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March 18, 2019

TOP POST

Companies

FIS Is Buying Worldpay for $43 Billion to Form Payments Giant

CNN

“The new entity, which will have annual revenue of more than $12 billion, will be better placed to serve the world’s growing e-commerce industry, the two US companies said in a statement Monday. FIS is offering Worldpay shareholders a mix of cash and stock to make the deal happen. It will assume Worldpay’s debt as part of the agreement that values the company at $43 billion. FIS shareholders will end up holding 53% of the merged company, while Worldpay shareholders will own the remaining 47%. The deal is expected to close later this year. “Scale matters in our rapidly changing industry,” FIS CEO Gary Norcross said in the statement. “Our two powerhouse organizations will combine forces to offer a customer-driven combination of scale, global presence and the industry’s broadest range of global financial solutions.””

On The Web

Companies

Facebook in Talks With Banks About Mobile Payments in Africa

Business LIve

“Facebook is in talks with financial institutions about possible mobile-payment collaborations in Africa, says Carolyn Everson, a vice-president at the social networking group. In 2018, Absa partnered with Facebook’s popular WhatsApp messaging platform to launch the world’s first chat-banking service. The platform lets customers make peer-to-peer payments or pay utility bills, among other features. “It’s gone really well with customers,” Jason Quinn, Absa’s group financial director, told Business Day on Monday. Everson said Facebook would consider other similar products following this “break-through case study”.”

Domains

IBM Launches A Blockchain-Based Global Payments Network Using Stellar’s Cryptocurrency

Forbes

IBM Blockchain World Wire will help financial institutions improve the services they deliver to their consumers by optimizing and accelerating foreign exchange, cross border payments and remittances. Using the Stellar protocol, World Wire serves as a network provider for international payments, enabling point-to-point money transfers in lieu of the complexities of conventional correspondent banking. While IBM announced an initial pilot of World Wire in October 2017, today the network is officially accessible in a growing number of markets.”

Global

You Will Soon Be Able to Pay Your Subway Fare With Your Face in China

South China Morning Post

“In Shenzhen, the local subway operator is testing various advanced technologies backed by the ultra-fast 5G network, including facial-recognition ticketing. At the Futian station, instead of presenting a ticket or scanning a QR bar code on their smartphones, commuters can scan their faces on a tablet-sized screen mounted on the entrance gate and have the fare automatically deducted from their linked accounts. Currently in a trial mode, the facial-recognition ticketing service could in future help improve the efficiency of handling the up to 5 million rides per day on the city’s subway network. Shenzhen Metro did not elaborate when it will roll out the facial payment service.”

Reports

Bountiful Stolen Personal Data Fuels Unrelenting Online Fraud Attacks, Forter Says

Digital Transactions

“In a time when criminal access to consumer data has never been more common, merchants continue to experience pervasive and persistent fraud attempts. That’s the key takeaway from the 2019 sixth annual Fraud Attack Index from Forter Inc. released Thursday. How bad is the problem? Fraud grew in 2018 in every online merchant segment tracked by New York City-based Forter. Fraud attacks increased 79% for food-and-beverage merchants, followed by electronics at 73%; digital goods, 66%; apparel and accessories, 47%; and at 19% each for jewelry and luxury, and travel.”

Risk & Fraud

How Hackers Pulled Off a $20 Million Bank Heist

Ars Technica

“Thanks to security holes in the targeted bank systems, attackers could have accessed internal servers from the public Internet, or launched phishing attacks to compromise executives—or even regular employees—to gain a foothold. Many networks didn’t have strong access controls, so hackers could get a lot of mileage out of compromised employee credentials. The networks also weren’t well segmented, meaning intruders could use that initial access to penetrate deep into banks’s connections to SPEI, and eventually SPEI’s transaction servers, or even its underlying code base.”

Security

Why Phone Numbers Stink As Identity Proof — Krebs on Security

Krebs on Security

“Phone numbers stink for security and authentication. They stink because most of us have so much invested in these digits that they’ve become de facto identities. At the same time, when you lose control over a phone number — maybe it’s hijacked by fraudsters, you got separated or divorced, or you were way late on your phone bill payments — whoever inherits that number can then be you in a lot of places online.”

Systems

Nala Has Built a Hassle-free, Offline Mobile Money Payment Platform for Africa

TechCrunch

“In Tanzania, making one send money payment requires a user to enter somewhere between 39-46 digits, a hard enough task for anyone, let alone someone who may be newly adjusting to mobile phone service. Using Nala, users can make payments to anyone on any device, and it only requires a one-time download to start transacting, according to the company. Think of Nala has taken all of the short codes from all of the transaction providers and created a router system that users can operate without having to memorize the different underlying coding. Currently live in Tanzania, with over 100,000 users, Fernandes says that his company has plans to expand to at least two other African countries over the course of 2019.”

Systems

Banking Startup Launching Visa Card That Lets You Spend 7 Cryptos

CoinDesk

“Banking startup 2gether is launching a prepaid Visa debit card that allows users to spend cryptocurrencies. In an announcement, 2gether said customers will be able to use the card to pay with either euros or any of the following seven cryptocurrencies: bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), XRP, bitcoin cash (BCH), EOS, Stellar (XLM) and litecoin (LTC). The card “instantly” converts the cryptos to fiat currency and, it said, and can be used fee-free by customers in any of the 19 eurozone nations.”

Systems

Japan Launches Cashless Week Campaign for Golden Week Holiday

Fintech Magazine

“Japan will run a campaign across the 10 days called The Cashless Week, run jointly by the industry ministry and the Payments Japan Association, which consists of companies and municipalities. The initiative, announced on Wednesday 13 March by the industry ministry, will involve businesses offering reward points and coupons to those who choose cashless payment methods such as cards or payment apps.”

Tech

Contactless Card Use Surges As Doubts Ease

BBC News

“Two in five card payments are made using contactless technology as consumers appear to have cast aside any doubts of paying without a Pin. The number of transactions using contactless rose 31% in 2018 compared with the previous year, banking trade body UK Finance data shows. Adoption of this technology on public transport and by more retailers has led, in part, to the rise. The contactless payment limit, before entering a four-digit Pin, is £30.”

Uncategorized

Singtel’s Cross-border Payments System Expands to Japan | ZDNet

ZDNet

“Singapore’s largest telecommunications carrier Singtel has expanded its Via cross-border payments alliance to Japan. Via, the first cross-border mobile payment alliance in Asia in partnership with AIS, Thai digital bank Kasikornbank, and Boost Malaysia, is now also partnering with Tokyo-based mobile payment technology company Netstars and its 100,000 stores across Japan. The alliance allows customers of those companies to “pay instantly in their local currency, transact conveniently and securely, and enjoy competitive foreign exchange rates in Japan, and across the networks of all wallet members in Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia”.”

On The Wires

Domains

ACI Worldwide Brings Text-to-Pay to Billers by Joining Forces With Solutions by Text

ACI Worldwide (NASDAQ: ACIW), a leading global provider of real-time electronic payment and banking solutions, today announced an alliance with Dallas-based Solutions by Text to provide organizations the ability to receive payments via SMS. Integrating Solutions by Text’s software with ACI’s UP Bill Payments will provide customers with simple pay-by-text options, increasing on-time payments and reducing collection costs. Organizations that are currently utilizing ACI’s current version of UP Bill Payments will benefit from this integration.”

March 15, 2019

TOP POST

Global

WhatsApp Payments May Be Expanding to Mexico, Brazil, UK Next

NDTV Gadgets 360

“WhatsApp Payments will reportedly be coming next to Mexico, Brazil, and UK. The service was originally introduced in India last year in beta but is yet to roll out to all users in the country because of regulatory hurdles. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had indicated at expansion of WhatsApp Payments to more markets during the company’s fourth quarter earnings call. He, however, did not share any specifics about which countries will be getting the feature next.”

On The Web

Security

Carrefour Romania Offers Biometric Payments on Top of “single Digital Portal”

InternetRetailing

“Carrefour is testing biometric payments in Romania as part of an ongoing digital transformation project.   The chain will allow customers to pay through facial recognition at conventional and self-service check-outs at its Skanska supermarket in Bucharest. The company did not specify how customers create the digital profile that they can use at the checkout.   Carrefour also said it would “strengthen” its collaboration with Google to find new areas of cooperation on online commerce, although it did not give details. The collaboration has previously led to the introduction of training hours for employees to share digital knowledge.”

Tech

A Blockchain to Connect All Blockchains, Cosmos Is Officially Live

CoinDesk

“Cosmos, a highly anticipated blockchain itself designed to improve the interoperability between any number of other blockchains, has officially released a live software. With the mining of its first block at 23:00 UTC, the project has launched Cosmos Hub, the first in a series of proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchains that will be created in the Cosmos ecosystem. At present, users of the network will not be able to swap tokens between blockchains or otherwise connect to Cosmos Hub with existing blockchain networks until validators officially vote to activate what is called the Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) protocol.”

On The Wires

Uncategorized

Chipotle Teams With Venmo to Launch Mobile Rewards Program

“Chipotle is one of the most mentioned brands on Venmo, a leading payment app for splitting and sharing payments with Venmo friends in the app’s social feed. For a chance to receive anywhere between $1 and $500, consumers submit the phone number associated with their Venmo account at CHIPOTLEREWARDME.COM. Within 24 hours, recipients of the payouts will be alerted of the payment in the Venmo app with a payment note from Chipotle along with a custom Chipotle pepper emoji, which is the first of its kind in the restaurant industry on the platform.”

March 14, 2019

TOP POST

Providers

Challenging the Challenger Banks

Glenbrook Partners

“Fintech start-ups have begun a phenomenon some call the “unbundling of financial services” through stand-alone products such as unsecured consumer loans, credit cards, checking and savings accounts, or personal financial management tools. A cohort of entities known as “challenger banks” or “neo-banks” have also entered the market in an attempt to take on digital banking itself with user-friendly product bundles that include checking, savings, debit, and money management tools.”

On The Web

Companies

Op-Ed | EBay Is the Un-Amazon, for Better and Worse

The Business of Fashion

“How can a company be both the second-place player in its fast-growing industry – and largely excluded from the conversation about the future of said industry? That’s the weird position occupied by EBay Inc. The company grabs a larger share of the U.S. e-commerce market than Walmart Inc., Apple Inc., and every other retailer besides Amazon.com Inc. The $95 billion of goods and tickets sold on EBay’s sites last year was more than Target Corp.’s annual revenue. EBay has 179 million active shoppers, while Nordstrom Inc. served 35 million shoppers in fiscal 2018.”

Deals

Money Keeps Flowing to Fintechs

American Banker

“Fintech funding reached a record high of $11.9 billion in 2018, and startups have continued to attract millions in investments from venture capital firms, private-equity players and banks this year. The online challenger bank Chime announced a $200 million funding round at the beginning of March, the largest ever for a savings and lending fintech. In the U.K., startups received financial support from big investors, including one that is backed by HSBC and Goldman Sachs.”

Opinion

B2B Payments: What Magic Will It Take to Make Paper Disappear? by Sri Kothur

FIS Payments Leader blog

“Although paper check payments are declining, they still account for nearly half of B2B transaction volume overall. Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are the heaviest users despite inefficiencies associated with handling paper, including tendencies to misplace checks. The independent store owner, for example, often writes a check collected by a delivery person to take to the supplier where it makes its way to the back office – encountering multiple points of manual handling and potential misplacement along its route.”

Providers

JPMorgan’s Chase to Open up to 90 Branches in New U.S. Markets

Reuters

“JPMorgan Chase & Co’s consumer banking unit said on Wednesday it will open up to 90 branches in new U.S. markets, in the face of intensifying competition for loans and deposits among the country’s three biggest banks. JPMorgan, Bank of America Corp, and Wells Fargo & Co are nip and tuck in deposits. Bank of America, in early 2018, had decided to open more than 500 new branches across the United States by 2021.”

Regulation

Can Square Succeed Where Walmart Fell Short? Bankers Are Set on Ensuring It Doesn’t

Digital Transactions

“Square in December renewed its application with the Utah Department of Financial Institutions for an industrial-bank charter. It had originally filed in September 2017, only to withdraw the application 10 months later. The San Francisco-based company also has an application pending with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Still, it has been circumspect about its banking plans in recent months. In answer to an analyst’s query about the matter during an earnings call last month, Square chief executive Jack Dorsey would say only that “we look forward to more direct relationships with regulators.” Square, which offers products like Square Capital that provide financing to small-business clients of its payments services, sees the bank as a means by which it can expand those offerings. But the ICBA has more than Square’s application in its sights. Its release this week also names similar applications from Social Finance Inc., a personal-finance company, and Nelnet Inc., a student-loan administrator.”

Reports

The Global State of Online Digital Trust

CA Technologies

“It is crucial for business leaders to understand public sentiment concerning sharing their information online, as it has tangible consequences for their bottom line. And the consensus among consumers is clear: in a survey conducted by Frost & Sullivan and CA Technologies, 78% of consumers responded that it is very important or crucial that their PII be protected online. Virtually no respondents indicate that protecting PII is not important. Furthermore, 86% indicate that a high level of data protection is a priority when choosing online services.”

Systems

Sweden: How Cash Became More Trouble Than It’s Worth

The Guardian

“The ATM nearest my house recently shut down: Bankomat, the cash machine company co-owned by the banks, has reduced the number of outlets by a fifth in four years. And as far as I know only one branch of Swedbank, my bank, in Malmö still handles cash. This is a growing problem even for the migrant resistance. Babak, my nearest bicycle repairman, recently started taking Swish after tiring of having to find creative ways get around the 10,000 kronor weekly limit on depositing cash into machines.”

Use

KBC App Enables Customers to Link Number Plates for Easy Parking Payment

NFC World

“Users can now link their vehicle’s number plate to their KBC Mobile banking app so payment is automatically taken when they use a Q-Park car park. A camera at the car park entrance reads the plate as the vehicle approaches and lifts the barrier. The plate is read again when the vehicle leaves and the current account linked to it is debited automatically with the correct fee.”

On The Wires

Domains

SpotOn and Poynt Partner to Debut All-in-One Payment and Marketing Solution For Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

“Poynt’s Smart Terminal is part of a connected commerce platform designed specifically for merchants. Combined with SpotOn’s fully integrated omnichannel platform, the technology will be part of a robust turnkey in-store commerce solution that allows merchants to easily manage their business analytics, appointment scheduling, web design, POS software, marketing initiatives, customer reviews and loyalty programs. SpotOn has already installed more than 3,500 devices in restaurants, retailers and salons nationwide.”

Reports

Visa Releases Global Study: The Future of Transportation: Mobility in the Age of the Megacity

“Building on Visa’s experience working with transit operators, automotive companies and technology start-ups, Visa commissioned a global study, “The Future of Transportation: Mobility in the Age of the Megacity” to better understand the challenges commuters face today and in the future. The key findings were combined with a view of existing and near horizon innovations provided by experts at Stanford University, to better understand the technology gaps in addressing their painpoints.”

Reports

The Next GDPR? Iovation and Aite Group Analyze Impact of New Directive to Increase Payment Security and Services

“The report concludes the stricter requirements for fraud prevention in the EU will drive fraud to other regions such as the U.S. It also finds that most companies are unprepared for PSD2. In fact, a recent study by Mastercard found that only 25 percent of European online merchants are aware of SCA requirements under PSD2, 14 percent already support SCA, 28 percent mentioned they will be SCA ready by September 2019 and 24 percent have no plans to support SCA. Since companies providing payment services in the EEA are subject to the regulation, even businesses with headquarters outside Europe might need to comply.”

Reports

Get More From Real-Time Payments

ACI Worldwide

“Real-time payments, when combined with open banking, are also being used to promote financial inclusion and instill efficiency in payment systems in developing economies. Early electronic payment adopters are using real-time to spur competition. Developed economies like Denmark and Sweden are leading the world in per capita usage of real-time payments as cash usage dwindles. While the drivers in specific markets depend upon local circumstances, it is becoming clear that real-time payments are becoming the new normal.”

Security

Fintech and Blockchain Pioneers Team Up to Bring DLT Security to Voice Banking

“When ConnectFSS began implementing the FIVE Voice Banking Platform for clients, president Grant Parry saw an opportunity to combine FIVE with work being done on CULedger’s MyCUID digital credential solution. Now, the consortium is working on a new way for members to authenticate during their voice banking transactions, utilizing the security benefits offered by MyCUID’s DLT-based self-sovereign identity platform.”

Uncategorized

Fintech and Blockchain Pioneers Team Up to Bring DLT Security to Voice Banking

“When ConnectFSS began implementing the FIVE Voice Banking Platform for clients, president Grant Parry saw an opportunity to combine FIVE with work being done on CULedger’s MyCUID digital credential solution. Now, the consortium is working on a new way for members to authenticate during their voice banking transactions, utilizing the security benefits offered by MyCUID’s DLT-based self-sovereign identity platform.”

March 13, 2019

On The Web

Deals

Safaricom, Alibaba Unit Agree Mobile-Payments Partnership

Bloomberg

Safaricom Plc, Kenya’s biggest mobile operator, agreed a partnership with a unit of Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. that will facilitate electronic payments.

The deal extends Safaricom customers’ ability to use its mobile-money service, known as M-Pesa, outside Kenya as the company looks to establish the system as a global platform. The firm has existing agreements with payments companies Western Union Co. and Paypal Holdings Inc.”

Regulation

Open Banking One Year On

FinTech Futures

“The Open Banking initiative was driven by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority to drive improved financial services, to give customers more choice between financial service providers, and to allow consumers to access cheaper financial products. Meeting these goals depends on consumers granting access to their financial data to FCA-authorised and regulated financial service providers.”

Systems

Jack Henry & Associates Unveils Faster Payments Hub

Electronic Payments International

“Dubbed JHA PayCenter, the new payment hub will offer the vendor’s core clients access to faster payment networks such as Zelle and the RTP network. The process is said to be a low cost one. Through the hub, financial providers can centralise the manner in which real-time payments are sent and received, Jack Henry said. According to the vendor, the hub’s open infrastructure has been designed to facilitate product development. The new payments hub will have a phased roll-out this year.”

Systems

Fed Delay Causes NACHA To Postpone a Third Processing Window for ACH Transactions for Six Months

Digital Transactions

“The reason for the delay lies with the Federal Reserve, operator of one of the nation’s two ACH switches; bank-owned The Clearing House Payments Co. LLC  operates the other. The original live date depended on NACHA receiving okays from the Fed’s Board of Governors by June 30 of this year. NACHA chief operating officer Jane Larimer tells Digital Transactions News that the Fed has informed NACHA that it will be unable to provide needed approvals for changes in its ACH services by June 30. “They’re not going to be able to meet our timeframe,” she says.”

Tech

A Big Bet on Blockchain and Gaming: Ripple and Forte Announce $100 Million Fund

Fortune

“The cryptocurrency company Ripple on Tuesday announced an ambitious project to integrate blockchain technology into video games. The plan, which features a $100 million fund for developers, could remake the gaming industry by creating a new way to create in-game marketplaces for digital goods. The fund will be overseen by Forte, a San Francisco company founded this year by prominent gaming executives, and which is backed and advised by a host of big Silicon Valley names, including Andreesen Horowitz, Coinbase Ventures and Battery Ventures.”

On The Wires

Deals

Bluefin and Cardknox Partner to Provide Secure, PCI-Validated Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE) Through the Cardknox Payment Gateway

“Bluefin, the leading provider of payment security technologies and PCI-validated point-to-point encryption (P2PE) solutions for retail, hospitality, healthcare, and higher education today announced its partnership with Cardknox. Through this partnership, users of the Cardknox omni-channel payment gateway will benefit from Bluefin’s PCI-validated P2PE solution.”

March 12, 2019

TOP POST

Deals

Mastercard Acquires Ethoca to Reduce Digital Commerce Fraud

businesswire

“The Ethoca suite of products adds to Mastercard’s commitment to drive greater protection in the digital space, integrating with its robust suite of fraud management and security products. Today, the Ethoca network brings together more than 5,000 merchants and 4,000 financial institutions around the world. When a fraudulent transaction is identified, near real-time information is sent to the merchant so they can confirm the transaction, stop delivery or reverse the transaction to avoid the chargeback process. As a result, both merchants and card issuers benefit from lower operational costs by reducing fraud at the source.”

On The Web

Companies

PayPal Now Lets US Users Instantly Transfer Funds to Bank Accounts in Seconds

TechCrunch

PayPal  is launching Instant Transfer to bank, which will let those receiving money via PayPal instantly move that into their bank accounts to access as cash or however else they would like to use it.

The service is now being rolled out to consumers in the US, and will be extended to businesses in the country in coming weeks. Bill Ready, PayPal’s president, said in an interview that the company is working on how to extend it to other countries (where banks and others are getting their ducks in a line to compete with it).”

Deals

PayPal to Invest $750M, and Dragoneer $100M Into MercadoLibre, Argentina’s E-commerce Powerhouse

TechCrunch

“It’s not only SoftBank that’s eyeing up the opportunity to tap into the quickly expanding market for e-commerce in Latin America. MercadoLibre, a marketplace and financial services powerhouse based out of Argentina and serving 18 countries across the region, has announced that PayPal is investing $750 million, and VC Dragoneer another $100 million, as part of a $1.8 billion equity offering to grow its business — specifically to expand the functionality of its e-commerce platform; improve its logistics infrastructure; and invest in financial technologies “that further solidify the company’s position as a powerful provider of inclusive end-to-end financial technology and payments solutions.””

Providers

Goalsetter Gives Parents a Way to Teach Their Kids How to Save Money

TechCrunch

“Kids and parents together sign up for the app, where kids input some of their goals, from college tuition to a new bike or gaming console. Kids can then earn their allowance through the app, and can also receive ‘GoalCards’ (replacing a gift card) from parents and relatives to save towards their goals. Moreover, parents can round-up their debit card swipes to go towards their kids bigger goals, such as college tuition or a first car. Parents can also set up auto-save to set aside a few dollars each month.”

Regulation

Companies Weigh Data-Privacy Risks Ahead of Brexit

Wall Street Journal (paywall)

“The prospect of a no-deal Brexit is creating new risks for companies that are required to comply with European data-protection rules. If the U.K. separates from the European Union on March 29 without a withdrawal agreement, data transfers from the bloc to the U.K. won’t automatically comply with the EU’s strict privacy laws.

That leaves executives with a choice: make last-minute changes to legal contracts or risk incurring steep fines.

Tech

NatWest Bank to Trial Contactless Biometric Card

NFC World

NatWest Bank is to run a trial of fingerprint-on-card authentication allowing a cardholder to make contactless payments above the current level of £30. This increases security and makes it easier for customers when paying for goods or services since they will not need to enter a PIN, according to the UK bank. Some 200 customers are to take part in the upcoming test, which is being run in association with Visa, Mastercard and digital security company Gemalto.”

On The Wires

Deals

InComm Expands Into Lottery Industry With Linq3 Technologies Acquisition

Atlanta-based Linq3 was founded in 2007 with the vision to transform the lottery industry with smart systems integrations, intuitive technologies, and innovative consumer products. The company has since launched several revolutionary lottery products that leverage consumer interaction at retailers’ point of sales systems.”

Reports

Wirecard-commissioned Study Finds US Businesses Want a Single Digital Platform, Global Expertise, and Streamlined Operations for E-Commerce Success

prnewswire

“A new study commissioned by Wirecard and conducted by Forrester Consulting[1] has identified the greatest opportunities and challenges for small and midsize businesses in the United States, and concluded that digital payment providers with global capabilities may offer the most optimal strategies for merchants’ e-commerce success. E-commerce sales worldwide topped $1.9 trillion in 2016 and are set to reach more than $4 trillion by 2020, representing about 15 percent of global retail spend.”

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