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November 14, 2019

On The Web

Deals

PalmPay Launches in Nigeria on $40M Round Led by China’s Transsion

TechCrunch

“Africa-focused payment startup PalmPay has launched in Nigeria after raising a $40 million seed round led by Chinese mobile-phone maker Transsion . The investment came via Transsion’s Tecno subsidiary, with participation from China’s NetEase and wireless comms hardware firm Mediatek — a Transsion spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch. PalmPay had piloted its mobile fintech offering in Nigeria since July, before going live today at a launch in Lagos.”

Security

Colorado Driver’s Licenses Go Digital

Wall Street Journal

“Colorado residents who download a special app can use their phones as a form of ID in places like bars, restaurants and banks, but it is up to the establishments to decide whether they accept the new format. Rolled out late last month, the technology that digitizes driver’s licenses or state IDs is part of an effort led by Theresa Szczurek, the state’s chief information officer, to modernize the way services are delivered.”

November 13, 2019

TOP POST

Providers

Next in Google’s Quest for Consumer Dominance—Banking

Wall Street Journal

“The project, code-named Cache, is expected to launch next year with accounts run by Citigroup Inc. C -0.87% and a credit union at Stanford University, a tiny lender in Google’s backyard. Big tech companies see financial services as a way to get closer to users and glean valuable data. Apple Inc. introduced a credit card this summer. Amazon.com Inc. has talked to banks about offering checking accounts . Facebook Inc. is working on a digital currency it hopes will upend global payments.”

On The Web

Companies

Facebook Pay Launches on Facebook and Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp to Follow

NFC World

“Facebook has unveiled a unified payments service designed to provide “a convenient, secure and consistent payment experience across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp”. “People already use payments across our apps to shop, donate to causes and send money to each other,” the company says. “Facebook Pay will make these transactions easier while continuing to ensure your payment information is secure and protected.””

Deals

Nigeria’s Interswitch Confirms $1B Valuation After Visa Investment

TechCrunch

“Nigerian digital payments firm Interswitch confirmed today it has reached unicorn status after Visa acquired a minority equity stake in the firm. “The investment makes Interswitch one of the most valuable African fintech businesses with a valuation of $1 billion,” Interswitch said in a release to TechCrunch. The Visa investment could create the first of two market distinctions for Interswitch — as it shouldn’t change the Lagos-based company’s plans to go public.”

Use

WordPress.com Sites Can Now Accept Subscriptions With New ‘Recurring Payments’ Feature

TechCrunch

“The subscription model is today sustaining a number of businesses, including artists, creators , news publishers, game developers , entertainment providers and more. Now, top publishing platform WordPress.com is making it easier for any creator or web publisher to add a subscription feature to their own website, so they can begin to generate repeat contributions from their supporters, readers, fans or customers. The feature is available to any of the millions of WordPress .com sites on a paid plan, as well as the millions of self-hosted WordPress sites using Jetpack, the company says. It’s also fairly flexible in nature.”

On The Wires

Uncategorized

Adyen Launches Card Issuing Offering

Adyen (AMS: ADYEN), the global payments platform of choice for many of the world’s leading companies, today announced the addition of card issuing to its offering. Adyen Issuing will enable clients to provide virtual and/or physical cards to their customers. Cards issued by Adyen can be used online, in-app, in-store, and can be integrated into mobile wallets. Adyen Issuing will meet various client needs. It gives them the ability to issue cards for a variety of use cases, including: marketplaces paying out to cards that can then be used to pay anywhere, and online travel agencies using virtual cards to make disbursements to their airline and hotel partners.”

November 12, 2019

TOP POST

Use

Amazon Go, the Cashierless Retail Store of the Future, Has Some New Competition

CNBC

“According to Grabango chief business officer Andrew Radlow, computer vision is a key distinction that separates Grabango from Amazon Go. Go stores use scales, shelf cameras and sensor technology to track items when they are taken off the shelf. Grabango’s computer vision technology uses small cameras that track when each product in the store is taken or replaced. These cameras are hidden inside a casing in the ceiling, similar to a fluorescent light fixture, called a G-rail. The technology automatically tallies up your items as you move through the store, enabling you to pay through the Grabango app when you leave the store, or”

On The Web

Global

Nigeria’s Top Fintech Company Is Set to Be Africa’s First Home-grown Unicorn With Visa Investment

Quartz Africa

“One of Africa’s veteran fintech companies is about to become the sector’s first unicorn. Global payments giant Visa is paying $200 million for 20% stake in Interswitch, Nigeria’s largest electronic payments company, UK’s Sky  News reports . The investment places a billion-dollar valuation on 17-year old Interswitch and is a major boon ahead of a proposed initial public offering slated for  the London Stock Exchange next year.”

Global

Cashless Payments Are Growing Faster in India Than Just About Anywhere Else

Quartz India

“Cashless payments are taking off in India, growing faster than in other countries around the world. The shift has attracted a host of tech companies, backed by deep-pocketed foreign investors, battling for market share. Digital transactions in India increased by 55% last year, compared with 48% in China and 23% in Indonesia, according to data from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). By comparison, cashless payments grew about 10% in the UK, a developed market where card transactions are already entrenched.”

Use

More Borrowers Are Going Underwater on Car Loans

MarketWatch

“Some 33% of people who traded in cars to buy new ones in the first nine months of 2019 had negative equity, compared with 28% five years ago and 19% a decade ago, according to car-shopping site Edmunds. Those borrowers owed about $5,000 on average after they traded in their cars, before taking on new loans. Five years ago the average was about $4,000. Rising car prices have exacerbated an affordability gap that is increasingly getting filled with auto debt. Easy lending standards are perpetuating the cycle, with lenders routinely making car loans with low or no down payments that can last seven years or longer.”

On The Wires

Domains

Xoom Rolls Out Domestic Money Transfer Services in the U.S.

Xoom , PayPal’s international money transfer service, today rolled out the ability for customers to send money to recipients in the U.S. for the first time. Through strategic alliances with Walmart and Ria, Americans can now use Xoom to send money fast for cash pick-up typically in minutes at nearly 5,000 locations across the country.”

November 11, 2019

TOP POST

Providers

EU Banks Plot Pan-European Rival to Visa and Mastercard

NFC World

“A group of 20 European banks are working together on “setting up a pan-European payment system to challenge the dominance of Visa, Mastercard and technology companies such as Google and PayPal,” French news agency AFP reports . “The Pan European Payment System Initiative (PEPSI) would handle all forms of cashless transactions,” AFP was told.”

On The Web

Companies

Amazon Will Launch New Grocery Store As Alternative to Whole Foods

CNET

Amazon on Monday said it plans to open its first new brand of grocery store in California next year, as it amps up its ambitious push to become a bigger name in food. “Amazon is opening a grocery store in Woodland Hills in 2020,” an Amazon spokesperson confirmed to CNET on Monday morning, soon after the company published four new jobs postings for the location. Woodland Hills is a neighborhood in Los Angeles.”

Companies

Square’s Cleanup Still Leaves Questions

Wall Street Journal

“Fast transaction growth isn’t everything to Square, which is generating increasing revenue from lending, subscription services and its consumer Cash App. But like many payments businesses, the company’s take rate, or how much of each transaction it takes as revenue, is gently declining, due in part to doing business with larger merchants that drive tougher pricing. So volume is still very important.”

Domains

Singles Day: There Sure Are a Lot of People in China Buying Stuff Online

The New York Times

“The planet’s biggest shopping day is upon us, and Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce behemoth , is poised again to show the world how many mountains of stuff it can persuade people to buy in the 24 hours of Nov. 11, also known as Singles Day. Last year, more than $30 billion worth of merchandise was sold on Alibaba’s platforms, by the company’s own count, making Black Friday look like a yard sale.”

Industry

Federal Reserve Proposal to Develop Round-the-Clock, Real-Time Payments System FedNow Service

Rohit Chopra, Federal Trade Commission

“I write to share my formal submission outlining my support for the Federal Reserve’s proposal to develop the FedNow Service, a new, round-the-clock, real-time payments system. The proposal is a natural extension of the Federal Reserve’s existing role in check clearing, wire transfers, and the automated clearinghouse (ACH) system. A private megabank monopoly over our electronic payments system will suppress innovation and distort incentives in our markets.”

Regulation

EU Antitrust Chief Examines Apple Pay

NFC World

““We’ve been asking quite a number of questions because we get many, many concerns when it comes to Apple Pay for pure competition reasons,” the EU’s Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager told reporters during a news briefing at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon last week, Reuters says.”

Users

Returns Totaled $369 Billion In 2018, But Many Can Be Prevented – Retail TouchPoints

Retail Touch Points

“Returns hit the bottom line in multiple ways: the value of returned merchandise was $369 billion in 2018, and it takes, on average, more than seven people to handle processing a return. Additionally, 80% of first-time customers who return their order will never buy from that retailer again. However, most returns happen due to preventable issues, such as shipping the wrong item, a damaged product or inaccurate product description. This puts 65% of product returns under retailers’ control, and every $1 million in returns prevented adds $500,000 to their EBITA.”

On The Wires

Reports

Spending on U.S. Credit, Debit, and Prepaid Cards to Top $10 Trillion

Nilson Report

“Spending for goods and services initiated by credit, debit, and prepaid cards issued in the United States, which totaled $7.266 trillion in 2018, is projected to reach $10.086 trillion in 2023 according to statistics released this week from The Nilson Report, the leading card and mobile payment industry trade publication.  At the end of 2018, there were 6.96 billion credit, debit, and prepaid cards in circulation in the U.S. That total is expected to reach 8.02 billion at the end of 2023.”

November 8, 2019

TOP POST

Systems

Andreessen Horowitz Launches Free Crypto Startup School

TechCrunch

“With this initiative, a16z wants to democratize cryptocurrencies. Dixon and the a16z team has been involved in the cryptocurrency/blockchain space for seven years, and the firm now wants to share some of its learnings with entrepreneurs. This way, it could give a boost to the crypto community, which could create investment opportunities for a16z down the road — a16z says clearly that participating in the crypto startup school doesn’t mean you’ll receive an investment from a16z. It also positions a16z as a thoughtful investor when it comes to crypto startup investments — not just for participants of the crypto startup school but for the crypto community at large.”

On The Web

Deals

Snapdocs Raises $25 Million to Streamline Mortgages With AI

VentureBeat

“In a nutshell, Snapdoc’s toolset aims to cut down on manual mortgage processes by digitizing wherever possible. It automates scheduling for signings and manages payments to the tune of over $4 million per month, all while centralizing key information like order history, signer, and notary documents in a single portal. Signing agents can create white-labeled dashboards where clients can send new orders, add documents, and track progress. And those same agents get analytics on the backend, including a list of clients that generate the highest profit.”

Global

Rapyd to Launch Cashless Payments Platform in Singapore

Mobile Payments Today

“Rapyd, a London-based startup fintech, announced the launch of a Singapore payments platform that will help enable cashless transactions for businesses and consumers.  The firm, which received a remittance license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore last month, said it will roll out a comprehensive payments platform that will allow a range of bank transfers, conversion of cash to digital payments and expand the use of e-wallets like GrabPay and OCBC Pay Anyone.”

Providers

LA Is Fast Becoming a Fintech Hub As HMBradley Launches Another West Coast Challenger Bank

TechCrunch

“Add HMBradley to the list of Los Angeles-based startups looking to shake up the world of high finance typically dominated by East Coast giants with names like JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. The new Santa Monica, Calif.-based bank joins companies like Aspiration and Acorns in trying to offer consumers new ways to manage their finances. Founded by a team of fintech veterans and backed by PayPal founder Max Levchin, HMBradley got its start in Levchin’s HVF Labs, a San Francisco-based venture studio.”

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