Payments News

February 15, 2019

On The Web

Global

Amazon launches UPI payments in India, taking on Paytm, Walmart and Google

Forbes India

“Amazon has enabled payments via India’s unified payments interface for customers using Android smartphones, the segment that comprises the bulk of smartphone users in the country. The Seattle-based ecommerce giant’s Amazon Pay unit has partnered with India’s Axis Bank to issue UPI IDs to its customers. They can link their bank accounts on their Amazon mobile app and make fast, easy, and secure payments directly from their bank accounts, the company said in a press release on February 14.”

Systems

Bank of Tanzania Launches Single Payment System

allAfrica.com

“The system’s implementation process will take 18 months before taking off in June 2020. Launching the platform known as Tanzania Instant Payment System (TIPS), the BoT Deputy Governor (Financial Stability and Deepening), Dr Bernard Kibesse, said the central bank and other payment providers realised the need for interoperability of mobile money services in order to facilitate instant transfers between customers of different service providers.”

February 14, 2019

TOP POST

Systems

JP Morgan rolls out first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business

CNBC

“J.P. Morgan is preparing for a future in which parts of the essential underpinning of global capitalism, from cross-border payments to corporate debt issuance, moves to the blockchain. That’s the database technology made famous by its first application, bitcoin. But in order for that future to happen, the bank needed a way to transfer money at the dizzying speed that those smart contracts closed, rather than relying on old technology like wire transfers.”

On The Web

Deals

Alibaba’s Ant Financial buys UK currency exchange giant WorldFirst reportedly for around $700M

TechCrunch

“This isn’t your average multi-hundred million dollar acquisition. The deal was confirmed by WorldFirst in a note to customers while Alibaba, which curiously didn’t put out an official press release, acknowledged the acquisition to us through a spokesperson. Yet despite a relatively under-the-radar outing, the deal has potentially significant consequences. It not only underscores the strong market connections between China and Europe, but also the margin (and thus strategic) pressures that many smaller remittance companies are under in the wake of larger companies like Amazon building its own money-moving services, as well as competition from local players in Asia.”

Regulation

Legislators move to ban cashless payments at retailers, restaurants

Mobile Payments Today

“The rising adoption of contactless payments in retail and the restaurant industry is igniting a backlash in multiple cities and states as the business payment model requires customers to use mobile apps, credit or debit cards and is increasingly eliminating cash payment as a consumer option.”

On The Wires

Domains

Western Union Debuts New Payment Option for Amazon.com Shoppers in Kenya

“Western Union’s platform is powering Amazon’s new cross-border payment option, called Amazon PayCode, by processing the complex foreign exchange, settlement and money movement requirements for international e-commerce transactions. After selecting PayCode on the Amazon.com checkout page, customers will be sent a code, along with instructions on how to pay in person at a participating Western Union® agent location. The move by Western Union and Amazon will provide greater access to online goods for customers who have largely been excluded from e-commerce shopping due to lack of accepted payment methods.”

February 13, 2019

TOP POST

Tech

Kroger launches mobile payment platform

Grocery Dive

“With its Kroger Pay announcement, the grocer joins numerous other retailers that have launched their own self-branded payment apps, including Target, CVS and Walmart. Reports suggest these payment apps can spur higher sales and loyalty among consumers who use them. However, getting shoppers to adopt the technology has proven tricky. According to one recent study, Walmart customers who use mobile payments are twice as likely to choose Apple Pay over Walmart pay — but those that do use Walmart pay spend more on average.”

On The Web

Deals

Starling Bank, now with 460K consumer accounts, raises £75M more for European expansion

TechCrunch

Starling Bank, founded by banking veteran Anne Boden, has raised £75 million (~$97 million) in further funding. The new capital breaks down as £60 million in a Series C round led by Merian Global Investors, including Merian Chrysalis, with £15 million in follow-on funding from Starling’s existing backer and major shareholder Harald McPike. It brings total funding to date for the London-based challenger bank to £133 million.”

Deals

Rapyd raises $40 million to expand its payments network worldwide

VentureBeat

Rapyd, a U.K.-based firm that helps companies and merchants of all sizes integrate a range of payment services into their platforms, has raised $40 million in series B funding to further expand its operations worldwide. The round was led by General Catalyst and Stripe and included participation from Target Global, Ignia, and unspecified large strategic payment and fintech companies, Rapyd said.”

Deals

Modulr partners with Paxport to transform travel industry payments

Bobsguide

“Paxport connects providers and sales channels through its automated merchandising and distribution system for the travel industry. By partnering with Modulr, the company will be able to offer 24/7, real-time payments to its customers and provide tour operators and travel agents with a wider choice of payment options. Modulr’s digital payment accounts will enhance Paxport’s new payment service, Pax2Pay, by enabling customers to pay out using multiple payment methods and currencies, including virtual cards, Faster Payments, SEPA, with more coming soon.”

Reports

A Record 7 Million Americans Are 90 Days Behind on Their Auto Loan Payments

Fortune

“Unemployment is low and the economy is booming, but many Americans are struggling to pay their bills. A record 7 million Americans are 90 or more days behind on their auto loan payments, according to a study from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. That number is a million higher than the total at the end of 2010, a time when unemployment rates hit 10% and “delinquency rates were at their worst” notes the Fed.”

On The Wires

Companies

Alipay, The World’s Leading Digital Payment Platform, Now Available at Thousands of Walgreens Stores Nationwide

“”Walgreens is focused on making shopping more convenient for our customers. This collaboration has particular significance for our Chinese customer population, who now has a new way to experience Walgreens,” said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of operations. “Not only can they buy our products via our dedicated store on Alibaba’s Tmall Global marketplace, but they will now also be able to shop in the U.S. using Alipay as they would in China. We look forward to the ongoing evolution of our partnership with Alibaba Group.””

Tech

Kroger Introduces Kroger Pay and Kroger REWARDS Debit Card

Kroger Pay is a quick, safe and easy-to-use feature within the Kroger Family of Stores apps—available for iOS and Android devices. After a customer enters their custom PIN or biometrics, the app provides customers with a single-use QR code to scan at the terminal to quickly communicate payment and loyalty card information, which includes digital coupons and personalized offers. The single-step solution reduces checkout time and creates a more frictionless experience for both store associates and customers. Kroger Pay is available to use at both traditional checkout lanes and self-checkout stations.”

February 12, 2019

TOP POST

On The Web

Companies

Mastercard unveils ‘sonic brand’

NFC World

“Mastercard has introduced a ‘sonic brand identity’, a suite of sounds based around a melody that can be used in many different contexts to remind consumers they are dealing with the payments network. “Wherever consumers engage with Mastercard across the globe — be it physical, digital or voice environments — the distinct and memorable Mastercard melody will provide simple, seamless familiarity,” says the company.”

Deals

Airtel and Telkom are uniting to take on Safaricom in Kenya

Quartz Africa

“Indian-owned Bharti Airtel and Telkom Kenya  announced a deal to operate under a joint venture company that will be named Airtel-Telkom. The two companies said the deal comprises their corresponding mobile, carrier, and enterprises services but won’t include Telkom Kenya’s real estate portfolio and specific government services. Telkom Kenya is 60% owned by private equity firm Helios and 40% owned by the Kenyan government.”

Deals

SumUp acquires ‘multi-channel’ e-commerce platform Shoplo

TechCrunch

“Terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed, while SumUp says the acquisition will enable it to expand its product suite to give SumUp merchants access to various online marketplaces, such as Facebook, eBay and Etsy. In addition, Shoplo’s tech will also help SumUp merchants create better-looking online storefronts.”

Domains

The Confusing World of Venmo Etiquette

Wall Street Journal (paywall)

“Payment etiquette has always been shaped by two driving forces: the aversions to seeming cheap and to getting ripped off. The avoidance of both used to be as simple as giving someone cash the next time you saw them, or in giving the waiter multiple credit cards and dividing the bill. But in simplifying the transfer of funds, payment apps have added layers to both sides of the equation and ballooned the number of opportunities for missteps.”

Domains

Is this Swift’s answer to Ripple?

American Banker

“But lately Swift, which once considered Ripple and other tech company rivals an existential threat, has struck a more confident tone. Swift says the progress it is making with so-called global payments innovation, or GPI — technology that lets banks see where their payments are at all times, and that comes with rules around response and confirmation times — will neutralize the competitive threat posed by Ripple and others. It says its bankers are happy with the speed and insight GPI gives them.”

Providers

The US’s second-largest city for banking is not what you’d expect

Quartz

“Despite being the US’s 17th largest city, Charlotte is the country’s second-largest banking center by assets held, trailing only New York, and with San Francisco hot on its heels. Along with the new, yet-to-be-named bank, the former gold rush town is also home to Bank of America—the nation’s second biggest bank—as well as NewDominion Bank and Carolina Premier Bank.  (BB&T, founded in 1872, was headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. SunTrust is based in Atlanta).”

Reports

55% Of Households Use Amazon Prime, But BOPIS Keeps Them Shopping In-Store – Retail TouchPoints

Retail Touch Points

“While BOPIS can be the best weapon retailers have in their fight with Amazon, they must back up the offer with solid execution. Out-of-stocks are a particular danger: Prime members who experience an out-of-stock are 71% more likely to shift a planned in-store purchase online than they would otherwise. Even non-Prime shoppers are 26%more likely to visit a competitor’s physical store when they experience an out-of-stock.”

On The Wires

People

Mastercard Names Paul Stoddart President of New Payment Platforms

“In this role, Stoddart will oversee the development and strategic integration of Mastercard’s real-time payments capabilities beyond traditional card-based solutions. Among these solutions are our Vocalink account-based payments, the Homesend joint venture and Mastercard Send.”

Reports

Global Card Expenditure to Reach $45 Trillion by 2023 on Back of Contactless Payments

“RBR forecasts global card expenditure will grow at an average of 10% per year between 2017 and 2023 to reach $45.2 trillion. The average value of a payment, however, will fall from $67 to $62 over the same period as the influence of contactless cards grows – the latter are typically used for the lowest-value payments, and particularly those which would previously have been made with cash. Both customers and merchants appreciate the convenience of contactless payments, partly because the need to enter a PIN is removed, but also because transactions are much quicker.”

Tech

Nordis Technologies Expands Mobile Options for Digital Customer Communications and Payments with Text/SMS and ExpressoWallet

“The new channels enable Nordis clients in healthcare, vacation ownership, financial services, and property management to deliver the type of mobile communications and payment options that consumers increasingly expect: real-time, interactive and secure. Nearly two-thirds, or 64%, of consumers say they plan to use a mobile wallet by 2020, up from 46% in 2017, according to Accenture. And 89% say they would like to communicate with businesses via text, according to Twilio.”

Use

MetaBank® Launches Faster Payments Platform, Enabling Partners to Move Funds in Near Real-Time

MetaBank® today announced the launch of its faster payments platform, which will enable its partners to disburse funds in near real-time. One of the first new offerings on this platform is Mastercard Send™, an industry-leading push payments service that powers a faster, better, smarter way to send money domestically and cross border. As a leading issuer of payments services, this rounds out MetaBank’s suite of solutions that also includes ACH origination, wire transfers and more.”

February 11, 2019

On The Web

Deals

SendFriend gets $1.7M for blockchain-based remittance led by MIT, Mastercard

www.mobilepaymentstoday.com

“SendFriend, a New York-based blockchain startup specializing in international money transfer to the Philippines, has raised $1.7 million in pre-seed funding from a group led by MIT Media Lab, Mastercard Foundation, Ripple and Barclays. Other investors include Techstars, Mahindra Finance, 2020 Ventures and 8 Decimal Capital.”

Domains

Two Remittance Firms Go Live With Ripple-Based Payments to Thailand

CoinDesk

“Remittance firms UAE Exchange and Unimoni have gone live with blockchain-based payments using Ripple technology. Finablr, which owns the two brands, announced Sunday that “real-time” cross-border remittances using RippleNet are now live, starting with payments for its international customers to Thailand. Other destination countries are expected to be added going forward.”

Domains

Many Consumers Report P2P Funds Availability Takes a Day or More

Digital Transactions

“Answers from 693 consumers who had used a digital P2P account to receive money in the 12 months ending in 2017’s fourth quarter show that 53% of respondents said they were able to use funds within 30 minutes or less of reception. That includes some 11% of respondents who said they had their funds in less than a minute and 18% claiming funds were available in one to five minutes. Still, many consumers reported funds availability took 24 hours or more.”

Use

T automated fare collection system expected to be completed by May 2021

Curbed Boston

“The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority expects to complete the T’s switch to an automated fare collection system by May 2021, but will begin rolling it out on a limited basis in late 2019. The system, among other changes, will mean the end of paying for any T rides with cash. Instead, riders will use a far card, a smartphone app, or a contactless card to tap and board. Riders will be able to reload the fare cards and apps online and at vending machines in all T stations and at select bus stops. The idea is to speed up boarding and to also make it easier for the MBTA to track and analyze rider data (to in part improve service).”

On The Wires

Companies

Sound On: Mastercard Debuts Sonic Brand

“Setting a new tempo for brand expression, Mastercard debuts its sonic brand identity, a comprehensive sound architecture that signifies the latest advancement for the brand. Wherever consumers engage with Mastercard across the globe – be it physical, digital or voice environments – the distinct and memorable Mastercard melody will provide simple, seamless familiarity. The news comes on the heels of the company’s recent transition to a symbol brand and is part of its continued brand transformation.”

Deals

Atlanta-based IDology to Be Acquired by GBG for $300m

“GBG, the UK-headquartered Identity Data Intelligence specialist, today announces that it has conditionally agreed to acquire the entire issued share capital of IDology, a US-based provider of identity verification and fraud prevention services, for $300m (£233m) in an all-cash transaction. IDology is a fast-growing provider of identity verification services that helps remove friction both in onboarding customers and in the detection of fraud. Its market-leading US identity verification and fraud prevention services, led by its ExpectID product range, are the perfect strategic complement to GBG’s identity verification solutions.”

Domains

ACI Worldwide Unveils New Cloud-Based, Omni-Channel Payments Capabilities for Merchants

ACI Worldwide

“The broadened UP Merchant Payments solution is the result of ACI’s acquisition of technology assets from providers RevChip and TranSend, a team of expert developers focused on next-generation terminal payment applications and management platforms. These new capabilities accelerate ACI’s vision of delivering merchants a next-generation, mobile-first digital payment experience in-store.”

Security

Central 1 Launches Integration for Secure Digital Solution for Financial Institutions

Central 1, creating digital solutions that make everyday banking easier, today announces the launch of technology that allows financial institutions to offer SecureKey ConciergeTM, a single sign-on authentication service, to their members. The seamless integration of Central 1’s product means financial institution customers can access additional online services using their existing digital banking credentials, providing fewer complex logins to remember and simplifying login access for over 80 government websites. Vancity credit union and Conexus Credit Union are launching the integration of SecureKey Concierge into their systems, providing the convenient and secure service to their members. “

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