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October 21, 2019

TOP POST

Systems

It’s Not Time to Write Libra’s Crypto Obituary Just Yet

CoinDesk

“The very idea of a partnership with government will have a certain class of cryptocurrency advocates retching. But the good news for them is that this is not a zero-sum game. The creation of fiat-backed digital currencies will, I believe, elevate bitcoin’s status beyond that of gold as the key uncorrelated safe haven for avoiding political risk. It’s just that until native cryptocurrencies achieve their own internal stability, scalability and widespread adoption, an instantly scalable currency with a stable value is needed if the mainstream economy is to embrace programmable money. The lesson from Libra is that it also has to be government-friendly.”

On The Web

Companies

AmEx’s Discount Rate Returns to Its Year-Ago Level

Digital Transactions

“Issuer and acquirer American Express Co. said its global third-quarter discount rate—what merchants pay to accept the brand’s credit cards—was 2.39%, a slight increase from 2.38% a year ago. The uptick comes more than a year after AmEx said it would shave its worldwide discount rate in an effort to boost merchant acceptance. The effort, according to the company’s third-quarter results released Friday, bore out, at least for a time, as its fourth-quarter 2018 average discount rate dipped to 2.36%, its lowest point in the past year. AmEx does not divulge its discount revenue or rate by region. Its discount revenue of $6.57 billion increased 6.3% from $6.18 billion a year ago.”

Deals

Lemon Way Banks €25 Million to Grow Payment Platform Across Europe

Tech.eu

Lemon Way , a Paris-based payment processor for marketplaces and crowdfunding platforms, has raised €25 million from Toscafund Asset Management. Bootstrapped for twelve years, this is the company’s second investment round to strengthen and expand its presence across Europe. Lemon Way offers payment processing, wallet management, and third-party payments. The platform serves 1,400 marketplaces and partners with a dozen European banks, which allows customers to maintain relationships with their current bank and continue business as usual. Total payment flow in 2019 is expected to surpass €3 billion, a 60 percent increase from last year’s €1.9 billion.”

Deals

Commercetools Raises $145M From Insight for Shopify-style E-commerce APIs for Large Enterprises

TechCrunch

“Global retail e-commerce is expected to be a $25 trillion business this year, and today one of the companies that has built a set of tools to help larger enterprises sell to consumers online has raised a large growth round to meet that demand. Commercetools , a German startup that provides a set of APIs that power e-commerce sales and related functions for large businesses, has raised $145 million (€130 million) in a growth round of funding led by Insight Partners, at a valuation that we understand from a close source is around $300 million.”

Domains

Mastercard Expands Bill Pay Exchange Partners

“Mastercard today announced that it is working with several new partners, including ConEd , to roll out Mastercard Bill Pay Exchange. Avidia Bank , Aliaswire Inc. , OSG Billing Services and Transactis will be among the first to offer Bill Pay Exchange to their customers.. Mastercard rolled out Bill Pay Exchange to make it easier for consumers to view, manage and pay telecom, utility, rent, credit card, mortgage and other personal bills without having to set up accounts with different billers, remember multiple passwords, and log in to multiple websites.”

Global

No MDR on Digital Payments to Companies With Rs 50 Crore Turnover – ETtech

ETtech.com

“Keen to promote digital payments , the government on Friday said banks or other payment system providers will not impose charges, or merchant discount rate ( MDR ), on customers as well as merchants on digital payments made to establishments with turnover in excess of Rs 50 crore from November 1.The Central Board of Direct Taxes has operationalised the announcement made in the budget by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman . She had in her speech said business establishments with annual turnover over Rs 50 crore should offer low cost digital modes of payments to their customers and RBI and banks should absorb the cost of transactions.”

Risk & Fraud

Equifax Used ‘Admin’ As Username and Password for Sensitive Data: Lawsuit

yahoo

“Equifax ( EFX ) used the word “admin” as both password and username for a portal that contained sensitive information, according to a class action lawsuit filed in federal court in the Northern District of Georgia. The ongoing lawsuit, filed after the breach, went viral on Twitter Friday after Buzzfeed reporter Jane Lytvynenko came across the detail. “Equifax employed the username ‘admin’ and the password ‘admin’ to protect a portal used to manage credit disputes, a password that ‘is a surefire way to get hacked,’” the lawsuit reads.”

Systems

Moon’s Browser Extension Lets You Pay With Bitcoin on Amazon

TechCrunch

“Meet Moon , a three-person startup that lets you pay for stuff on Amazon using bitcoin via the Lightning Network, bitcoin, Litecoin or Ether. The company has released a desktop browser extension for Google Chrome , Brave and Opera…After installing the extension, Moon automatically recognizes when you’re on an Amazon checkout page and inserts the company’s own payment widget. You can see how much you’re going to pay in cryptocurrencies before accepting the transaction.”

Uncategorized

Mastercard Partners With WHSmith, Funky Pigeon for ‘Pay by Bank App’

IBS Intelligence

“Mastercard has entered into an agreement with global retailer WHSmith and its brands Funky Pigeon, Cult Pens and The Card Gallery in a move to launch online payments via a Pay by Bank app (PbBa) offering. PbBa was created by Vocalink, a Mastercard company, and will offer online shoppers a solution which meets PSD2 standards and requirements for strong customer authentication (SCA). Customers can pay using the mobile banking app, without downloading a separate app, and is designed to make online checkout easier.”

On The Wires

Deals

Lightspeed POS Inc. Announces the Acquisition of Kounta

“Lightspeed POS Inc. (TSX: LSPD), a leading omnichannel point of sale platform for over 51,000 customer locations1 worldwide, today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Australia-based Kounta Holdings Pty Ltd, a rapidly growing, cloud-based POS solutions provider to small and medium-sized businesses operating within the hospitality industry.”

Domains

Citi® Supplier Finance Launches With WorldLink® Payment Services

“Citi’s Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) has launched an enhanced Citi Supplier Finance offering, now with WorldLink® Payment Services (WorldLink), providing our clients access to the combined strength of two powerful, industry-recognized platforms. Leveraging one single point of implementation, this virtual interface delivers a streamlined setup and the opportunity for clients to transact across multiple major currencies for settlement. This solution has launched in the U.S. with plans to expand globally.”

Reports

Digital Loan Applications Rise As Mobile Device Use Increases

“The latest Expectations & Experiences consumer trends survey from Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), a leading global provider of financial services technology solutions, finds that almost two thirds of people who have applied for loans in the past two years now do so either partially or fully online, representing a marked increase from 2018. A significant portion of this growth is due to increases of smartphone and tablet use.”

Reports

InComm’s Consumer Pulse: Retail Return Policies Command Significant Influence Over Consumer Purchasing Decisions

“Product returns have become a central factor in purchasing decisions as 96 percent of U.S. consumers say that merchant return policies influence their shopping decisions, according to a new report released today by leading payments technology company InComm . The report, titled “Consumer Pulse: Returns,” captured current consumer preferences, opinions, and concerns surrounding the returns ecosystem.”

October 18, 2019

On The Web

Companies

Blockchain-Shy Bank of America Quietly Pilots Ripple Technology

CoinDesk

“It was previously known that B of A is a member of the steering group that advises on rules and standards for Ripplenet, the network of financial institutions using Ripple products. But the news of the pilot is the strongest indication yet that the bank’s relationship with the startup goes beyond friendly advice. That would be a departure for the bank, whose chief technology officer, Cathy Bessant, has said she’s bearish on the technology and that B of A’s portfolio of blockchain patents (the most of any financial institution) exists only so it can pivot to blockchain quickly if the need arises.”

Global

Where Cash Is King, the Government Wants Everyone to Pay By App

Bloomberg

“Now, the country’s government and big banks are trying to get Mexicans to kick their cash habit. A national program called called CoDi — short for cobro digital, or digital payment — aims to vastly expand electronic purchases, bring a new client base to financial companies, and, most importantly, help the government crack down on illicit transactions and boost tax collection.”

Reports

Machine learning in UK financial services

“The Bank of England (BoE) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have a keen interest in the way that ML is being deployed by financial institutions. That is why we conducted a joint survey in 2019 to better understand the current use of ML in UK financial services. The survey was sent to almost 300 firms, including banks, credit brokers, e-money institutions, financial market infrastructure firms, investment managers, insurers, non-bank lenders and principal trading firms, with a total of 106 responses received.”

Systems

The Best Thing About Libra Is Often Overlooked—and Its Creators Explain Why

Quartz

“Distributed governance is there precisely to make it easier for multiple firms and organizations to participate and engage in the Libra network, which in turn will create more choices for consumers. Without distributed governance, organizations and individuals might be less willing to build on the same platform, reinforcing the fragmentation in payment services we see today. The Libra network is modeled after an open technology standard, akin to those used for ensuring that mobile phones can communicate across different carriers.”

Use

PNC Treasury Management Takes Guesswork Out Of Payments With Intelligent Routing

prnewswire

“Intelligent payment routing provides clients with flexible options that suit their individual business needs and individual payment scenarios. Clients create a payment file and PNC Treasury Management will determine the most appropriate type of payment channel based upon specific factors, such as the fastest delivery and lowest cost, based upon preset parameters established by the client. Payment can be sent via real-time payment (RTP®), Same Day ACH or Next Day ACH. An option for Wire transfer will be added in first quarter 2020.”

On The Wires

Regulation

Pushed Back – EBA Publishes Opinion on the Deadline and Process for Completing the Migration to Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) for E-commerce Card-based Payment Transactions

“The European Banking Authority (EBA) published today an Opinion on the deadline for the migration to SCA under the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) for e-commerce card-based payment transactions. The Opinion sets the deadline to 31 December 2020 and prescribes the expected actions to be taken during the migration period.”

Use

Bank of America Merrill Lynch Launches Accounts Payable Optimization Solution

“To address that client need, Bank of America Merrill Lynch has introduced Accounts Payable Optimization. This new solution analyzes a company’s suppliers and determines the most efficient payment method for each specific entity across BofA Merrill’s Card, Payments, Supply Chain Finance, and FX Payments teams. Normally, this analysis is performed manually, if at all. With the Account Payable Optimization tool, BofA Merrill can help companies enhance their cash flow, improve days’ payable outstanding, more effectively control financing costs and strengthen supplier relationships.”

October 17, 2019

On The Web

Companies

American Express Takes Aim at Rival Brex With New Card Offerings for Startups

Bloomberg

American Express Co. is rolling out a new corporate-card program for startups after newcomers like Brex Inc. have had success in grabbing a slice of the market. The cards will be available in coming months, offering full corporate liability without requiring founders to provide a security deposit or personal guarantee, New York-based AmEx said Thursday in a statement. New technology allows AmEx to see a startup’s bank balance to let fledgling firms qualify for cards, said Anna Marrs, president of global commercial services.”

Domains

Rental Payments Dominate Zelle Volume; Are Transaction Limits a Hindrance?

Digital Transactions

“Rental payments are the top use case by far on the Zelle person-to-person payments network, according to the chief executive of Zelle provider Early Warning Services LLC. “From an end-user use-case perspective, far and away the No. 1 use case for Zelle right now is actually a rent payment,” Albert Ko said Tuesday, though he didn’t give specific figures. “We actually didn’t expect that; we knew it would be in the top 5, but we didn’t expect it to be the runaway No. 1.””

Providers

PayPal to Launch Venmo Credit Card in Partnership With Synchrony

MarketWatch

“The market for credit cards is crowded, but PayPal PYPL, +0.57% and Synchrony expect that consumers will see value and differentiation in their offering due to a focus on the back-end user interface. Venmo cardholders will be able to deal with all aspects of their cards from within the Venmo app, providing a “native in-app experience” for users who are used to checking that app on a routine basis, according to Synchrony Chief Executive Margaret Keane. PayPal Senior Vice President of Credit Darrell Esch declined to reveal the distinct features of the card or app ahead of the official launch next year, though the company’s release said that cardholders “will receive real-time alerts and can interact in new ways including splitting and sharing purchases.””

Risk & Fraud

When Card Shops Play Dirty, Consumers Win

Krebs on Security

“Cybercrime forums have been abuzz this week over news that BriansClub — one of the underground’s largest shops for stolen credit and debit cards — has been hacked, and its inventory of 26 million cards shared with security contacts in the banking industry. Now it appears this brazen heist may have been the result of one of BriansClub’s longtime competitors trying to knock out a rival.”

Systems

Facebook’s Payments Strategy Isn’t Libra, It’s WhatsApp

Quartz

“In spite—or perhaps because of—the deluge of Libra criticism, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is poised to testify about the cryptocurrency next week before the US House Financial Services Committee. But while his testimony is expected to focus on Libra and provide a defense of the newly-formed association, lawmakers would be wise to delve into Facebook’s more concrete financial plans—in particular, its planned expansion of WhatsApp Pay .”

Tech

Square’s New Assistant Is an AI Bot That Aims to Do One Thing Well

Fast Company

“It turns out that a lot of people will avoid picking up the phone to reschedule things, even if it means being a no-show for an upcoming haircut or nail appointment.   For that reason, Square is now letting business owners automate the rescheduling process with a chatbot called Square Assistant. Business owners that are using Square’s existing Appointments service can now confirm appointments with customers—or let them cancel or reschedule them—via text message, without any human involvement. It’s the first product to come from Square’s acquisition of conversational AI startup Eloquent Labs earlier this year .”

  • Tags:
  • AI

On The Wires

Domains

U.S. Bank Announces New EBill Service Offering Simplicity, Speed, and Flexibility in Bill Payments | U.S. Bancorp

“U.S. Bank today announced eBill Service, a simple-to-use electronic bill presentment and payment solution designed for both billers and payers. For billers, eBill Service streamlines operations, reduces billing costs and delivers innovative payment experiences. For payers, it provides numerous flexible payment options — from online and mobile to text, digital assistant, and Intelligent Voice Response (IVR).”

Providers

PayPal and Synchrony Expand Relationship to Launch Venmo’s First-Ever Credit Card

“PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL ) and Synchrony (NYSE: SYF ) today announced an expansion and extension of their strategic consumer credit relationship. As part of their expanded partnership, Synchrony will become the exclusive issuer of a Venmo co-branded consumer credit card in the U.S., which is expected to launch in the second half of 2020. PayPal and Synchrony also announced an extension of their overall consumer credit program relationship.”

October 16, 2019

On The Web

Domains

Samsung Begins Global Rollout of Mobile POS App That Lets Merchants Accept Payments on Standard Android Phones

NFC World

“Samsung’s NFC phone-based contactless payments acceptance service is now live in Canada and is to be introduced globally “starting in 2020”, the company has announced. The rollout of the new mPOS service follows the successful completion of a pilot in Canada that saw more than 10,000 merchants downloading a Samsung POS app that let them accept Visa , Mastercard and Interac contactless payments on their Samsung Android phone — with no dongles or other hardware add-ons required.”

Systems

Libra’s Ranks Shrink Again As Crypto Group Appoints a Board

Wired

“On Monday, the remaining members of the Libra Association held their first meeting in Geneva. If they were in search of clarity, they appeared to gain little. The association said it had agreed on an “interim” articles of association. The document is light on details, apart from the basic mechanics of how the group will operate, like the board structure and how voting will work.”

Use

YouTube Partners With Merchbar to Sell Music Artists’ Swag Underneath Videos

TechCrunch

“YouTube is partnering with Merchbar on a new integration that will allow artists to sell their official merchandise to their worldwide fans from a shelf just below the video.  The addition is the latest deal focused on helping video creators make more money from their videos, beyond the revenue brought in through advertisements and subscriptions.”

October 15, 2019

On The Web

Deals

Bnext Raises $25 Million for Its Mobile Banking Alternative

TechCrunch

“Fintech startup Bnext has raised a $25 million funding round. The Spanish company is building a banking product and has managed to attract 300,000 active users. DN Capital, Redalpine and Speedinvest are leading today’s funding round. Existing investors Founders Future and Cometa are also participating. Other investors include Enern, USM and Conexo.”

Risk & Fraud

Data for a Whopping 26 Million Stolen Payment Cards Leaked in Hack of Fraud Bazaar

Ars Technica

“A thriving online bazaar selling stolen payment card data has been hacked in a heist that leaked the records for more than 26 million cards, KrebsOnSecurity reported on Tuesday. The 26 million figure isn’t significant only to the legitimate consumers and businesses who own the stolen cards or the financial institutions that issued them. Fortunately for the card owners, the database is now in the hands of affected financial institutions, who can invalidate and replace the cards.”

Systems

The Fed Wants To Get FedNow Into Market Quickly, But Hasn’t Changed Its Rollout Schedule

Digital Transactions

“Two senior Federal Reserve officials said Tuesday they are committed to rolling out the proposed FedNow real-time payments service as quickly as possible, but they didn’t say the original schedule calling for a launch in 2023 or even 2024 will be shortened. “We will be making every effort, I think, to go sooner if we can,” Esther L. George, president and chief executive of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, said in response to a question from Digital Transactions News about if the timeline might change. “Our ultimate goal, though, is to make sure that whatever we roll out is going to be a sound foundation for the banking industry to connect to, and that will be our Job 1 as we think about speed.””

On The Wires

Tech

VocaLink Signs UK’s Largest Ever ATM Processing Deal With LINK

“Under the five year contract with LINK Scheme and its 38 Members, VocaLink will provide ATM switching and settlement services and will support the processing of over 70,000 ATMs connected to LINK in the UK and across Europe. The LINK ATM network allows people to easily access cash and other services, with over 97% of all LINK transactions being free. Over the past 12 months, LINK ATM transactions have risen to over 3.2 billion, the highest levels seen so far in the UK.”

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