Weekly Headlines 28 August 2020

31st August 2020

BIS on rise of the CBDC

CMA clears Visa/Plaid deal

Wirecard’s administrator makes progress

FCA posts WCS update

Visa announces Smarter STIP

Mastercard merges IfOnly into Priceless

Afterpay makes European expansion move

Ant Group goes for IPO


BIS Working PaperRise of the central bank digital currencies: drivers, approaches and technologies.  Paper

The paper sets out a comprehensive database of technical approaches and policy stances on issuance, relying on central bank speeches and technical reports. It concludes with an in-depth description of three distinct CBDC approaches by the central banks of China, Sweden and Canada.


The CMA has cleared Visa’s anticipated purchase of fintech start-up Plaid. Summary of phase 1 decision.

the CMA has concluded from its investigations that in the UK Visa would continue to face sufficient competition from PIS-enabled payments, and other types of services enabling consumer-to-business payments after the merger. It cites TrueLayer, Tink, Token.io and Yapily as already possessing similar, or stronger, competitive capabilities than Plaid.


Wirecard’s administrator says that an agreement in principle to sell WCS has been made with Railsbank Technology.

The announcement sits alongside the sale of Wirecard Brazil to a subsidiary of PagSeguro Digital and the news that final acquisition offers for Wirecard North America are expected shortly. Negotiations with potential investors for the core acquiring and issuing business of Wirecard are now entering the next phase.


Meanwhile the FCA has posted regarding Wirecard’s intention to wind-down its FCA-regulated business.   WCS announcement

The business will continue to trade while alternative arrangements are being made with its card providers. Customers should contact their card provider with any queries. The FCA is working closely with Wirecard throughout this process to ensure that its customers are treated fairly.


Visa has announced the availability of Visa Smarter Stand-in Processing (Smarter STIP).

The new capability uses real-time AI to help financial institutions manage transaction authorisations when service disruptions occur. Using deep learning to analyse past transactions, Smarter STIP generates informed decisions to approve or decline transactions on behalf of issuers in the event that their systems go offline. Smarter STIP will be available in October 2020 globally.


Mastercard, according to Techcrunch, has acquired and then shut down IfOnly.

IfOnly was an experiences marketplace whose technology helps to power Priceless.com. After initially leading a strategic investment in the company in 2018, Mastercard subsequently acquired it and merged the paltform with its own Priceless team.


Afterpay has entered into an agreement to acquire Pagantis and PMT Technology.

Pagantis is based HQed in Spain offering payment services for ecommerce merchants across Spain, France, and Italy, enabling Afterpay to expedite its expansion of BNPL into Europe under the Clearpay brand. The deal is for a minimum €50m, with €5m in cash payable at completion of the acquisition and a deferred consideration of a minimum of €45m, payable three years after completion.


Ant Group files for dual Hong Kong, Shanghai IPO.  Filing

The IPO could raise as much as $30bn and value the company as much as $225bn.


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.

Contact Us