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May 11, 2022

On The Web

Companies

Google Adds Virtual Credit Cards for Google Pay

Gizmodo

“Google will roll out virtual credit cards for Pay on Chrome and Android later this year, in an effort to better protect users’ financial information during online transactions. Virtual cards are randomly generated 15 or 16 digit numbers that can be used to obscure your true card information when making online payments. The idea is that if a business you transact with has a data breach or suffers a cyberattack, hackers will only be able to swipe your “virtual” number, not your real one. There are a number of companies, like Blur, Stripe, and banks, that provide these kinds of services—often for a price.”

Companies

Zettle by PayPal Launches On-Phone Payments with Tap to Pay

PayPal Newsroom

“PayPal Holdings, Inc. today announced the launch of Tap to Pay with Zettle by PayPal for small businesses in the UK. The new function, which will begin rolling out today, enables individual sellers and small businesses to accept contactless payments in-person directly on their Android mobile devices, with no additional hardware and no additional fees. The launch comes at a time where popularity of contactless payments continues to rise, with nearly 70%1 of debit card transactions and over half (56%) of credit card transactions now being contactless. In fact, since the raise of the contactless spend limit last October (from £45 to £100) the average contactless spend has increased by 29% per transaction, from £11.86 in September 2021 to £15.30 in December 2021.”

Global

EU Commission Favors Ban on Large-Scale Stablecoins, Document Shows

Coindesk

“The European Commission is considering hard curbs on the ability of stablecoinsto become widely used in place of fiat currency, according to a document seen by CoinDesk. Officials appear to be siding with the views of European Union finance ministers, who have proposed tough measures aimed at stopping the likes of Facebook’s now-abandoned libra stablecoin from replacing the euro, and require issuance to halt if transactions top 1 million per day. Two individuals familiar with discussions confirmed the details. The document is labeled as a “non-paper,” meaning it does not reflect the commission’s formal position, and is one of a number documents being produced to influence discussions on topics such as whether crypto firms should be able to register from tax havens.”

Global

Why Crypto’s Rough Year In India Just Got Worse

Forbes

India’s latest decisions governing cryptocurrency portend turbulent times ahead for the country’s nascent but booming digital currency industry. During its launch event in India on April 7, American cryptocurrency giant Coinbase announced that its Indian investors would be able to use the country’s popular online payments system, UPI, to transfer funds to its local exchange. The pronouncement effectively operationalized the exchange in the world’s second-largest internet market. But hours later, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the regulatory agency overseeing UPI, released a terse, one-sentence statement claiming it was unaware of any cryptocurrency exchange using the payments system.

Industry

CFPB Issues Advisory Opinion on Coverage of Fair Lending Laws

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

“…the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published an advisory opinion to affirm that the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)—a landmark federal civil rights law protecting individuals and businesses against discrimination in accessing and using credit—bars lenders from discriminating against customers after they have received a loan, not just during the application process.”

Industry

Survey: Buy Now, Pay Later Is Popular With Online Shoppers

Forbes Advisor

“The newest way to pay in installments, Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) is changing how people shop. Widely available online, you usually only have to make your first payment at check-out with the additional required payments and due date clearly laid out for you during the purchase process. Often, these payment plans don’t tack on interest charges or fees—as long as you pay on time. If that combination of flexibility sounds appealing to you, you’re not alone. A new survey by Forbes Advisor shows that Americans are turning to Buy Now, Pay Later services to help fund purchases and a third of respondents now prefer BNPL to paying directly with their credit card. Here’s what American attitudes and behaviors look like today.”

May 10, 2022

On The Web

Companies

EMVCo Announces Development of EMV® Contactless Kernel Specification to Simplify and Advance Global Contactless Acceptance

EMVCo

“Global technical body EMVCo has announced that it is developing an EMV Contactless Kernel Specification to simplify and advance global contactless payment acceptance. Following a detailed review with EMVCo Associates in February and March, a draft specification is now available on the EMVCo website for public review. EMVCo aims to release the final specification later in 2022 once its publication is approved by the EMVCo Board of Advisors.”

Companies

Keybank Acquires Fintech GradFin

prnewswire

“KeyBank today announced that it has acquired GradFin, one of the nation’s leading Public Service Loan Forgiveness counseling providers. The acquisition furthers Key’s commitment to accelerate growth through targeted investments in digital, niche businesses.”

Global

China to Accept Digital Yuan on Public Transport in 12 Cities

Street Register

“The tech-savvy people of China will now be able to enjoy a more convenient life in Guangzhou, where public transport tickets can be purchased via China’s digital yuan app. China is the country that first issued a digital version its national currency. It will now be offered in 23 cities. Because it is digital currency issued by central banks (CBDC), digital yuan belongs to the bank. The currency can be used by some Chinese commercial banks, but they will need to be issued a license from the Central Bank.”

Industry

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen Pushes for Stablecoin Regulation by End of Year

TechCrunch

“Stablecoins have been a hot topic both on and off Capitol Hill. Earlier today, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen pushed for regulation during an annual testimony in front of the Senate Banking Committee, at a time where Terra’s algorithmic stablecoin UST struggles to retain its peg. “New products and technology may present opportunities to promote innovation and increase efficiencies,” Yellen said. “However, digital assets may present risks to the financial system and increased and coordinated regulatory attention is necessary.””

On The Wires

Companies

Jack Henry and NYDIG to Offer Bitcoin Services to Financial Institutions

“Jack Henry & Associates, Inc.® announced today that it’s working with NYDIG, a leader in bitcoin technology and financial services solutions, to enable financial institutions to make bitcoin more accessible to accountholders. Many consumers and businesses are looking to their financial institutions to provide bitcoin services, which this relationship will solve. Consumer and business accounts will be able to access NYDIG’s buy-hold-sell capabilities through the Banno Digital Platform™, with JHA PayCenter™ facilitating payments to and from NYDIG over the RTP® network. Jack Henry’s digital banking platform currently supports regional and community financial institutions in the U.S., offering leading capabilities and access to popular third-party apps to more than 7.1 million consumers.”

Companies

Peach Selected as Visa Ready for BNPL Launch Partner

Business Wire

“Peach Finance, a modern and configurable lending technology platform that helps lenders build, launch and scale new lending products, today announced that it has been selected as a launch partner for the Visa Ready for BNPL Program. As part of the program, Peach will help Visa clients power BNPL programs. Peach’s platform is designed to help lenders launch and scale modern lending products. Peach provides a loan management system, an integrated suite of servicing tools and Compliance Guard™, a proprietary compliance monitoring system.”

Companies

American Express Teams Up with Versapay to Create a More Efficient Accounts Receivable Experience for Suppliers and Buyers

“American Express and Versapay, the Collaborative Accounts Receivable company, today announced a new agreement to provide suppliers who utilize the functionality of American Express virtual cards with access to Versapay’s world-class collaborative accounts receivable (AR) network of buyers and suppliers. “Business buyers are increasingly turning to virtual cards to make faster, more efficient payments while giving them flexibility and better cash-flow management. Suppliers are benefiting from these faster payments; however, the increasing volume of these transactions is making automating the receivables even more essential,” said Colleen Taylor, President, Global Merchant Services – U.S. at American Express. “Our collaboration with Versapay will enable us to offer a fully automated acceptance experience and further support our supplier network while helping to improve the B2B payments process.””

May 9, 2022

On The Web

Companies

M-Pesa App Update Comes With Free 500 MB and New Features

Gadgets Africa

“M-Pesa has been coined as the future of money and rightly so. The amount of things M-Pesa has eased is immeasurable and the number of things you can do now is just staggering. Hence the need for a Super app to accommodate all the new features and categories. M-Pesa has taken the step to update its app and gift you for downloading it. We’ll also talk about some of the new features that come with it.”

Companies

Google Cloud Assembles Web3 Team to Leverage Emerging Metaverse

“Google Cloud Platform is putting together a Web3 specialist team to take advantage of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. The cloud computing services suite says its new Web3 team will focus on building services for developers running blockchain applications. In addition, the team will also provide blockchain services to enterprises and customers looking to leverage the technology. The new Google Cloud Web3 division, to be helmed by former Citigroup executive James Tromans, already has a descriptive agenda set out. This reportedly includes better management of blockchain nodes as well as software for exploring blockchain data in third-party applications. Back in January, Google already hinted at this specialist division with pre-existing and established partnerships with blockchain projects. The company believes that the emerging metaverse and all its trappings offer so many untapped opportunities to exploit.”

Companies

Can PayPal Coin Alter the Crypto Landscape?

tribune

“The stable coin market has been doing fairly well, boasting a market cap of $166 billion and a daily trading volume of $72 billion. In January, PayPal confirmed that it has explored launching its own stable coin after a developer noticed code on its iOS app hinted at the existence of a PayPal Coin. While PayPal clarified the code was related to a recent hackathon, it would be interesting to map out the potential influence a stable coin from PayPal would have on the industry.”

Companies

Apple Reportedly Working on New “Buy Now, Pay Later” Service for Apple Pay

The Apple Post

“Apple is reportedly working on a new “buy now, pay later” service for Apple Pay, which would rival the likes of Klarna and Affirm by offering customers the option to pay in instalments over time for purchases made through Apple Pay, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. Details about the reported “buy now, pay later” service for Apple Pay are low but presumably the service would work similarly to the financing service Klarna, where online stores offer Klarna as a payment method at the checkout, giving the option for payments to be made in affordable monthly segments rather than in full at once.”

Companies

Adyen Expands Global Partnership with Afterpay

PR Newswire

“Adyen, the global financial technology platform for leading businesses, today announced it has expanded upon its partnership with one of the leaders in Buy Now, Pay Later, Afterpay Limited. Afterpay is working with Adyen to process payments across key markets including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Europe, U.S., and the U.K. to support the company’s global growth and momentum. Adyen’s global reach and focus on enterprise businesses as an acquirer provides Afterpay with the capability needed for its fast growing business.”

Global

Fewer Online Card Frauds Since New Payment Checks Introduced, says Nationwide

TechCrunch

“Britain’s biggest building society is seeing around 2,000 fewer cases of online card fraud per month following the introduction of new industry payment checks to protect shoppers. The strong customer authentication (SCA) requirements were fully rolled out in March. Because of these, people shopping online may find they are asked to verify a purchase via text message more often when they get to the checkout, receiving a passcode which they are then prompted to enter on screen.”

Global

UK’s Digital Watchdogs Take a Closer Look at Algorithms as Plans Set Out for Year Ahead

GOV.UK

“This “algorithmic processing” is commonplace and often beneficial, underpinning many of the products and services we use in everyday life. From detecting fraudulent activity in financial services to connecting us with friends online or translating languages at the click of a button, these systems have become a core part of modern society. However, algorithmic systems, particularly modern Machine Learning (ML) or Artificial Intelligence (AI) approaches, pose significant risks if used without due care. They can introduce or amplify harmful biases that lead to discriminatory decisions or unfair outcomes that reinforce inequalities. They can be used to mislead consumers and distort competition.”

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Global

UPI Transactions Reaches New Heights with 5.58 Billion in April 2022

Inventiva

According to information provided by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), 5.58 billion transactions were processed using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in April 2022. This is the most extensive number of UPI transactions in a single month since the system was launched in 2016.  Last month, the payments network saw transactions worth Rs. 9.83 lakh crore.

Industry

Gaining Momentum – Results of the 2021 BIS Survey on Central Bank Digital Currencies

BIS

“Most central banks are exploring central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), and more than a quarter of them are now developing or running concrete pilots. This BIS paper updates earlier surveys that asked central banks about their engagement in this area. The latest responses from 81 central banks show that the Covid-19 pandemic and the emergence of cryptocurrencies have accelerated the work on CBDCs. In addition, this paper shows that more than two thirds of central banks are likely to issue a retail CBDC in the short or medium term. Many are exploring a CBDC ecosystem that involves private sector collaboration and interoperability with existing payment systems.”

May 6, 2022

On The Web

Companies

2022 Findings from the Diary of Consumer Payment Choice

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

“The 2021 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice (Diary) finds that the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to affect the way U.S. consumers use and hold cash. The share of payments made in cash dropped sharply from 2019 to 2020 and then increased slightly in 2021, implying that cash use hit its lowest point in the first pandemic year. In contrast to cash use, consumers’ cash holdings remained elevated in 2021 when compared to 2019 and prior years, indicating that consumers continued to demand cash in the uncertain environment of the pandemic’s second year.”

Global

China Digital Currency: Leading Mobile Payment Apps Alipay, WeChat Pay Install New Features to Help Widen e-CNY Roll-out

South China Morning Post

“China’s sovereign digital currency, known as e-CNY, is on track to achieve greater exposure in more cities across the mainland, as leading domestic mobile payments providers Alipay and WeChat Pay install new features to support its wider roll-out. Alipay, operated by financial technology giant Ant Group, announced on Thursday that its app has added a button that enables users to search for and download the official e-CNY wallet within its platform. By opening an account using the same phone number associated with Alipay, users can make purchases with e-CNY on the app.”

Industry

As Buy Now, Pay Later Services Have Grown More Popular, There Remains Virtually No Oversight

Fast Company

“…Buy now, pay later options have proliferated during the pandemic as consumers moved their purchases online. Now, at checkouts from Chipotle to Target, consumers are given the option of paying just a slice of the cost up-front and making the rest in installments. Unlike credit cards, signing up doesn’t involve a hard credit check, and the payments don’t accrue interest. As of January 2022, about one in five Americans had used a buy now, pay later service. The fact that they don’t typically come with interest may sound like a good deal, but there are financial pitfalls, many of which may not be clear when a consumer first signs up.”

Industry

Cryptocurrency and Its Role in Retail

NRF

“Cryptocurrency can feel like another language, but we’ve been here before. If you’re a business owner in the 1990s, you remember being urged to put up a website. It seemed like a potential waste of time: If a customer wanted to find you, they could use a phone book. Apps, artificial intelligence, delivery services — plenty of other developments have come down the pike that might have seemed unnecessary until suddenly it was obvious they were a benefit to a business. If you hear the word “cryptocurrency” or more specifically, references to Bitcoin or Ether or Litecoin, your eyes might be glazing over. Even if you feel like you understand cryptocurrency, though, you might be reluctant to take it as a payment.”

On The Wires

Companies

Citi Launches SEPA Instant Payments in Europe

“Citi has announced the launch of Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) Instant Payments in Europe, further increasing the bank’s global Instant Payments offering. The launch will provide clients with the ability to pay to and receive from 36 SEPA countries instantly. The offering allows SEPA Credit Transfers to be made within seconds, 24/7 and funds available to recipients immediately. Payments can be made to and received from SEPA Instant participating banks located anywhere within the 36 country SEPA zone. The new offering provides clients with a single point of access through Citi’s platforms, CitiConnect® for Files, CitiConnect® API and CitiDirect®, for executing Instant Payments. With standardized connectivity platforms, clients will benefit from a scalable solution that can facilitate rapid global expansion within a consistent architecture.”

May 5, 2022

On The Web

Companies

CIBC to Enable Future-Dated and Recurring Interac e-Transfer Transactions

MobileSyrup

“CIBC is rolling out a new Interac e-Transfer system to enable its clients to set up recurring or future-dated payments. The new feature is accessible through a CIBC Online Banking or CIBC Mobile Banking account. As part of the new feature, CIBC clients can schedule Interac e-Transfer transactions up to five years in the future. CIBC is the first of the five major Canadian banking institutions to support such a feature.”

Companies

Alacriti Announced Push-to-Card Solution that Enables Businesses to Disburse Funds Directly to their Eligible Debit Cards—in Real Time—Enabled by Visa Direct, Visa’s Real-Time Money Movement Network.

businesswire

“Alacriti, a fintech company specializing in payments and money movement, today announced its new, fast push-to-card solution that enables businesses to disburse funds directly to their eligible debit cards—in real time—enabled by Visa Direct, Visa’s real-time money movement network. Orbipay Push-to-Card enables businesses to deliver faster payout experiences and helps drive customer satisfaction. Consumers don’t need to remember or share their bank account information, and funds can be sent to their most-used eligible card. It’s convenient and quick, and supports the growing consumer demand for faster access to their money. Orbipay Push-to-Card is a part of Orbipay Unified Money Movement Services, a cloud-based platform that enables businesses to quickly and seamlessly deliver modern, intuitive digital payments and money movement experiences.”

Companies

Venmo and PayPal Fees Are on the Rise Yet Again

Money

“Need the money that’s sitting in your PayPal or Venmo account right away? Withdrawing it quickly is soon going to cost you more.  PayPal, which is the parent company of Venmo, recently said it’s increasing prices for the “instant transfer” feature for both of the popular money-sending apps later this spring. The changes will affect hundreds of millions of accounts. An instant transfer allows you to cash out the money that’s in your Venmo or PayPal account and send the funds to your bank account or debit card. PayPal and Venmo already charge for this service, and soon instant transfer fees will be even more expensive…The instant transfer fee announcement comes a month after both apps rolled out a separate new fee structure for crypto transactions…PayPal and Venmo’s upcoming instant transfer fees: 1.75% of the amount transferred with a 25-cent minimum but a new $25 maximum”

Global

Intense Jostle for Market Share as Telcos Delve into Retail Banking

“A new wave of competition for the retail segment of banking has been activated with MTN and Airtel eyeing a large chunk of the market that has sustained the profitability of many Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) for decades. The hustle and fierce contest among DMBs and payment platforms for control of retail banking market is already sending jitters through boardrooms of many lenders after leading telcos, MTN and Airtel, were recently granted final approvals to operate mobile money (Momo) Payment Service Banks (PSBs), about six months after they were granted provisional licences.”

Industry

California Moves to Embrace Cryptocurrency and Regulate It

“California, which has a economy larger than all but four countries and where much of the world’s technological innovation is born, on Wednesday became the first state to formally begin examining how to broadly adapt to cryptocurrency and related innovations. Following a path laid out by President Joe Biden in March, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order for state agencies to move in tandem with the federal government to craft regulations for digital currencies. It also calls for officials to explore incorporating broader blockchain computer coding into the government operations.”

On The Wires

Companies

Rapyd Launches Virtual Accounts, a New Payments Solution Unlocking Cross-Border Commerce for Businesses Looking to Expand Globally

“Rapyd , a global fintech-as-a-service platform, today announced the launch of Virtual Accounts, a vital product empowering businesses to expand globally while supporting local payments. This new offering allows organizations anywhere in the world to securely and reliably accept local bank transfers across over 40 countries in more than 25 currencies, including the US, UK, EU, and APAC regions.”

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