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January 11, 2021

On The Web

Companies

WSJ News Exclusive | Stripe Stops Processing Payments for Trump Campaign Website

Wall Street Journal

“Stripe Inc. will no longer process payments for President Trump’s campaign website following last week’s riot at the Capitol , according to people familiar with the matter. The financial-technology company handles card payments for millions of online businesses and e-commerce platforms, including Mr. Trump’s campaign website and online fundraising apparatus. Stripe is cutting off the president’s campaign account for violating its policies against encouraging violence, the people said.”

Deals

WSJ News Exclusive | NCR in Talks to Buy Cardtronics

Wall Street Journal

“NCR Corp. is in talks to buy Cardtronics PLC , according to people familiar with the matter, seeking to snatch it away from a pair of investment firms including private-equity giant Apollo Global Management Inc . that earlier agreed to buy the ATM operator. Cardtronics said Thursday it had received an unsolicited bid worth $39 a share and that it had entered into discussions with the suitor, which it didn’t name. The new bidder is NCR, the people said.”

Providers

Goldman Sachs Eyes Growth in Cash Management Technology

Financial Times

“For more than five years Goldman Sachs has been recasting itself as a technology company as well as a bank, so it is little surprise that Stephen Scherr, chief financial officer, sees tech as core to his professional objectives. For Mr Scherr, head of Goldman’s fledgling consumer bank until late 2018, there are two main strands: tech that can make the bank more profitable and efficient, and tech that makes his finance office run better.”

On The Wires

Companies

Walmart Announces Creation of New Fintech Startup

“Today, Walmart announced the creation of a new fintech startup designed to develop and offer modern, innovative and affordable financial solutions. The new company is a strategic partnership with leading fintech investment firm Ribbit Capital. The venture will bring together Walmart’s retail knowledge and scale with Ribbit’s fintech expertise to deliver tech-driven financial experiences tailored to Walmart’s customers and associates.”

Companies

Mastercard Pioneers Cloud Tap on Phone, Its First Pilot of Cloud Point of Sale (POS) Acceptance Technology | Asia Hub

“Mastercard has partnered with NMI and Global Payments Inc. to launch its first live Cloud Tap on Phone pilot with Computer Engineering Group (CEG), a California-based independent IT services provider. Cloud Tap on Phone is one of Mastercard’s innovative next generation acceptance products, with the software hosted on Microsoft’s Azure Cloud platform. Mastercard has been spearheading the transition to contactless payments for years. The demand for faster, more convenient, safer and now cleaner ways to pay has driven the transition to contactless, and it’s a one-way street with touch-free experiences expected to be permanent for consumers and businesses even after the pandemic ends.”

Deals

Equifax Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire Kount

Equifax ® (NYSE: EFX ) a global data, analytics and technology company has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Kount, a provider of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven fraud prevention and digital identity solutions, for $640 million. As global digital transformation accelerates, driving customer interactions to digital channels in record numbers, businesses require new ways to establish digital identity trust in real time to fight the growing problem of online fraud while reducing customer friction.”

Tech

Fiserv Expands Surcharge-free MoneyPass ATM Network to Capital One Customers

Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), a leading global provider of payments and financial services technology solutions, announced today a new agreement with Capital One that will offer customers secure, convenient, surcharge-free access to their funds at thousands of ATMs across the nation. The agreement will add more than 1,500 Capital One ATMs at Capital One branches, Cafés and select off-site locations to the MoneyPass® ATM network from Fiserv, one of the largest surcharge-free networks in the country.”

January 8, 2021

On The Web

Companies

Mastercard Extends Partnership With Phos

Retail Systems

“Mastercard has extended its partnership with Point of Sale software provider phos as part of efforts to grow coverage of contactless card transactions.The renewed collaboration will see phos, a FinTech which provides software-only Point of Sale (SoftPoS) solutions, and Mastercard extend coverage to support Tap on Phone, a Mastercard solution that turns phones into payment acceptance devices.It is hoped that the agreement will lower the barrier to entry for small and medium sized enterprises that want to offer contactless payments.”

Deals

Online Lender SoFi to Go Public Through Merger With Palihapitiya-backed SPAC

Reuters

“U.S. online lending startup Social Finance Inc (SoFi) said on Thursday it has agreed to go public through a merger with Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp V, a blank-check acquisition company led by venture capital investor Chamath Palihapitiya. The deal values SoFi at around $8.65 billion and is expected to provide up to $2.4 billion in cash proceeds to the San Francisco-based company.”

Domains

PayPal and Shopify Remove Trump-related Accounts

CNET

“Online commerce and payment services have stopped the flow of money to Trump-related accounts in light of Wednesday’s insurrection at the US Capitol. Software maker Shopify removed stores affiliated with President Donald Trump from its platform, and payment processor PayPal shut down an account raising funds for Trump supporters who traveled to Washington, DC.”

Providers

BBVA Says That It Is Shutting Down Banking App Simple, Will Transfer Users to BBVA USA

TechCrunch

“Some consolidation is underway in the world of challenger banking apps. BBVA today told users of Simple — the pioneering mobile and online banking app that it acquired for $117 million in 2014 — that it is planning to shut down the service, moving accounts to BBVA’s USA business in the process. The move is part of an ongoing effort at BBVA — which had been an active investor and acquirer of startups — to streamline its business as it works on closing a merger with PNC. The latter bank announced in November last year that it would acquire the U.S. business of BBVA for $11.6 billion.”

Systems

The Future of Payments Is Instant

Progressive Grocer

“Change in the payments industry has been accelerated by COVID-19. Merchants have responded by making it easier than ever for their customers to make in-person contactless payments and purchase goods online from the safety of their homes. The Federal Reserve intends to support payments change with its first major new payment system in four decades. Merchants will be among those to reap the benefits.”

On The Wires

Domains

Treasury Is Delivering Millions of Economic Impact Payments by Prepaid Debit Card | U.S. Department of the Treasury

“This week, Treasury and the IRS started to send approximately 8 million Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) by prepaid debit card. The distribution of EIP Cards follows the millions of payments already made by direct deposit and the ongoing mailing of paper checks and are part of Treasury’s and is IRS’s plan to deliver Economic Impact Payments as rapidly as possible.”

January 7, 2021

On The Web

Companies

WSJ News Exclusive | Federal Investigators Probing AmEx Card Sales Practices

Wall Street Journal

“Federal investigators are probing business-card sales practices at American Express Co., according to people familiar with the matter. The inspectors general offices of the Treasury Department, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Federal Reserve are investigating whether AmEx used aggressive and misleading sales tactics to sell cards to business owners and whether customers were harmed, the people said. They are also examining whether specific employees contributed to the alleged behavior and if higher-level employees supported it, some of the people said.”

Companies

PayPal Backs Crypto Tax Startup Taxbit

Reuters

“PayPal Holdings Inc’s venture arm has made an investment in Salt Lake City, Utah-based tech startup Taxbit, which helps consumers and businesses calculate the taxes owed on cryptocurrency holdings, the companies said on Thursday. Taxbit will use the cash injection, of an undisclosed amount, to grow the team and expand the business, said Austin Woodward, the company’s chief executive and founder.”

Deals

Mambu Raises $135M at a $2B+ Valuation for a SaaS Platform That Powers Banking Services

TechCrunch

“Challenger banks, incumbent banks, and all of the many businesses that are making inroads into any kind of banking service all have something in common: when it comes to launching a new product like a credit line or a deposit or current account, these days many of them are opting not to build from the ground up, but are instead using third-party technology to power these services. Today, one of the big players in providing that tech is announcing a large round of funding to expand its business, underscoring the growth in this market.”

Domains

H&R Block and TurboTax Customers Report Issues With Second Stimulus Check Deposit

CNBC

“Millions of Americans were set to receive a second stimulus check via direct deposit on Monday. But many people who filed their 2019 taxes with H&R Block or TurboTax tell CNBC Make It that they are experiencing issues receiving their payments. The IRS began sending out a second round of economic impact payments — worth up to $600 for individuals and each of their child dependents — over the past week. Millions were slated to be automatically deposited by Jan. 4, 2021.”

Systems

Banks Still Have Cards to Play in Payments Race

Wall Street Journal

“With people traveling less and spending more on digital platforms, banks with big credit-card units may have lost some relative luster with investors. But they still have cards to play. JPMorgan Chase recently acquired the global loyalty division of cxLoyalty Group Holdings. That business serves credit-card rewards programs and helps connect them to a number of ways that rewards can be used.”

On The Wires

Companies

Nacha Announces ValidiFI As a Preferred Partner for Account Validation

“ValidiFI is now a Nacha Preferred Partner for Account Validation. In becoming a Preferred Partner, ValidiFI joins a select group of innovators that Nacha recognizes for offering products and services that align with Nacha’s core strategies to advance the ACH Network…ValidiFI’s digital platform delivers comprehensive data and technology solutions. Its customers – including the fast-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading financial service providers – use ValidiFI for account opening, credit decisions, risk management, compliance and payment facilitation.”

Use

Shift4 Payments and Sightline Payments Announce Strategic Partnership to Power Online Gaming and Betting for Casinos and Sports Venues

Shift4 Payments (NYSE: FOUR), the leading provider of integrated payment processing technology, and Sightline Payments , the leader in cashless gaming and betting solutions, today announced a strategic partnership to power online gaming and sports betting for casinos and sports venues. This formal partnership between two leading fintech companies will deliver a seamless payment experience for patrons of hospitality, online/mobile gaming, on-premise gaming, and sports betting venues.”

January 6, 2021

TOP POST

Risk

Money Laundering Via Author Impersonation on Amazon?

KrebsOnSecurity

“Patrick Reames had no idea why Amazon.com sent him a 1099 form saying he’d made almost $24,000 selling books via Createspace, the company’s on-demand publishing arm. That is, until he searched the site for his name and discovered someone has been using it to peddle a $555 book that’s full of nothing but gibberish.”

On The Web

Companies

WSJ News Exclusive | Chinese Regulators Try to Get Jack Ma’s Ant Group to Share Consumer Data

Wall Street Journal

“China’s regulators are trying to get Jack Ma to do something the beleaguered billionaire has long resisted: share the troves of consumer-credit data collected by his financial-technology behemoth. Mr. Ma has little room to bargain after the business empire he has built over decades has landed in the crosshairs of regulators and even President Xi Jinping, partly reflecting Beijing’s concern that the flamboyant entrepreneur has been too focused on his business fortunes rather than the state’s goal of controlling financial risks.”

Domains

Most Second Stimulus Payments Reach Household Bank Accounts

Wall Street Journal

“The U.S. Treasury Department has sent out more than $112 billion in stimulus payments electronically, meaning that about two-thirds of the second round of payments approved by Congress is already in households’ bank accounts, according to data released Tuesday. The payments—$600 per adult and $600 per child—were estimated to cost about $164 billion in all. They are part of a broader relief law last month that also includes unemployment insurance and money for small businesses.”

Global

Aella, Amazon Partner on Underbanked Empowerment

Latest Nigeria News, Nigerian Newspapers, Politics

Single point financial service and payment solutions firm, Aella App, said it is working with Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) to empower underbanked individuals to have quicker access to credit and other financial services using Amazon Rekognition for identity verification.

Providers

Max Levchin’s Affirm to Raise up to $935 Mln in U.S. IPO

Reuters

“Lending startup Affirm Holdings Inc, founded by PayPal Holdings Inc co-founder Max Levchin, aims to raise as much as $935 million in its initial public offering, it said in a filing on Tuesday. Affirm, which will list its shares on Nasdaq, had planned to complete its IPO before the end of last year, but was forced to delay the share sale by a few weeks.”

Risk

Scammers Have Taken $36 Billion in Fraudulent Unemployment Payments From American Workers

CNBC

“The U.S. has pumped billions of dollars into the unemployment system since the spring — a magnet for criminals that’s led to surging theft and fraud attacks. This has contributed to at least $36 billion being taken from out-of-work Americans.  Now, the federal government and states are clamping down. The $900 billion Covid relief package signed last month adds steps for workers to prove their eligibility for benefits.”

On The Wires

Providers

Green Dot Launches Ultimate Mobile Bank for Americans Living Paycheck to Paycheck

“Green Dot Corporation (NYSE: GDOT) today announced the launch of GO2bank , a new mobile bank designed to help the two in three Americans living paycheck to paycheck stretch their money further and build a stronger financial foundation.1 GO2bank makes money access and management a safe, easy, useful part of everyday life with tools that help address common financial challenges and opportunities to improve long-term financial health, all in one easy-to-use mobile app.”

January 5, 2021

On The Web

Companies

Paypal Wins Bid to Strike Down CFPB Prepaid Card Regulations

Reuters

“A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has invalidated part of a U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule governing prepaid cards and digital wallets, emphatically agreeing with fintech giant PayPal that the agency overstepped its authority. In a decision studded with exclamation points, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon wrote that the agency’s rulemaking authority under Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act did not allow it to dictate how prepaid card and digital wallet providers disclose fees to customers or to limit when credit cards could be linked to new accounts, saying those restrictions were precluded by other consumer finance laws.”

Deals

Nets’ Subsidiary Paytrail to Acquire Checkout Finland

Finextra Research

“Nets Group’s Finnish online payment subsidiary Paytrail is to acquire fellow e-commerce specialist Checkout Finland from OP Financial. Checkout Finland, serving both ecommerce and physical stores with a wide array of payment options, has around 8,000 ecommerce merchants on its customer list and is expecting close to EUR12m of revenues in 2020, up from a reported EUR 8.2m in 2019.”

Industry

Los Angeles Vaccine Recipients Can Put the Proof in Apple Wallet

Bloomberg (paywall)

“Covid-19 vaccine recipients in Los Angeles County, a major virus hot spot, will be offered a digital record that will help ensure they get a second shot and could, eventually, be used to gain access to concert venues or airline flights.    The offering is being provided starting this week through a partnership with the startup Healthvana. It’s initially geared toward ensuring people receive both doses of the two-shot regimens that have been authorized in the U.S., including through follow-up notifications before a second appointment.”

Providers

Samsung Pay Winds Down Rewards Scheme

NFCW

Samsung Pay users in the USA are no longer able to earn Samsung Rewards points each time they make a purchase using the payments service. Samsung has updated the terms and conditions of its rewards programme , and these show that users are now able to earn Samsung Rewards points only when making purchases from the Samsung Galaxy Store and other Samsung Checkout-enabled mobile apps, buying selected Samsung products and “by visiting special locations announced by Samsung Pay”.”

Regulation

EFF to FinCEN: Stop Pushing For More Financial Surveillance

Electronic Frontier Foundation

“Today, EFF submitted comments to the Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) opposing the agency’s proposal for new regulations of cryptocurrency transactions. As we explain in our comments , financial records can be deeply personal and revealing, containing a trove of sensitive information about people’s personal lives, beliefs, and affiliations. Regulations regarding such records must be constructed with careful consideration regarding their effect on privacy, speech and innovation.”

Security

The Company That Processes Payments for Amazon and Swiggy Has Reported a Data Leak of Over 100 Million Debit and Credit Cardholders

Business Insider

“In what could be a major data breach, information of over 100 million debit and credit card users from payments processor Juspay has leaked on the dark web. Juspay processes payments for companies like Amazon, Swiggy, MakeMyTrip among others.The leaked data is in the form of a data dump and has been leaked through a compromised server of Juspay. Juspay has confirmed the data leak in its official blog post, outlining the details of the breach.”

Systems

OCC Says Banks Can Issue Payments Using Stablecoins

CoinDesk

“Federally regulated banks can use stablecoins to conduct payments and other activities, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) said Monday. The federal banking regulator published an interpretive letter addressing whether national banks and federal savings associations could participate in independent node verification networks (INVNs, otherwise known as blockchain networks) or use stablecoins. The letter said that these financial institutions can participate as nodes on a blockchain and store or validate payments.”

Systems

Ukraine Government Picks Stellar Development Foundation to Help Build National Digital Currency

CoinDesk

“Ukraine’s government has chosen the Stellar blockchain network as a platform to build a central bank digital currency (CBDC). Announced Monday, the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine and the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to build out a “virtual assets ecosystem and national digital currency of Ukraine.””

Use

9mobile, Others Parley on Deepening Financial Inclusion

Punch Newspapers

“As part of efforts to promote and deepen financial inclusion among the unbanked and underbanked population in Nigeria, 9mobile, Sanef, Ecobank and other stakeholders in the financial sector have discussed actualising the cashless vision of the Central Bank of Nigeria. According to a statement issued on Monday, this was at the virtual forum series, organized by Ecobank and Vanguard, which was themed ‘Mobile Payment Innovation and Closing the Financial Inclusion Gap – post COVID-19’.”

Users

Helping Out the Unbanked and the Underbanked Filipinos Save for Their Future

Manila Bulletin

“Cebuana Lhuillier Rural Bank, the banking arm of the Microfinancial Services giant, Cebuana Lhuillier and UnionPay International (UPI) have teamed up to launch the Cebuana Lhuillier 24K card – a new Debit Card designed to empower unbanked and underbanked consumers in the Philippines to afford financial mobility for their day to day lives.”

On The Wires

Deals

Divvy Raises $165 Million at a $1.6 Billion Valuation

Divvy , a leader in spend management, today announced a $165 million funding round at a valuation of $1.6 billion. The Series D investment includes new investors Hanaco, PayPal Ventures, Whale Rock, Schonfeld, and participation from previous backers NEA, Insight Venture Partners, Acrew, and Pelion. By combining free expense management software with corporate credit cards, Divvy’s centralized platform allows businesses to manage their spend with real-time visibility and control over their budgets.”

Domains

PayActiv Becomes First And Only CFPB-Approved Earned Wage Access Provider

“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today issued a groundbreaking approval order (Approval) confirming that Payactiv’s Earned Wage Access (EWA) Program is not credit and therefore is exempt from the federal Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Regulation Z rules governing creditors.   Specifically, the Approval notes that a Payactiv EWA user does not create a debt because “the accrued cash value of an employee’s earned but unpaid wages is the employee’s own money.” The Approval is specific to Payactiv and is the first of its kind from the Bureau. The Payactiv EWA Program is the only model approved by the CFPB.”

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