27 September 2019

27th September 2019
  • Digital & eCommerce
  • Acquiring/Processing
  • Issuing
  • Instant Payments
  • Business Finance
  • Fintechs
  • Cross-border payments
  • Fraud &Cybersecurity
  • Payment Reports
  • Digital & Retail Banking
  • Cash(less)
  • UK Payments Infrastructure
  • Open Banking & PSD2
  • Blockchain/DLT/Cryptoassets
  • Corporate Activity
  • Brexit

DIGITAL and eCOMMERCE.

The IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index for August saw a low online sales growth of 3% yoy.

Though typical for sales to slow at the end of summer, August’s result falls well below the 5-year average of +9.6.

 

Klarna showcases its latest advertising campaign as it continues its growth momentum in the UK.

Klarna says it is seeing more than 50,000 new customers a week choosing ‘Pay later’ at retailer checkouts and that in August alone, more than 100,000 UK shoppers downloaded the Klarna app.

 

Mastercard has announced a global effort to pay garment factory workers digitally.

Mastercard and its partners are piloting a hybrid digital payment solution. Participating factories will be able to deposit wages directly into workers’ accounts rather than paying them cash. Workers can then activate debit or prepaid cards – or digital wallets – through which they can pay bills or send money directly to family and friends.

 

ACQUIRING/PROCESSING

UnionPay International has announced a collaboration with Nets to enable all Nets’ merchants in Finland to accept UnionPay cards.

The move will see the UnionPay merchant acceptance rate in Finland reach 70%. Currently 15,000 merchants accept UnionPay cards.

 

UnionPay International has also signed an agreement with Swedbank to expand the acceptance of its cards in the Baltic region.

The collaboration will enable thousands of merchants to accept UnionPay card payments in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

 

Gigapay, a Swedish payout solution for gig workers, has launched out of beta.

The platform enables businesses to avoid the administration around employment and salary payment. Businesses provide details of the payout amount and Gigapay, acting as a quasi-employer, calculates and pays all relevant taxes, insurances and social contributions before paying the employee. For employees it means they do not need their own

 

Checkout.com has been granted an eMoney licence by the Banque de France.

As an EMI the PSP will be able to issue, manage and provide payment services to European businesses from a French-regulated entity. The newly licenced French business is a member of Carte Bancaire as well as Visa and MasterCard.

 

Wirecard has announced a new Salesforce Commerce Cloud integration.

The development will enable merchants to integrate their shops with Wirecard’s digital Financial Commerce Platform.

 

Sezzle has announced it is now available on the CyberSource Platform.

The US ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ start up that has recently IPOed in Australia, is looking to extend its global reach with this integration. With some 5,800 merchants on board, Sezzle enables consumers to divide their purchases into four instalments and pay back interest-free for six weeks.

 

Paysafecard is now available as a payment option on Google Play.

Customers can now use paysafecard within the Samsung Galaxy Store in 21 European countries including Austria, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK.

 

ISSUING

American Express and British Airways have launched a new business card for UK SMEs.

Amex says it is the only business credit card that enables UK SME owners to earn both accelerated On Business Points and Avios with BA. The offer provides complimentary Supplementary Cards for up to 99 employees, enabling business owners to consolidate all business expenses and manage the spend under one Business Card Account.

 

INSTANT PAYMENTS

SWIFT is launching a new service to deliver global instant payments by integrating gpi into domestic instant payments systems globally.

Through a combination of gpi and domestic real-time payments networks, SWIFT, together with gpi banks, will facilitate instant international payments with up-front fee and Foreign Exchange transparency for senders, while also ensuring ubiquitous availability of instant cross-border payments globally. The service will be available to all types of banks’ end customers, from large multi-nationals to SMEs, and from retail to e-commerce platforms.

 

NatWest has announced the launch of real time Faster Payments for its FCA regulated Financial Institutions customers.

The new service enables customers to APIs directly into their existing infrastructure, allowing them to take advantage of 24/7 instantaneous payments capabilities. NatWest says it is the first major UK bank to allow payments to be made in real time via API.

 

Societe Generale is to offer real-time payments to corporate clients in nine European countries using FIS PaaS solution.

The bank will use the FIS solution to serve its corporate clients in Europe, except for France, through the SCT Inst scheme.

 

BUSINESS FINANCE

Splitit Payments has launched “Splitit Business Payments”, a B2B payment platform.

Splitit Business Payments enables manufacturers and suppliers to offer buyers of inventory or services an interest-free, instalment credit solution utilising their existing business credit cards. An extension of the company’s successful consumer instalment payments platform, the scheme is global in nature and can readily support cross-border transactions.

 

FINTECHS

Visa has launched Visa Partner, a portal that provides fintechs with access to Visa’s technologies, network and solutionsForbes

Fintechs can now access the right technologies, network and partners to grow their businesses through the portal, simplifying the process of working with Visa and helping fintechs leverage Visa’s network, resources and tools. https://partner.visa.com

 

CROSS-BORDER PAYMENTS

Visa has announced that its Visa B2B Connect network has doubled its reach to 62 participants and is integrating with Infosys.

Growing from 30 global trade corridors at launch in June 2019, the goal is now to expand to over 100 countries in 2020. The Infosys integration as a hub partner will bring Visa B2B Connect platform access to its participating financial institutions worldwide. B2B Connect’s expansion will help financial institutions process global corporate cross-border payments.

 

SWIFT is enabling customer connectivity using the cloud.

Under its new Cloud Connect initiative SWIFT will develop network architecture and automation templates for customers to ease deployment on ‘hyper-scale’ public cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.

SWIFT is also developing its next generation private cloud ‘Alliance Cloud’ which will provide a robust option for institutions of all sizes that wish to host their messaging operations on SWIFT-managed infrastructure.

 

Form3 has announced the creation of its International Payments business.

The new initiative is aimed at giving financial institutions servicing consumers and SMEs access to low cost payments and FX services, utilising its API technology. Through its initial partnership with PSP Ebury, Form3 will offer end customers access through their respective banks and fintech to Form3’s API-driven real-time platform.

 

FRAUD & CYBERSECURITY

UK Finance reports that the finance industry prevented £820m of unauthorised fraud in H1/19.

2019 Half year fraud update full report

Actual fraud losses were £615.8m, up 2% yoy

  • unauthorised fraud on payment cards, remote banking and cheques £408.3m
  • authorised push payment scams £207.5m

There were 57,549 cases of APP scams, significantly up yoy e.g. purchase scams rising 65% and investment scams 152%.

 

Lloyds Bank has developed a new anti-fraud tool to protect customers from scammers.

Nicknamed ‘The Rat’, the system uses AI biometrics, remote access identification and the presence of a ‘secret sign’ left by the fraudster to help detect scams before they happen and has already prevented over £4m of attempted fraud.

 

NatWest are using Featurespace technology to enhance its fraud prevention and transaction monitoring capability.

NatWest has agreed a strategic partnership with Featurespace to profile and monitor payments and account activity to prevent fraud and scams using the ARIC platform.

 

PAYMENT REPORTS

McKinsey Global Payments Report 2019.

McKinsey’s analysis reveals significant regional variations. Chapter 1 explores these findings in greater detail. Chapter 2 examines the rationale behind consolidation acquisitions and explains why the next wave may look different. Chapter 3 addresses the notion of “payments as a service”.

 

PaySafeLost in transaction: Gen Z expectations at the checkout.

The report examines whether various age demographics of consumers differ when it comes to their attitudes and concerns relating to online payments and eCommerce. More specifically, it focusses on the payment trends and expectations of consumers aged 16-24.

 

DIGITAL & RETAIL BANKING

Starling Bank is launching an online banking app for its business and sole trader account customers.

The web app will enable customers to manage their Starling account on their desktop or laptop as well as direct from their smartphone. The app will be extended to personal and joint account holders at a later date.

 

OakNorth is partnering with Shieldpay to launch escrow accounts for borrowers.

The new product will enable OakNorth to hold its SME borrower’s funds securely in Shieldpay’s Vault facility and only release funds when all parties agree.

 

Monzo has moved to close its fee-charging Monzo Plus current account to new customers.

The packaged account has received poor reviews from many of its users and is now being taken forward by a new team within the digital bank. Meanwhile it has updated its basic core app and has started a phased migration for existing customers.

 

CASHless

The Swiss Banking Association has published an article – Does anyone still use cash? – as background to a Discussion Paper on the Cashless Society.

The paper concludes that, even in Switzerland, cash will remain and that calls for the regulation and restriction of payment methods should be rejected. However, if different forms of payment lead to different costs, then this should be reflected in the price paid for their use.

 

UK PAYMENTS INFRASTRUCTURE

Pay.UK has published a Report ‘Request to pay – exploring industry views’.   Report.

Prior to the introduction of RtP, Pay.UK has sought to test the market’s reaction to the service and explore potential opportunities for and barriers to implementation and market uptake. While the scheme engendered some interest amongst businesses, concerns were raised, particularly regarding initiation and ownership, that will need to be addressed for RtP to be universally adopted. Pay.UK has made a series of responses to the report’s findings.

 

Bank of England Speech – Payments: A platform for innovation

The speech, given at Sibos, covers the work of the BoE’s Banking, Payments and Innovation team. In particular, it looks at what they are doing in response to the recommendations of the Future of Finance Report.

 

PSR Speech – The transformation of payments.

The speech, again given at Sibos, focuses on the themes of innovation, competition and protecting people including Access to cash and the NPA.

 

OPEN BANKING & PSD2

The EC has apparently questioned some member states’ decision to grant at least 18 months for the full implementation of PSD2.

Eric Ducoulombier, Head of Retail and Financial services at the Commission has commented on the current “strange” situation regarding SCA and indicated that “pretty soon” member states will agree on “a common EU-wide transition period”. In his comments the official said that “We cannot wait 18 months, that is too long”, which suggests that the final length of any transition period will be shorter.

 

American Express is to launch an Open Banking Product that will enable UK Consumers to Pay for online purchases with a Bank Transfer.

Pay with Bank transfer will be a real-time payment option available to Current Account holders at UK banks, regardless of whether they are American Express Cardmembers. Amex intends to launch Pay with Bank transfer with its initial merchants before the end of the year, and the product will continue to roll out across additional ecommerce sites throughout 2020.

 

Tink has integrated its products with Caixa Geral de Depósitos in Portugal.

CGD can now offer its customers the benefits of aggregation, payment initiation, data enrichment and PFM via a new app – DABOX.

With DABOX, customers will be able to see their current accounts from all Portuguese banks and make payments and transfers between them. Tink has also been working with SIBS to help the country’s APIs meet PSD2 regulations.

 

BLOCKCHAIN/DLT/CRYPTOASSETS

Benoît Cœuré short address to the Deutscher Bundestag – “Digital currencies, focusing on Libra“.

While flagging the risks associated with stablecoins, he concludes by saying “The demand for fast, reliable and cheap cross-border payments is bound to grow further in coming years. Policymakers and central banks should respond to these challenges”.

 

CORPORATE ACTIVITY

The CMA has fined PayPal £250,000 for a breach of rules over its acquisition of iZettle.

The CMA states that PayPal has, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply in certain respects with the requirements imposed on PayPal by the Initial Enforcement Order issued by the CMA on 19 September 2018.

 

Nationwide is investing in Open Banking API platform provider BankiFi.

BankiFi uses open banking to provide a suite of business microservices which plug into banking infrastructures through APIs. Nationwide will use BankiFi technology when it launches its business account later this year. The investment is the latest deal from Nationwide’s £50m Venturing Fund

 

Fidel has announced an $18m Series A round for its API platform.

Fidel provides access to global real-time financial data from Visa, MasterCard and American Express through a secure and reliable API. By anonymising card numbers, Fidel ensures security compliance and avoids developers handling sensitive data. The APIs enable developers to build card-linked applications such as loyalty-based rewards very quickly.

 

Alibaba Group has acquired a 33% holding in Ant Financial.

First announced in February 2018, the deal cements ties between two of China’s biggest technology corporations. Ant will now stop paying 37.5% of its pre-tax profits to Alibaba as mandated under an earlier agreement.

 

BREXIT

The FCA has updated and published draft directions under its Temporary Transitional Power.

The TTP gives the FCA flexibility in applying post-Brexit requirements, allowing firms to transition to a new UK regulatory framework.

 

 

Latest News Round-up

18 October 2019

Industry Videos

Dutch cashierless store trial

ING is working with supermarket chain Albert Heijn and US AiFi on a cashierless store trial.

Users gain access by scanning their debit card, with cameras and ‘smart shelves’ tracking purchases and automatic payment on exit. Similar to Amazon Go but does not require an app.

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