expensify, a startup that sells expense management software, has been in talks with special purpose acquisition companies about a possible merger to take it public, say two people familiar with the discussions. The 13-year-old software company is also considering a direct listing with an accompanying capital raising, said one of the people.”

Global

China Plans Tougher Antitrust Rules for Non-bank Payments Industry

Reuters

“China’s central bank has proposed stepping up antitrust measures for companies in the non-bank payments industry, such as Ant Group’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay. Under draft rules proposed on Wednesday, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) can advise the state council’s antitrust committee to stop companies abusing their dominant position or even break up a non-bank institution if it “severely hinders the healthy development of the payment service market”.”

On The Wires

Deals

Trovata.io Secures $20 Million in Series A Funding From Syndicate of Financial Institutions Led by Wells Fargo Strategic Capital

Trovata.io , the leader in automating cash management with open banking, announced today the closing of its Series A funding round, raising $20 million. Wells Fargo Strategic Capital led the investment round with participation from new investors, Capital One Ventures and Pivot Investment Partners, as well as existing early investors, J.P. Morgan and FINTOP Capital.”

Providers

Fintech Unicorn DLocal Partners With Embedded Lending Platform Dinie to Bring Pay Later to Brazilian SMEs

“dLocal, the leading cross-border payment platform connecting global merchants to emerging markets, today announced a new partnership deal with Dinie to allow global merchants to offer installment payments to their customers in Brazil as a form of small business lending. The partnership between dLocal and Dinie will give SME customers a wider choice of payment options and more purchasing power at the checkout, which in turn, increases the conversion rate and basket sizes for merchants.”

Systems

Joint statement by the European Commission and the European Central Bank on their cooperation on a digital euro

“The European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) are pursuing their efforts towards ensuring a strong and vibrant European digital finance sector and a well-integrated payments sector to respond to new payment needs in Europe. Taking account of digitalisation, rapid changes in the payments landscape and the emergence of crypto-assets the ECB is exploring the possibility of issuing a digital euro, as a complement to cash and payment solutions supplied by the private sector.”

January 19, 2021

On The Web

Companies

Plaid Plans to Double Europe Staff After Visa Deal Falls Through

Bloomberg

“Financial-technology firm Plaid Inc. is planning to nearly double its size in Europe, focusing on expanding the business’s global reach after Visa Inc. ’s $5.3 billion acquisition fell through . Plaid will have about 80 employees in its London and Amsterdam offices by the end of 2021, up from 40 to 50 currently, Keith Grose, head of the San Francisco-based company’s international business, said in an interview.”

Domains

TikTok Owner ByteDance Launches Douyin Pay, Mobile Payment Service for China

Reuters

“Beijing-based ByteDance recently launched its own third-party payment service for Douyin, the Chinese version of its hit short video app TikTok, as it presses to expand into the e-commerce business in China. “The set-up of Douyin Pay is to supplement the existing major payment options, and to ultimately enhance user experience on Douyin,” Douyin said in a statement to Reuters on Tuesday.”

Global

Bank of France Settles $2.4M Fund in Central Bank Digital Currency Pilot

Cointelegraph

“The Bank of France successfully piloted a central bank digital currency — or CBDC — experiment in December, using the technology to settle monetary fund shares on a private blockchain platform for the first time. As announced by Le Banque de France on Jan. 19, the pilot commenced on Dec. 17, and saw 2 million euros ($2.4 million) worth of simulated shares purchased and sold by investors using a CBDC.”

Risk

Capital One Fined $290M for ‘willful’ Anti-money-laundering Failures

American Banker

“Capital One Financial has been hit with a $290 million penalty after admitting to the U.S. Treasury Department that it willfully violated anti-money laundering requirements between 2008 and 2014. The problems, which involved a unit that served cash-checking businesses and has since been shut down, were first revealed years ago. But documents released Friday by Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network contained new details, including Capital One’s admission that it failed to file suspicious activity reports even when it knew about criminal charges against specific customers.”

Systems

Former Canadian Prime Minister Names Bitcoin As Possible Reserve Currency

Cointelegraph

“Stephen Harper, who served as prime minister of Canada for nine years, says there may be a place for Bitcoin and central bank digital currencies as part of a basket of reserve currencies to replace the dollar. In an interview with investment service Cambridge House’s Jay Martin at the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference today, Harper said the possibility of the U.S. dollar being replaced could only come from a large currency like the Euro or Chinese yuan.”

Systems

More Than a Third of UK Shoppers Blocked From Paying With Cash in Covid-19 Crisis

The Guardian

“More than a third of shoppers have been blocked from paying with cash since the start of the Covid crisis, prompting calls for urgent action to protect the millions who rely on the UK’s “critically endangered” cash network. The consumer group Which? said mixed messages about the safety of cash was partly to blame. The Bank of England has since clarified that “any risk from handling cash should be low”, especially when compared with touching shopping baskets, self-checkout screens or products in stores.”

On The Wires

Standards

Volante Extends Collaboration With Citi for Global ISO 20022 Migration

Volante Technologies , the global leader in cloud payments and financial messaging, and Citi Treasury and Trade Solutions (Citi) are deepening their longstanding relationship to accelerate the bank’s adoption of the ISO 20022 financial messaging standard across its global payments operations. As a result of this collaboration, Citi will be the first Volante customer to offer a unified approach to ISO 20022 migration across the globe.”

Use

Blackbird and AeroPay Announce Strategic Partnership to Bring Cashless Payments to Cannabis Businesses for Online Ordering

“Blackbird, a cannabis software and delivery company, and AeroPay , a leading financial technology company that provides payment processing solutions to the cannabis industry, announced a strategic partnership to bring cashless payments to cannabis businesses for online ordering. The partnership includes an integration of AeroPay’s payments platform into Blackbird’s white-labeled dispensary menus and the BlackbirdGo cannabis marketplace. The two companies also have plans to bring greater efficiencies to other parts of the cannabis supply chain such as physical retail and B2B.”

January 15, 2021

TOP POST

Providers

Marqeta Announces Partnership With Goldman Sachs on Marcus Checking Offering

“Marqeta, the global modern card issuing platform, announced today that it has been chosen by Goldman Sachs to partner on its Marcus by Goldman Sachs checking accounts, which will launch in 2021. Marcus’ upcoming digital checking product will be another cornerstone of the company’s growing consumer portfolio of digital-first banking initiatives. In their mission to build the leading digital consumer bank, checking will continue to help them better address the financial needs of their millions of customers.”

On The Web

Deals

X1 Card Raises $12 Million for Its Credit Card With Limits Based on Your Income

TechCrunch

X1 Card is raising a $12 million funding round. The company is building a credit card that sets limits based on your current and future income, not your credit score. Spark Capital is leading the round with Jared Leto, Aaron Levie, Jeremy Stoppelman, Max Levchin and Ali Rowghani also participating. American Express veteran Ash Gupta is also joining the company as an advisor — he was the chief risk officer of American Express.”

Deals

Warburg-Backed Vietnam E-Wallet Raises $100 Million

Bloomberg

“Vietnam’s startup payment app MoMo has raised a new funding round of more than $100 million, according to two people familiar with the investment. The company, M-Service JSC, creator of MoMo, confirmed that it raised money from investors without specifying how much.”

Industry

Buy Now, Pay Later Boom Brings ‘Shift Away From Credit to Debit’

Yahoo Finance

“Americans are increasingly taking advantage of the buy-now, pay-later (BNPL) offerings thanks to a growing number of financial technology companies. Splitting payments — as opposed to bulk purchases on credit cards that would accrue interest until being paid — is built on the premise that there is a “shift away from credit to debit,” Nicholas Molnar, co-founder and U.S. CEO of Afterpay, an Australian BNPL startup with more than 11 million customers that operates with 64,000 merchants, told Yahoo Finance.”

Providers

MPs Warn Buy Now, Pay Later Firms ‘Could Be the Next Wonga’

The Guardian

“More than 70 cross-party MPs are calling for regulation of buy now, pay later firms such as Klarna and Clearpay, which they say could be “the next Wonga waiting to happen.” The group is planning to table an amendment to the financial services bill on Wednesday that would force the Treasury to introduce regulations within three months of the bill being passed. MPs hope the accelerated timeline will prevent some consumers from falling into debt.”

On The Wires

Companies

GM, Goldman Sachs and Mastercard to Collaborate on New Credit Card Programs

“The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE: GS) and General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) along with Mastercard (NYSE: MA) announced today the formation of a multi-year relationship for co-branded rewards-based credit cards. Goldman Sachs will be the issuing bank for GM’s credit card programs, with a targeted start of September 2021. Mastercard will remain network of choice for the offerings.”

Domains

bKash and Mobile Money Connect Through RippleNet to Power Wallet-to-Wallet Remittances

“Ripple, the enterprise blockchain solution for global payments, today announced a partnership with Mobile Money, a Malaysian mobile wallet company. Through RippleNet, Ripple’s global payments network, Mobile Money has connected to bKash, Bangladesh’s largest provider of mobile financial services (MFS) which serves over 45 million users. The partnership will power seamless wallet-to-wallet payments to serve the remittance corridor between Malaysia and Bangladesh.”

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