Payments News

August 19, 2019

TOP POST

Regulation

Visa Critical of India’s Move Toward No-fee Debit Card Transactions

Reuters

“Last month, India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that businesses with annual turnover of 500 million rupees will not have to pay a merchant discount rate on debit card and other digital modes of transactions, excluding credit cards. The discount rate is paid by the merchant to banks, card payment networks, and other financial intermediaries for handling a digital transaction. For debit cards, the fees are on average between 0.40% and 0.80% of the transaction amount, according to industry officials.”

On The Web

Deals

Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez Are Investing in Fintech Firm Acorns

Wall Street Journal (paywall)

“Acorns Grow Inc. wants to go viral. It has enlisted A-Rod and J.Lo to help. Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez are buying a stake in the California-based company, Acorns said Monday, joining an investor base that includes Ashton Kutcher, Bono and Kevin Durant. Acorns doesn’t just want celebrities as investors—it is also talking to some of them about designing financial products tailored to their interests.”

Deals

Mortgage Startup Snags $160M Funding Round

Inman

“Better.com, a fintech startup aiming to digitize and streamline the mortgage process, announced Monday, it’s raised $160 million for its Series C funding round. The startup has raised $254 million to date, and its latest investor round included heavy hitters like Citi, Goldman Sachs, Ally Financial and American Express Ventures.”

Systems

Binance Launches Venus, Which It Calls an “independent, Regional Version” of Facebook’s Libra

TechCrunch

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced today that it will launch an open blockchain project called Venus to develop regional stablecoins pegged to fiat currencies (or traditional currencies usually issued and backed by a government). Based in Malta, Binance launched its decentralized trading service, Binance Chain, earlier this year , and since then has issued stablecoins pegged to Bitcoin and the British pound.”

Systems

Rakuten’s Crypto Exchange Has Launched for Trading in 3 Cryptos

CoinDesk

“Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten has launched its own exchange for crypto spot trading. Announced Monday, Rakuten Wallet has gone live for trading in bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH) and bitcoin cash (BCH) against the Japanese yen via an Android mobile app. An iOS app is due to be released in the future, though no set timeline was provided. The firm said customer funds held by the subsidiary will be managed separately from its own, under the eye of its trust company, Rakuten Trust, and through savings accounts at Rakuten Bank.”

Tech

Barclays Opens Pingit Wearable Payments Store

NFC World

““Customers will be able to purchase Pingit’s newly released range of fashion and lifestyle accessories embedded with payment capabilities, from key fobs to wearable payment bands to The Loop — a holder to add a payment chip to an existing watch or fitness band,” the bank says.”

Tech

Wirecard Launches Unmanned Grab & Go Store

Cards International

“The concept offers customers a seamless purchasing experience through artificial intelligence (AI). Shoppers enter the unmanned Wirecard store via smartphone, pick products which are scanned automatically, and payment happens upon departure. Lines, checkouts and opening hours are eliminated and payment occurs in the background. Launched by Wirecard’s Innovation Labs, the Grab & Go Store combines computer vision, deep learning and logic. Both pre-registered and new shoppers can enter the store after being identified at the door.”

Uncategorized

Decrement Carbon: Stripe’s Negative Emissions Commitment

Stripe blog

“As part of Stripe’s environmental program , we fully offset our greenhouse gas emissions by purchasing verified carbon offsets. Starting this year, we’re going a step further. In addition to our offset program, we are committing to pay, at any available price, for the direct removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and its sequestration in secure, long-term storage. We’re announcing this commitment to solicit technology partners and to urge other companies to follow suit.”

Use

Websites Can Discriminate Against You Even If You Don’t Use Them, California Supreme Court Rules

Gizmodo

“Nearly four years ago, a lone bankruptcy lawyer sued Square, the payment processor run by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, challenging the app’s terms of use—despite never signing up. As of yesterday, the case will proceed, thanks to an opinion issued by the California Supreme Court that could have wide-reaching implications for online businesses. The first thing you need to know is that, for whatever reason, Square’s Prohibited Goods and Services policies include “bankruptcy attorneys or collection agencies,” which you’ll recall is plaintiff Robert White’s line of work.”

August 16, 2019

On The Web

Companies

Expanding Square’s Platform Beyond Payments

Square Corner Blog

“Over the past couple of years, we’ve released APIs and SDKs that focus on enabling developers to take payments in person , online , and in mobile apps . We’re now expanding our platform and shifting the focus from payments to orders. Orders are now a central component of our platform as they connect payments to items, price modifiers, customers, and more…This release is the first to open access for external developers to Square software products. Developers can send orders from their app to Square Order Manager, which turns Square points of sale and Square Dashboard into order fulfillment points that are already used daily by millions of merchants. “

Companies

Walmart’s Q2 E-commerce Growth Bolstered by Online Grocery, Prime Day Sales Bump | ZDNet

ZDNet

“Walmart’s e-commerce business continues to be a bright spot in the company’s sales growth, with online grocery contributing significantly to its gains in digital. Walmart also gave a nod to its “four-day July sales event” that countered Amazon Prime Day for giving its Q2 e-commerce sales a boost. Overall, the world’s largest retailer reported comparable sales growth of 2.8%, while online sales grew at a rate of 37%.”

Deals

Crypto Exchange Coinbase Acquires Xapo’s Institutional Custody Business

CoinDesk

“Coinbase said in an announcement on Thursday that the deal will help expand its custody business and will increase its assets under custody to be more than $7 billion. According to a Fortune report on Thursday, Coinbase acquired Xapo’s institutional business for $55 million after beating another strong contender, the investment giant Fidelity. Coinbase Custody’s CEO Sam McIngvale indicated in the report that the exchange could look into crypto lending business in the future. “Fundamentally, we have to help our investors earn a return on their assets. You can imagine lending out bitcoin and earning interest on that,” McIngvale was quoted as saying.”

Domains

Ripple Grants 1 Billion XRP to Content Platform Coil to Boost Adoption of the Token

The Block

“Ripple’s investment subsidiary Xpring has granted 1 billion XRP to Coil, a micropayments platform for content creators, aiming to drive adoption of the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. The grant, worth roughly $262 million at today’s price, will be used to improve Coil’s business model by making it easier to monetize content using Ripple’s Interledger Protocol that enables streaming micropayments, Coil announced Thursday.”

Domains

The Money-Transfer Newbies Nip at the Incumbents’ Heels

Digital Transactions

“Relative newcomers to the world of money transfers such as Remitly Inc., TransferWise Ltd., and WorldRemit Ltd., which specialize in end-to-end digital transactions, are nibbling away at the market share of agent-based leaders The Western Union Co. and MoneyGram International Inc., says a new report from research firm Aite Group LLC.  Overall, the global money-transfer market, which is largely being driven by cross-border payments, was valued at $689.4 billion in 2018, according to figures from the Washington D.C.-based World Bank cited in the report. Boston-based Aite estimates cross-border remittances will grow to $739.2 billion by 2020.”

Tech

Brazilian Retailer Plans Checkout-Free Stores – Retail TouchPoints

Retail Touch Points

Lojas Americanas S.A. will deploy checkout-free technology from Zippin in stores throughout the country. The Brazilian retailer will use the technology in its Ame Go convenience store locations. Customers gain entry by scanning the company’s Ame Digital app. The stores will range from 250 to 3,000 square feet in size and will be located in high-traffic urban areas. Additionally, Zippin is in the process of creating an automated Ame Box checkout-free store-within-a-store concept.”

Use

You Can Now Give Money To Homeless People Using Contactless In The City

Londonist

“Marianne Fredericks, Chairman of City of London Corporation’s Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Sub-Committee said, “In a culture where people are increasingly using their debit and credit cards and carrying very little cash, this is an effective and efficient way to help the most vulnerable in our society. Working with our partners we are supporting rough sleepers to make real life-changes, leading to training, jobs and long-term accommodation and helping them get off the streets for good.”

On The Wires

Use

Discover and Verve Mark Launch of Verve Global Card With First Transaction Event

“Verve, a leading payments technology company and Interswitch’s card scheme in Africa, and Discover Global Network, the payments brand of Discover, held an event to launch the Verve Global Card. Cardholders will now have the ability to use their Verve Global Cards on the Discover Global Network which provides acceptance at millions of merchants globally. This will expand Verve’s existing suite of tailored payment products and solutions for its customers.”

August 15, 2019

On The Web

Domains

TransferWise’s Debit Card Launches in Australia and New Zealand, With Singapore to Follow

TechCrunch

“International money transfer startup TransferWise ’s debit card is now available in Australia and New Zealand, with a Singapore launch expected by the end of this year as the company expands its presence in the Asia-Pacific region. TransferWise’s debit card, which features low, transparent fees and exchange rates, first launched in the United Kingdom and Europe last year before arriving in the United States in June . Since its launch, the company claims the debit card has been used for 15 million transactions.”

Domains

EMVCo to Support Eight-digit Issuer Identification Numbers From 2021

NFC World

“EMVCo is to add support for eight-digit Issuer Identification Numbers (IINs) in 2021, with the result that “point of sale terminals may need to be updated to ensure they recognise and have the ability to process both existing and longer IINs, or transactions may be terminated or processed incorrectly”.”

Providers

N26 Sets Sights on Future IPO

FinTech Futures

“Co-founder and chief executive, Valentin Stalf, has told the Financial Times that the fintech – which has amassed 3.5 million clients since its 2015 launch – plans to eventually apply for an IPO, as part of its aim of building a global brand. “We want to provide the app that you turn to every day to deal with your financial issues,” he says. “Our goal is ultimately to do for finance what Spotify did for music and Uber did for mobility.””

Regulation

WhatsApp Compliance Under India Review Before Payments Approval

Bloomberg

“India is reviewing an audit report on data practices of WhatsApp Inc. to ensure compliance with local rules before permitting a nationwide debut of the Facebook Inc. -owned company’s long-delayed payments service.  “We have received the data localization compliance system audit report from WhatsApp, which shall be reviewed in the next few weeks,” a Mumbai-based representative for National Payments Corp. of India said without providing any further details.”

Reports

Small Purchases Survey: Cash, Debit Reign Over Credit

CreditCards.com

“Consumers prefer to use cash for purchases of less than $10, despite other more convenient options, according to a new CreditCards.com poll. In fact, 49 percent of U.S. adults usually pay with cash, 35 percent with debit cards and 16 percent with credit cards. And the same pattern held with only those who owned rewards credit cards: 43 percent said they preferred cash, 31 percent debit and 26 percent credit.”

Risk & Fraud

Meet Bluetana, the Scourge of Pump Skimmers — Krebs on Security

Krebs on Security

““Bluetana,” a new mobile app that looks for Bluetooth-based payment card skimmers hidden inside gas pumps, is helping police and state employees more rapidly and accurately locate compromised fuel stations across the nation, a study released this week suggests. Data collected in the course of the investigation also reveals some fascinating details that may help explain why these pump skimmers are so lucrative and ubiquitous.”

Use

MTA Reports ‘much Higher’ Than Expected Omny Contactless Transit Payments Adoption in New York

NFC World

““Within the first three days, subways and bus customers used Omny more than 18,000 times, far exceeding original estimates of 7,000 taps in the first week,” the MTA says. “Nearly three months later, average usage rates are three to four times greater than expected, topping 22,000 per weekday and leading to the million-tap milestone just 69 days after the public launch. “Also unexpected was the surprisingly high number of Omny customers using smartphones for payment, with 80% using through digital wallets compared with 20% using Omny through contactless cards.””

On The Wires

Deals

Global Fintech Fundraising Fell in First Half of 2019, With Decline in China Offsetting Gains in the US and Europe, Accenture Analysis Finds

“Global investment in financial technology (fintech) ventures fell sharply in the first half of 2019, as fundraising and deal activity in China that had soared a year earlier ground to a halt, partially offsetting strong gains in the U.S., U.K. and several other European countries, according to Accenture (NYSE: ACN) analysis of data from CB Insights, a global venture-finance data and analytics firm.”

Tech

US Payments Forum Market Snapshot: Updates on EMV Certification Timelines, Chip at the Pump, Contactless Transition and Current Forum Priorities

U.S. Payments Forum

“Contact EMV chip technology is now well-established in the U.S. – 63% of in-store payment terminals are chip-enabled, and 68% of total transactions today are chip-on-chip. As a result, key aspects of implementation such as testing and certification processes for in-store terminals have stabilized. While merchants are continuing to upgrade existing terminals and/or obtain recertifications, timelines have normalized and those in need of testing better understand how to build the process into their implementation plans.”

Use

The Price of Progress: Small and Independent Online Retailers Look to Overcome Barriers to Realize Innovation Ambitions

“New research launched today by global payments provider Klarna reveals that online SME retailers in the US might be small in size but are increasingly open to new technologies and innovation to help drive growth over the next year. The research – conducted across 100 US SME decision makers at online retailers in 2019 – shows the US’s SMEs understand the need to embrace flexibility and innovation. Over the next 12 months they plan to prioritize investing in flexible payment options (47%) and e-commerce capabilities (45%) to meet consumer demand for a frictionless shopping experience.”

August 14, 2019

TOP POST

On The Web

Deals

Hardware Startup Mason Looks To Build Custom Hardware (Tablets) for Merchants

Forbes

“Start a company today, and there’s a playbook to follow. Need in-app messaging and phone calls? Plug in Twilio. Looking for the cheapest way to host your data and website? Go to Amazon Web Services or one of its rivals. But build something that runs on hardware, and you won’t find a one-stop shop — at least yet.  Mason CEO Jim Xiao thinks he can fill that gap. By offering custom hardware, his three-year-old startup looks to make it easy for businesses to customize different devices like tablets, saving them money and time. And for now, investors are excited about the chances of Mason helping power the next Square or Peloton.”

Domains

After a Quarter Century, E-Commerce Heads Into New Territory

Digital Transactions

“Hard to believe, but e-commerce is a quarter-century old. Along the way, e-commerce radically changed retailing and payments, and now it’s heading into a future with more growth certain but where payments are more in the background. Visa Inc. this week reported in a blog post that the first e-commerce payment was made on Aug. 11, 1994, on its network. The transaction was a purchase of Sting’s “Ten Summoner’s Tales” album, a spokesperson for Visa says by email. The amount of the purchase was not available.”

Security

China’s Mobile Payments Are Raising Privacy Concerns in Shenzhen

Abacus

““There were no paper menus only a QR code that can be scanned on the table,” said Wang, a 28-year-old engineer in China’s tech hub of Shenzhen. “I had to agree with a request to collect my WeChat name, portrait and region and could not see the menu, make an order or pay my bill if I refused.””

On The Wires

Global

REPAY and Visa Canada Announce Partnership to Expand Online Payment Acceptance in Canada

yahoo

“Together, the companies are making it easier for Canadian lenders and finance companies to accept debit cards as a form of repayment in a card-not-present environment. Visa has made debit card payments a viable alternative to cheques and ACH. Paying off debt with a Visa debit card has major advantages for both the consumer and for the lender – for consumers, debit card payments offer zero liability*, making them a safe and secure payment method.”

August 13, 2019

On The Web

Deals

Facebook, Sequoia Bet on Indian Startup in $125 Million Funding Round

Bloomberg

“Facebook Inc. is participating in a $125 million fundraising for an Indian startup that is aiming to bring more commerce to social networks like, well, Facebook.    Meesho, based in Bangalore, is what’s known in the tech industry as a social commerce startup, allowing people to build connections online and then sell through services such as Facebook and its WhatsApp and Instagram services. The funding round was led by South Africa’s Naspers Ltd. and also included Sequoia, Shunwei Capital, Venture Highway and Arun Sarin, the former chief executive officer of Vodafone Group Plc.”

Deals

China-based Mobile Payment Firm QFPay Closes USD 20 Million Funding Round – KrASIA

KrAsia

“Chinese digital payment firm QFPay, one of WeChat Pay and Alipay’s largest global partners, has closed its latest funding round raising USD 20 million from investors including Sequoia Capital China and Matrix Partners China, MDI Ventures, Rakuten Capital and VentureSouq. Sequoia Capital China and Matrix Partners China are returning investors that have participated in the early funding rounds.”

Use

New York Tries to Bring the Subway Fare Into the 21st Century

Bloomberg

“Modeled on payment technology used in London and Chicago, the $540 million OMNY system allows New York commuters to scan credit or debit cards (as well as smartphones and smartwatches) instead of using the ubiquitous yellow card. The frustration of swiping and reswiping as your train leaves the station will be a thing of the past. Or at least that’s the hope.”

On The Wires

Tech

Digital River Unbundles Its Commerce Stack, Breaking Open an Unparalleled Suite of Possibilities for Merchants and Shoppers Alike

Digital River , the most experienced global ecommerce enabler for established and fast-growing brands, announced today that it has transitioned to a “headless” approach , building out its suite of APIs and microservices. This move enables brands to combine best-of-breed solutions from multiple providers to create a flexible ecommerce offering designed to meet increasingly complex shopper demands globally.”

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