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June 15, 2022

On The Web


RBC and Plaid Announce Agreement to Bolster Client Security and Increase Connection to Financial Services Apps

PR Newswire

“During a time when Canadians’ appetite for digital services continues to increase, RBC and Plaid are pleased to announce a new data access agreement that will empower RBC clients with the option to share their financial data securely via a direct application programming interface (API) with the thousands of apps and services of their choice on the Plaid data network. This new API connection delivers a seamless user experience and eliminates the reliance on credential sharing, resulting in increased security and better protection of clients’ privacy.”


Mastercard Partners with Fintech EziPay

“Mastercard has strengthened its collaboration with major fintech operators by partnering with EziPay to enable millions of consumers across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) to make global digital commerce payments swiftly, safely and securely. Consumers and merchants can use the Mastercard virtual payment solution, which is linked to the EziPay eWallet and provides a convenient payment gateway service, to perform global digital transactions and connect with brands and businesses around the world, wherever Mastercard is accepted.”


PayPal Expands its ‘Pay Later’ Options With a More Flexible ‘PayPal Pay Monthly’ Service


“After Apple shook up the Buy Now, Pay Later market with news that it would now be a competitor to established firms, PayPal this morning is introducing another buy now, pay later product to follow the 2020 launch of its “Pay in 4″ installment program. The new offering,PayPal Pay Monthly,” is designed to give customers a more flexible way to pay, the U.S. payments giant said. Instead of having to pay off purchases over a 6-week period as before, “Pay Monthly” users can break down the total cost into monthly payments over a 6 to 24-month period.”


Discover and BANCOMAT Establish Partnership to Increase Acceptance in Italy

Business Wire

“BANCOMAT and Discover signed a strategic agreement that increases acceptance for Discover, Diners Club International and network alliance cardholders, all part of the Discover Global Network. This new partnership will give cardholders the ability to use their cards and mobile payment products on the BANCOMAT network throughout Italy.”


Sionic Launches ‘Pay-By-Bank’ Real-Time Payment (RTP) Service For U.S. Merchants

Business Wire

“Sionic, a leading provider of omni-commerce, consumer-to-business payments solutions, today announced its launch of the industry’s first real-time payments service enabling bank-to-bank digital cash deposits at the point-of-sale. In addition to receiving funds immediately, merchants benefit by avoiding expensive credit card swipe fees. The company has aligned with top financial institutions, payments processors and eCommerce partners to bring Pay-by-Bank to the customer checkout experience.”

June 14, 2022

On The Web


Coinbase Announces 1,100 Layoffs as CEO Warns of ‘Recession’ and ‘Crypto Winter’


“Coinbase, the largest U.S. based crypto exchange, said it would be reducing its workforce by 18%, laying off approximately 1,100 employees after volatile crypto markets have lost more than $2 trillion in value since 2021. In a Tuesday morning blog post, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong announced the decision and warned of a recession and a looming crypto winter. “We appear to be entering a recession after a 10+ year economic boom. A recession could lead to another crypto winter, and could last for an extended period,” Armstrong wrote. “In past crypto winters, trading revenue (our largest revenue source) has declined significantly. While it’s hard to predict the economy or the markets, we always plan for the worst so we can operate the business through any environment.” Armstrong also appeared to take responsibility for business mistakes that led to such massive layoffs at his company.”


Grubhub Teams Up with PayPal & Visa to Offer Drivers Faster & Easier Access to Payments

PR Newswire

“Grubhub, a leading food ordering and delivery marketplace, today announced the launch of Instant Cashout via Direct to Debit, which drivers can use to immediately access their earnings. The new payout option, enabled by Hyperwallet from Paypal and Visa Direct1 – Visa’s real-time2 money movement network – offers more flexible access to earnings by allowing any driver with an eligible bank debit card to deposit their accrued earnings to their eligible debit or prepaid card. Direct to Debit is powered by Hyperwallet, a payout management platform managed by PayPal, which in turn uses Visa Direct to deposit those payments to bank debit cards.”


Clip Money and Staples US Retail Partner to Bring Retail Cash Deposit Solution to Businesses

Global Newswire

“Clip Money, Inc. announces a transformative distribution and marketing partnership with Staples US Retail, a leading US retailer providing innovative products, services, and inspiration essential to the new ways of working and learning. The partnership will initially see 31 Clip smart drop solutions deployed within Staples stores in Massachusetts (26), Rhode Island (2), New Hampshire (1), and the newly reimagined Staples Connect stores in Los Angeles, CA and Auburn, Maine. Clip Money will also be deploying additional boxes in the New York Metro and North Carolina markets beginning in Q3’22….Clip Money Inc. is an infrastructure enabled Fintech that facilitates businesses to make deposits quickly, easily and securely to your current business bank account through a national network of drop box locations in malls, big box stores, and grocery chains.”


PayGround Adds Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Capabilities to Its Mobile Payment Platform

PR Newswire

“PayGround, a healthcare fintech payments platform, recently introduced optical character recognition (OCR) capabilities to its mobile app, enabling patients to take a picture of their bill to advance the payment process with minimal manual entry required. Only minimally necessary information from the bill image will populate in the app, and all images are secure, encrypted and stored under full compliance with HIPAA. “Because the images are processed using AI and machine-learning technologies to continuously train the app, the process improves over time,” says Dennis Elder, PayGround Director of Product – Consumer. “Patients can also verify the accuracy of the information and edit what they’ve shared, if needed.”


ISO 20022: Full of Promise But Treasurers Remain Wary

The Global Treasurer

“Global payment has been transformed for the better over the last decade and while champions of the new payment messaging standard ISO 20022 believe it will deliver it even more profound benefits for the industry over the next ten years, corporate treasurers are more circumspect. At a recent conference Ross Jones, head of global payments at Barclays, provided a timely overview of the migration to ISO 20022 and the opportunities and challenges it represents.”


Nigeria’s Mobile Money Transactions Surge by Over 3000% in the First four Months of 2022

Business Insider Africa

“The value of mobile money transactions in Nigeria increased by 3,454.46 per cent (N4.86tn) in the first four months of 2022 from (N136.85bn) in the corresponding period of 2019, as citizens continue to embrace digital payments as part of a measure to contain the spread of Covid-19. According to data provided by the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), the number of telecommunication subscribers in the nation recorded a 13.98 per cent jump to (201.31 million) in the corresponding month of 2022 from (176.62 million) in April 2019. Similarly, the report noted that mobile devices drove payment in 2020, accounting for 43 per cent of total transactions in 2020, with 35 per cent of transactions carried out via USSD and 78 per cent of total transfer transactions.”


Credit Card Linkage to UPI: Uncertainty Over Pricing Leaves Players in Dark


“While the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) decision to allow linking of RuPay credit cards to Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has been received positively by the industry as it is expected to open up a big payment universe, an uncertainty over the pricing structure has left players seeking clarity on how such a move will be implemented. Whether it is a credit card, debit card, or UPI, the consumer doesn’t incur any charge, it is the merchant who bears the cost in terms of merchant discount rate (MDR). While there is no MDR on UPI, for debit cards, it is capped at 0.9 per cent. There is, however, no cap on MDR for credit cards. Typically, credit cards (non-RuPay) have MDRs of 200 bps vs 50 bps MDR on debit cards. Rupay debit cards have no MDR whereas Rupay credit cards typically have lower MDRs vs those on Visa/Mastercard. Also, usually, in MDR, the issuing bank takes 60 per cent, and the balance is shared between the network provider (Visa, Mastercard, etc.) and acquirer….When asked about the pricing structure, T Rabi Sankar, deputy governor, RBI, said: “How the pricing structure will work out we will have to see because it’s something that the banks and system entities have to do. At this point, we will introduce the arran­gement and see how the pricing goes”….Also, there is no clarity on whether the facility will be extended to credit cards of other card networks, such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express, etc.”


U.S. Treasury Department on Track to Regulate Unhosted Wallets


“Following two rules proposed by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in 2020 that enforce transaction reporting on unhosted wallet transactions exceeding $10,000, while also compelling banks to collect information on a customer and their counterparty for any transaction exceeding $3,000 involving an unhosted wallet, U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo affirmed that the government agency has made progress.  Speaking at Consensus 2022, Adeyemo confirmed: “…we are working to address the unique risks associated with unhosted wallets…Fundamentally, financial institutions need to know who they are transacting and doing business with to make sure they are not making payments to criminals, sanctioned entities, or others. When it comes to unhosted wallets, we are working to provide them the information they need to avoid facilitating these kinds of illicit payments.””

June 13, 2022



Apple Pay Later Will Max Out at $1,000 — No Buying a MacBook Pro for You!


“Apple’s upcoming buy now, pay later service will only allow people to borrow a maximum of $1,000 based on their credit rating and other factors, including their Apple ID. While Apple will run soft credit checks before allowing people to use its Apple Pay Later feature when iOS 16 ships this fall, it will reportedly also use the data it already holds on people to inform its money-lending decision. A WSJ report notes that Apple intends to only allow people to borrow $1,000 at most, even if their credit score is good and their Apple ID doesn’t display a history of payment problems.”

On The Web


Finerio Connect, Ozone API and Visa Collaborate to Facilitate Open Banking in Latin America & the Caribbean

Ozone API

“Finerio Connect, a Mexican FinTech, together with Ozone API and Visa, announce their collaboration to support financial institutions in Latin America & the Caribbean to navigate open banking. Collectively, the three companies will offer an end-to-end set of tools and capabilities enabling rapid implementations – according to market readiness and compliance requirements… Finerio Connect was the first company in Latin America to develop open banking solutions and is the leader in providing open banking infrastructure in the region. It offers account aggregation, data handling and a Personal Finance Manager (PFM) app to more than 75 companies in Latin America.”


Affirm Partners with Agoda to Bring Travelers More Flexible Payment Options

Business Wire

“Affirm, the payment network that empowers consumers and helps merchants drive growth, today announced a partnership with global travel platform Agoda, part of Booking Holdings, the world’s leading provider of online travel and related services. Now, eligible travelers can book their hotel accommodations for upcoming trips across the Agoda platform both on web and via the app and pay over time for bookings over $50.  By selecting Affirm as a checkout option on the platform, eligible travelers can split the total cost of purchases into either biweekly or monthly payments for as low as 0% APR. They are shown the total cost of their purchase and will never pay more than the agreed amount upfront. With Affirm, customers will know exactly what they owe with no additional late charges or hidden fees. Agoda integrates Affirm’s Adaptive Checkout to offer customers dynamic payment options to suit a variety of budgets and preferences, including four interest-free biweekly payments as well as monthly payment options.”


Scrypt Joins Visa’s Fintech Fast Track Program To Continue Delivering Innovation in Payments

PR Web

“Scrypt, the next level payables automation provider, today announced that it has joined Visa’s Fintech Fast Track program, speeding up the process of integrating with Visa, a world leader in digital payments. The partnership allows Scrypt to more easily leverage the reach, capabilities, and security that VisaNet, the company’s global payment network, offers. Through Fast Track, Scrypt is now able to accelerate the process of bringing next level payment automation to the market by leveraging the reach, capabilities, and security of Visa’s global payment network. The core technology behind Scrypt’s accounting platform is based on a data operations platform developed at MIT for the US Department of Defense. Scrypt integrates data processing and decision support technology, powered by AI and machine learning, and uses (big) data to learn over time. In this way, Scrypt is able to mimic human behavior during complex tasks and perform adaptive decisions to optimize the flow of payables, receivables and payments.”

June 10, 2022

On The Web


Klarna CEO Defends Business Despite Massive Losses and Layoffs


“Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski has defended his company’s business model and the controversial “buy now, pay later” industry. Klarna lets consumers buy things that they might not necessarily be able to afford at that moment in time. Its 150 million customers pay a relatively small amount up front and pay back the rest later.   In an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” on Friday, the Swedish entrepreneur said BNPL is “superior” to the credit card model, claiming that the average Klarna user has an outstanding balance of $50, whereas the average credit card user has an outstanding balance of $5,000.”


Payoneer and Fiserv Collaborate to Streamline Cross-Border Payouts for Businesses


“Payoneer, the commerce technology company powering payments and growth for the new global economy, and Fiserv, a leading global provider of payments and financial services technology solutions, have teamed up to streamline how businesses deliver payouts to sellers, vendors, contractors, and consumers across borders. The collaboration allows businesses to access Payoneer’s payouts platform via the Carat operating system from Fiserv, enabling the delivery of payouts all over the world, while reducing the accompanying costs.”


How JPMorgan Chase is Using Payments Data to Woo Merchants From Fintechs

American Banker

“To help merchants improve their marketing, pricing and staffing strategies in a tightening economy, Chase this week began sharing deep insights about shoppers’ habits gleaned from two streams: its U.S. massive consumer card-spending database and huge national card-processing operations. The new resource, called Chase Customer Insights, rolled out this week after months of testing to Chase small-business customers and users of QuickAccept, the newest version of its small-business card acceptance service…(subscription required).”


Fintech Functionality: Credit Union Integrates Crypto Service

“To meet the demand of crypto-curious members, and with the blessing of the National Credit Union Administration, Dunedin-based Achieva is now the first credit union in Florida to provide its members with crypto services…to launch the service, available as a widget integrated into the latest version of the Achieva app, the credit union partnered with Bitcoin-based company NYDIG…Achieva allowed its employees to try the new service and gave them $10 to purchase bitcoin. NYDIG provided an additional $5 to everyone that took advantage of the trial run. By clicking on the app’s Bitcoin widget, users can instantly see the current market price for the apex cryptocurrency, view their trading history and buy, sell and hold the bitcoin.”

June 9, 2022

On The Web


Apple’s Pay Later Installment Credit Scheme Will Live Under a New Lending Subsidiary

Yahoo Finance

“The news that Apple would offer its own “buy now, pay later” service splitting any Apple Pay bill into installments hit the fintech lending world like a thunderbolt. But it turns out the new feature, while simple for consumers, necessitated a bit of backstage reorganizing at Apple, including a whole new subsidiary that will run it…. In order to do it internally, Apple had to form a fully owned but separate subsidiary called Apple Financing LLC, Apple confirmed to TechCrunch after Bloomberg first reported the news today. This company will be doing the actual work of assessing and issuing credit in compliance with the usual requirements and obtain the necessary licenses to work in each regulatory jurisdiction. And of course if everything goes up in flames, only the LLC burns down. It’s important to note that Apple did not get a bank charter for its new Financing LLC — though banks are often lenders, the reverse is not always true. It’s partnering with Goldman Sachs as the Mastercard credential provider rather than take on that role itself, and Pay Later uses the Mastercard Installments program as its basis.”


KeyBank Expands Embedded Banking Platform With New Payment Facilitation Capabilities

PR Newswire

“KeyBank announced the release of its end-to-end payment facilitation capabilities, allowing software companies to easily own and process payments. The concept of embedding financial products like payments and lending into software is at the forefront of the financial services industry. This release highlights KeyBank’s commitment to being a leader in Embedded Banking. KeyBank acquired XUP Payments in November 2021 to help advance its embedded banking solutions. With KeyBank’s new end-to-end capabilities, powered by XUP, payment facilitators control more of the client experience by digitally onboarding new merchants, setting and managing risk thresholds, and visualizing their transactions through a robust reporting suite.”


Apple Passkey Feature Will Be Our First Taste of a Truly Password-Less Future


“Apple and other tech giants want to get rid of passwords for online accounts and apps. Here’s why that’s going to be a great thing for your online account security.   At its WWDC 2022 keynote on Monday, the iPhone maker announced a new feature called passkeys. It’s essentially a new type of security that seeks to replace passwords for account login purposes. It will debut in the fall on iOS 16, macOS Ventura, and Apple’s other 2022 updates.  See how it works….”


Mastercard Brings Its Payments Network to Web3 and NFTs


“We believe the process of buying an NFT needs to be easier and safer. When that happens, customers get the things they want with less stress and uncertainty. For NFT creators, these changes grow their potential customer base to millions more people all over the world.  We’ve been innovating over the past year to make these improvements happen. As part of this work, we’re happy to announce we’re working to enable NFT commerce with Immutable X , Candy Digital , The Sandbox, Mintable , Spring, Nifty Gateway , and Web3 infrastructure provider MoonPay. We’re working with these companies to allow people to use their Mastercard cards for NFTs purchases, whether that’s on one of these companies’ marketplaces or using their crypto services. With 2.9 billion Mastercard cards worldwide, this change could have a big impact on the NFT ecosystem.”


FLEETCOR to Acquire AFEX, a Leading Cross-Border Payments Provider


“FLEETCOR Technologies, Inc., a leading global business payments company, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Associated Foreign Exchange (AFEX), a cross-border payment solutions provider. By acquiring AFEX, FLEETCOR will build upon its corporate payments line of business and strengthen its position as one of the largest business payments companies in the world. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory approval and standard closing conditions. AFEX delivers simple and seamless cross border payment solutions that help small-and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) break down currency barriers to grow internationally. The company focuses on providing international accounts payables products for businesses typically underserved by banks.”


NCR Takeover in Play?

“A takeover of NCR Corp. is in the works according to CNBC’s David Faber, Seeking Alpha reported today. The report cited Apollo Group, a company that vied for Cardtronics with NCR, as the most discussed buyer. In late April, Dealreporter reported at least six parties were interested in taking over NCR. NCR in early February said it began a strategic review that might involve structural changes, a company sale, a partial sale or a spinoff, according to Seeking Alpha.”


Millennial, Gen Z Consumers Turning to BNPL Services as Costs Rise: Survey

Fox Business

“Millennial and Gen Z consumers are more willing to utilize buy now, pay later (BNPL) services to help cope with the growing costs of goods, according to a new survey from Trustpilot. Inflation grew 8.3% in April, cooling for the first time in months, yet rising more than anticipated. Trustpilot’s survey found that more than half of respondents (51%) said that a fear of taking on too much debt amid rising levels of inflation is preventing them from using a BNPL service. However, 41% of those between the ages of 18 and 34 said they’d likely use BNPL services for household purchases. That’s compared to just 12% of older Americans, aged 55 and up, who said they’d be willing to do the same. “Of the group that has used BNPL, 25% are already planning to use the service to help pay for household essentials that have risen in cost as a result of inflation,” the survey stated.”


KC Fed Has Revoked Reserve Trust’s Master Account, Toomey says

Banking Dive

“The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City has revoked the master account for Colorado fintech Reserve Trust “after determining, among other things, that the company is no longer eligible for one,” Sen. Pat Toomey, R-PA, wrote Wednesday in a letter seeking answers from Kansas City Fed President Esther George, according to The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.”


Americans Ramp Up Credit Card Usage as High Prices Continue to Bite


“Americans are continuing to lean on credit cards and loans, as consumer credit surged by $38 billion in April amid the highest inflation in 40 years. The latest Federal Reserve data on outstanding consumer credit, released Tuesday afternoon, comes after March’s record increase of $52.4 billion. That figure has since been revised downward to $47.3 billion.Revolving credit, which mostly includes credit card balances, grew at an annualized rate of 19.6% and totaled $1.103 trillion in April, just breaking a pre-pandemic record of $1.1 trillion, according to the report.”


More Crooks Tapping ‘Synthetic Identity Fraud’ to Commit Financial Crimes

PC Magazine

“Identity theft remains a popular way for cybercriminals to ruin your credit score. But to steal even more and evade detection, a growing number of crooks are resorting to what’s called “synthetic identity fraud,” which involves creating fake personas to dupe lending agencies…To stop synthetic identity fraud, the US is developing the Electronic Consent Based Social Security Number Verification service, which is capable of checking whether a Social Security number matches known records.”

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