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July 10, 2020

On The Web

Companies

Paytm Launches WeChat-like Platform for Businesses

Entrackr

“Businesses now have a new platform to promote their offerings. Payments player Paytm has launched ‘Paytm Mini Programs’ that enables businesses to showcase their products and services to its user base. This is similar to the WeChat Mini Apps Programs and allows a mobile website or web app to integrate with Paytm’s Mini Programs platform. At present, more than half a dozen brands including Faasos, Practo, 1mg, Magicpin, Park+ and Zoomcar are using Paytm Mini Programs.”

Companies

Goldman Sachs-backed Payments Startup Marqeta Prepares for IPO

Reuters

“Marqeta Inc, the U.S. payment card issuing start-up whose investors include Goldman Sachs Group Inc, is seeking to hire investment banks to advise on a potential initial public offering (IPO), according to people familiar with the matter. Later this month, Marqeta is planning to interview investment banks that are seeking roles in its IPO, the sources said. The IPO could come later this year or in 2021, the sources said.”

Companies

Paytm Video KYC: Paytm Introduces In-app Video KYC

The Times of India

“Paytm Payments Bank Ltd (PPBL) will allow account-holders to complete their KYC formalities over mobile video. This follows the Reserve Bank of India’s decision to allow video KYC for completing the process remotely using the bank’s mobile application.  Customers can connect using a vide call between 9 am and 8 pm without leaving their homes or having any bank representatives come over during the pandemic.”

Domains

28% of Americans Late on Bills Due to Coronavirus

Symend

“More than 1,000 American consumers were surveyed during May 2020, and the findings revealed that 28% of Americans have been late paying a bill due to the pandemic, and 38% have reported being in collections. Over half (51%) of Americans state they have been late to pay a bill because they don’t have the money, while 33% say they have been late because they are trying to save as much money as possible. While 39% of Americans say they have not been affected financially by the coronavirus pandemic and resulting COVID-19 disease, 11% say it will take them two months to get back on their feet financially. Another 11% say it will take three months, and 10% say it will take them more than six months.”

Systems

Americans Are Rapidly Shrinking Their Credit Card Debt During the Pandemic

CNN

“Americans’ credit card debt is shrinking rapidly during the coronavirus recession. That’s a sharp contrast with the last two economic downturns. The amount of consumer revolving credit, which is mostly credit cards, plunged by another $24 billion in May, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday. This costly form of debt is down more than $100 billion since hitting a record high in February and is now below $1 trillion for the first time in nearly three years.The dwindling pile of credit card debt is yet more evidence of how drastically consumer behavior is changing during the pandemic and this period of financial insecurity.

On The Wires

Companies

Klarna Unveils A New Initiative to Encourage Smarter Shopping

“Klarna has today launched KlarnaSense, a new initiative to encourage consumers to shop smarter by purchasing the right things, at the right time. Our brains consume and process approximately 11 million pieces of information per second in order to make a decision – all of this subconsciously.  Those decisions are effortless and quick, but far from considered, and can lead to impulse buying. KlarnaSense uses retail psychology to promote more mindful shopping, challenging consumers to engage their conscious brain by asking themselves three simple questions before they head to the checkout: Do I love it? Will I use it? Is it worth it?”

Deals

Square Acquires Stitch Labs

“Stitch Labs has a strong background in building key tools for businesses such as inventory and order management, channel management, and fulfillment solutions. The team will join our Seller organization, where we’re eager to learn from their experience and expertise to help us better serve sellers. While Stitch Labs won’t take on any new customers, Stitch Lab’s products will continue to operate for existing customers until Spring 2021.”

July 9, 2020

On The Web

Companies

WhatsApp Business, now with 50m MAUs, adds QR codes and catalog sharing

TechCrunch

“The global COVID-19 health pandemic has raised the stakes for businesses when it comes to using digital channels to connect with customers, and today WhatsApp unveiled its latest tools to help businesses use its platform to do just that. The Facebook-owned messaging behemoth is expanding the reach and use of QR codes to let customers easily connect with businesses on the platform, providing them also with a series of stickers (pictured below) to kick off “we’re open for business” campaigns; and it’s made it possible for businesses to start sharing WhatsApp-based catalogs”

Companies

Germany Probes Possible Money Laundering by Wirecard Executives

Wall Street Journal (pay wall)

“German state prosecutors are looking into possible money laundering by executives at Wirecard AG WDI -4.62% , adding to ongoing probes related to possible fraud and fake accounting at the insolvent payments firm. A spokeswoman for the Munich public prosecutor said it was conducting several legal cases related to possible money laundering at Wirecard, the oldest dating as far back as 2010. Some investigations are ongoing. A Wirecard spokeswoman declined to comment.”

Companies

Crypto Exchange Coinbase Readies Landmark Stock Market Listing, Sources Say

Reuters

“Coinbase Inc has started plans for a stock market listing that could come as early as this year, making it the first major U.S. cryptocurrency exchange to go public, according to three people familiar with the matter.   Coinbase could pursue the listing later this year or early next year, the sources said, cautioning that the plans are still subject to change. The company has not yet registered its intention to go public with the SEC, but has been in talks to hire investment banks and law firms, the sources added.”

Providers

Robinhood Has Lured Young Traders, Sometimes With Devastating Results

The New York Times

“Millions of young Americans have begun investing in recent years through Robinhood, which was founded in 2013 with a sales pitch of no trading fees or account minimums. The ease of trading has turned it into a cultural phenomenon and a Silicon Valley darling, with the start-up climbing to an $8.3 billion valuation. It has been one of the tech industry’s biggest growth stories in the recent market turmoil. More than at any other retail brokerage firm, Robinhood’s users trade the riskiest products and at the fastest pace, according to an analysis of new filings from nine brokerage firms by the research firm Alphacution for The New York Times. In the first three months of 2020, Robinhood users traded nine times as many shares as E-Trade customers, and 40 times as many shares as Charles Schwab customers, per dollar in the average customer account in the most recent quarter. They also bought and sold 88 times as many risky options contracts as Schwab customers, relative to the average account size, according to the analysis.”

Providers

LocalGlobe and TransferWise’s Taavet Hinrikus back ‘frictionless finance’ startup Radix

TechCrunch

Radix , a U.K. startup that’s building a decentralised finance protocol on which new financial apps can connect and be built on top of, has raised $4.1 million in new funding. Backing the company, which counts the Ethereum network and a number of other “DeFi” projects as competitors, is London-based seed-stage VC LocalGlobe and TransferWise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus.”

July 8, 2020

TOP POST

Companies

Exclusive: Apple Is Working on QR Code Payments for Apple Pay, iOS 14 Code Reveals

9to5Mac

“Apple today released the second developer beta of iOS 14 with some small changes across the system. And now 9to5Mac was able to find a hidden feature in the Wallet app to allow users to make payments with QR Codes using Apple Pay. References found in the iOS 14 code reveal that Apple is working on a new method for letting users make payments with Apple Pay by scanning a QR Code or traditional barcode with the iPhone camera.”

On The Web

Companies

Walmart’s Amazon Prime Competitor Will Launch in July

Vox

“Amazon may have a 15-year head start, but Walmart is close to finally unveiling its own membership program that it hopes will eventually become an alternative to Amazon Prime. Walmart plans to launch a new subscription service later this month called Walmart+ that will cost $98 a year. It will include perks like same-day delivery of groceries and general merchandise, discounts on fuel at Walmart gas stations, and early access to product deals, multiple sources told Recode.”

Domains

Americans Lost $77 Million to Covid-19 Fraud — and That’s Just the ‘Tip of the Iceberg’

CNBC

“Americans have lost more than $77 million in fraud related to Covid-19, according to the Federal Trade Commission. But that tally is likely a severe undercount amid an “unprecedented” scope of scams connected to the coronavirus, according to John Breyault, vice president of public policy, telecommunications and fraud at the National Consumers League, a consumer advocacy group.”

Global

China to Test Sovereign Digital Currency on Ride Hailing Giant Didi

Reuters

“China’s central bank is partnering up with Didi Chuxing to test the use of its digital currency, which could make China’s dominant ride hailing platform one of the world’s first’s corporate users of a government-created virtual currency. The digital currency research unit of People’s Bank of China (PBOC) is working with Didi to apply digital currency electronic payment, or DCEP, on the ride hailing app, Didi said in a statement on Wednesday.”

Providers

Inside Goldman’s New Corporate Banking Portal

American Banker (paywall)

“Goldman Sachs recently launched an online banking service for large businesses that it says is more streamlined than traditional banks’ offerings, with features like virtual accounts, quick account opening and predictive analytics to help customers anticipate future cash flows. In so doing, Goldman entered a market that a small number of large banks own and will be unwilling to give up. It is competing mainly on what it says is a better customer experience driven by modern technology.”

Providers

Consumer Bureau Scraps Restrictions on Payday Loans

The New York Times

“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Tuesday formally rescinded a plan to impose new limits on payday lending, handing the industry a major victory by killing off tighter rules that it spent years lobbying to overturn. The proposed rules would have been the first significant federal regulations on an industry that makes $30 billion a year in high-interest, short-term loans, often to already struggling borrowers. Those loans can leave borrowers trapped in cycles of debt, incurring fees every few weeks to replenish loans they cannot afford to pay off.”

Systems

IT Pros Indicted After Arranging Credit Card Payments for Weed Startup

Ars Technica

“On March 9, 2020, a German IT consultant named Ruben Weigand had a layover in Los Angeles as he traveled from Switzerland to Costa Rica. He never made it to his destination because US authorities arrested him as he was changing planes. The feds say Weigand and a co-conspirator, Hamid “Ray” Akhavan, were the masterminds behind a multimillion-dollar bank-fraud scheme. The supposed fraud? Tricking US banks into processing more than $100 million in marijuana transactions that went contrary to the banks’ rules. According to a March indictment , the pair disguised marijuana transactions as purchases of dog toys, carbonated drinks, diving gear, and other products unrelated to cannabis.”

On The Wires

Companies

Saudi Payments and Discover Sign Network Alliance Agreement

“Discover and Saudi Payments signed a strategic agreement that will increase the global acceptance footprint for both organizations. The agreement will give Discover, Diners Club International, PULSE and network alliance cardholders the ability to use their card on the mada network. This includes at Point-of-Sales (POS), on e-commerce platforms and at ATMs across the Kingdom. It also allows Saudi banks to issue cards that will be accepted on the Discover Global Network for international purchases and cash access outside of the Kingdom.”

Domains

American Express, Discover, Mastercard and Visa to Power Global Expansion of Simple, Consistent Digital Checkout Experience

“E-commerce has reached new heights around the world, as more consumers are going online to make secure, touch-free purchases across various merchants and platforms. Now, it’s more important than ever that the online checkout experience is seamless and consistent across all types of digital channels and cards. Today, American Express, Discover, Mastercard and Visa announced they are each beginning technical preparations for global expansion of the Click to Pay online checkout – based on the EMV® Secure Remote Commerce industry standard – in additional geographies including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom, with others to follow.”

July 7, 2020

TOP POST

Companies

Adyen Expands Acquiring Capabilities to Malaysia

“ADYEN, the global payments platform of choice for many of the world’s leading companies, today announced the expansion of its acquiring capabilities to include Malaysia.  Adyen acquiring complements the company’s all-in-one payment platform allowing merchants like Fave, foodpanda and Love, Bonito to get the most out of each transaction with local payment processing. This announcement extends Adyen’s local acquiring capabilities in Asia-Pacific, following launches in Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore, and is supported by demand from international merchants looking to better serve Malaysia’s growing internet economy.”

On The Web

Companies

Federal Reserve official warns US recovery may be ‘levelling off’

Financial Times (paywall)

“A senior Federal Reserve official has warned that the rebound in the world’s largest economy is in danger of stalling as a result of the recent spike in coronavirus infections across several large US southern and western states. In an interview with the Financial Times, Raphael Bostic, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, whose district covers some of the regions hardest hit by the current outbreaks, including Florida, said high-frequency data had shown a “levelling off” of economic activity both in terms of business openings and mobility.”

Domains

MercadoLibre Tops $50 Billion in Value Amid E-Commerce Boost

Bloomberg

“Shares of Latin America’s largest e-commerce marketplace MercadoLibre Inc. climbed above $1,000 for the first time as online sales surge in the region amid the coronavirus pandemic. Up 78% this year, MercadoLibre has benefited from a growing number of consumers that are either buying online for the first time or increasing the frequency of their purchases because of virus-related lockdowns. The company said gross merchandise volume growth accelerated to 73% in April and UBS Group AG pointed to even stronger figures for the industry in May, citing data from Nielsen’s e-commerce researcher Ebit.”

Security

Google Chrome Is Working on Biometric Authentication for Payment Autofill

Android Police

“A few months ago, we spotted Chrome working on Windows Hello integration for payment autofill authentication, sparing you from digging out your physical card to enter your CVC over and over. We’ve now found out that Windows isn’t the only place where Google wants to make access to payment cards easier and more tightly integrated. The company is also working on system-wide authentication for Android (and possibly Chrome OS, Linux, and macOS). Sadly, the feature isn’t fully live on any iteration of Chrome for Android yet.”

On The Wires

Companies

ICICI Bank Crosses Milestone of 1 Million Users on WhatsApp Banking Platform

“ICICI Bank today announced that it has crossed a milestone of 1 million users on its WhatsApp banking platform. The Bank introduced banking services on WhatsApp three months ago to enable its retail customers to undertake a slew of banking requirements from their home at a time when they are advised to stay indoors in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. The Bank has received an encouraging response from its customers in such a short span and aims to double the number in next three months.”

Deals

Wagestream Goes Mainstream As It Completes a £20m Series B Funding Round

“Income streaming provider, Wagestream, which enables employees to access their earned wages in real time, today announced it has completed a £20m Series B funding round.  Wagestream, which enables staff to draw down a percentage of their earned wages any day of the month for a flat £1.75 fee, has seen demand for its product skyrocket among major UK brands over the past year. New client sign-ups were particularly strong in the second quarter, as employers sought to make their staff more financially resilient in the face of Covid-19.”

Domains

Doxo Introduces DoxoPLUS: All-in-One Bill Pay Subscription With 5 Essential Protections to Improve Consumer Financial Health

doxo, the all-in-one web and mobile bill pay service, today announces the launch of doxoPLUS, a new subscription service with five essential financial protections for consumers that help reduce bill pay anxiety and improve household financial health. A doxoPLUS subscription enables free all-in-one bill payment from a user’s bank account, along with the five critical financial protections for $4.99 per month. The doxoPLUS Protections help directly eliminate fees and losses that cost the average U.S. household $500 each year.”

Providers

Jack Henry Wins 2020 FinTech Breakthrough Award for Best Banking Infrastructure Platform

“Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. is a leading provider of technology solutions and payment processing services primarily for the financial services industry. Jack Henry announced today that JHA OpenAnywhereTM  received the Best Banking Infrastructure Platform Award from FinTech Breakthrough, an independent organization that recognizes the top companies, technologies, and products in the global fintech market.”

July 6, 2020

TOP POST

Education

Glenbrook’s Payments Boot Camp® Offers Education and Industry Insights to a Global Audience of Stakeholders

CardRates.com

“In a Nutshell: Change is the only constant in the payments industry, and that can make professional development a daunting challenge. Glenbrook Partners provides extensive consulting and educational services that cover the entire industry and its range of solutions. And for the past 15 years, Glenbrook’s Payments Boot Camp® has offered training and industry insights to help professionals stay informed of developments in the payments industry. And amid a global pandemic, the Payments Boot Camp has gone virtual to reach a broader global audience.”

On The Web

Companies

Uber, Postmates Agree on $2.65 Billion All-Stock Deal

Bloomberg

Uber Technologies Inc. has agreed to acquire Postmates Inc. in a $2.65 billion all-stock takeover expected to be announced as soon as Monday morning in the U.S., according to people familiar with the matter. Uber Eats head Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty is expected to continue to run Uber’s combined delivery business, according to a person who asked not to be identified discussing a private deal. Under their agreement, Postmates Chief Executive Officer Bastian Lehmann and his team will stay on to manage Postmates as a separate service, another person said.”

Deals

Payfazz gets $53 million to give more Indonesians access to financial services

TechCrunch

“Indonesia is not only Southeast Asia’s most populated country, but also one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. But many people, especially outside of major cities, still lack access to basic financial services like bank accounts. Payfazz is one of several tech startups focused on solving that problem by finding innovative ways to give more Indonesians access to financial services. The company announced today that it has raised a $53 million Series B led by B Capital and Insignia Ventures Partners.”

Global

Sweden Bids to Steer Customers Away From Installment Payments Amid Fears Over Mounting Debt

Finextra

“As e-commerce has continued to grow across the Nordics, many online shoppers in Sweden have become used to paying for their purchases with credit by selecting invoices, installments, or any other payment options that allow the consumer to enter into a debt when completing their online payment.Under the new Swedish Payment Services Act, merchants offering a list of payment options must now present the payment methods that do not put the consumer into debt, such as the bank-backed Swish payment app, first on the list.”

Systems

Bank of Japan Research: Offline Payments for Central Bank Digital Currency

Ledger Insights

“Yesterday the Bank of Japan (BoJ) published a research paper on central bank digital currency (CBDC). As with previous papers, the Bank explored a specific topic, in this case, the potential offline use of a digital yen. Although it’s a research paper, the Bank recognizes there will be a growing need for a digital currency with the steady decline in the use of cash. However, in Japan, four out of five retail transactions still use cash.”

Systems

Bipartisan Senate Bill Would Punish Retailers for Refusing Cash Payments

CNBC

“Sens. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., have introduced a bill prohibiting retailers from declining cash payments from customers, as businesses promote “contactless” digital payment as they grapple with the coronavirus pandemic .  Retailers and mall owners, including Nordstrom and Simon Malls, have encouraged the use of contactless transactions such as Apple Pay to minimize the risk of spread in their stores and properties. But the senators warned that should any retailer ban cash entirely, it would be discriminatory at a time when many Americans are facing financial hardship.”

Systems

Our Cash-Free Future Is Getting Closer

The New York Times

“Fears over transmission of the disease have compelled consumers to rethink how they shop and pay. Retailers and restaurants are favoring clicks over cash to reduce exposure for employees. China’s central bank sterilized bank notes in regions affected by the virus. And governments from India to Kenya to Sweden, as well as the United Nations, are promoting cashless payments in the name of public health.”

On The Wires

Companies

ALDI Nord Moves In-Store Acquiring in Germany to Fiserv

Fiserv, Inc., a leading global provider of payments and financial services technology solutions, today announced that ALDI Nord has selected Fiserv to enable all in-store card payments across its flagship German market. In the interest of its customers, ALDI Nord, a global leader in the food industry, decided at the end of June to transfer its entire in-store acquiring volume in Germany to a new provider on short notice. In just four days, ALDI Nord and Fiserv reached an agreement, and Fiserv began processing payments for more than 2,250 ALDI Nord locations in Germany within 12 hours of the agreement being signed. Payments are processed via TeleCash from First Data GmbH, now Fiserv.”

Domains

Moneycorp Americas Announces Expansion Into Canada

“moneycorp Americas, a leading provider of global payments and currency risk management, today announced their expansion into Canada with operations to serve private and corporate customers. moneycorp’s North American operations has served clients in the U.S. for over two decades, focused on private clients’ money transfers, corporate risk management and global payments solutions. Today, their extension into Canada marks a major step in the Company’s global expansion plans to offer a comprehensive and unique offering to the market.”

Domains

Merchant Transaction Volume Continues to Grow

“Shift4 Payments, the leader in integrated payment processing solutions, has revealed that merchant transaction volume continues to increase across the country despite surging cases of the novel coronavirus. In the third of a series of updates since the pandemic began to impact the United States, the data suggests that businesses are finding ways to drive sales even in the face of difficult economic and social conditions. Shift4’s transaction data, posted daily on www.Shift4Cares.com, indicate that 43 states are 10% or more above their transaction volumes from the last week in May, which were already significantly higher than the low point in late March.”

Providers

CarePayment Integrates New Digital Capabilities

“CarePayment, an industry leader that partners with providers to improve their financial health by offering 0.00% APR financing to patients, today announced the launch of its Advanced Patient Engagement Platform. The new technology and digital engagement capabilities increase provider cash flow and help patients get the care they need without delay due to medical costs.”

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