5 July 2019

8th July 2019
  • Digital & eCommerce
  • Instant payments
  • Acquiring/Processing
  • Issuing
  • Digital & Retail banking
  • Open Banking & PSD2
  • Blockchain/DLT/Cryptoassets
  • Corporate Activity
  • Regulation

DIGITAL and eCOMMERCE

Manchester Metrolink is now supporting contactless payments.

The new ‘intelligent’ contactless system will cut out the need to buy a ticket or download an app.  Passengers will simply be required to touch-in and touch-out at tram stops, with the system working out their fare, up to a daily cap.

 

Monese has announced closer integration with PayPal.

The partnership will enable Monese customers to link their PayPal accounts and manage PayPal balance and transactions in the Monese app. They can also add their card to the PayPal digital wallet and designate it as the preferred way of payment. Available in the UK now, it will be rolled out to the rest of Europe in the coming months.

 

Flux has integrated its receipts platform with Just Eat.

Initially available for Starling and Monzo Bank users who have activated Flux, it will be rolled out to Flux users across all of its banking partners by the end of the year. Just Eat is the first online marketplace to partner with Flux.

 

Blik could be available as a payment method on platforms such as Netflix and Uber.

The Polish Payment Standard has indicated that could be a possibility if current negotiations are successful, helping Blik to expand internationally. It is also looking at white-labelling opportunities in Africa and LATAM.

 

The CMA has announced it is carrying out a market study into online platforms and the digital advertising market in the UK.

The regulator is assessing three broad potential sources of harm to consumers:

  • to what extent online platforms have market power in user-facing markets, and what impact this has on consumers
  • whether consumers are able and willing to control how data about them is used and collected by online platforms
  • whether competition in the digital advertising market may be distorted by any market power held by platforms

This study is part of the CMA’s Digital Markets Strategy, which sets out our broad approach to protecting consumers in the digital economy while ensuring robust, competitive digital markets.

 

Klarna and BigCommerce have announced the expansion of their current partnership in the US to also include Klarna’s European core markets.

The expanded integration will allow BigCommerce merchants in the UK, the DACH region, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and Finland to integrate all of Klarna’s pay later options, including Pay Later and Slice It.

 

Google has made enhancements to its Chrome browser to make online purchases easierTechcrunch

The upgrade enables users to gain access to their payment data stored on their Google Account for filling checkout forms by leveraging Google Pay.  After signing in, Chrome asks users to use a card from their Google Account and then directs them to provide the card’s CVC number.

 

INSTANT PAYMENTS

Nets together with GIRO Zrt, have delivered Nets’ instant payments platform in Hungary.

The platform is now open for the Hungarian banks to test services.

 

ACQUIRING/PROCESSING

The PSR has published non-confidential versions of general submissions received in Q1 2019 (other than in response to consultations) regarding the Card-acquiring services market review.

 

The PSR has also published the draft questionnaire that it proposes to use for a survey of UK SMEs.

 

UnionPay has signed an agreement with Banca Sella to widen UnionPay card acceptance.

The deal enables more than 8,000 online merchants to accept UnionPay payments now. In addition, 80,000 offline merchants will be able to do so by the end of 2019 through c100,000 POS terminals.

 

UnionPay has also signed a new agreement with Nets that will see POS coverage in Finland increase significantly.  In addition, the agreement will in the future enable Nets’ customers to use UnionPay Online Payment services.

 

Nets and Swish are collaborating on an in-store payments pilot programme in Sweden.

The payment app is working with Nets to expand into the retail and service sectors by piloting in-store mobile payment functionality. The pilot is taking place at two corporate restaurants with plans to expand to additional merchants after the summer. Swish enables in-store payments with a Bluetooth module developed by Nets that provides an NFC-like ‘Tap and pay’ experience for consumers.

 

ISSUING

Jaja has acquired the Bank of Ireland UK’s credit card portfolio for c£530m.

The Portfolio comprises existing Bank of Ireland UK, the AA and Post Office-branded consumer credit cards, becoming the consumer credit card issuer for Bank of Ireland UK and its strategic long term partner the AA. The acquisition forms part of Jaja’s strategy to scale its UK credit card business.

 

InstaReM is launching a card-issuing platform.

The API-based digital platform will enable start-ups, fintech companies and enterprises to launch their own branded cards, offering next-generation digital payments and cards as a B2B solution. The solution does away with the need to obtain multiple local licenses to be able to issue payment cards to their employees and vendors.  It is designed to operate alongside the Visa Fintech Fast-Track Program.

 

DIGITAL & RETAIL BANKING

BPCE owned Fidor Bank is exiting the UK market.

Post on web site –“We are leaving! Due to the uncertainties surrounding the UK market, we have decided to withdraw our product and service offering in the UK on the 15th of September 2019. We want to say a big thank you. We had four fantastic years in the UK and we are grateful for everybody who has been with us on this journey.” Apparently no formal communication has been sent out by the bank although it has contacted customers to make them aware of the news.

 

NatWest has launched a video call option for SMEs.

The new video banking channel will allow business customers to hold a secure, pre-arranged video call using a mobile device, tablet or PC. Developed in partnership with US fintech Zoom it will allow NatWest to hold a complete, secure record of every customer interaction for risk and regulatory purposes, compliant with GDPR regulations.  It will initially be trialled with a limited number of customers, with the hope of rolling it out further in 2019.

 

NatWest is introducing Rapid Cash for its SME customers.

An alternative to the traditional overdraft, Rapid Cash offers a dynamic credit limit of between £25,000 and £300,000 based on the applicant’s unpaid invoices. The overall application process is digitised, with eligible customers potentially receiving credit approval within 24 hours. The working capital product has been developed in collaboration with Australian fintech lender Waddle Loans. Available now to existing NatWest customers, the bank plans to make this product available to all UK businesses in the coming weeks.

 

The CMA has issued a Direction to Barclays to improve its practices after non-compliance with undertakings designed to protect small businesses and make it easier for them to shop around and choose the best accounts.

The undertakings, which were signed up to by Barclays and other banks in 2002, include a ban on banks insisting that businesses open or maintain current accounts before they are able to access other products.

 

OPEN BANKING & PSD2

Tink blog suggests Bank APIs are not up to standard.

Tink analysis suggests that none of the tested bank APIs released by the June deadline meet the PSD2 quality requirements for integration, potentially creating a “cliff edge” scenario in September. Currently only 69% of production APIs from all major banks in 12 markets are available. Portugal alone appears to have reached 100% availability.

 

BLOCKCHAIN/DLT/CRYPTOASSETS

FCA SpeechRegulating financial innovation – going behind the scenes –  Innovation, cryptoassets and regulation.

 

The FCA is proposing rules to address harm to retail consumers from the sale of derivatives and exchange traded notes (ETNs) referencing certain types of cryptoassets.

The FCA considers these products are ill-suited to retail consumers who cannot reliably assess the value and risks of derivatives or ETNs.

 

The Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee have written a letter to Mark Zuckerberg demanding an immediate moratorium on the implementation of the Libra initiative.

 

CORPORATE ACTIVITY

Visa is to acquire Verifi.

The Los Angeles-based chargeback and dispute resolution platform provider will allow Visa to extend its capabilities to support a broad range of payments brands and partners across the ecosystem. Visa will integrate Verifi’s enhanced chargeback tools with Visa’s risk management services, including those delivered by CardinalCommerce and CyberSource. No financial details of the deal have been released.

 

Currencycloud has reportedly raised £32m as part of a Series E funding round.

The report says that this is the first tranche of the round and that additional funding is said to follow within the next two to three months. This follows the announcement last week of a partnership with Visa for cross-border and travel payments.

 

Mollie has raised €25m from a group of technology and payment entrepreneurs.

The Dutch PSP will use the funds to accelerate its expansion through Europe. It says it now serves over 65,000 businesses in Europe through its internally developed, cloud-based platform.

 

Signicat has announced the acquisition of Norwegian Idfy.

Idfy is a provider of secure identification and electronic signature solutions and is one of the fastest growing players within digital trust services in the Nordics. The acquisition enhances Signicat’s reach and portfolio of services, and follows the acquisition of Signicat by Nordic Capital earlier in April this year. No financial details of the deal have been disclosed.

 

Nordea has invested a further €5m in neobank P.F.C.

The funds will be used to help the start-up reach its target of 100,000 accounts by the year end as well as expanding into other Nordic markets and developing saving and credit products.

 

Inside Secure has announced a rebranding to Verimatrix.

The updated name and logo allow the company to better support its vision of enabling and securing the connected future. To reflect the companies’ synergies and integration, the new identity combines the Verimatrix name with the Inside Secure logo and tagline, “Driving trust.”

 

Naspers-owned PayU has expanded into the Southeast Asia market by taking a majority stake in Red Dot Payment.

The deal values RDP at $65m with the majority of other RDP shareholders selling their stake. Based in Singapore, RDP serves more than 500 merchants across 22 countries and supports global and local APMs.

 

REGULATION (Climate Change)

BoEJoint statement on climate change – This joint statement from the PRA, Financial Conduct Authority, Financial Reporting Council, and The Pension Regulator, supports the launch of the Government’s Green Finance Strategy.

 

REGULATION (Privacy and Electronic Communications)

ICO has updated its Guidance on the use of cookies and similar technologies Backgrounder.

The guidance addresses the subject in detail, whether used on websites, mobile apps, TVs, wearable technology or other connected devices.

 

REGULATION (AML)

The EC has published a Report on the application legislation regulating information accompanying transfers of funds.

Part of the regulatory framework to fight money laundering and terrorist financing (AML), the aim of the Regulation is to make fund transfers more transparent.  Backgrounder.

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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