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January 14, 2022

On The Web

Deals

Fresh Round of $355M Lifts Online Checkout Company Bolt Into Decacorn Territory

TechCrunch

“Checkout technology company Bolt continues to make quick work of attracting new capital. The company announced Friday $355 million in Series E financing to give Bolt an $11 billion valuation, according to sources close to the company. Bolt’s one-click checkout product aims to give businesses the same technology Amazon has been known for since 1997, and at the same time, incorporates payments and fraud services meant to ensure transactions are real and payments can be accepted. In addition, shoppers can create an account once and then use those credentials across a network of hundreds of Bolt network brands.”

Deals

GoFundMe Gets Classy (Literally) With Acquisition of Nonprofit Giving Platform

TechCrunch

“GoFundMe announced today that it will acquire Classy, a nonprofit fundraising software company. This is an all equity deal, though the company did not disclose the financials. Anyone can make a GoFundMe, from a local food pantry to a community member in need. But Classy is more specialized, working directly with nonprofits. Since its 2010 seed round, Classy has raised $183.5 million in venture capital, which most recently included a $118 million Series D in April 2021, led by Norwest Venture Partners. The Public Benefit Corporation employs a team of 200 and will become a subsidiary of GoFundMe, operating as a separate entity under GoFundMe CEO Tim Cadogan’s leadership.”

Providers

‘CashPlease’: Small Bank Debuts Alternative to Payday Loans

American Banker

“OneUnited’s loan, called CashPlease, is designed to help customers of the $635 million-asset Black-owned bank manage their cash flow without the hurdles and higher costs some other lenders might impose. Instead of conducting credit checks, it looks at applicants’ checking-account activity and other aspects of their relationship with the bank. Funds arrive within four hours of the loan’s approval. OneUnited’s rollout of CashPlease comes after the introduction of similar small-dollar loans by several large banks.”

Regulation

U.S. State Banking Regulators Drop Lawsuit Over Fintech Charters

Reuters

“A group of U.S. state banking regulators dropped its lawsuit seeking to block the federal government from granting bank charters to fintech companies on Thursday, after the company that was first in line modified its business plan. The Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) sued the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in 2020, arguing that giving national bank status to fintechs would flout states’ authority to oversee non-bank lenders.”

Security

Nacha Brings Verification of Payment-Related Data to Its Phixius Network

Digital Transactions

“As part of its effort to help users of its Phixius payment-data network mitigate fraud and enhance payment-routing certainty, Nacha announced Thursday the network will enable originators, fintechs, and financial institutions that originate and receive electronic payments to verify payment-related information, such as account ownership, account numbers, and routing information.”

Systems

Visa Offers Test Platform for Central Bank Digital Currencies

Bloomberg

“Visa Inc. joined its rival Mastercard Inc. in offering central banks a way to test retail applications for digital currencies they might issue. The card payment provider will begin piloting a program this spring with ConsenSys Inc. , a blockchain software company, after discussions with roughly 30 central banks about goals related to government-backed digital currencies.”

Systems

Why Brazilians Are Turning to Stablecoins Like Tether

coindesk

“Amid record inflation and a constant devaluation of their local currency, Brazilians are turning to cryptocurrencies and, in particular, stablecoins as never before. According to Receita Federal, the Brazilian tax authority , between January and November 2021, locals traded $11.4 billion in stablecoins and almost tripled the total traded in 2020. Stablecoins also traded $10.8 billion in bitcoin last year.”

Systems

Jack Dorsey’s Payments Company, Block, Is Building a System for Bitcoin Miners

CNBC

“Jack Dorsey’s payments company Block (formerly Square) is going to start mining for bitcoin. In a string of tweets, Block’s general manager for hardware, Thomas Templeton, laid out the company’s plans for next steps.   Templeton says the goal is to make bitcoin mining — the process of creating new bitcoins by solving increasingly complex computational problems — more distributed and efficient in every way, ‘from buying, to set up, to maintenance, to mining.'”

Systems

A Quarter of Small Businesses Across Nine Countries Plan to Offer Crypto Payments -Visa Survey

Reuters

“Almost a quarter of small businesses in nine countries around the world plan to accept digital currencies as a form of payment in 2022, while 13% of consumers in those countries expect retail stores to begin offering crypto payments this year and beyond, according to a survey by Visa Inc (V.N) . The survey of 2,250 small business owners across nine countries including the United States, Brazil, Singapore and Canada suggests cryptocurrencies may be starting to go mainstream as a means of payment.”

On The Wires

Deals

FundThrough Acquires BlueVine’s Invoice Factoring Business

FundThrough , a financial technology platform that solves cash flow challenges for growing businesses through fast invoice payments, today announced that it has acquired the invoice factoring business of financial technology company BlueVine . The acquisition fast tracks the company’s strategic focus on embedded finance and its expansion efforts in the U.S. market, doubling the number of U.S. clients that will rely on FundThrough to turn unpaid invoices into working capital. All BlueVine invoice funding division employees are joining FundThrough as part of the transaction.”

Domains

Nuvei Partners With Wix to Process Payments

Nuvei Corporation (“Nuvei” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: NVEI) (TSX: NVEI), the global payment technology partner of thriving brands, today announced a partnership with Wix (Nasdaq: WIX), a leading global SaaS platform to create, manage and grow an online presence to facilitate payment processing for Wix merchants in North America. This integration will deliver fast, seamless and secure payment processing for Wix merchants and their customers across all industries, including those with higher margins or more complex regulatory requirements.”

Systems

NCR Completes Acquisition of Cryptocurrency Leader LibertyX

“NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR), a global enterprise technology provider, today announced the completion of the previously announced transaction to acquire LibertyX , a leading cryptocurrency software provider. LibertyX is a strong strategic fit for NCR because it accelerates NCR’s ability to rapidly deliver a complete digital currency solution to its customers, including the ability to buy and sell cryptocurrency, conduct cross-border remittance, and accept digital currency payments across digital and physical channels.”

Use

Waystar Accelerates Patient Consumerism in Healthcare Payments

“Waystar’s patient financial experience solutions, including the industry-leading PatientWallet®, drives patients’ digital adoption of the payment process with personalized omnichannel engagements. Waystar orchestrates patient payment journeys at scale by annually generating $4B in out-of-pocket estimates, processing $5B in patient payments and actively managing 30M+ patient digital wallet accounts with more than $1B in patient payment plans. Providers across all healthcare settings use the Waystar platform to simplify payment complexity, representing 40% of the U.S. patient population and 500,000 providers.”

January 13, 2022

On The Web

Providers

Railsbank Launches White Label BNPL Package for Retailers

Finextra Research

“Banking-as-a-service platform Railsbank has built a white label BNPL product that enables retailers to escape the clutches of shopping apps like Klarna and build their own branded buy now, pay later programmes. Available to retailers in the UK and Germany this year, the BNPL pakage enables retailers to provide their own branded instalment financing online and in-store.”

Providers

Zilch and Mastercard Announce Expanded Partnership to Launch Zilch BNPL Card Across Europe

Fintech Finance

“Zilch, the London-based unicorn Fintech announced today that it has expanded its partnership with Mastercard to bring Zilch’s popular over-the-top buy now, pay later (BNPL) digital card offering to Europe and enable deferred purchases across the EU.  Zilch’s digital card is currently available in the UK and has already reached over 1.7 million customers in less than 15 months – record time within the BNPLindustry. Today’s announcement will see Zilch accelerate its international growth across Europe. Enabling Mastercard payments Europe-wide supports Zilch’s mission to empower customers to shop anywhere, anytime using its unique BNPL solution with no hidden costs, interest or fees.”

Regulation

CFPB Likely to Punt Data-Sharing Rule Into 2023

American Banker

“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is more than a year away from releasing a long-awaited proposal on consumers’ right to control their own financial data, far later than many had expected, according to people familiar with the bureau’s thinking. The rule has been hotly anticipated because it would address the ability of aggregators and other fintechs to obtain consumers’ bank account data through screen scraping and application programming interfaces. These firms seek broad access to help consumers manage their money, but banks and consumer advocates generally want the CFPB to narrow the scope of data collected and provide increased security, privacy and other protections.”

Risk

Crook Sells Access to Data Tool Used by Private Investigators

vice

“A member of a fraud-focused community on Telegram is advertising access to TLO, a data tool typically used by private investigators to obtain sensitive information on targets, including their Social Security Number (SSN), date of birth, and physical address history.”

Systems

Iran to Allow Crypto Payments for International Trade: Report

Cointelegraph

“The Central Bank of Iran, or CBI, and the Ministry of Trade have reached an agreement to link the CBI’s payment platform to a trade system allowing businesses to settle payments using cryptocurrencies, the Mehr News Agency reported Monday. Alireza Peyman-Pak, Iran’s deputy minister of Industry, Mine and Trade and head of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization, or TPO, said that the new payment mechanism is expected to be finalized “within the next two weeks.””

Systems

U.K. Lords See No Convincing Case for BOE to Make Digital Pounds

Bloomberg

“A panel of lawmakers from the U.K. Parliament delivered a blow to the Bank of England’s effort to launch a digital currency, saying officials have given no convincing reason it’s needed. The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, which includes former BOE Governor Mervyn King, raised concerns the project might threaten the stability of the banking system and inject the central bank into controversial debates on privacy.”

Systems

Visa Partners With ConsenSys to Help Bridge CBDCs With Traditional Finance

coindesk

“Payments giant Visa has teamed up with Ethereum scaling firm ConsenSys to help central bank digital currency (CBDC) networks bridge the gap with traditional financial institutions. Customers will eventually be able to use their CBDC-linked Visa card or digital wallet anywhere that Visa is accepted globally, Catherine Gu, Visa’s head of CBDC, said in a blog post Q&A with ConsenSys.”

Systems

BIS, Swiss National Bank, SIX Exchange Complete Wholesale CBDC Trial

coindesk

“Switzerland is practically ready to launch a wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC). Working in concert, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the Swiss National Bank (SNB) and the country’s stock exchange, SIX, have test-driven the integration of wholesale CBDC settlement. Also included in the prototype were five commercial banks: Citi, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Hypothekarbank Lenzburg and UBS. Wholesale CBDC is not to be confused with a digital currency issued by a central bank that would find its way into retail bank accounts, something Switzerland has already ruled out .”

On The Wires

Deals

Global Processing Services Upsizes Round to Over US$400 Million With Participation of New Investors to Accelerate Investment in Next Generation Payments Technology Appoints Seasoned Payments Executive As New Chair of the Board

Global Processing Services (“GPS”), the leading global payment technology platform, today announced the closing and upsizing of its latest fundraise at over US$400 million. Temasek the global investment company headquartered in Singapore, and MissionOG , a US-based growth equity firm, joined the over US$300m initial round, co-led by growth investors Advent International – through Advent Tech and affiliate Sunley House Capital – and Viking Global Investors .”

Domains

Mastercard Advances B2B Payments Solution With BMO and Moneris Partnerships

“Today, Mastercard announced new partnerships with BMO and Moneris Solutions Corporation (‘Moneris’), who have joined Mastercard Track™ Business Payment Service . This unique Mastercard solution, available to Canadian business customers in early 2022, is designed to help buyer and supplier partners tackle the systemic challenges of business-to-business (B2B) payments – one of the first open-loop commercial solutions to do so globally and a first of its kind in Canada.”

Domains

The Future of the Point of Sale Is Here: Visa Pioneers Cloud-based Payment Acceptance

“Today Visa (NYSE: V) announced a new platform, Visa Acceptance Cloud (VAC), set to revolutionize the way businesses accept payments from their customers. Following the success of the company’s popular “Tap to Phone” solution, VAC will let acquirers, payment service providers, point of sale (POS) manufacturers, and Internet of Things (IoT) players move payment processing software from being embedded in each hardware device to being universally accessible in the cloud.”

January 12, 2022

On The Web

Deals

Fintech Firm Checkout.com’s Valuation Touches $40 Bln After Latest Funding

Reuters

“Checkout.com said its valuation more than doubled to $40 billion in a year, following a $1 billion investment in the financial technology company that will be used to launch products and further its involvement in the so-called Web3 space. Several new and existing investors including Altimeter, Dragoneer, Franklin Templeton, Singapore’s GIC, the Qatar Investment Authority, Tiger Global, the Oxford Endowment Fund, and a ‘large West Coast mutual fund management firm’ participated in the round, the company said on Wednesday.”

Domains

GM Takes Aim at Carvana, Vroom With Used-Car Website

Wall Street Journal

“The market for selling used cars online has exploded during the pandemic. Now, General Motors Co. wants to help its dealers secure a bigger piece. The Detroit auto maker is launching a new website called CarBravo that will help U.S.-based GM dealers market and sell used cars online, competing directly with Carvana Co. and other retailers that have embraced virtual sales in the past couple of years.”

Providers

Apexx Global Lands in the US

Finextra Research

“Apexx Global is bringing its payments orchestration and processing platform to the US as it bids to take advantage of the country’s fast-growing BNPL market. Founded in 2016, Apexx combines acquirers, gateways, shopping carts, alternative payments methods and now BNPL products into a single API connection, easing the efforts of merchants to offer a complete one-stop shop option for consumer payments.”

Regulation

Government Report Suggests Tightening Regulations on Crypto ATMs

coindesk

“The use of crypto payments to facilitate illegal human and drug trafficking is rising, and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is blaming crypto kiosks. In a new study released Monday, the GAO – a government agency that provides auditing and investigative services for Congress – highlighted that the kiosks, also called crypto ATMs, were partly responsible for this surge because the machines are less regulated than crypto exchanges and transactions are more difficult to trace.”

Regulation

NYDFS Raises Concerns With CFPB’s Small Business Loan Data Collection Proposal

Lexology

“On January 6, NYDFS issued a comment letter responding to the CFPB’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), “Small Business Lending Data Collection under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (Regulation B).” The NPRM—mandated under Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act—would require a broad swath of lenders to collect data on loans they make to small businesses, including information about the loans themselves, the characteristics of the borrower, and demographic information regarding the borrower’s principal owners. This information would be reported annually to the Bureau, and eventually published by the Bureau on its website, with some potential modifications.”

Security

TSA to Begin Apple Digital ID Pilot in February

NFCW

“Air passengers with Apple devices will soon be able to verify their identity at Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints at two US airports by presenting a digital ID document such as their mobile driving licence (mDL) or state ID stored in Wallet. The TSA is to begin trialling the use of Apple digital IDs as part of a pilot programme that will roll out to airports in “two additional states around March of 2022”, enabling travellers to tap their Apple device on an NFC reader or use a QR scanner to initiate an automated identity verification process.”

Systems

TransUnion Brings Credit Data Checks to Crypto Lending

Wall Street Journal

“Cryptocurrency lenders are going to be able to start checking credit reports. TransUnion , one of the three major U.S. consumer credit reporting firms, will let consumers give blockchain companies access to their personal credit data through the security firm Spring Labs’ ky0x Digital Passport.”

Systems

Powell Says Private Coins Could Compete With Fed Digital Dollar

Bloomberg

“There’s room for privately issued stablecoins to exist alongside a possible central bank digital currency, according to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.   The Fed plans to publish a report on digital currencies in the coming weeks, Powell said at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Tuesday. The central bank hasn’t said whether it plans to launch its own digital dollar akin to efforts underway in other counties such as China. The Fed and other U.S. watchdogs have previously said stablecoins need more regulation and should be issued by banks.”

Systems

Merchant Group Prods Fed on Debit Routing Proposal

Payments Dive

“A merchant interest group took the Federal Reserve to task Tuesday for not pressing ahead with a debit routing proposal it made last year and urged a review of other rules governing fees that card networks can charge in processing debit transactions. The Merchants Payments Coalition struck an impatient tone in its press release Tuesday, putting the Fed on notice that merchants and retailers are absorbing what it considers unfair fees while the government deliberates its proposal to bolster requirements calling for competing card networks in routing debit card transactions.”

Systems

PayPal Poses Big Threat to Banks in Race to Develop Stablecoins

American Banker

“The stablecoin market is growing rapidly — and every new stablecoin issuer from the tech sector puts pressure on banks to dive in. PayPal is considering issuing its own stablecoin with a working name of PayPal Coin. PayPal’s initiative comes as the Facebook-affiliated Diem stablecoin approaches launch. Technology and government initiatives have driven the value of the stablecoin market up to about $140 billion — seven times higher than two years ago.

On The Wires

Companies

Apple Services Enrich Peoples’ Lives Throughout the Year

“Apple Pay provided even more customers with a secure and easy way to pay in-store and online around the world after expanding to nine new markets in 2021, including Colombia, Israel, and Mexico. Today, Apple Pay is available in nearly 60 countries and regions, and works with nearly 9,000 bank partners worldwide.Apple also continues to deliver on its vision of replacing customers’ physical wallets with Wallet, an easy-to-use and secure digital wallet.”

Deals

Fly Now Pay Later Secures Usd $75 M from Atalaya Capital Management to Continue Its Rapid International Roll Out

“Fly Now Pay Later ( www.flynowpaylater.com/us/ ), a global fintech company offering consumers an alternative and more flexible way to finance travel, has closed a USD $75m debt funding package provided by funds managed by Atalaya Capital Management to support expansion into the United States – the largest travel market in the world. As part of the funding package, the New-York headquartered financier has also provided an equity investment into the business.”

Domains

Cubic Transportation Systems to Provide Next-Generation Fare Payment Technology to Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Cubic Corporation announced today that its Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS) business division was awarded a second contract from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to continue providing and updating Port Authority Trans-Hudson’s (PATH’s) next-generation fare payment system. The investment will bring the next generation of contactless fare payment and collection technology, allowing riders to “tap and go” with their mobile devices and credit/debit cards.”

Domains

Coupa to Offer HSBC Virtual Cards to European Businesses

“Coupa Software (NASDAQ: COUP ), a leader in Business Spend Management, today announced a strategic collaboration with HSBC under its Coupa Pay offering. Commencing with virtual cards, the collaboration will provide European companies with access to a fast, seamless, and secure way to manage payments as part of their comprehensive Business Spend Management strategy. The demand for new and safe B2B payment methods continues to grow as more companies adopt remote work policies and continue to fight fraudulent activity on traditional payment rails.”

Industry

Visa Study: Small Businesses Optimistic, Looking to Digital Payments for Growth in New Year

“As Visa (NYSE: V) continues toward its goal of digitally-enabling 50 million small and micro businesses (SMBs), a new research study released today – the “ Visa Global Back to Business Study – 2022 SMB Outlook ” – found that 90% of surveyed SMBssaid they are optimistic about the future of their businesses, the highest level of optimism in Visa Global Back to Business studies to-date. While wiping down groceries and quarantining mail might be bygones of an earlier pandemic era, some changes – such as increased use of digital payments – are here to stay: 82% of SMBs surveyed said they will accept digital options in 2022 and nearly half (46%) of consumers surveyed2 expect to use digital payments more often in 2022, with just 4% saying they will use them less.”

Systems

USDF Consortium™ Launches to Enable Banks to Mint USDF Stablecoins

“The USDF Consortium™ (the Consortium), an association of FDIC-insured financial institutions, launched today with a mission to build a network of banks to further the adoption and interoperability of a bank-minted stablecoin (USDF™), which will facilitate the compliant transfer of value on the blockchain, removing friction in the financial system and unlocking the financial opportunities that blockchain and digital transactions can provide to a greater network of users. The Consortium’s founding bank members include New York Community Bank (NYCB), NBH Bank, FirstBank, Sterling National Bank, and Synovus Bank. Figure Technologies, Inc. and JAM FINTOP are also founding members and will facilitate and promote the adoption of USDF. The Consortium looks to significantly grow its membership of FDIC-insured banks through 2022 and beyond.”

January 11, 2022

On The Web

Companies

Apple Submits Plans to Allow Alternative Payment Systems in S.Korea – Regulator

Reuters

“South Korea’s telecommunications regulator said on Tuesday Apple Inc (AAPL.O) had submitted plans to allow third-party payment systems on its App Store to comply with a law banning major app store operators from forcing software developers to use their payments systems. The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) had requested Apple and Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O) Google to submit compliance plans after the bill was passed in August last year and went into effect in September.”

Deals

Novo, the SMB Neobank, Nabs $90M at a $700M Valuation

TechCrunch

Novo , the startup building a new kind of banking service from the ground up for small and medium businesses, has closed a significant round of funding to take the next step in growing its platform. It has raised $90 million, a Series B round that values the Miami-based startup at $700 million, funding that it will use to build out its infrastructure (going from 24,000 customers to 150,000 is no small feat); to add in new products, specifically around lending; and to acquire more customers.”

Deals

Fintech Brex Confirms $12.3B Valuation, Snaps up Meta Exec to Serve As Its Head of Product

TechCrunch

“In the latest fintech megaround, Brex has confirmed that it has raised $300 million in a Series D-2 round that ups its valuation to $12.3 billion…Brex started its life focused on providing credit cards aimed mainly at startups and SMBs. It has gradually evolved its model with the aim of serving as a one-stop finance shop for these companies. Last April, Brex said it had combined credit cards, business cash accounts and new spend management and bill pay software “together in a single dashboard” as part of a service called Brex Premium that cost $49 per month.”

Deals

Business Banking Startup Qonto Raises $552 Million at $5 Billion Valuation

TechCrunch

“French startup Qonto has raised a $552 million Series D funding round (€486 million). Following this investment, the startup has reached a valuation of $5 billion (€4.4 billion). This is one of the largest rounds in the French tech ecosystem. Qonto is a challenger bank focused on business bank accounts. The startup focuses primarily on small and medium companies as well as freelancers. It currently operates in France, Germany, Italy and Spain.”

Deals

Fintech Startup Pine Labs To Seek $500 Million in U.S. IPO

Bloomberg

“Pine Labs Pvt, an Asian digital payments provider backed by Sequoia India and Mastercard Inc., is moving ahead with preparations for a U.S. listing and seeks to raise about $500 million, according to people familiar with the matter. The company has filed confidentially with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering in New York as soon as in the first half of this year, the people said.”

Global

Brazilian Fintech Ebanx Sees Mexico Business Doubling for Second Year

Reuters

“Brazilian fintech Ebanx expects to double its business in the Mexican market for a second year in a row in 2022 as it pushes further into Latin America’s No. 2 economy, the company’s co-founder told Reuters. Ebanx, which facilitates cross-border payments, is bringing on up to 10 new retailers, opening its first office in the country and expanding its team, Joao del Valle said in an interview on Monday.”

Providers

Bank of America Slashes Fees for Account Overdrafts | AP News

AP NEWS

“Bank of America is slashing the amount it charges customers when they spend more than they have in their accounts and plans to eliminate entirely its fees for bounced checks. It’s the latest move by the nation’s biggest banks to roll back the overdraft fees they long charged customers, fees that often amount to hundreds of dollars a year for frequent overdraft users. The bank based in Charlotte, North Carolina, will cut the overdraft fees it charges customers to $10 from $35 starting in May.”

Providers

What Card Issuers Can Learn From CFPB’s Buy Now/Pay Later Inquiry

American Banker

“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s recently announced inquiry into the operations of buy now/pay later fintechs raises many questions about how the rapidly growing industry’s policies affect overall consumer debt. But the CFPB’s probe could also end up spotlighting the very reasons consumers have flocked to simpler BNPL loans over the last few years, putting pressure on credit card issuers to modernize their own products.”

Systems

China Offers Digital Yuan at Olympics to Test Overseas Appeal

Bloomberg

“China is rolling out its digital yuan to athletes and spectators ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics, the first major test of the virtual currency’s appeal among foreigners. With less than a month to go before kickoff , and the event already encumbered by diplomatic boycotts and the threat of virus outbreaks, China is looking to use the games to showcase the digital yuan’s clout globally.”

On The Wires

Global

Spreedly More Than Doubles Latin American Transaction Volume Year-over-Year

“Spreedly, the provider of the leading Payments Orchestration platform, today announced that transaction volume across Latin America on the Spreedly platform has grown by over 100% year-over-year. As one of the world’s fastest growing e-commerce markets, there is a strong demand for ways to more easily scale payments across the region. In a recent report published by Americas Market Intelligence (AMI) , growth rates for Latin America from 2020 to 2024 are estimated to be between 20% to over 40%.”

Systems

NYDIG Subsidiary Bottlepay Becomes the First Lightning Company to Be a Registered Cryptoasset Business With the FCA

“NYDIG, a leading bitcoin company, announced today that its subsidiary Bottlepay, a Bitcoin-based global payments company, has been granted registration as a Cryptoasset Business from the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Bottlepay is one of a small number of cryptoasset firms to have secured such approval and is the first Lightning Network payments company to have done so. FCA registration requires firms to demonstrate that they comply with the UK’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulations. Businesses dealing with cryptoassets must register with the FCA to operate within the UK.”

Use

Thunes Partners With the World Economic Forum to Power Innovation in Payments Infrastructure

Thunes , a Singapore-based fintech company and a global leader in cross-border payments, announced today a collaboration with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to address systemic inequality in accessing financial services by driving innovation across payments and market infrastructures. As a collaborator of the WEF’s Platform for Shaping the Future of Financial and Monetary Systems , Thunes will engage with the WEF Financial community to provide strategic insights, identify gaps and best practices, and contribute to the development of policies and programmes that will help address financial inclusion and sustainable development.”

Use

Carrefour Expands Branded Gift Card Partnership With Blackhawk Network Across Its Territories

Blackhawk Network , a global leader in branded payments, today announces its new collaboration with Carrefour Group to manage its branded third-party gift card programme across France, Belgium, Poland, Italy, Spain, Romania, Argentina and Brazil. Carrefour, a global leading grocery retailer, will be expanding its branded gift card distribution across the globe, embracing the expansion of gaming and online shopping.”

January 10, 2022

On The Web

Deals

Rupifi Raises $25 Million for Its B2B Payments Platform in India

TechCrunch

“Rupifi has raised $25 million in a new financing round as the Indian startup, which currently provides buy now, pay later service to several marketplaces to serve their merchants, looks to expand its business-to-business payments offerings. Tiger Global and Bessemer Venture Partners co-led the two-year-old startup’s $25 million financing round. Existing investors Quona Capital and Ankur Capital also participated in the round, a top executive said Thursday.”

Deals

Nigeria’s ThankUCash Secures $5.3M to Build Infrastructure for Cashback, Deals and BNPL Services

TechCrunch

“Loyalty, deals and rewards services are a rarity in most African markets. The unit economics and other factors such as currency instability make such businesses hard to pull off in the region. Yet, ThankUCash , a platform launched in 2018 by Connected Analytics , has managed to thrive, proving that not all is gloom in the deals, coupon and rewards business. And to that end, the startup, which announced an undisclosed seven-figure seed last year, has finally closed the round at $5.3 million.”

Domains

U.S. to Spend $10 Billion to Boost Small Businesses

Wall Street Journal

“The U.S. is planning to hand out $10 billion to help upstart companies gain access to capital in a bid to rev up business in disadvantaged communities and spur a broader economic recovery from the pandemic. The State Small Business Credit Initiative will direct money to states, territories and tribal governments for programs that provide venture capital or encourage private lenders to issue loans to small firms. The program revives a policy put into place following the 2007-2009 recession, when banks cut back on lending to small firms .”

Regulation

UK financial regulators to step up scrutiny of cloud computing giants

FT

“UK financial regulators are preparing to step up their scrutiny of cloud computing providers amid growing fears that an outage or hack of their services could severely disrupt a banking system increasingly reliant on them. The Prudential Regulation Authority is exploring ways to access more data from cloud providers Amazon, Microsoft and Google, including on the operational resilience of their services, according to people familiar with the matter.”

Systems

CBDC Wallet Tops Mobile App Store Charts in China

Cointelegraph

“The app is still in an experimental phase and is only accessible to select individuals through authorized e-CNY service providers. While anyone in China could download the app, its usage is limited to select cities. Despite these limitations, the South China Morning Post reported that e-CNY managed to become the most downloaded app on Apple’s App Store one day after its launch, surpassing Tencent’s super app WeChat. It was dethroned by video-sharing app Kuaishou on Saturday. The app enjoyed similar success in Xiaomi’s mobile app store, a popular platform for Chinese Android users.”

Use

Consumer Borrowing Picks up in November but Credit Cards Remain Out-of-favor

MarketWatch

“U.S. consumer borrowing accelerated in November but consumers continued to avoid using their credit cards, according to Federal Reserve data released Friday. Total consumer credit increased $15.3 billion in November, 1.3% more than in October. That’s an annual growth rate of 4.4%, Economists had been expecting a $9 billion gain, according to the Wall Street Journal forecast. What happened: Revolving credit, like credit cards, fell a slight 1% in November after 6.7% decline in the prior month. This is the eighth decline in the past nine months.”

On The Wires

Systems

Alchemy Pay (ACH) Leverages Fintech Giant NIUM and Amplifies Its Market Reach

“The global fintech giant, NIUM, announces its partnership with Alchemy Pay (ACH), a fiat-cryptocurrency gateway solutions provider. The partnership represents major progress for Alchemy Pay who will now leverage NIUM’s huge global coverage and swiftly pay out funds to clients at significantly lowered costs in the 190+ countries and territories where NIUM operates. In addition, NIUM has 11 licences in regions such as the United Kingdom, Europe, USA, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Australia, which will enable Alchemy Pay to extend its reach into these key financial markets.”

Users

Uber and Visa Announce Grants For Growth Program, Providing $1 Million in Grants and Resources to Support Small Businesses

“Uber (NYSE: UBER ) and Visa (NYSE: V ) today announced Grants for Growth, a program that will provide $1 million in grant funding to small businesses in 10 U.S. cities that are currently active on Uber Eats. The program will be administered by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Focused on restaurant recovery and entrepreneurship, the program was created to support merchants when they need it most.”

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