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July 31, 2020

TOP POST

Systems

Pandemic Gives U.S. Faster Payments Council Role of Easing Digital Transitions

PaymentsSource

“Whether deserved or not, the payments industry has had a hard time shaking its decades-long stigma that any type of forward step will be long and drawn out. But contrary to that trend, the U.S. Faster Payments Council — created through a recommendation from the Faster Payments Task Force — has proved to be effective in its mission of promoting faster payments and pushing the industry through potential roadblocks with information and data for merchants, corporations and banks to better understand how systems work and what they offer.”

On The Web

Domains

Why Changing Unemployment Payments Could Take Months

The New York Times

“There are 53 different unemployment systems across the United States and its territories, all of them inundated with record numbers of unemployment claims , and they all have different ways of calculating and handing out benefits. As of now, they all dispense their normal unemployment checks, which vary based on the state and how much a worker was earning over a certain period before losing his or her job. For the last several months, states have been adding $600 per week from the federal government on top of those benefits because of the coronavirus pandemic.”

On The Wires

Domains

RealPage Launches Online Vendor Payments Powered by AvidXchange

RealPage, Inc. , a leading global provider of software and data analytics to the real estate industry, today announced the general availability of Online Vendor Payments automating the entire vendor payment process from procurement to purchase order, invoice processing and payment. RealPage Online Vendor Payments incorporates the AvidXchange™ network of over 680,000 suppliers processing $140 billion in vendor transactions in 2019 and integrates with RealPage Accounting and Spend Management, allowing users to track and manage expenses from a single platform.”

Global

Airtel Africa partners with Mukuru to facilitate cross-border money transfers within Africa

“Airtel Africa plc [Airtel Africa], a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services in 14 countries across sub-Saharan Africa and Mukuru, one of Africa’s largest remittance organisations, announced a partnership which will enable Mukuru customers to instantly send cross-border transfers directly to Airtel Money customer wallets in 12 African countries.”

Providers

Varo Bank Is Here — America’s First Digital Consumer Bank

“On February 10th, 2020, I posted an article announcing Varo’s FDIC approval. It was a historic moment for the banking industry at the time. Today, I announce the official opening of Varo Bank. In the few months between these posts, a series of crises have challenged the very foundation of our society — Covid-19, soaring unemployment, and widespread calls for social justice — making a new national bank, committed to improving financial health and inclusion, more culturally relevant than ever before.”

Reports

P20 Publishes 20 Actionable Best Practice Steps for Payments Industry in ‘Payments in a Post-COVID-19 World’

“P20, the voice of the global payments industry, today announces publication of its latest report, Payments in a Post-Covid-19 World. P20 Board Members featured in the report include Steve Ledford, SVP Product and Strategy at The Clearing House; Sara Castelhano, Managing Director and EMEA Head of Payments and Digital Product at J.P. Morgan; Jim Johnson, EVP and Head of Merchant Solutions for FIS; and Philip McHugh, CEO of Paysafe.”

July 30, 2020

TOP POST

Providers

Affirm Prepares IPO That Could Value Fintech Firm at Up to $10 Billion

Wall Street Journal (paywall)

“Affirm Inc. is laying the groundwork for an initial public offering that could value the financial-technology startup at as much as $10 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. The point-of-sale lender is working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on a potential listing, the people said. The preparations are at an early stage and the company may not move forward with one. Affirm could also sell itself, potentially to a so-called blank-check company, they said.”

On The Web

Companies

India Found Cybersecurity Lapses at National Payments Corp in 2019

Reuters

“A government audit of India’s flagship payments processor last year found more than 40 security vulnerabilities including several it called “critical” and “high” risk, according to an internal government document seen by Reuters. The audit, which took place over four months to February 2019, highlighted a lack of encryption of personal data at the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) which forms the backbone of the country’s digital payments system and operates the RuPay card network championed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

Companies

PayPal Adds 21 Million New Active Accounts in Strong Second Quarter

ZDNet

“PayPal on Wednesday reported its strongest ever quarter driven by an uptick in new users and payments flowing through its platform. During the entire second quarter, PayPal said people were using its payments service at levels equal to the five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. The company said it added 21.3 million net new active accounts during the second quarter, bringing its total active accounts to 346 million. This is the largest quarterly increase in active accounts in the company’s history.”

Companies

PayPal and Venmo QR Code checkout is coming to 8,200 CVS stores in Q4

TechCrunch

PayPal has struck a deal with CVS Pharmacy to offer the ability to check out using PayPal’s payment services, including both PayPal and Venmo, at the register. The company announced this morning CVS will become the first nationwide retailer to allow customers to pay using either their PayPal or Venmo QR code at the register, without fees. The payment will pull from funds available in the customer’s existing account balance, bank account or from their debit or credit card, just as it would online. Venmo users will additionally have the option to pay with their Venmo Rewards.”

Deals

Candis Raises Nearly $14 Million to Automate Accounting Processes With AI

VentureBeat

Candis, a startup developing a platform for automated accounting and payment processes, this week closed a €12 million ($13.97 million) funding round. A spokesperson for the company said the money will be used to further develop Candis’ machine learning engine and fuel growth and expansion within Europe, specifically in the Netherlands.”

Global

Face Verification Technology to Allow SingPass Holders to Sign up for DBS Digital Banking Services Using a Selfie

CNA

“SingPass holders will be able to sign up for DBS’ digital banking services by taking a picture of themselves through the use of face verification technology, following a rise in digital banking amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The pilot programme aims to benefit more than 1 million DBS customers who are SingPass holders and do not use digital banking services, the bank and Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech) said in a news release on Wednesday (Jul 29).”

Standards

Is Your Chip Card Secure? Much Depends on Where You Bank

Krebs on Security

“Chip-based credit and debit cards are designed to make it infeasible for skimming devices or malware to clone your card when you pay for something by dipping the chip instead of swiping the stripe. But a recent series of malware attacks on U.S.-based merchants suggest thieves are exploiting weaknesses in how certain financial institutions have implemented the technology to sidestep key chip card security features and effectively create usable, counterfeit cards.”

On The Wires

Domains

Lightspeed Launches New Features to Drive Digital Transformation of Retail SMBs

“As SMBs navigate a new retail landscape permanently altered by COVID-19, technology adoption is pivotal to business success. Today, Lightspeed announces new features to help its customers with the continued digital transformation of their businesses. The new tools offer increased mobility when processing transactions, more options for viewing business insights, and will better support SMBs as they continue to adjust to consumer behaviour. In the coming weeks, Lightspeed will introduce business-empowering features for in-store POS and eCommerce, including Mobile Tap supporting curbside pick-up and contactless payment, Digital Wallet, and Analytics Core.”

Domains

MineralTree Caps Record Quarter

MineralTree, an Accounts Payable (AP) and payment automation solution provider, today announced record results for its second quarter, ending June 30, 2020. Second quarter sales in MineralTree’s direct channel were the highest in company history as middle-market businesses accelerated the move to automate and digitize their AP processes among work-from-home mandates and concerns over online fraud due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “

Standards

Leading Canadian Financial Services Firms Launch FDX Canada

“Financial Data Exchange, LLC (FDX) has officially launched in Canada, with 31 organizations leading the country’s financial services ecosystem in joining FDX and taking part in its mission to develop a secure, common, interoperable, flexible and royalty-free industry standard for financial data sharing. “The launch of FDX Canada proves the success of this industry-led initiative to bring leading organizations in the Canadian financial services ecosystem together around a common financial data sharing standard that will protect consumers and business and simplify their banking experiences” said Don Cardinal, Managing Director of Financial Data Exchange.”

Systems

Bank of England Selects Accenture to Renew Its Real-Time Gross Settlement Service

“Accenture has been selected to work with the Bank of England to renew the Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) service to support resilience and innovation in payments and settlements in the U.K.  In this role, Accenture will be the technology delivery partner for the RTGS Renewal Programme, working with the Bank of England to deliver this critical national payments infrastructure. The RTGS Renewal Programme includes building and integrating the new RTGS platform and improving data access and providing a service that will support the financial services sector and their customers in the years to come.”

July 29, 2020

On The Web

Deals

Remitly raises $85M at a $1.5B valuation, says money transfer business has surged

TechCrunch

“Remittances — when people send money internationally to family and friends, or as a payment — has long been one of the most important levers for getting funds to people in developing economies. However, the persistent spread of the coronavirus is having a tough impact on that, with the World Bank estimating that remittances to low and middle-income countries will fall 20% this year to $445 billion (down a record $554 billion in 2019). That’s due in part to the economic slowdown (and job and wage loss) in sending countries, and in part to a general shift away from using cash and spending time in shops to make physical transactions.”

Deals

Fintech Unicorn TransferWise Sees Valuation Climb to $5 Billion

CNBC

“Fintech start-up TransferWise is now valued at $5 billion following a secondary share sale, the company announced Wednesday, highlighting increased investor appetite for online payments amid the coronavirus pandemic. Founded in 2011, TransferWise has become a formidable competitor to the likes of Western Union and MoneyGram by lowering fees and adding a slick online platform to help consumers move money across borders. It now has a total of 8 million customers globally and processes £4 billion ($5.2 billion) in cross-border payments each month.”

Domains

Shopify’s Q2 Shines As Businesses Go Digital En Mass Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

ZDNet

“Shopify’s second quarter results benefited from a surge in small businesses going digital in a hurry and leveraging e-commerce amid the COVID-19 pandemic . The company reported revenue of $714.3 million, up 97% from a year ago, with net income of $36 million, or 29 cents a share. Non-GAAP earnings were $1.05 a share. Shopify was expected to report second quarter sales of $513.8 million with non-GAAP earnings of a penny a share. Estimates have had wide ranges due to economic uncertainty.”

Regulation

Durbin Asks Fed Chairman for ‘Appropriate Enforcement Action’ Involving Debit Card Transaction Routing

Digital Transactions

“U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin and a Vermont Congressman want the Federal Reserve to look into what they say are efforts by debit card issuers “aided by the dominant card networks” to prevent PIN-debit networks from getting a bigger share of booming card-not-present payment volume. “The Federal Reserve should consider appropriate enforcement action and policy responses to correct any such anticompetitive incentives and regulatory violations,” says a July 24 letter to Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell signed by Durbin, D-Ill., and U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, a Democrat who has monitored payment card acceptance issues for at least a dozen years.”

Security

Germany to Begin Rollout of Open National Digital Identity Service ‘Later This Year’

NFC World

“German consumers with a Galaxy S20 mobile phone will be the first to be able to use a new government-backed service that allows citizens to securely store their national ID on an embedded secure element in their smartphone, Samsung has announced. The smartphone maker is working with the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), Bundesdruckerei and Deutsche Telekom Security “to develop a hardware-based security architecture that allows citizens to securely store their National ID on their smartphone as an eID,” the company says.”

On The Wires

Companies

Cracking the Case: How We’re Simplifying Payment Exceptions and Investigations

“Being the first US bank to offer gpi case resolution to their clients, BNY Mellon is leading the way in automating payment processes, reducing the costs and time associated with managing payment inquiries. This solution will vastly improve the time to resolve an inquiry, ensuring invoices are paid on time, reducing fraud, and better meeting client expectations. Ultimately, creating straight-through processing for inquiries has been long overdue and will eventually become the global standard.”

Companies

Consumers and Small Businesses Significantly Increase Use of Zelle® In 1st Half Of 2020

“Early Warning Services, LLC, the network operator behind Zelle®, today announced $133 billion was sent through the Zelle Network® on 519 million transactions during the first six months of 2020.  Physical distancing requirements continue to drive strong adoption of Zelle, with enrollment growing 17% over the prior year. Active sender usage – those who have sent a payment in the past 90 days – increased by 43% year-over-year. Average transactions sent per user increased 10% year-over-year, with many consumers using Zelle to pay back neighbors for groceries or to send money to friends and family. Network-wide payment transaction values increased by 60% year-over-year, while payment transaction volume increased by 63%.”

Domains

ACI Payments Receives Nacha Certified Status for Its Bill Payment Offering

ACI Speedpay is an integrated suite of PCI-compliant and Nacha Certified bill presentment and payment services that powers mobile, web, IVR (interactive voice response), eBill, call center and eLockbox (consolidated remittances) payment options with integrated fraud protection and flexible payment restructure plan options. The solution is utilized by thousands of customers across multiple industries, including consumer finance, government, healthcare, higher education, insurance, subscription services and utilities.”

Domains

 Intuit Introduces QuickBooks Cash, a New Business Bank Account With a 1% High-Yield Interest Rate

“Today, Intuit Inc. announced QuickBooks Cash, a business bank account that earns high-yield interest, which, when used with the QuickBooks suite of business services, takes the complexity — and latency — out of managing finances for small business owners. QuickBooks Cash has no account opening fees, maintenance fees, minimum balances, overdraft fees, or other recurring fees. Including a machine-learning powered finance planner, QuickBooks Cash helps small businesses plan for the future by making 90-day cash flow projections, including predictions on when invoices are likely to be paid.”

Systems

Bank of America Expands Commercial Contact-Free Payments

“Bank of America has expanded its mobile wallet capabilities for corporate clients in EMEA and APAC. The bank first launched mobile wallet in the United States and Canada in 2018, and this expansion makes it the first commercial bank issuer to offer the technology to corporate clients worldwide. The bank’s clients who use its Corporate Travel and Purchasing cards in EMEA and APAC are now able to use Apple Pay® and Google Pay® to make and manage card purchases.”

Systems

5 Banks Join RTP® Network on Same Day Through Jack Henry’s JHA PayCenter™

“Jack Henry & Associates, Inc.® (NASDAQ: JKHY), a leading provider of technology solutions and payment processing services primarily for the financial services industry, continues to scale its RTP® network connectivity and for the first time five banks have joined the network on the same day. Dogwood State Bank, Raleigh, NC; First Fidelity Bank, Oklahoma City, OK; National Bank of Texas, Fort Worth, TX; Royal Bank, Elroy, WI; and Signature Bank, Rosemont, IL connected to the RTP network through JHA PayCenter™, marking the beginning of the scalable expansion of the nation’s newest real-time payments infrastructure.”

Systems

MetaBank® Joins U.S. Faster Payments Council

“MetaBank® today announced it has joined the U.S. Faster Payments Council (“FPC”). MetaBank, N.A. (“Meta”) is committed to leading the enablement of payments technology, and this announcement marks its latest expansion within the faster payments space. Meta is a federally chartered bank, a subsidiary of Meta Financial Group, Inc.® and a leader in providing innovative financial solutions to consumers and businesses throughout the country. The Faster Payments Council is an inclusive membership organization devoted to advancing faster payments in the United States.”

July 28, 2020

On The Web

Providers

California Bill Would Give Banks a Safe Harbor for Pot Business

Bloomberg Law

“Banking institutions and accountants offering services to cannabis businesses would have a safe harbor in California law under one of the weed-related bills awaiting state lawmakers’ action when they return to Sacramento this week. One measure ( A.B. 1525 ) says financial services, including public accounting firms, don’t commit a crime under any California law “solely by virtue of the fact that the person receiving the benefit of any of those services engages in commercial cannabis activity as a licensee” under state law.”

On The Wires

Companies

Mastercard Request to Pay Solution, Powered by Exela Software, Receives Enrolment Confirmation From Pay.UK

“Exela Technologies (“Exela” or the “Company”) today welcomes Mastercard’s confirmation of enrolment of its Request to Pay solution by Pay.UK, the leading retail payments authority in the UK. The Mastercard Request to Pay solution, co-developed with Exela Technologies, leveraging its proprietary technology and deployed by Mastercard in the cloud, enables billers to make payment requests through a secure, unified messaging service.”

Domains

Airwallex Adds Deutsche Bank for Cross-border Collection and API-enabled FX Services

“Deutsche Bank today announced that it will enable global fintech unicorn Airwallex to provide virtual account collections and API-enabled foreign exchange services in Japan and Hong Kong respectively. Already live in Japan, the solution will further allow Airwallex to seamlessly process and convert cross-border payments made to its merchants based in Greater China by using virtual accounts and API technology. Through these services, merchants using Airwallex will benefit from not needing to open bank accounts in the markets where their customers are based, thereby simplifying the entire payment process.”

Domains

Mastercard to Enable Better Cross-border Business Payments Into China

“Mastercard and Bank of Shanghai today announced the ability for businesses in virtually any geography to more efficiently, seamlessly and securely send payments to China. With Mastercard Cross-Border Services, business customers will be able to transfer money to any local bank in China, reduce the cost of transactions, and access real-time exchange rates for the Chinese Yuan, all with a reduced need for additional documents and process.”

Risk

ACI Worldwide and Arvato Financial Solutions Partner to Combat eCommerce Fraud

ACI Worldwide, a leading global provider of real-time electronic payment and banking solutions, today announced a strategic partnership with Arvato Financial Solutions to combat the rising levels of eCommerce fraud during the Covid-19 crisis. As part of the collaboration, ACI is offering Arvato Financial Solutions’ best-in-class Manual Order Review service to all its merchant fraud customers globally. The solution enables merchants across all sectors to further optimize their fraud management performance.”

Systems

Alacriti Now a U.S. Faster Payments Council Member

Alacriti , a SaaS-based fintech company specializing in payments, today announced that it has joined the U.S. Faster Payments Council (FPC), a membership organization dedicated to advancing faster payments in the United States. Alacriti brings its deep expertise in banking and payments and experience working with various financial institutions to help guide the market in simplifying the transition to faster payments.”

Systems

Marqeta’s Modern Card Issuing Platform to Deliver Commercial Card Tokenization for J.P. Morgan

“Marqeta, the global modern card issuing platform, announced today that J.P. Morgan will leverage Marqeta’s unique card tokenization capabilities for its virtual card program. This new functionality, anticipated to be available in early 2021, will integrate with J.P. Morgan’s existing systems and enable instant issuance of virtual cards into mobile wallets for J.P. Morgan’s Commercial Card clients.”

July 27, 2020

On The Web

Companies

American Express Pays $955m to Renew Global Partnership With IAG

Cards International

“International Airlines Group (IAG), the owner of British Airways, has inked a multi-year agreement to extend its global partnership with American Express. Under the agreement, American Express agreed to pay IAG Loyalty nearly £750m ($955m) as the latter grapples with a cash crunch amid Covid-19 pandemic. The agreement involves the pre-purchase of Avios points that American Express will use for its British Airways co-branded cards and rewards programme.”

Domains

India eyes global online payments push as transactions boom

Financial Times (paywall)

“India plans to take its model for digital payments global as online transactions thrive in an economy that is among the hardest hit by coronavirus. Since it launched in 2016, India’s Unified Payments Interface has helped propel the growth of online payments in the country of 1.4bn people. The system allows people to make cheap, instant transfers across bank accounts and to pay for everything from groceries to online services.”

Providers

Klarna Australia Plans Bricks-and-mortar Rollout This Year

Electronic Payments International

“Klarna, a payments firm that offers ‘buy now, pay later’ services, is planning a bricks-and-mortar rollout in Australia. According to an Australian Associated Press report, the company aims to appear at retail checkouts before the end of this year. Currently, Klarna’s services are available only over online purchases.”

Systems

Visa, Mastercard Fined Wirecard for Dubious Transactions

Wall Street Journal (paywall)

“Collapsed payments processor Wirecard AG miscoded gambling transactions and had high levels of stolen card purchases and reversed transactions, leading to hefty fines from card networks Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc., according to people familiar with the matter. Visa and Mastercard each imposed fines exceeding $10 million more than a decade ago, and the networks remained wary of Wirecard’s business.”

Systems

Visa, Mastercard Debit Fees Are Hurting Retailers, Sen. Richard Durbin Says

Wall Street Journal (paywall)

“Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin is asking the Federal Reserve to probe allegedly anticompetitive practices that are forcing merchants to pay excessive debit-card fees levied during the coronavirus crisis by large networks like Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. In a letter to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, Mr. Durbin said practices by the large card networks and debit-card issuers are diminishing competition in the online payments marketplace and costing merchants potentially billions of dollars.”

On The Wires

Deals

Paysafe to Acquire Openbucks

“Paysafe, a leading specialized payments platform, today announces its acquisition of US-based payment technology company, Openbucks, for an undisclosed sum. Openbucks is a payment gateway that allows online merchants to accept retail gift cards as an alternative form of payment to credit cards, something that is particularly popular amongst online gaming and eSports operators. For Paysafe, this latest investment forms part of its strategy to further expand its cash alternative payment offering in the US, one of the world’s largest e-commerce markets with revenue projected to grow from $374bn in 2020 to $476bn by 2024.¹”

Domains

Coupa’s Latest Innovations Enable Business Resilience Amid Economic Uncertainty

“Today, Coupa Software, a leader in Business Spend Management (BSM), announced its latest product innovations that extend its cloud-based platform to give customers increased spend visibility, help mitigate supply chain risk, and increase business agility to adapt to change. Amid global economic uncertainty, Coupa’s latest enhancements leverage the power of the customer community and enable businesses to be more resilient during these times and ultimately spend smarter.”

Domains

Paymentus Partners With Alliance for Innovation to Help Local Governments Rapidly Transform Billing Operations, Improve User Experiences

“As the coronavirus pandemic spread across the United States, many local government agencies were forced to rapidly take their operations online. This swift transformation revealed operational weak points – especially in billing management, presentment, and payments. To help local governments identify, categorize, and address these issues, Paymentus researchers, billing specialists, and operational engineers have condensed highly complex billing challenges into an easy to grasp, highly actionable educational campaign.”

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