Weekly Headlines 6 August 2021

6th August 2021

Square acquires BNPL firm Afterpay

Nexi to acquire a majority stake in Greece’s Alpha Bank’s merchant acquiring business

UK subscription economy surges 23% YoY, worth £395m

Miles & More and Mastercard expand award miles redemption to wherever Mastercard payments are possible

Italy implements new access to cash solution

Moscow Metro has begun testing a pay by face system

 

Square acquires BNPL firm Afterpay

Square to acquire Afterpay for $29 billion. Square plans to integrate Afterpay into its existing Seller and Cash App business units, enabling all merchants to offer BNPL at checkout and giving Afterpay consumers the ability to manage their instalment payments directly in the Cash App. The integration will also give Cash App customers the ability to discover merchants and BNPL offers directly within the app.

 

Nexi to acquire a majority stake in Greece’s Alpha Bank’s merchant acquiring business

Nexi has signed an MoU to acquire a 51% stake in Alpha Bank’s merchant acquiring business. Nexi will pay €157m for the stake, implying an evaluation of €307m on the total acquiring book. The Greek business will be spun out to a new joint venture operation, under which Alpha Bank will become the exclusive distributor of acquiring services and will receive referral fees. The deal will make Nexi into one of the top three acquirers in the Greek market, alongside Piraeus and National Bank, with Alpha Bank retaining 20-30% market share.

 

UK subscription economy surges 23% YoY, worth £395m

According to Barclaycard, the UK subscription society is surging and is now worth £395m, up 23% from a year ago. The research found that 81% of UK households are signed-up to at least one subscription, rising from 65% last year, with the average Brit spending £620 a year on sign-up services. Entertainment services remain the firm favourite. Cheese, musical instruments and underwear are among the more novel subscriptions popular with Brits.

 

Miles & More and Mastercard expand award miles redemption to wherever Mastercard payments are possible

Miles & More and Mastercard have launched MilesPay, an initiative under which holders of German Miles & More credit cards can now redeem award miles for their purchases wherever Mastercard payments are possible. By allowing almost unlimited miles to be redeemed in everyday life via the new feature, MilesPay increases the attractiveness of the entire Miles & More programme.

 

Italy implements new access to cash solution

Italy is implementing a new access to cash solution as Sonect will enable 35,000 Lottomatica lottery terminals across Italy to act as ATMs, allowing customers convenient local access to cash. Using the same technology as paying out lottery winnings, the solution could next be expanded to the UK as the Swiss-based company has been chosen to participate in the Community Access to Cash Pilots.

 

Moscow Metro has begun testing a pay by face system

Moscow Metro has begun testing a pay by face system. The metro is testing three Russian-made systems from VisionLabs, Ntechlab and Tevian.

 

PSE Innovation Videos

Codat – Opportunities for Open Finance

In this full length conversation with Yasamin Karimi from Codat we discuss the benefits of Open Finance to acquirers as they seek to onboard new customers and carry out credit checks. Yasmin highlights the emerging opportunities of combining accounting, Open Banking, and commerce platform data to create a rounded view of where a business has been, its current cash position and its order pipeline.

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