Payments News

February 8, 2019

TOP POST

Deals

Visa boosts offer for Earthport in battle with Mastercard

Reuters

“Visa Inc on Friday sweetened its offer for payment company Earthport Plc to about 247 million pounds ($319.84 million), pushing past rival Mastercard Inc’s earlier bid and setting up a showdown for the assets. A unit of Visa offered 37 pence in cash for each Earthport share, a 23 percent premium to its initial bid and 12 percent higher than Mastercard’s offer last month.”

On The Web

Companies

Wells Fargo Customers Say Paychecks Went Missing Following Outage

Wall Street Journal (paywall)

Wells Fargo WFC -0.94% & Co. customers and employees continued to experience problems with their bank accounts Friday as a result of a systems failure, with some saying they had trouble accessing money from direct deposits. Scores of customers complained Friday morning on social media that they were unable to see paychecks deposited into their accounts via direct deposit. Some of the bank’s employees also said their paychecks weren’t showing up in their Wells Fargo accounts.”

Deals

Lightspeed to Seek C$200 Million in Canadian Listing

Bloomberg

Lightspeed POS Inc., which filed for an initial public offering Wednesday, is seeking to raise about C$200 million ($151.4 million), according to people familiar with the matter. The Montreal-based maker of payments software has filed a preliminary prospectus with Canadian regulators and plans to list its shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker LSPD, it said in the filingBank of MontrealNational Bank Financial and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are running the share sale.”

Providers

Bank branches lose influence in battle for U.S. market share: study

Reuters

“The percentage of customers who prefer to transact in branches declined to 26 percent from 38 percent in 2016, the study found. Branches are still among the factors McKinsey uses to determine opportunities to gain market share, but marketing, digital tools and customer satisfaction are becoming more influential.”

Risk & Fraud

Fraud Allegations Put Wirecard’s Shy Billionaire CEO in the Spotlight

Bloomberg

“In his 17 years as chief executive officer of Germany’s Wirecard AG, Markus Braun has gained plenty of experience fighting off skeptics and critics. But the stakes have never been this high, for Braun has taken this complex financial-plumbing operation with roots in pornography and online gaming into the most exclusive preserve of German business: the 30-company DAX stock index. His firm’s 14 billion-euro ($16 billion) market value almost matches Deutsche Bank AG’s; Braun’s 7 percent stake makes him a billionaire.”

Risk & Fraud

Phishers Target Anti-Money Laundering Officers at U.S. Credit Unions — Krebs on Security

Krebs on Security

“A highly targeted, malware-laced phishing campaign landed in the inboxes of multiple credit unions last week. The missives are raising eyebrows because they were sent only to specific anti-money laundering contacts at credit unions, and many credit union sources say they suspect the non-public data may have been somehow obtained from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an independent federal agency that insures deposits at federally insured credit unions.”

February 7, 2019

TOP POST

Deals

SunTrust, BB&T to Form Sixth-Largest U.S. Bank

Wall Street Journal (paywall)

BB&T Corp. is buying SunTrust Banks Inc. in a stock deal that combines two of the country’s largest regional banks into an entity that could better compete with larger peers.The companies said the merger, which they valued at about $66 billion, would create the sixth-largest U.S. bank in terms of assets and deposits. The deal would also be one of the sector’s largest in recent years.”

On The Web

Companies

Globalization Helped Make Stripe a $23 Billion Company. Here’s What Comes Next

Bloomberg

“In 2010, when Patrick Collison founded Stripe Inc. with his younger brother John, he thought the world was headed toward ever-increasing globalization, economic stability and international commerce. Now, based on the events of the last couple years, no one holds “so Panglossian a view,” said the 30-year-old chief executive officer. “There are more headwinds to global economic integration than there were any time in the past 20 years,” Collison said. “That’s going to make global expansion more difficult for businesses in general.””

Regulation

Cisco, like Apple and other tech giants, now wants new federal privacy law

Ars Technica

“In a blog post, Cisco’s top lawyer, Mark Chandler, called the current legal framework “not adequate.” Cisco hasn’t put forward specific bill language just yet; it is speaking for now in generalities. Particularly in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, along with the recent passage of the GDPR in the European Union and California’s own new privacy law, companies have been pushingCongress to regulate their industry like never before. Some lawmakers have taken notice and have introduced their own bills, but none have gotten far in the process just yet. Other states, like Washington and Massachusetts, are proposing their own privacy bills, too.”

Risk & Fraud

A Devilishly Clever Trojan Plagues Banks, Card Issuers, Online Retailers, And Many More, IBM Says

Digital Transactions

“As if retailers and merchants didn’t have anything else to worry about, a malware threat called IcedID wants to set itself off as a special type, says a researcher at IBM Corp. In a blog post released Wednesday, the researcher says the criminal gangs using IcedID—discovered and named by IBM in 2017—tap into the malware’s ability to launch different attack types. IBM’s recent analysis of IcedID examined how it’s used to target U.S. e-commerce vendors.”

Systems

The plot to revive Mt. Gox and repay victims’ Bitcoin

TechCrunch

“Now a controversial crypto celebrity named Brock Pierce  is trying to get the Mt. Gox flameout’s 24,000 victims their money back and build a new company from the ashes. Pierce spoke to TechCrunch for the first interview about Gox Rising — his plan to reboot the Mt. Gox brand and challenge Coinbase and Binance for the title of top cryptocurrency exchange. He claims there’s around $630 million and 150,000 Bitcoin are waiting in the Mt. Gox bankruptcy trust, and Pierce wants to solve the legal and technical barriers to getting those assets distributed back to their rightful owners.””

Systems

Your Starbucks Rewards Card Is Killing U.S. Mobile Payments

Forbes blog

“So what exactly is holding the U.S. back? It certainly isn’t the lack of entrepreneurs given that the vast majority of the top 50 fintech companies hail from the country. It is also unlikely that American consumers themselves are to blame in light of the fact that 42% of them profess to being comfortable with cashless alternatives. Instead, the root of the problem is likely to be the fragmented banking system that has thus far succeeded in warding off systemic disruption.”

On The Wires

Users

Bank of America Introduces New Digital Tools for Small Business

“Bank of America today introduced Business Advantage 360, a new digital dashboard designed to make it easier for entrepreneurs to manage the various financial aspects of their business. Available for the first time to any Bank of America client with a business deposit account, Business Advantage 360 provides a complete view of business cash flow and access to real-time expertise and guidance – all in one simple tool with new functionality.”

February 6, 2019

On The Web

Domains

Samsung Pay starts overseas remittance service in 17 countries – Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea

Pulsenews

“Samsung Electronics Co. said Wednesday that it has begun the beta version overseas remittance service on its mobile payment system Samsung Pay in partnership with local foreign money transfer operators Hanpass and Sentbe. The beta service will be available in 17 countries including the United States, China, and Japan. The company plans to gradually expand the service to other countries as well as add more partners. “

Regulation

CFPB Unveils Plan to Revise Obama-Era Payday Loan Regulation

Wall Street Journal (paywall)

“The Trump administration said Wednesday it will overhaul an Obama-era payday loan regulation, unveiling a proposal to remove a lending requirement that would have made it difficult for companies to offer high-cost consumer loans. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as part of the move said it would postpone until November 19, 2020 the date when the payday lending rule goes into effect.”

Use

Amazon Cash Banks On Engaging African-American, Hispanic Consumers

MediaPost

“While Amazon’s overarching strategy is to engage these consumers, who represent 25.2% of the U.S. population, it is also an effort to attract more African-American and Hispanic consumers, who just so happen to be the most likely ethnic groups to be unbanked, according to an FDIC study. Several factors impact this disparity, including lower average household incomes as well as a distrust of financial institutions. Amazon’s message to these consumer groups, however, is loud and clear: “being unbanked or underbanked should not be a barrier to using our service.””

February 5, 2019

TOP POST

Systems

Google And Amazon Favor Fed Role In Real Time Payments

Forbes

“When the Federal Reserve issued a request for comment about whether it should provide a real-time payment systems (RTGS) to offer an alternative to the TCH real-time payments system (RTP), several tech firms were ready, just as some banks had feared. Banks, bank associations and state regulators in their comments had often suggested that access to RTGS be restricted to banks and credit unions.”

On The Web

Deals

Facebook Quietly Acquires its First Blockchain Startup, Chainspace

Ethereum World News

“The move by facebook does not come as a shock to many as the social media giant has had a history of acquiring startups such as Instagram, Whatsapp, Snaptu, Face.com, Oculus VR and a few others. In the case of Chainspace, the acqui-hire is more or less buying out the company primarily for the skills and expertise of its staff rather than the products and services it supplies.This then means that the team at Chainspace will be integrated into the yet to be made public vision of the blockchain division at facebook.”

Global

Meridian Set to Launch Its New Digital Bank Called Modusbank

Betakit (Canada)

“Meridian has been given the green-light by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions to move ahead with its new digital bank, Motusbank. The digital bank, set to open this spring, and will allow Canadians to access their bank accounts, investments, and mortgages online, while offering digital customer service from real people. Through Meridian, members will also receive access to one of Canada’s largest no-fee ATM networks.”

Systems

Zcash Discloses Vulnerability That Could Have Allowed ‘Infinite Counterfeit’ Cryptocurrency

Fortune

“Bryce “Zooko” Wilcox, CEO and cofounder of the Zcash company, told Fortuneon a call that his team patched the security hole in October, roughly eight months after its initial discovery. “We don’t believe that there was any exploitation of the vulnerability” on the Zcash blockchain, he said, noting that very few people knew the cryptography well enough to have discovered and exploited it. Moreover, the Zcash team has not seen any anomalously large transfers of Zcash cryptocurrency which might suggest nefarious conduct, he said.”

Tech

Dollar Car Rental Modifies Prepaid Card Policies

“Rentals booked more than 24 hours in advance will only require a debit card and driver’s license. Rentals booked less than 24 hours in advance, or rentals for Convertibles, Luxury and Premium vehicles, can still use a debit card but require two forms of identification and proof of return travel plans. The policy will also reduce the incidental hold amount from $350 to $200, plus the cost of the rental, for both debit card and credit card rentals. Dollar accepts all non-prepaid debit cards backed by Visa, Mastercard and Discover.”

On The Wires

Domains

American Express and Bill.com Introduce Vendor Pay for Accounts Payable

“Today, American Express (NYSE:AXP) and Bill.com announced a strategic partnership with a new offering: American Express “Vendor Pay” by Bill.com. Vendor Pay couples automating your accounts payable (AP) process with the ability for businesses to seamlessly pay vendors with their American Express® Business or Corporate Card, without the hassle of setting up a new Card account.”

February 4, 2019

On The Web

Deals

Bud raises $20M to connect banks to fintechs and other financial service providers

TechCrunch

“Originally launched back in 2016 as a consumer app that wanted to make various financial services accessible from a single aggregated interface, the London-based startup has since pivoted to a tech platform it offers to banks to help them remain more competitive in the Open Banking/PSD2 era. Its tech lets banks create new apps and services that enable customers to manage all of their financial products within a single app.”

Deals

China’s Ant Financial raised almost as much money as all US and European fintech firms combined

Quartz

“Ant Financial accounted for 35% of global venture capital investment in fintech firms last year, according to CB Insights. The Chinese company started in 2004 as Alipay, a payment service for Alibaba. It blew past US-based PayPal in 2013 to become the largest provider of payments via mobile devices. Now, the platform offers a range of services including investing, credit, and insurance.”

Deals

Aire raises $11M Series B to give credit scoring an ‘upgrade’

TechCrunch

Aire, the U.K. startup that wants to give the credit scoring system a 21st century “upgrade,” has raised $11 million in Series B funding. The round is backed by European enterprise VC Crane Venture Partners, with strategic investments from Experian Ventures and Orange Digital Ventures.”

Domains

WTO E-Commerce Talks Move Forward, Disagreements Lie Ahead

Disruptive Competition Project

“With digital transactions increasingly intertwined with international trade flows, global agreement on rules that will sustain and further e-commerce is critical. Industry groups including CCIA have supported the ongoing discussions and encouraged countries to increase their engagement to develop rules on e-commerce. The inclusion of developing countries on the Joint Statement is also welcome, demonstrating that getting digital trade rules right is not merely an issue for the benefit of developed countries with established Internet economies but a key aspect of development.”

Domains

Saudi Arabia, UAE Aim to Cut Payments Costs With Common Digital Currency

CoinDesk

“The central banks of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have jointly launched a digital currency trial. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) and the Central Bank of the UAE jointly announced Tuesday that the project is aimed to facilitate blockchain-based financial settlements between the two countries. While the central remittance systems in both countries have “evolved overtime and proved their feasibility,” international remittances have need for improvement, the central banks said.”

Domains

Modernize your payments: More efficient means lower operations costs

PLANT

“A Payments Canada study, in partnership with Ernst & Young LLP (EY Canada), quantified the current cost of payments processing for Canadian business to be between $3 billion and $6.5 billion annually. The research looked at current payment processes and identified inefficiencies, such as the manual handling of accounts receivables and payables among all sizes of businesses. A faster, safer and more data-rich payments system will reduce many of these operational inefficiencies, and help lower costs while boosting bottom-line returns over time.”

Providers

2019 Trends in Digital Payments: Consumers Expect Speed, Intuitive Engagement From Their Financial Institutions

Fiserv blog

“In the coming year, financial institutions will face the dual challenges of meeting those evolving consumer expectations while grappling with the complexities of a shifting digital payments environment. Financial institutions have been on a digital journey for more than a decade. The next, even more significant step on that journey is in payments.”

Regulation

New Jersey Lawmakers Pass Bill To Protect Cash-Paying Consumers

Digital Transactions

“New Jersey legislators last week passed a bill with overwhelming support to prevent businesses from banning consumers from using cash for purchases. The bill, which now goes to Gov. Phil Murphy for his signature, would make New Jersey only the second state to protect cash-using customers in stores. The proposed law, A591, applies only to point-of-sale purchases and excludes mail, telephone and Internet sales. Car-rental companies are exempted. The legislation passed the state Assembly Friday on a 71-2 vote following the state Senate’s 39-0 endorsement Thursday.”

Reports

How and why a global professional services provider is preparing for payments modernization, including ISO 20022

Payments Canada

“This latest case study details how a professional service provider is fast-tracking its payment capabilities through an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system implementation across its global operations. This large scale implementation is helping prepare the organization for payments modernization, including ISO 20022 – a global messaging standard that allows data to travel with electronic payments.  “

Risk & Fraud

Glowing reviews tout counterfeit cash on the dark web

LA Times

“An analysis by Secret Service experts linked the fraudulent bills to thousands of others that had been passed with a total face value of $4.1 million. That made Billmaker the nation’s most prolific domestic counterfeiter. Britsch’s buy sparked a nine-month investigation into the murkiest corners of the dark web, where cyber-savvy criminals use online bazaars to anonymously buy and sell goods ranging from firearms and illegal drugs to fake identification and stolen cars.”

Systems

Cheques to be excluded from UK’s New Payments Architecture

Finextra

“Once again cheques in the UK are facing their demise, this time as a consequence of their being excluded from the New Payments Architecture project, or “NPA”. This time it will be a slow and lingering death over a 10-15 year period, as investment is channeled into other services and the cheque service withers on the vine.”

Use

Restaurants’ Own Apps Command Most Digital Orders, Research Indicates

Digital Transactions

“Discounts and other loyalty deals help explain the greater popularity of proprietary programs for restaurants, along with a desire among users to customize and streamline orders, NPD says.  Despite this lopsided result, third-party apps account for 40%, or “more than their fair share,” of the top 20 apps ranked by usage, whether third party or restaurant-branded, indicates the report, entitled “Delivering Digital Convenience.” The reasons consumers give for using third-party systems include functions like looking up items, paying for meals, and checking prices, NPD says. As might be expected, here, too, deals help boost usage.”

On The Wires

Companies

Amazon.com Announces Fourth Quarter Sales up 20% to $72.4 Billion

“Operating cash flow increased 67% to $30.7 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $18.4 billion for the trailing twelve months ended December 31, 2017. Free cash flow increased to $19.4 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $8.3 billion for the trailing twelve months ended December 31, 2017.”

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