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November 25, 2020

TOP POST

Companies

Cash App Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire Credit Karma Tax

“Square, Inc. (NYSE: SQ) has entered into a definitive agreement with Credit Karma to acquire its tax business, Credit Karma Tax, on behalf of Cash App, the financial services app that allows individuals to spend, send, store and invest money. Square will pay $50 million in cash for Credit Karma Tax, which provides a free, do-it-yourself tax filing service for consumers. Consistent with Square’s purpose of economic empowerment, Cash App plans to offer the free tax filing service to millions of Americans.”

On The Web

Companies

How Fiserv Is Working With Google Pay And ExxonMobil To Go ‘Beyond the Buy Button’

Digital Transactions

“With digital and physical commerce melding, Fiserv Inc. intends to position its Carat platform as the engine to enable providers such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google unit and merchants to process transactions across both channels. Fiserv took a big step in that direction last week when it announced it will enable petroleum giant ExxonMobil to deliver new commerce experiences at the pump through the newly enhanced Google Pay mobile application. Fiserv plans also to drive offers through the digital wallet, says Nandan Sheth, head of global digital commerce for Fiserv.”

Companies

Visa-Backed Marqeta Targets $10 Billion Valuation in 2021 IPO

Bloomberg (paywall)

Marqeta, a payments startup backed by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Visa Inc., hired underwriters for a planned 2021 initial public offering, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The Oakland, California-based company is working with Goldman and JPMorgan Chase & Co. on the listing, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The company may seek a valuation of about $10 billion, one of them said. A valuation hasn’t been finalized and, as with any IPO, could change pending investor feedback.”

Global

Worldline and Nets become shareholders of EPI Interim Company

Electronic Payments International

“The European Payments Initiative (EPI) has entered its next phase with Worldline and Nets becoming shareholders of the EPI Interim Company. Meanwhile, third-party acquirers have joined the initiative. The EPI was created by 16 European banks in July to provide a unified, innovative pan-European payment solution leveraging Instant Payment/SEPA Instant Credit Transfer, which offers a card for consumers and merchants across Europe, a digital wallet and P2P payments.”

Systems

With bitcoin near all-time high, this is where Visa’s CEO sees crypto going

CNBC

“Every day, in every corner of the Earth, people have a choice of how to spend, whether it is cash, checks, or using Visa , Mastercard or a local card in their market, and new fintech platforms. The post-Covid world does not look great for cash and checks — just look at the stock price of a payments fintech Square this year versus that of a cash security company like Brink’s .”

On The Wires

Companies

Mastercard introduces contactless payment on SBI Card App

“Mastercard and SBI Cards & Payment Services Ltd. (SBI Card) today announced the launch of contactless payments on the SBI Card app. This is the first-ever app of a credit card issuer in India to use Mastercard’s tokenization platform, Mastercard Digital Enablement Service (MDES), that allows payment credentials to be securely tokenized and stored in mobile devices. With this service in place, SBI Card Mastercard cardholders need not carry physical cards and can transact at any contactless point of sale terminal using their mobile.”

Providers

Plaid and Jack Henry partner to enable Plaid Exchange for over 350 banks

“Since the launch of Plaid Exchange, we’ve learned that many financial institutions need technical support in implementing the platform. That’s why we’re excited to partner with Jack Henry & Associates® to enable Plaid Exchange for financial institutions on their Banno Digital Platform . With this partnership, Jack Henry customers will have “zero-lift” access to the Plaid network. The more than 350 institutions currently using Jack Henry’s Banno Digital Platform can give their account holders secure and reliable access to the thousands of Plaid-powered fintech apps they’ve come to rely on in their everyday financial lives.”

November 24, 2020

TOP POST

Companies

Visa Stalls Plans to Raise Fees for Some In-Store Retailers

Bloomberg (paywall)

Visa Inc. is delaying plans to raise the swipe fees paid by certain U.S. merchants each time a customer uses a credit card in-store as the coronavirus pandemic continues to crimp commerce across the country. The network told merchants this month it will leave consumer credit card-present retail rates unchanged, citing the pandemic’s effects on in-store shopping, according to a document seen by Bloomberg. A spokesman for Visa declined to comment.”

On The Web

Companies

Apple extends concession on store fees for some apps

Reuters

“Apple Inc said here on Monday apps that offer virtual sessions or classes do not need to use App Store’s in-app purchase method through June, extending an earlier deadline of December. Apple charges a commission of between 15%-30% for apps that use its in-app payment system.”

Companies

Payments Startup Stripe Is in Talks to Raise New Funding

Bloomberg (paywall)

“Financial technology startup Stripe Inc. is in talks to raise a new funding round valuing it higher than its last private valuation of $36 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. The valuation being discussed could be more than $70 billion or significantly higher, at as much as $100 billion, according to one of the people, who asked not be identified because the matter is private. Talks are at an early stage and there’s no guarantee the funding round will be completed.”

Deals

Current Joins Mobile-Banking Boom With $131 Million Tiger Global-Led Round

Wall Street Journal (paywall)

“Investors are pumping money into mobile-banking startups as more consumers open digital accounts—and New York-based startup Current is the latest beneficiary of this trend. The startup, which offers free mobile banking accounts in the U.S. and is incorporated as Finco Services Inc., raised $131 million in a Series C funding round led by Tiger Global Management LLC, according to Stuart Sopp, Current’s founder and chief executive.”

Domains

As Customers Move Online, So Does the Holiday Shopping Season

NYTimes

“The holidays will look different at Macy’s this year. The Thanksgiving Day parade will proceed without spectators, and Santa Claus will not be reviewing Christmas wish lists from his usual perch on 34th Street. But while many of those traditions are likely to return once the threat of the coronavirus passes, other changes at Macy’s this holiday shopping season — which traditionally begins with Thanksgiving — signal how the company’s business, and that of the entire retail industry, may be altered forever by the pandemic.”

Domains

How Bank of America helped fuel California’s unemployment meltdown

Cal Matters

“After the Great Recession, California signed an exclusive contract with Bank of America to distribute unemployment benefits through prepaid debit cards. A CalMatters investigation reveals that to this day, no one knows how much the bank has made off the deal. Lawmakers are examining the bank’s role in mass account freezes and untold amounts of missing money for thousands of struggling jobless Californians — as well as where the bank may have failed to keep unemployment money safe from fraud.”

Tech

Nayax and Yuansfer partner with Alipay

Mobile Payments Today

“Nayax, a cashless solution for self-serve markets including retail, and Yuansfer a cross-border payment platform, have partnered with Alipay according to a press release. Through this partnership, Chinese travelers across the U.S. and Canada will have access to pay for items using a QR-code at 100,000 eligible self-serve retail locations across North America. Nayax will provide the QR code–based payment methods including Alipay payments and Yuansfer will serve as payments acquirer for the customer’s transactions.”

On The Wires

Deals

As Deposits Pass $90M HMBradley Raises $18.25M Series A to Continue Fueling Its Explosive Growth

“While almost every bank is dropping rates, HMBradley continues to pay the industry’s highest interest rates, up to 3% on savings , to account bearers who save a portion of their deposits each quarter regardless of how much money they earn. This value proposition has resonated with customers as the bank has received over $90 million dollars in deposits and an impressive average account balance of nearly $30,000 to date.”

Global

Circle Partners with Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Airtm to Deliver Aid to Venezuelans Using USDC

“Through a collaboration with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, led by President-elect Juan Guaido, U.S.-based fintech innovator Airtm, and coordination with the US government, we were able to put in place an aid disbursement pipeline that leveraged the power of USDC — dollar-backed, open, internet-based digital currency payments — to bypass the controls imposed by Maduro over the domestic financial system and put millions of dollars of funds into the hands of people fighting for the health and safety of the people of Venezuela.”

Systems

Payment Alliance International Adds Bitcoin to Cash Capabilities

“Payment Alliance International ( PAI ), the U.S. leader in ATM portfolio management tools and services, today announced it has entered into a strategic partnership with B4U Financial to better serve liquidity needs of the fast-growing cryptocurrency market. PAI’s nationwide fleet of ATMs will be equipped with BitLoad4U (B4U) capabilities, including the ability to redeem bitcoin for cash at ATMs using any cryptocurrency mobile wallet. B4U Financial’s global processing network will be used to manage authorization, clearing and settlement, providing a safe, secure, convenient and reliable way to liquidate bitcoin into fiat currency and receive funds at ATMs.”

November 23, 2020

On The Web

Domains

Wish files to go public with 100M monthly actives, $1.75B in 2020 revenue thus far

TechCrunch

Wish’s S-1 (which is filed under its corporate name ContextLogic) is of particular interest given that COVID-19 and the global pandemic have changed consumer behavior around the world in 2020. As going to stores became more risky over time, many shoppers turned to buying more goods from the internet, bolstering e-commerce players like Shopify and BigCommerce, as well as companies that facilitate online payments, like Square and PayPal .”

Risk

GoDaddy Employees Used in Attacks on Multiple Cryptocurrency Services

Krebs on Security

“Fraudsters redirected email and web traffic destined for several cryptocurrency trading platforms over the past week. The attacks were facilitated by scams targeting employees at GoDaddy, the world’s largest domain name registrar, KrebsOnSecurity has learned. The incident is the latest incursion at GoDaddy that relied on tricking employees into transferring ownership and/or control over targeted domains to fraudsters.”

On The Wires

Companies

Payoneer Launches Payment Orchestration to Supercharge Global Payment Strategies for e-Commerce Merchants in North America

“Payoneer, the digital payment platform empowering businesses around the world to grow globally, today announced that its new payment orchestration platform is available for e-Commerce merchants in North America that are looking to accept international payments. Following its acquisition of optile, Payoneer has now integrated its offering into its core platform and broadened its potential market by tackling the challenges of global payment acceptance.”

Domains

HSBC Bank Launches Single Global Account and Real-Time Payments Platform: HSBC Global Money Account

HSBC Bank USA , N.A., (HSBC), part of the HSBC Group, today announced the launch of its newest real-time payments offering. HSBC’s Global Money Account allows its international customer base to hold, manage and send money across various currencies to 14 million HSBC customers in 20 countries worldwide through a single account 24/7. There are no fees associated with Global Money transfers, giving customers a faster and more cost-effective payment option.”

Providers

Quadpay Reimagines ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Shopping Experience with Quadpay for Chrome

“Leading ‘buy now, pay later’ innovator Quadpay today announced the release of Quadpay for Chrome, a new browser extension that provides desktop users a seamless way to shop online anywhere and pay over time. Quadpay for Chrome extends the ability to use Quadpay across all devices and represents a major milestone in the company’s mission to provide consumers a more fair digital alternative to credit cards, anywhere they shop.”

Security

SmartMetric, Maker of Biometric Secured Credit and Debit Cards, Reports Projected $57.080 Trillion in Card Transactions by 2023 With $35.67 Billion in Card Fraud Losses

“SmartMetric, Inc. (OTCQB: SMME) reports fraud losses worldwide reached $27.85 billion in 2018 and are projected to rise to $35.67 billion in five years and $40.63 billion in 10 years according to The Nilson Report, the leading global card and mobile payments trade publication…SmartMetric has embedded a fully functional fingerprint scanner inside the standard chip-based credit and debit card. It allows the card to be locked and only able to be used following the legitimate cardholder touching the sensor on the card’s surface triggering a sub second fingerprint scan and match with the users pre-stored fingerprint stored inside the card.”

Systems

Consumers Turn to Digital Gift Cards Ahead of 2020 Holiday Season

“According to the October 2020 Gift Card Gauge released today by Fiserv, Inc., 65% of U.S. consumers say they will purchase a digital gift card on Black Friday if a merchant offers an incentive, one of several key findings in the new survey…The Gift Card Gauge from Fiserv, a leading global provider of payments and financial services technology solutions, tracks consumer perceptions and attitudes about gift cards.”

November 20, 2020

On The Web

Deals

Forter raises $125 million at a $1.3 billion valuation to combat ecommerce fraud with AI

VentureBeat

Forter , an automated fraud detection platform for ecommerce , has raised $125 million in a series E round that values the company at over $1.3 billion. The raise comes as ecommerce transactions surge under pandemic-driven lockdowns. But the throngs of people jumping online to shop have opened the floodgates to fraud . Recent data suggests digital fraud attacks have doubled in 2020, while the U.K. reported that financial fraud attempts rose by up to a third as the country entered lockdown.”

Providers

M-Pesa Revenue Dip In Kenya Is Beyond Mobile Money Fee Waivers

Wee Tracker

“Earlier this year in March, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) imposed a fee waiver on transfers for transactions of no more than KES 1 K (USD 9.15 at current rates). This was part of efforts aimed at containing the spread of the virus as banknotes were identified as a risk factor for the contagion. The intention was that this action would trigger the increased use of mobile money services and limit cash-handling.  While it’s logically a good move putting the health and the wellbeing of people first, this single directive is found to have also caused a significant dip in revenue for Kenya’s dominant mobile money service, M-Pesa, and by extension, the country’s leading telco, Safaricom, took a hit.”

On The Wires

Providers

Klarna expands its popular in-store payment offering in the US

“Klarna, the leading global payments and shopping service, today announced that it has expanded its in-store payment services to more than 60,000 stores nationwide, including top retail brands such as H&M, O.N.S. Clothing, The North Face and Timberland. Customers will now be able to make purchases using Klarna’s four, interest-free payments at even more physical stores ahead of the peak holiday shopping season.”

November 19, 2020

TOP POST

Providers

Payment company Affirm files to go public with revenues doubling year-over-year

CNBC

“Payments company Affirm filed its IPO prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday, and plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol “AFRM.” The San Francisco-based company, founded and led by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, offers online installment loans. Affirm has been one of the more popular start-ups in the space . It announced a partnership with Shopify earlier this year, allowing merchants to offer installment loans on products they sell, and works with 6,500 merchants including Peloton , Expedia and Walmart .”

On The Web

Companies

Jack Dorsey’s Square Invests $18 Million in Italy’s App Satispay

Bloomberg (paywall)

Square Inc. , the payments company run by Jack Dorsey, is among new big investors in Italy’s mobile digital payment platform Satispay SpA , in a move aimed to expand its operations across European markets, according to a statement by Satispay. The San Francisco-based company invested about 15 million euros ($18 million) for a minority stake in Satispay, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be mentioned because the value isn’t public. The deal is part of a larger round of investment of 93 million euros that will also be joined by China’s Tencent Holding Ltd , LGT Lightstone, Telecom Italia SpA ’s TIM Ventures and other investors, the statement said.”

Companies

Mastercard & Juvo to provide financial services to underbanked consumers in Latin America

Financial IT

Juvo, a pioneer of financial identities for the underbanked, today announced a new partnership with Mastercard. Juvo was accepted into Mastercard’s global fintech startup engagement program, Start Path, last August. Now, Juvo is collaborating with Mastercard’s Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) team to introduce its FiDaaS (Financial Identity as a Service) platform to hundreds of financial institutions across the region. FiDaaS will enable these institutions to confidently serve a much broader base of customers and drive financial inclusion.”

Deals

African fintech startup Chipper Cash raises $30M backed by Jeff Bezos

TechCrunch

“African cross-border fintech startup Chipper Cash has raised a $30 million Series B funding round led by Ribbit Capital with participation of Bezos Expeditions — the personal VC fund of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos…he company offers mobile-based, no fee, P2P payment services in seven countries: Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa and Kenya. Parallel to its P2P app, the startup also runs Chipper Checkout — a merchant-focused, fee-based payment product that generates the revenue to support Chipper Cash’s free mobile-money business. The company has scaled to 3 million users on its platform and processes an average of 80,000 transactions daily.”

Deals

Payments app True Balance raises $28 million to reach more underbanked users in India

TechCrunch

True Balance, a South Korean startup which runs an eponymous financial services app aimed at tens of millions of users in small cities and towns in India, said on Wednesday it has raised $28 million in a new financing round and expects to turn a profit next year… True Balance began its life as an app to help users easily find their mobile balance , or top up pre-pay mobile credit. But in its five-year journey, the startup has added a range of financial services including online lending and ability to pay utility bills. Online lending is its core business today.”

Global

ICICI Bank introduces ‘Cardless EMI’ facility using mobile number, PAN and OTP

Financial Express

ICICI Bank has announced the launch of a fully digital mode of payment at leading retail stores. Called ‘ICICI Bank Cardless EMI’ (Equated Monthly Instalments), the facility enables lakhs of its pre-approved customers to buy their favourite gadgets or home appliances just by using their mobile phone and PAN in lieu of wallet or cards. They can convert the high-value transactions into easy, no-cost monthly instalments by simply putting their registered mobile number, PAN and OTP (received on mobile number) on the PoS machine at the retail outlets. It enables one to make purchases in easy instalments through a convenient OTP based approval process.”

Providers

Daylight is a new digital bank built to solve the LGBTQ+ community’s banking challenges

Fast Company

“Neobanks have emerged as not only a tech-forward solution to many of the industrialized woes of traditional banks, but also as a way to serve the needs of marginalized communities.   Last month, rapper Killer Mike announced his mission-driven bank Greenwood that aims to redistribute wealth within Black and Latinx communities. Earlier this year, Majority surfaced to support banking for immigrants . Now a new neobank, Daylight , is catering to underserved LGBTQ+ customers.”

On The Wires

Companies

PayPal Launches Enhanced Giving Platform to Put the Power of Fundraising in Customer’s Hands this Holiday

“PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL ) today announced enhancements to its Giving platform, to provide customers with a new way to directly connect with millions of people who can help them raise money on behalf of a cause close to their heart, and allow those who can help to give what they can this holiday season. Inspired by the rising popularity of peer-to-peer crowdfunding accelerated by the global pandemic, PayPal will now enable its customers in the U.S. to create customized fundraising campaigns for themselves, their community or their cause through the Generosity Network , to raise up to $20,000 over a 30-day period.”

Deals

Nasdaq to Acquire Verafin, Creating a Global Leader in the Fight Against Financial Crime

Nasdaq, Inc. (Nasdaq: NDAQ), a global technology company, and Verafin , an industry pioneer in anti-financial crime management solutions, today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for Nasdaq to acquire Verafin for US$2.75 billion in cash, subject to customary adjustments. The agreement will combine Verafin’s comprehensive suite of anti-financial crime management products with Nasdaq’s reach and established regulatory technology leadership to create a global SaaS leader in the fight against financial crime, a worldwide problem that demands innovative action.”

Domains

Xoom Launches Direct Money Transfers to Bank Accounts and Debit Cards in the U.S.

Xoom , PayPal’s remittance service, today announced that customers in the U.S. can now send money directly to a recipient’s eligible bank account or debit card. Available to customers in the U.S., this new functionality allows people to securely send fast money transfers online or using the Xoom mobile app to support family and friends across the country—without having to wait in lines at money transfer stores as people continue to take caution and social distance amidst the pandemic.”

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