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November 16, 2022

On The Web

Companies

Wells Fargo Introduces Flex Loan to Give Customers More Options

Wells Fargo

“To help meet short-term cash needs, eligible customers now have another option with the newest product from Wells Fargo & Company – Flex Loan. Flex Loan is a digital-only, small-dollar loan that will provide millions of eligible customers convenient and affordable access to funds when they need it most. Flex Loan is available now in select markets and will be available nationwide by the end of the year…Flex Loan is accessible through a seamless, easy experience within the Wells Fargo Mobile Banking app: Flex Loan is available to eligible customers in amounts of either $250 or $500 for a flat fee of $12 or $20, respectively. Eligible customers will see the offer in their mobile app. Once a customer accepts the loan and sets up their repayment plan (payable in four equal monthly installments), the funds are deposited into their Wells Fargo account within seconds, allowing them to use their Wells Fargo debit card to make a purchase or payment immediately. There are no applications, hidden fees, late charges, or interest charges.”

Companies

Think You Know How to Spot a Scam? New Visa Report Finds That Even Savvy Consumers Get Tripped Up by the Language of Fraud

Visa

It’s not your imagination. Digital scams are everywhere in our daily lives. And as the holiday season approaches, fraudsters are counting on you to let your guard down and take the bait. Whether in the workplace or on the go, we’re peppered by phone, text and email with offers for “free gifts” and traps to “act now” to supply personal information before a vital service gets cut off. And this barrage of “fraudulese” is working.

A new research report out today from Visa , in partnership with Wakefield Research, “Fraudulese: The Language of Fraud,” brings to light that when it comes to spotting scams, cybercriminals are finding vulnerabilities among even the most tech-savvy consumers. While nearly half of the population are confident they can recognize a scam, 73% are likely to miss the requisite red flags in digital communications.

Companies

Ripple Expands into Africa, Partnering with MFS Africa to Bring the Benefits of Crypto-Enabled Payments to the Continent

Ripple

Today, Ripple, the leader in enterprise blockchain and crypto solutions, announced its entry into Africa in partnership with MFS Africa, a leading digital payments gateway. The new partnership will see MFS Africa using Ripple’s On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) solution for crypto-enabled payments to make it easier than ever for consumers and businesses in Africa to make real-time payments with their mobile phones across borders – all powered by Ripple’s financial technology, RippleNet.

Digital payments innovation in Africa is evolving at a rapid rate, making this the right time for Ripple’s long awaited move into the region. Africa boasts a rapidly-growing population – set to hit 1.7bn by 2030 – and the continent’s uptake of digital payments is among the fastest globally. According to GSMA, Africa accounts for 70% of the world’s $1 trillion mobile money value. In 2021, the value of Africa’s mobile money transactions reached $701.4 billion, a 39% increase on the prior year.

Global

Brazilian Central Bank Will Make Pix Open Source

Central Banking

“The Central Bank of Brazil will make the communications protocols behind its Pix payment system open source, governor Roberto Campos Neto said on November 11. Speaking to the CFA Society, Campos Neto said the central bank would make the protocols public this month, “so that all central banks that wish to can copy [them], for free”.”

Industry

Tencent Wants You to Pay With Your Palm. What Could Go Wrong?

MIT Technology Review

“Would you want a bottle of soda for just one cent?  Before you say yes, there’s a catch: You have to pay by scanning your palm and sharing your information with a Chinese tech giant.  This was the proposition Tencent made to a handful of Chinese consumers recently, as seen in a video posted on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, in late September.  In the video, a person who appears to be a WeChat employee can be heard instructing people to put their hand in front of a recognition device and record their palm prints in exchange for the special soda deal. “New feature of WeChat Pay. Everyone is welcome to try our service and support us,” the voice says.”

On The Wires

Companies

Wise Platform and Deel Make It Even Faster to Get Paid With New Feature

Businesswire

“Wise Platform has launched a new service with leading global HR and payroll company, Deel . The feature enables customers to send funds via Deel using just an email address, opening up 10 new currencies in Deel’s payments infrastructure and further simplifying global payroll for over 10,000 Deel customers – from SMBs to publicly traded companies. To date, customers using Deel in certain markets would have had to fund payroll by sending a USD or EUR international SWIFT transfer from their bank, which can be expensive, slow and inefficient. They would also have had to input a large amount of employee information in order to initiate their payments, including selecting a currency, adding account details, account type, and address information.”

Companies

American Express and Square Partner to Create First Credit Card for Square Sellers

Businesswire

“American Express and Square announced an expansion of their relationship and plans to launch a new credit card built specifically for Square sellers on the American Express network. The new card will be the first credit card Square offers to its community of small business owners in the U.S. It will integrate directly with Square’s broader ecosystem of solutions, empowering sellers to organize their finances and manage their cash flow from the same platform they use to run their business.”

Companies

Annual LexisNexis Risk Solutions Report Finds Fraud Costs up to 22.4% from Pre-Pandemic Levels Across U.S. and Canadian Financial Services Firms

PR Newswire

“LexisNexis® Risk Solutions today released the findings of its 2022 LexisNexis® True Cost of Fraud™ Study: Financial Services and Lending. This sixth edition of the report examines current fraud trends for more than 500 United States and Canadian financial services and lending companies and highlights key pain points related to the addition of new payment mechanisms, online and mobile channel transactions and international expansion. The survey was conducted between May and July 2022. U.S. and Canadian financial services firms’ fraud costs continue to rise. Every $1 lost to fraud now costs U.S. financial services firms $4.23 compared to $3.64 in 2020, a 16.2% increase. The cost for Canadian financial services firms rose 19.6%, from $3.16 in 2020 to $3.78 in 2022.”

November 15, 2022

On The Web

Companies

TCH Comments on Treasury Department’s Notice and Request for Comment on Digital Assets and Digital-Asset-Related Illicit Finance and National Security Risks

The Clearing House

The Clearing House Association (TCH) submitted comments in response to the Treasury Department’s notice and request for comment on “Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets” and digital-asset-related illicit finance and national security risks. In its letter, TCH addressed digital-asset-related illicit finance and national security risks, ways to mitigate these risks, the Treasury Department’s “Action Plan to Address Illicit Financing Risks of Digital Assets” (Action Plan), and ways in which to support anti-money-laundering/countering-the-financing-of-terrorism (AML/CFT) controls in the design of a potential U.S. CBDC. With regard to privately-issued digital assets and private token-based cryptocurrency, TCH opined that a comprehensive federal prudential framework applying standards to digital assets service providers that are equivalent to those that apply to depository financial institutions when engaged in functionally similar activities is essential. TCH also commented that banks, which are subject to comprehensive regulatory and supervisory frameworks, should be no less able to engage in digital-asset-related activities than nonbanks.

Companies

The Acceleration of Faster ACH Payments Continues with Late Night ACH

Nacha

“Following the increase of the Same Day ACH dollar limit to $1 million in March 2022, Nacha and the ACH Operators – the Federal Reserve and The Clearing House – have completed the latest phase in the acceleration of ACH payments with the implementation of “Late Night ACH.”  Implemented in mid-September 2022, the Federal Reserve and The Clearing House now deliver late night ACH files to all receiving financial institutions in the ACH Network by 11:30 p.m. Eastern Time on business days, accelerating the delivery of ACH payments that otherwise would be received on the next business morning. “This service enhancement was implemented in response to ACH industry participant requests,” said Michael Herd, Senior Vice President of ACH Network Administration, Nacha. “Receiving institutions can use this accelerated payment information to better reflect customer account balances for pending payment activity. This can be especially impactful on Friday nights in advance of a weekend or even a holiday weekend.” Through the first seven weeks of service, late night file delivery accelerated tens of millions of ACH payments each week. Nacha estimates an average of nearly 10 million ACH payments per day were delivered in these new files on Monday through Thursday. The average volume was significantly larger on Friday nights, with Nacha estimating an average of more than 50 million ACH payments per Friday.”

On The Wires

Companies

Japan Unicorn Opn Buys MerchantE to Enter U.S. Online Payment Sector

Reuters

“Digital payments processor Opn, a rare Japanese unicorn, or startup worth more than $1 billion, said on Tuesday it had acquired MerchantE from U.S. investment firm Integrum Holdings, making inroads into the U.S. online payment sector. Opn, whose investors include Toyota Motor Corp’s financial services unit, did not disclose the size of the deal, but a source familiar with the transaction said the U.S. payment processing provider was sold for approximately $400 million…Opn, pronounced “open”, has been offering services mainly in Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore and Thailand. The United States will become the seventh country where it has operations following the acquisition of MerchantE.”

November 14, 2022

TOP POST

Companies

Visa Has Terminated Global Debit Card Agreements with FTX

Reuters

“Visa Inc, the world’s largest payments processor, said on Sunday it was severing its global credit card agreements with collapsed crypto exchange FTX. “The situation with FTX is unfortunate and we are monitoring developments closely,” a Visa spokesperson told Reuters. “We have terminated our global agreements with FTX and their U.S. debit card program is being wound down by their issuer.” FTX and Visa had announced an expanded partnership in early October, including plans to introduce account-linked Visa debit cards in 40 new countries.”

On The Web

Companies

BofA Data Finds Overall Consumer Spending Continued to Grow in October though at a Slower Pace than Prior Months

Bank of America

“Bank of America Institute released a new publication which shows that discretionary consumer spending per household continued to increase in October, up 2.9% year over year (YoY) but down from 3.2% in September, according to Bank of America (BofA) internal data. Middle- and higher- income households ($50-125k and >$125k, respectively) have replaced lower-income households as the main driver for growth in discretionary spending. In October, the lower-income group contributed just one-fifth of the growth in discretionary spending, compared with approximately two-fifths in October of 2021. This is likely due to lower-income groups being the most negatively impacted by surging prices.”

Companies

A ‘Credible Alternative to Google and Amazon’: Klarna Brings Its Price Comparison Tool to Europe

TechCrunch

“Klarna is expanding into the competitive world of price comparisons, with the launch of a new tool that compares prices across thousands of retailers. The company quietly rolled out the price comparison service in the U.S. a few weeks back, and is now extending this into additional markets in Europe including The U.K. and the Nordics. The European “buy now, pay later” fintech has had a turbulent year, laying off 10% of its workforce in May followed by a second round of layoffs in September. Sandwiched in between, news emerged that Klarna had raised $800 million in funding, albeit at a valuation 85% lower than the previous year, a trend that has echoed elsewhere across the fintech sphere and beyond.”

Companies

More Merchants are Now Accepting Alipay+ in S’pore – Here’s a Look at What it’s About

Vulcan Post

“You might have seen Alipay+ advertisements as you roam on Singapore streets – as you walk along MRT stations, hop on a cab, go shopping at malls, or even head to Changi Airport to catch a flight.  Their ads are plastered almost everywhere, and more stores in Singapore are also carrying Alipay+ signs as an indication that they now accept this payment solution. This is a strong testament that Alipay+ is actively growing its presence here, but what exactly is Alipay+?”

Companies

Amazon Rolls Out Contactless Whole Foods Payment in Dallas (Palm Based)

Chain Store Age

“Amazon is beginning to offer its Amazon One palm payment shopping experience at more Whole Foods Market stores. On Tuesday, Nov. 8, two Whole Foods Market locations in the Irving and Highland Village suburbs of Dallas became the first Whole Foods Market stores in the Dallas area to offer the Amazon One palm-based payment system that allows customers the option to use their palm to pay for purchases. In the coming weeks, all 16 Whole Foods Market locations in the larger Dallas-Fort Worth area will offer the Amazon One palm payment option to its customers. This includes Whole Foods Market stores at Richardson, Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano, Bellingham, Colleyville, University Place, Arlington, Highland Park and Fairview. More than 65 Whole Foods Market stores across California recently rolled out Amazon One following previous launches in Seattle, Austin, and select stores in New York and Los Angeles.”

Companies

Jack Ma’s Ant Financial Wants To Become Leading Global Payments Aggregator; Clocks 1B Users

TechCrunch

“Jack Ma co-founded Alibaba Group Holding Limited fintech affiliate Ant Group has found a way to scale up its QR code-enabled payments solution overseas.  Ant has been quietly forming partnerships with local payment providers in Asia. Ant built something akin to the Mastercard Inc or Visa Inc network for digital payments. It allows consumers to travel with their mobile wallet from home, TechCrunch reports. Ant dubs the payments processing network Alipay+ to distinguish it from Alipay, its consumer-facing wallet that has become ubiquitous in China. Alipay+ has integrated with 15 payment methods, allowing its partnered merchants to reach more than one billion consumers, Angel Zhao, president of international business at Ant Group, said during the Singapore Fintech Festival. To create a network effect, Alipay+ has been busy onboarding merchants. It supports over 2.5 million businesses around the world.”

Global

Southeast Asia Central Banks Ink Deal to Boost Cross-Border Payments

MarketWatch

“Five central banks in Southeast Asia have signed a deal to make cross-border payments faster and cheaper as part of efforts to deepen financial integration in the region. The central banks of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand on Monday said they expect the deal to be a “significant contributor to accelerating regional economic recovery and promoting inclusive growth,” supporting cross-border trade, investment, remittance, tourism and other things. The deal will include cooperation on QR codes and fast payment, the banks said in a joint statement, without elaborating further.”

Global

UnionBank Teams Up with Huawei to Build APAC’s First Smart Campus in the Philippines

CoinGeek

“The Union Bank of the Philippines has tapped telecommunications equipment company Huawei Technologies to be its leading partner in powering its smart campus. Dubbed the UnionBank Innovation Campus (UBIC), UnionBank aims to become the “first smart campus for a financial institution in the Asia-Pacific region,” reports Business World. Huawei Technologies will provide the necessary technological support for the campus that will serve as a breeding ground for new talents in the fintech industry. Stewart Roa, head of UnionBank’s Cybersecurity Team, said the campus would use the Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to enhance student security and productivity in the learning facility. Roa makes the ambitious claim that the state-of-the-art infrastructure provides a peek into the future of “intelligent digital technologies.””

On The Wires

Companies

MoneyGram Announces Partnership with Beyon Money to Enhance Cross-Border Payment Capabilities on Bahrain’s First Financial Super App

PR Newswire

“MoneyGram International, Inc., a global leader in the evolution of digital P2P payments, today announced a new partnership with Beyon Money, the first financial super app in Bahrain, owned by leading telecommunications company Batelco. Through this partnership with MoneyGram, consumers in Bahrain will be able to use the Beyon Money app to send money in near real-time to over 200 countries and territories around the world. The Beyon Money super app enables consumers in Bahrain to connect to local bank accounts to review all transactions in one place, access financial insights to observe transactions and spending habits, and send money abroad to many countries around the world. This partnership with MoneyGram will complement the app’s existing services by enhancing its remittance capabilities.”

Companies

Sensepass and Sezzle Bring Tap-to-Pay and Buy-Now-Pay-Later Together

PR Newswire

Sezzle a leader in the digital payments industry, today announced an exciting partnership with Sensepass, an all-in-one solution being used by retailers to offer all digital payments wallets by tap or scan without purchasing hardware.

Dubbed the ‘Wallet of Wallets’, Sensepass is one, centralized hub that accepts any digital payment the shopper chooses—from credit and debit cards, to platforms like Venmo and Coinbase, and now, Sezzle’s payment offering. Sensepass already supports retailers, college bookstores, and the hospitality industry; clients include fashion retailer Kith, Ramsey Outdoor, Town Shop, Laline, and numerous restaurants.

Companies

Viva Wallet and Klarna Enter Europe-Wide Partnership

PR Newswire

“European cloud-based neobank Viva Wallet is set to further expand the line-up of payment options offered to their thousands of merchants across the continent. Klarna, counting 150 million global active users and 2 million transactions per day, is the latest addition to Viva Wallet’s online and in-store innovative payment platforms. Through this partnership, merchants meet the needs of a new generation of shoppers demanding more convenient, flexible payment alternatives that help them stay in control of their finances.  Pay in 3, Pay in 30 Days, Pay Now, or opt for Financing to pay over 3-36 months in a smooth one-click purchase; Klarna’s payments offering is now added to the collection of over 30 payment options delivered by Viva Wallet, featuring all major international as well as local payment schemes to accommodate all transactions. “Pay with Klarna” will be available to those interacting with the online and brick-and-mortar touchpoints, supported by Viva Wallet POS app that turns any Android mobile into a card terminal, and Smart Checkout payment gateway for e-shops, “allowing consumers to pay when and how they prefer to, saving time and money” as per Klarna’s scope.”

Companies

Visa Canada and RBC Announce Collaboration to Expand Flexible Financing Options in Canada with Installment Plans

Cision

“Today, Visa and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) announced their new collaboration to provide eligible RBC personal credit cardholders with the convenient option of converting a qualifying purchase into smaller, equal payments made over a defined period of time when shopping at participating merchants across Canada – both in-store and online. RBC is the latest issuer to support Installments enabled by Visa following the launch of the solution in Canada last year. Eligible RBC personal Visa credit cardholders can conveniently leverage their existing credit without submitting new loan applications, completing credit checks, or downloading a new app…This announcement responds to a growing consumer demand for more convenient and affordable financing solutions such as installment payments and Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) options in Canada and globally. BNPL represents a growing portion of the global payments market, accounting for over $1.7 trillion CAD of global payment volume.1 Visa research showed that up to half of all global consumers expressed interest in installment financing offered by their existing credit card issuer.2”

November 11, 2022

On The Web

Uncategorized

SPENN and Mastercard Partner to Boost Digital Inclusion in Africa

Marketscreener

“SPENN and Mastercard have today announced a strategic partnership that will enable SPENN Mobile Wallet users – even those without bank accounts – to make safe and seamless digital payments on the Mastercard network including international e-commerce transactions.  Under the agreement, SPENN will launch a Mastercard virtual card, giving its Mobile Wallet App customers new ways to access and pay for products and services at the millions of e-commerce merchants that accept Mastercard. With a Mastercard virtual (non-plastic) payment solution linked to SPENN Mobile Money wallets, consumers and small businesses can make payments to local and global online brands and can pay at over 15,000 Kazang devices in Zambia. This means e-commerce transactions can be done instantly through mobile wallets for a wide variety of payments including travel, entertainment subscription services, and bill payments while ensuring that the customer’s financial data is always secure and private.”

November 10, 2022

On The Web

Companies

Ping Wants to Simplify Global Payments While Helping Latin Americans Embrace Crypto

TechCrunch

“If the global pandemic taught us anything, it’s that you could work from anywhere as long as you had a computer and good wireless signal. However, getting paid when you live, say, in Argentina but work for a company on the other side of the world is not so simple. Many fintech startups have taken on this challenge, including Ping . The company was started in 2021 to solve payment challenges in Latin America, where about 70% of the population does not have a traditional bank account . Today, it is a digital payment tool, available on Android, iOS and desktop, facilitating international payments for remote workers, contractors and freelancers in both their local currency and in fiat and cryptocurrency.”

Companies

PayPal and Apple to Accept Each Other’s Payment Products

Finextra Research

“PayPal and Apple have struck a deal to start accepting each other’s payments products within their separate ecosystems. The pair have agreed to let US merchants accept contactless payments on their iPhones – using Apple’s new Tap to Pay technology – through the PayPal and Venmo iOS apps.Meanwhile, Apple Pay will be added as an option in PayPal’s unbranded checkout flows on merchant platforms.”

Companies

Elon Musk Details His Vision for a Twitter Payments System

TechCrunch

“Elon Musk detailed his vision for Twitter’s plan to enter the payments market during a livestreamed meeting with Twitter advertisers, hosted on Twitter Spaces on Wednesday. The new Twitter owner suggested that, in the future, users would be able to send money to others on the platform, extract their funds to authenticated bank accounts and, later, perhaps, be offered a high-yield money market account to encourage them to move their cash to Twitter. The new remarks followed a report this morning by The New York Times which confirmed Twitter last week had filed registration paperwork that would allow it to process payments. The report cited Twitter’s filing with the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), noting that a business would need to register before it could conduct money transfers, exchange currency or cash checks. In today’s meeting, Musk explained how paid verification, which Twitter is rolling out now with its revamped Twitter Blue subscription , as well as support for a creator ecosystem, could pave the way for a payments system on its platform.”

Global

Spanish Banks to Road Test Digital Euro

Finextra Research

“The Spanish banking sector has set up a working group and proof-of-concept to assess the impact of the implementation of a digital euro by the European Central Bank. Up to 30 banks, working in concert with infrastructure providers Bizum, Iberpay and Redsys, intend to roll out the PoC with the aim of undertaking an in-depth analysis of the technical, operational and business implications of the digital euro and its co-existance with existing payment instruments.”

Industry

FCA Threatens BNPL Bosses With Jail Time and Fines As Laybuy Nears Profitability

AltFi

“The Financial Conduct Authority ( FCA) has written to ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) execs warning they could face jail time if they fail to comply with financial promotion rules. Although not all BNPL ‘agreements’ are required to be authorised by the FCA, it said that financial promotions do fall within its jurisdiction, and therefore must still comply with “certain regulatory requirements”, in a letter seen by AltFi. As first reported by City AM , the FCA has warned that communication or explainers about products constitute “financial promotions” and so fall under its remit. The letter outlined that financial promotions must be “clear, fair and not misleading”, with the offence for non-compliance carrying a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment, a fine, or both.”

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