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April 9, 2021

On The Web

Companies

PayPal Is Building a ‘Super App.’ Should Banks Be Worried?

American Banker

“For years, bankers agonized over the day when Big Tech firms would finally set their sights squarely on financial services. Mainly they worried about four companies: Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. Meanwhile, a fifth tech powerhouse, somewhat smaller but growing fast, was adding products traditionally offered by retail banks. This company built a huge customer base, but it didn’t position itself as a head-on competitor to the nation’s largest banks. Instead, it sought to partner with insured depositories. By early this year, it had a bigger market capitalization than all but two American banks.”

Deals

Orum Raises $21 Million To Speed Up Bank Payments From Five Days To One

Forbes

“Kirkpatrick started Orum because so much money moves slowly, but some transactions settle quickly. Punch in your credit card online or swipe it at a store, and a retailer knows almost instantly whether it went through. Card networks are fast, but also expensive—retailers cough up 2% of their sales when they accept cards. By contrast, anything transferred over the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network, such as your paycheck, automated bill payments and bank transfers, often costs just $0.30 but takes up to five days. ACH launched in 1974 and is run by Nacha, a nonprofit association funded by financial institutions.  In addition to being slow, ACH carries very little data. When someone signs up for Chime and requests to transfer $2,000 from her Wells Fargo account, Chime initially has little information to judge whether this person actually has $2,000 in her Wells Fargo account. So it waits for the transaction to settle to fund the new account.”

Risk

How Online Scammers Fooled One of Africa’s Biggest Fintech Startups

Quartz

“In Nigeria, for example, Paystack requires prospective customers to submit the bank verification number (BVN) of any director or trustee, the certificate of registration from the Corporate Affairs Commission, the Nigerian agency responsible for the registration of for-profit and nonprofit organizations, and a corporate bank account. Similar requirements also apply to Ghana and South Africa where the company has extended its service. It’s not entirely clear whether Paystack failed to properly vet the scammers, or whether current rules are not stringent enough to detect dubious customers.”

Tech

IDB-backed LACChain Tokenizes Citi Payments, Partners With Overledger – Ledger Insights – Enterprise Blockchain

Ledger Insights

“Today the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced it had executed a cross-border payment using blockchain as part of a proof of concept involving Citi Innovation Labs . The solution used the LACChain blockchain network, a public permissioned consortium blockchain for Latin America and the Caribbean backed by IDB. Separately, LACChain also announced a partnership with Quant, the creator of Overledger. In terms of the Citi payment trial, IDB deposited money in its U.S. Citi bank account. Using Citi’s WorldLink payment APIs, the blockchain accessed the money, tokenized it and made transfers with a digital wallet.”

Use

U.S. Consumer Credit Surges by the Most Since Late 2017

Bloomberg

“U.S. consumer borrowing surged in February by the most since late 2017 as a broader re-opening of the economy from pandemic restrictions helped spark an increase in credit-card balances. Total credit jumped $27.6 billion from the prior month, the largest gain since November 2017, after a revised $94 million January gain, Federal Reserve figures showed Wednesday. On an annualized basis, borrowing rose 7.9% in February. The gain in February credit exceeded all estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Revolving credit climbed $8.1 billion, the most since December 2019 and only the second advance in a year. Non-revolving credit, which includes auto and school loans, rose $19.5 billion, the biggest increase since June.”

On The Wires

April 8, 2021

On The Web

Companies

Plaid Valuation Tops $13 Billion in First Funding After a Scrapped $5.3 Billion Merger With Visa

CNBC

“Fintech company Plaid raised a new round of capital that nearly triples its valuation a few months after a deal to be bought by Visa fell apart. The company announced a $425 million Series D funding round on Wednesday, led by Altimeter Capital with participation from new investors, Silver Lake and Ribbit Capital. Earlier investors Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, Kleiner Perkins and New Enterprise Associates also added to the round.”

Companies

Walmart Files for Trademark for Fintech Unit: ‘Hazel by Walmart’

Bloomberg

Walmart Inc. ’s financial technology venture, still shrouded in mystery, now has a possible name: Hazel by Walmart. The world’s largest retailer filed for a trademark on the name on March 29, in the process giving clues as to what the startup might actually do. The application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office includes a slew of financial services that the startup could potentially offer, from issuing credit cards to offering credit-repair services. The list even includes financial-portfolio analysis and consulting, which suggests that Walmart may target wealthier customers along with its traditional lower-income clientele.”

Deals

Saudi Expansion in Focus for Paymob After Record Egypt Fundraise

Bloomberg

“Egyptian digital payments provider Paymob will use fresh funding to enter Saudi Arabia and expand at home, as the pandemic spurs a surge in cashless transactions. The Cairo-based firm, which provides mobile wallet products for companies including banks and phone operators and also helps process retail payments, sees “huge potential” in the two Arab nations, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Alain El Hajj said in an interview. Fueled by what it says is the biggest-ever Series A fund-raising by an Egyptian company, led by United Arab Emirates-based Global Ventures, Paymob is seeking to build on the 500% jump in monthly revenue it saw in Egypt in 2020.”

Providers

Zilch Brings BNPL to UK High Street

Finextra Research

“UK-based buy now, pay later player Zilch is rolling out a ‘tap and pay-over-time’ feature that lets shoppers make in-store payments with a wave of their digital wallet, with the cost spread over a six week period. Zilch opened in beta in 2019, looking to distinguish itself in the crowded BNPL arena by connecting directly with customers and using soft background credit checks performed by Credit Kudos via Open Banking to determine affordability.”

Providers

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon: Fintech Is an ‘Enormous Competitive’ Threat to Banks

CNBC

“Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase chairman and CEO, listed fintech as one of the “enormous competitive threats” to banks in his annual shareholder letter released Wednesday. “Banks … are facing extensive competition from Silicon Valley, both in the form of fintechs and Big Tech companies,” like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Walmart, Dimon wrote, and “that is here to stay.”   Fintech companies, in particular, “are making great strides in building both digital and physical banking products and services,” Dimon said.”

Use

California Bill Would Create Free Banking Services for State’s Residents

Banking Dive

“California lawmakers are backing a bill to create BankCal, a government program that would offer a “zero-fee, zero-penalty” consumer banking option to the state’s residents. The measure is aimed at “protecting consumers who lack access to traditional banking services from predatory, discriminatory, and costly alternatives.” Assembly Bill 1177, which lawmakers and advocates unveiled last week, would establish a Public Banking Option Board, which would partner with financial institutions to offer the free accounts. California employers with five or more employees would be required to facilitate direct deposit, when requested, into the account.”

On The Wires

Companies

Afterpay and Adyen Partner to Deliver Flexible Payments

Afterpay (ASX:APT) the leader in “Buy Now, Pay Later”, and Adyen, (AMS: ADYEN), the global payments platform of choice for many of the world’s leading businesses, are joining forces to offer Afterpay’s leading “Buy Now, Pay Later” (BNPL) service to retailers, kicking off with Hunter, the premium British footwear brand. Leading iconic British outdoor lifestyle brand, Hunter, is among some of the first retailers to offer Afterpay with Adyen.”

Companies

Mastercard Is First to Launch Request to Pay Application Solution in UK

“Mastercard is today announcing the launch of its innovative Request to Pay application solution; the first in the UK to offer an end user application service within Pay.UK’s Request to Pay framework. Accredited as both an application and repository service provider, Mastercard’s Request to Pay solution now builds and enrols end user applications, such as a mobile app for consumers or a corporate IT system. These are necessary to create, send, view, and respond to ‘Requests to Pay’ for billers and payers, while also building in message repositories – the secure message storing and routing component.”

Companies

Citi Service Insights Launches on CitiDirect BE®

“Citi Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) launches Citi Service Insights (CSI) with SWIFT gpi Case Resolution integration. This new digital service provides clients with a centralized view to manage or close all their service inquiries globally and also allows clients to open several types of inquiries digitally. Previously, this was done through a combination of manual processes, which have now been digitized to increase transparency and speed for issue resolution. Additionally, with the integration of gpi Case Resolution, clients have direct access to dynamic interbank query handling across the SWIFT network resulting in faster payments resolution and settlement.”

Deals

TrueLayer Raises $70m to Build the World’s Most Valuable Open Banking Network

TrueLayer , Europe’s leading open banking platform, today announced it has secured a $70m Series D investment round led by new investor Addition. The latest raise reflects the growing demand for its open banking-based services and marks another significant milestone for TrueLayer on its mission to open up finance, building an open banking network that brings together payments, financial data, and identity to redefine how people spend, save, and transact online.”

Industry

Mastercard SpendingPulse: U.S. Retail Sales Grew 26.3% Year-over-Year in March, One Year Since First Lockdown

“U.S. retail sales growth rates increased by double-digits in March as we hit the one-year mark since the first Covid lockdowns impacted retail sales. According to Mastercard SpendingPulseTM , U.S. retail sales excluding automotive and gasoline increased 26.3% year-over-year in March, and online sales grew 56.8% compared to 2020. Mastercard SpendingPulse measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment.Retail sales benefited from the infusion of stimulus payments, coupled with broader reopening across the country.”

Standards

Financial Data Exchange (FDX) Announces Results of Annual Strategic Survey

The Financial Data Exchange (FDX) today announced results from its 2021 annual strategic survey of its members. The FDX strategic survey provides an inside look at where leading financial firms are prioritizing technical standards work for consumer-permissioned data sharing and how the marketplace is maturing. Specific to the 2021 survey, FDX members indicated a desire to prioritize work on consent and sensitive data across the organization’s many work streams including the FDX API, data use cases, user experience and security.”

Systems

Mogo’s Payments Platform Announces Partnership With LendingClub Bank

Mogo Inc. (NASDAQ:MOGO) (TSX:MOGO) (“Mogo” or the “Company”), a digital payments and financial technology company, today announced that its wholly owned payments platform, Carta Worldwide (“Carta”), a modern card issuing platform, is extending their US market deployment with an expanded debit card issuance service offering for fintech “challenger” banks. Carta has partnered with LendingClub Bank, National Association (“LendingClub Bank”), to power the new advanced debit card product offering and help businesses rapidly deploy next-generation digital banking solutions.”

Systems

Gemini Taps Alloy to Streamline Identity Decisioning for Credit Card With Crypto Rewards

“Alloy, the leading identity decisioning platform for banks and fintech companies, today announced Gemini, a leading cryptocurrency exchange and custodian, will be leveraging its platform to automate identity decisions and verification for the new Gemini Credit Card. Gemini will use Alloy to facilitate its onboarding process for credit card customers and help to ensure the right systems are in place to capture and review customer data to reduce exposure to non-compliant account openings. Gemini’s recently announced novel crypto rewards credit card is regulated under the same KYC/AML protocols as traditional credit cards, meaning there’s a critical need to balance approval speed with the ability to meet stringent compliance requirements.”

Systems

A Solution for the E-krona Based on Blockchain Technology Has Been Tested

“The solution based on blockchain technology that has been developed and tested by the Riksbank in its e-krona project provides new possibilities, but is also new and needs further investigation. This is one of the lessons learned as described in the e-krona pilot project’s report on its first phase. The e-krona pilot has the objective of testing a proposal for a technical solution to increase the Riksbank’s knowledge of how an e-krona could function and be used as a complement to cash.”

April 7, 2021

On The Web

Deals

CardFlight Extends Its Reach Via Global Payments, While Small Business Sales Rebound

Digital Transactions

“CardFlight Inc. has struck a deal with processor Global Payments Inc. that will see CardFlight’s SwipeSimple point-of-sale technology added to Global’s indirect sales channels. Atlanta-based Global says adding SwipeSimple to its wholesale product lineup will give its independent sales partners an omnichannel payment option. SwipeSimple supports contactless payments, EMV dipped, and magnetic-stripe transactions.”

Deals

Brink’s Acquires Biggest Privately Held Provider of ATM Services in U.S. PAI Inc.

MarketWatch

“The Brinks Co. BCO, -0.91% said Tuesday it has acquired PAI Inc., the biggest privately held provider of ATM services in the U.S., for $213 million…”A primary goal of Brink’s Strategy 2.3 is to offer ATM solutions integrated with other Brink’s solutions to provide complete, end-to-end cash management,” the company said. The deal brings the company a platform of ATM services and more than 100,000 ATM service locations in the U.S. In Europe, Brink’s will take full ownership and provide managed services to financial institutions for more than 11,000 ATMs.”

Deals

Avant Doubles Down on Digital Banking With Zero Financial Acquisition

TechCrunch

Avant , an online lender that has raised over $600 million in equity, announced today that it has acquired Zero Financial and its neobank brand, Level, to further its mission of becoming a digital bank for the masses. Founded in 2012, Chicago-based Avant started out primarily as an online lender targeting “underserved consumers,” but is evolving into digital banking with this acquisition.”

Global

Apple Pay Goes Live in South Africa

NFCW

“Apple Pay has rolled out in South Africa with support for Visa cards issued by Absa and Discovery Bank and for Visa, Mastercard and American Express cards issued by Nedbank . Apple Pay has now added the three South African banks to the list of banks and payment cards it supports , and “by midday on Tuesday South Africans were reporting success in buying coffee and fried chicken by using their iPhones, or Apple Watches, instead of a payment card, as Apple Pay quietly went live,” according to Business Insider South Africa .”

Providers

WSJ News Exclusive | Instacart and DoorDash Plan to Launch Their Own Credit Cards

Wall Street Journal

“Two of the biggest winners in the pandemic delivery boom are looking to launch their own credit cards. Grocery-delivery service Instacart Inc. has chosen JPMorgan Chase & Co. to issue a credit card that will reward frequent users, according to people familiar with the matter. DoorDash Inc., which specializes in delivering takeout, is also looking to launch its own rewards credit card and received offers from more than 10 large banks and financial-technology firms to issue it, people familiar with the matter said.”

Risk

Rabobank and ABN Amro Target Privacy-friendly Data Analysis

Finextra Research

“ABN Amro and Rabobank are working with research outfit TNO to test technology that lets banks share data used for detecting financial crime while still respecting clients’ privacy. The partners are experimenting with ways of monitoring transactions between clients at different banks without sharing the risk scores that they assign their customers.”

Security

Experian: Consumers Prefer ‘invisible Security’ to Passwords

VentureBeat

“Could the era of passwords be drawing to a close? Decades of fumbling around to remember the right password or constantly resetting or having to jump through multiple authentication hoops have made them dirty words for many consumers. All those headaches, and there’s still a good chance your personal information will wind up somewhere for sale on the internet. Perhaps it’s not surprising then, according to a new survey released by Experian, that consumers are embracing new methods of security that are physical and behavior-based. Indeed, according to the company’s 2021 Global Identity and Fraud Report , consumers did not rank passwords among the top 3 most secure ways to protect identity.”

Security

DefenseStorm Expands Security for Financial Institutions With CyberFraud

Help Net Security

DefenseStorm announced the addition of CyberFraud to its product offerings, providing an integrated solution for Information Security and BSA/AML Fraud departments in a single platform to prevent losses and protect account holders. With CyberFraud, alerts are delivered in real-time to block activity, perform step-up authentication and/or route for human investigation…This allows a financial institution (FI) to proactively detect and immediately respond to account takeover attempts, fraudulent loan applications, ACH/PTP/Wire fraud and money laundering activity.”

Systems

Eastern Caribbean Central Bank’s DCash Digital Currency Goes Live

Cointelegraph

“The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, the main financial institution of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union, has launched DCash. The ECCB announced the launch of its CBDC for the region via a media event held on Wednesday. DCash is the digital version of the Eastern Caribbean dollar — the official currency of the eight countries in the union. However, as announced during the launch, DCash is only available in four of the currency union’s member states: Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Lucia.”

Systems

Coinbase Earned More in First Quarter Than in All of 2020

Wall Street Journal

“Coinbase Global Inc. profited handsomely off bitcoin’s first-quarter rally, bringing in more earnings and revenue in the first three months of 2021 than it did in all of 2020. The company, which provides a variety of financial services focused on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, released estimated results for the first quarter ahead of next week’s highly anticipated direct listing . It expects to report net income between $730 million and $800 million on revenue of $1.8 billion. By contrast, for all of 2020, the company earned $322 million on revenue of $1.3 billion.”

Users

Are Payment Apps a Solution for Banking Inequality? Not Quite.

Vox

“As underbanked and unbanked consumers use payment apps to conveniently send cash to others, manage their money better, and access otherwise out-of-reach financial services, these tools can also come with costly fees, a lack of customer service, and cybersecurity risks. If left unaddressed, payment apps could further replicate offline inequality for unbanked or underbanked users.”

On The Wires

Companies

One Billion Additional Touch-free Visa Payments Made As Consumers Embrace Contactless Commerce

“Visa today announced that it has processed one billion additional touch-free payments1, where previously consumers would have needed to enter their PIN, as consumer confidence in contactless payments continues to grow. This milestone has been reached in less than a year since contactless payment limits were increased in 29 countries across Europe in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Risk

Federal Reserve System Announces Industry-Recommended Definition of Synthetic Identity Fraud

“The Federal Reserve today announced an industry-recommended definition of synthetic identity fraud, which was developed by a focus group of fraud experts in response to a widespread issue: differing definitions in use make it difficult to identify and address this type of fraud…The industry-recommended definition of synthetic identity fraud (SIF) is the use of a combination of personally identifiable information (PII) to fabricate a person or entity in order to commit a dishonest act for personal or financial gain.”

Systems

As Digital Payments Continue to Surge, Blackhawk Network and Bakkt® Partner to Make It Easier to Purchase EGifts With Digital Assets

“As consumers and merchants accelerate their adoption of digital payment options, Blackhawk Network and Bakkt® have launched a partnership that enables users to easily purchase eGifts using digital assets, such as bitcoin, supported loyalty points and cash. Blackhawk’s industry-leading portfolio of eGift brands enables Bakkt users to buy, send and redeem digital gift cards for everyday shopping using the Bakkt App. Gift cards from over 60 retailers including DoorDash, PetSmart, and major retailers will be available for purchase and for use in peer-to-peer transfer in the Bakkt App.”

April 6, 2021

TOP POST

Global

China Creates Its Own Digital Currency, a First for Major Economy

Wall Street Journal

“A thousand years ago, when money meant coins, China invented paper currency. Now the Chinese government is minting cash digitally, in a re-imagination of money that could shake a pillar of American power. It might seem money is already virtual, as credit cards and payment apps such as Apple Pay in the U.S. and WeChat in China eliminate the need for bills or coins. But those are just ways to move money electronically. China is turning legal tender itself into computer code. Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin have foreshadowed a potential digital future for money, though they exist outside the traditional global financial system and aren’t legal tender like cash issued by governments. China’s version of a digital currency is controlled by its central bank, which will issue the new electronic money. It is expected to give China’s government vast new tools to monitor both its economy and its people. By design, the digital yuan will negate one of bitcoin’s major draws: anonymity for the user.”

On The Web

Deals

India’s CRED Valued at $2.2 Billion in New $215 Million Fundraise

TechCrunch

“Two-year-old CRED has become the youngest Indian startup to be valued at $2 billion or higher. Bangalore-based CRED said on Tuesday it has raised $215 million in a new funding round — a Series D — that valued the Indian startup at $2.2 billion (post-money), up from about $800 million valuation in the $81 million Series C round in January this year …CRED operates an app that rewards customers for paying their credit card bills on time and gives them access to a range of additional services such as credit and a premium catalog of products from high-end brands.”

Domains

MercadoLibre to Double Workforce Amid E-commerce Boom, Hike Mexico Investment

Reuters

“Argentina-based e-commerce giant MercadoLibre Inc is planning to double its workforce this year and invest $1.1 billion to expand its warehouse space and services in Mexico, spurred on by a pandemic-driven boom in online shopping… The investment figure is nearly triple the $420 million MercadoLibre spent last year in Mexico, a rapidly growing market where it is battling to stay ahead of global giant Amazon.com Inc and other rivals. The investment will help MercadoLibre double its warehouse space and boost fintech services such as consumer credit, the company said in a statement, adding that it will create more than 4,700 jobs in the country.”

Industry

Fueled by Pandemic, Contactless Mobile Payments to Surpass Half of All Smartphone Users in US by 2025

TechCrunch

“Among other technology trends accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of contactless mobile payments boomed in 2020. According to a recent report by analyst firm eMarketer, in-store mobile payments usage grew 29% last year in the U.S., as the pandemic pushed consumers to swap out cash and credit cards for the presumably safer mobile payments option at point-of-sale. Last year, 92.3 million U.S. consumers age 14 or older used proximity-based mobile payments at least one time during a six-month period in 2020 — a figure the firm expects to grow to reach 101.2 million this year.”

Systems

WSJ News Exclusive | Fidelity, Square, Coinbase Launch Bitcoin Trade Group

Wall Street Journal

“Fidelity Investments, Square Inc. and several other financial firms are forming a new trade group that aims to shape the way bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are regulated. The Crypto Council for Innovation will lobby policy makers, take up research projects and serve as the burgeoning industry’s voice in championing the economic benefits of digital currencies and related technologies. Crypto investor Paradigm and Coinbase Global Inc., which operates a cryptocurrency exchange , also signed on as initial members of the group.”

Systems

Signal Adds Payments with a Privacy-Focused Cryptocurrency

Wired

“WHEN THE ENCRYPTED communications app Signal launched nearly seven years ago , it brought the promise of the strongest available encryption to a dead-simple interface for calling and texting. Now, Signal is incorporating what it describes as a way to bring that same ease of use and security to a third, fundamentally distinct feature: payments. Signal today plans to announce that it’s rolling out the ability for some of its users to send money to one another within its fast-growing encrypted communications network. To do so, it has integrated support for the cryptocurrency MobileCoin , a form of digital cash designed to work efficiently on mobile devices while protecting users’ privacy and even their anonymity.”

Tech

Facebook Confirms ‘test’ of Venmo-like QR Codes for Person-to-person Payments in U.S.

TechCrunch

“Facebook confirms it’s testing a new QR code feature and payment links for use with Facebook Pay to make it easier for people in the U.S. to send or request money from one another. The QR code feature, similar to Venmo’s QR codes and others, will allow a user to scan a friend’s code with their smartphone’s camera to send or request money, while the sharable payment links will let you publish your payment address outside of Facebook itself. The addition was first spotted on Monday by MacRumors , which noted that users were being presented with a new “Scan” button in the Facebook Pay carousel at the top of the screen.”

Use

Audio App Clubhouse Floats Payments Feature for Creators

Reuters

“Audio-chat app Clubhouse said on Monday it will launch a monetization feature for its creators on the platform and that it will not receive any payment from it. Starting Monday, all users will be able to send payments through the platform, Clubhouse said. The feature to receive payments will initially be available only to a small test group, and later rolled out to other customers.”

On The Wires

Companies

B.well and Mastercard Partner to Give Consumers Secure, Mobile Control Over Their Digital Health Information

b.well Connected Health today announced a partnership with Mastercard to provide individuals a simpler and more secure way to prove their identity online and in-person when accessing healthcare services.  The b.well platform brings together patient data across providers, insurers, pharmacies, and a patient’s own apps and devices, so people can share their information, manage their medications, understand their costs, and receive personalized health insights and alerts. Now, with the introduction of Mastercard’s ID Verification service, b.well users will also be able to securely verify their identity in real time using their mobile phones.”

Deals

Singapore-based Neobanking Startup StashFin Raises USD 40 MM in Series B Extension Equity Financing From a Clutch of Global Investors to Expand in South Asia

“Singapore-based neo-banking startup Morus Technologies Pte Ltd ‘StashFin’ has announced the successful completion of Series B Extension equity financing of USD 40 million from a clutch of global investors…Founded in 2016, StashFin offers an innovative Credit Line Card in partnership with VISA that permits customers to access their credit facility with easy monthly installments and zero annual fees. Customers can order physical and virtual credit line cards that provide credit access across a broad array of digital payment infrastructure including POS machines, mobile wallets and online payment gateway. Card features include free ATM withdrawals, lifetime free annual fees, free supplementary cards and Payback rewards.”

Domains

Lightspeed Launches Lightspeed Payments in United Kingdom and Europe in Expansion of Tailored Financial Solutions

Lightspeed (NYSE: LSPD ) (TSX: LSPD), a leading provider of cloud-based, omnichannel commerce platforms, today announced the initial availability of Lightspeed Payments for hospitality merchants in the United Kingdom and Europe. Lightspeed’s integrated payments experience gives small and medium-sized businesses in the hospitality industry access to key functionalities made crucial by the global pandemic, including mobile and contactless payments, ahead of anticipated economic reopenings.”

Domains

Mastercard Recovery Insights: E-commerce a Covid Lifeline for Retailers With Additional $900 Billion Spent Online Globally

“Roughly 20-30% of the Covid-related shift to digital globally is expected to be permanent, according to Mastercard’s Recovery Insights: Commerce E-volution. The report draws on anonymized and aggregated sales activity in the Mastercard network and proprietary analysis by the Mastercard Economics Institute. The analysis dives into what this means by country and by sector, for goods and services, and within countries and across borders.”

Domains

Payconiq International Is the New Technology Partner for IDEAL 2.0 in the Netherlands

“The online payment method iDEAL, will bring its payment service to the next level. Currence, the brand owner of iDEAL, partners with Payconiq International to deliver a major upgrade version of the Dutch’s most popular online payment scheme. Today, iDEAL is responsible for more than 900 million transactions per year.  The new solution is based on Payconiq International’s state-of-the-art payment platform and will optimize payment flows for a seamless user experience (UX) and smoother merchant integration. The cooperation will enable iDEAL to adopt and launch Payconiq’s innovative services for example by connecting payments with digital loyalty programs.”

Systems

Dwolla Unlocks Real-Time Payments

Dwolla , a modern payments platform, releases access to Real-Time Payments, an instant* payment option that can send money directly to a bank account in seconds using the RTP® Network. Dwolla’s solution for programmable Real-Time Payments powered by Cross River Bank comes after a decade of experiences in faster payments. The company contributed to the Federal Reserve Faster Payment Task Force and Mojaloop initiatives in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to truly refine a customer-centric real-time experience. Today, businesses can integrate Dwolla’s payment API to connect with RTP-enabled financial institutions and send funds within seconds to a bank account. Existing clients can change a single line of code to initiate an RTP transaction using the Dwolla API.”

April 5, 2021

TOP POST

Systems

Same Day ACH Payment Limit to Increase to $1 Million | Nacha

“Same Day ACH payments will be further enhanced with a new $1 million per transaction limit. Nacha members approved a measure to increase the per-payment maximum from the current $100,000 to $1 million effective March 18, 2022. It will apply to all eligible Same Day ACH payments, including credits and debits for both businesses and consumers…The $1 million limit will be beneficial for many types of payments, from insurance claim payments and payroll funding, to business-to-business and tax payments, and many more.”

On The Web

Companies

Plaid Is Said Close to Financing at About $13 Billion Valuation

Bloomberg

“Financial-technology firm Plaid Inc. is close to a new round of funding at a valuation of about $13 billion, almost three months after scrapping its sale to Visa Inc., according to people familiar with the matter. The funding round will be led by Altimeter Capital , said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information was private.    Many of its existing investors are expected to participate in the latest round that could raise hundreds of millions of dollars, the people said. Investors with significant stakes include NEA, Spark Capital, Index Ventures and Kleiner Perkins.”

Domains

Why Can’t Stimulus Checks Arrive Faster?

Wall Street Journal

“In April 2020, the Treasury Department made the first pandemic-related stimulus payments within weeks of the bill being signed into law, instead of months, like similar payments in 2008. By the third round of payments in March 2021, the first wave of money landed in bank accounts within a week of the bill becoming law. There is an obvious next question: Why can’t it be even faster? Across the board, money is moving from bank account to bank account more rapidly. Today, the electronic banking system relies in part on two main networks that allow payments to move from one financial institution to another. The Automated Clearing House system typically provides overnight transactions, so Monday’s payments show up in bank accounts on Tuesday. It also increasingly offers same-day payment transfers.”

Global

Brazil’s biggest banks battle for reinvention in digital era

FT

“The five giants that tower over the country’s financial system — Itaú, Bradesco and Santander Brasil, along with state-controlled Banco do Brasil and Caixa Econômica Federal — have in recent years embarked on investments in technology in a bid to stop customers switching to challengers such as Nubank, Brazil’s internet banking unicorn. Since the start of the coronavirus crisis, many have also deepened cost-cutting measures, with branch closures and redundancies. The need for reform is more urgent than ever with the pandemic having hastened the pace of digital change.”

Global

Kenya Becomes the Second African Country to Launch 5G

Quartz

“Mobile network operator Safaricom has launched a 5G network in Kenya. This makes it the second country in Africa to roll out the technology to customers, according to GSMA, an organization representing mobile network operators worldwide. The company is trialling the technology in four towns, and expects to expand it to nine over the next year. Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa described the launch last week as “a major milestone for the country.”  The telco is implementing the project using technology from the Finnish company Nokia and the Chinese company Huawei.”

Regulation

Ex-SEC Chairman Clayton Warns of New Bitcoin Regulations – CoinDesk

CoinDesk

“In an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box” posted Thursday, Jay Clayton, the former chief of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said bitcoin was not considered to be a security at the agency but this does not mean it should not be regulated. “Where digital assets land at the end of the day will be driven in part by regulation both domestic and international, and I expect that regulation will come in this area both directly and indirectly,” Clayton said about bitcoin (BTC, +1.66%) .The former SEC chairman stressed he was “speaking as a citizen” during the interview.”

Systems

Northern California Banks, Credit Unions to Test Faster Money Transfers

North Bay Business Journal

“The Federal Reserve has launched a two-year pilot program, called FedNow, designed to make the clearing and settlements process faster, cheaper and more convenient for individuals and businesses by speeding payments to recipient. Five regional banks are among those participating in the program… In Northern California, the list of pilot participants includes First Republic Bank, Tri Counties Bank, Silicon Valley Bank, Pacific Coast Bankers’ Bank and First Foundation Bank. Participating California credit unions include Excite Credit Union, Farmers Insurance Federal Credit Union, and Star One Credit Union.”

On The Wires

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