30 March 2018

30th March 2018
  • Mobile/Contactless and omni-Commerce
  • Acquiring/Processing
  • UK Payments Infrastructure
  • Digital/Retail Banking
  • Blockchain, DLT and Cryptocurrencies
  • Corporate activity
  • Regulation

MOBILE/CONTACTLESS and omni-COMMERCE

The IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index shows a 13.1% year-on-year increase in February, driven by the ‘Beast from the East’. http://tinyurl.com/ydxl9wyb

Close to the ONS data reported last week.

 

PizzaExpress joins the growing number of chains offering ’pay at table’ type app functionality. http://tinyurl.com/y8nqrpuc

Based on the Flyt platform used by the likes of Just Eat, the chain is now looking at EPoS-integrated delivery. Whether PizzaExpress’ claim that it is the first restaurant brand in the UK to offer an entirely waiter-less payment solution, combined with customer rewards is perhaps open to challenge.See http://tinyurl.com/ybw6qf7m  re WoraPay.

 

Meanwhile Zapper, a mobile payments/loyalty app, is struggling to make traction. http://tinyurl.com/y9ed3rmv

The start-up has made around 40 of its 50 UK staff redundant as it fights in a crowded market. A quote says that rather than dealing directly with retailers, it will now focus on delivering its platform “via the many retail and technology partners we are currently working with”.

 

Instagram has now launched Instagram Shopping in the UK. http://tinyurl.com/ycbcjyck                                What is shopping on Instagram? http://tinyurl.com/yarkl5pb

The new function enables shoppers to tap on a tagged post within their Instagram feed to buy a specific product directly from the brand’s website without having to search further.

 

Carrefour is rolling-out of its mobile payment solution “Carrefour Pay”.  http://tinyurl.com/y7sly6l3

Customers can use it to pay at all terminals with NFC contactless technology and has no upper limit. Already available for customers with PASS MasterCards or C-Zam cards all bank cards will be added in 2018, as well as all Carrefour e-commerce sites in France. Android only at present.

 

Jiffy is being rolled out into a major Italian Supermarket chain. http://tinyurl.com/yapb7r6y

Users open the app, scan the QR code generated by the POS and touch the screen to complete the payment. The service is also available at self-service points of sale.

 

The OK app is being rolled out in the Netherlands with 5,000 locations available immediately. https://okit.com/en/

OK has been developed by the people behind iDEAL with the wallet able to store multiple bank accounts and loyalty/reward cards .  It offers an omni-channel solution to merchants with a 15,000 target  by end 2018.

 

Braintree is introducing Braintree Extend,  a solution that supports three types of partnerships: transaction services, rewards and loyalty, and contextual commerce. http://tinyurl.com/yawofexo                      Web site http://tinyurl.com/yc8gmtp7

Braintree Extend aims to enable secure, seamless payment experiences and help drive business growth.

 

Citi has announced its uprated Citi Mobile App for iPhone in the US will include in-app account opening, a 360-degree view across all financial accounts and spending insights. In addition, the app will also enable non-Citi clients to create a profile and connect their accounts across financial services providers to benefit from the app’s account aggregation, spending insights and bill management features. http://tinyurl.com/y7dbdas5

 

ACQUIRING/PROCESSING

Uber is applying to the Dutch Central bank for an e-money licence. http://tinyurl.com/ya8y5dlt

Sources said the application was being handled by a new subsidiary called Uber Payments BV, presumably with the aim of gaining EU passporting ability as well as improving its payment processes.

 

UK PAYMENTS INFRASTRUCTURE

The NPSO has replied to the PSR’s open letter on its expectations re delivery. NPSO http://tinyurl.com/y8pdemen Letter http://tinyurl.com/y7j53lma

The response sets out the NPSO’s plan to enact a generational shift in UK payments.

 

DIGITAL/RETAIL BANKING

Starling Bank has announced that it is launching a Business account but has not yet updated its website to reflect the fact. http://tinyurl.com/y9oj9t6n

The company says businesses will be able to set up an account in 10 minutes using the bank’s mobile app.

 

Denizen, a BBVA supported Revolut type start-up, is launching a global, borderless account for expat banking. http://tinyurl.com/ybsdzp3l

The account eliminates forex and international transfer fees and comes with a debit, rather than pre-paid, card. The company is looking into white labelling the offer using partner banks’ APIs. Denizen is currently available to expatriates living in Spain and the United States but is planning to expand further in Europe in H2/18.

 

BLOCKCHAIN/DLT/CRYPTOCURRENCIES

Bank of England – RTGS Renewal Proof of Concept: Supporting DLT Settlement Models. http://tinyurl.com/ybx8af92

In order to ensure that the new service is capable of interfacing with innovative payment technologies such as DLT the Bank is undertaking a Proof of Concept (PoC) to understand how a renewed RTGS service could be capable of supporting settlement in systems operating on these new technologies.

 

Facing the identity problem – A discussion paper published  by the Whitechapel Think Tank, supported by UK Finance, looks at how technology can provide a potential solution to safely validating identity and verification online. http://tinyurl.com/ycj2vo9m

 

CORPORATE ACTIVITY

Amex has purchased Restaurant mPOS and app provider Cake Technologies for £10m.   http://tinyurl.com/ycnerlj3      www.trycake.com

Solutions include POS, Guest management and Online ordering.

 

RBS has spent £53m purchasing SME accounting software provider FreeAgent.  http://tinyurl.com/hs6h5zx

FreeAgent will be an operationally independent member of RBS and will continue to support existing customers whether or not they bank with RBS.

 

Equistone Partners Europe is to acquire multi-channel cross-border payments provider Small World Financial Services.  http://tinyurl.com/y7nysus2

Equistone is effectively buying out existing investors with management holding onto a stake with City AM putting a value of £80m on the deal. http://tinyurl.com/ybharc64

Small world operates in 16 countries with a physical network of over 6,000 third-party agents and 80 branches.

 

Bancontact and Payconiq Belgium have announced their intention to merge in Q2/18. http://tinyurl.com/ycrrh4fh

The new Bancontact Payconiq company will offer a range of products including a unified payment app: ‘Payconiq by Bancontact’. The Bancontact card will continue issuance for use with online and F2F purchases. The combined Company will be retained in bank ownership with AXA Bank, Belfius, BNP Paribas Fortis, ING and KBC currently shareholders in Bancontact Company and Belfius, ING, KBC and BNP Paribas Fortis  shareholders in Payconiq Belgium. The payment solutions for both electronic and mobile purchases will not be restricted to customers of these banks, but will be available to all.

 

Banco Santander has reorganised Banco Popular’s partnerships with third parties to regain management of Banco Popular’s ATMs and cards business.  http://tinyurl.com/yazx6b9y

The reorganisation involves changes around the operations of Euro Automatic Cash, a Santander Group/Crédit Mutuel JV, and part ownership by Varde of Popular’s credit and debit card business in Spain and Portugal. Meanwhile Santander has refreshed its brand image. http://tinyurl.com/yct43dqx

 

Thales has issued its Offer Document for Gemalto. http://tinyurl.com/ybunx2e7

Gemalto and Thales say that by combining their businesses they aim to create a leading global player in digital security with the capacity to address all customer digital security needs. The Offer is fully supported and unanimously recommended by the Board of Gemalto. With around a dozen country Regulators to approach completion is unlikely until H2/18.

 

REGULATION

The EC has made a proposal that would see cross-border payments in euro cheaper across the entire EU. http://tinyurl.com/ya353lkp FAQ http://tinyurl.com/ycpxjplh Webpage with all links http://tinyurl.com/ycgzsbr7

While for euro area residents or businesses there is no cost difference for euro transactions whether made in their home country or with another euro area Member State this is not the necessarily the case for States not in the euro area. The EC is now proposing that all intra-EU cross-border payments in euro outside the euro area will now be priced the same as domestic payments in the local currency. It is also proposing to make the use of DCC much more transparent, although there will be a three year transition period.

 

The ECB has published guides to assessments of licence applications for banks and fintech credit institutions.  http://tinyurl.com/y7vwrls5

The guides reflect the ECB’s commitment at ensuring consistent supervisory practices across the euro area by promoting a common interpretation of the licensing criteria, making the point that new entrants will be “held to the same standards” as traditional lenders.

 

The PSR has issued a Statement on card schemes subject to domestic interchange fee caps in the UK in 2018. http://tinyurl.com/ya2wocx7

The Regulator confirms that, with American Express exceeding the 3% limit under IFR, it is not exempt from the domestic interchange caps for the period 1 April 2018 to 9 December 2018. This is the last occasion on which the PSR undertake the assessment as the time-limited exemption expires on 9 December 2018.

 

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