lafgrp + 3pw   10452

Mexico: Digital bank Albo raises $7.4m to boost access to finance services
ImpactAlpha QUOTE Albo is among a growing crop of so-called 'neobanks' that are accelerating access to financial services for Latin American adults. The bank offers no-fee basic services, like payments and transfers. It currently has about 60,000 customers across Mexico who transact about [$65m] per year....The Series A funding will be used to expand its customer base and also to develop new products, like credit and savings accounts. [The Series A round was led by Latin America-focused Mountain Nazca.]
3PW  RL 
12 hours ago by lafgrp
Australia: Volt granted a banking licence
Finextra QUOTE Co-founded by former NAB and Barclays exec Steve Weston, Volt has 100 staff and it has raised $45 million in equity. The online- and smartphone-only bank is aiming to break even in three years, offering a range of retail banking products and smart savings and account aggregation tools. The firm also intends to compete with Australia's biggest banks in the SME and business banking sector, entering the market sometime in 2020."
3PW  RL 
12 hours ago by lafgrp
Mastercard fined €573m by Europe for competition breach
Per EC, scheme QUOTE had prevented retailers using cheaper banking services outside their home country. Prior to 2015, Mastercard obliged banks receiving card payments to use a fee set in their home country, even if cheaper rates were available elsewhere in the European Union....Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said: "By preventing merchants from shopping around for better conditions offered by banks in other member states, Mastercard's rules artificially raised the costs of card payments, harming consumers and retailers in the EU."
3PW  FK 
yesterday by lafgrp
UAE, Saudi Arabia agree plan for joint cryptocurrency
QUOTE The cross-border digital currency will be strictly targeted for banks at an experimental phase with the aim of better understanding the implications of Blockchain technology and facilitating cross-border payments. The project will also determine the impact of a central currency on monetary policies.
3PW  FK 
yesterday by lafgrp
Millions of Chinese tourists spur growth of mobile pay overseas
QUOTE Three-fourths of supermarkets and convenience stores in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand now accept Chinese mobile payment, according to a Nielsen survey released Monday in cooperation with Alipay.The adoption rate has increased rapidly in the last two years, and last year more Chinese tourists used mobile pay abroad than cash, the report said.
3PW  FK 
yesterday by lafgrp
Despite eye-catching fines, GDPR helps Big Tech
Ben Evans QUOTE We are all still trying to work out exactly how GDPR will be enforced, but the default view remains, I think, that making it hard to use data across different platforms makes life easier for unified platforms (i.e. Google and Facebook).
3PW  FK 
yesterday by lafgrp
Google fined €50m under GDPR
QUOTE French data protection watchdog [CNIL] has issued its first GDPR fine of...€50 million. The regulatory body claims that Google has failed to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) when new Android users set up a new phone and follow Android’s onboarding process....While Google’s European HQ is in Dublin, the CNIL first concluded that the team in Dublin doesn’t have the final say when it comes to data processing for new Android users — that decision probably happens in Mountain View. That’s why the investigation continued in Paris. The CNIL then concluded that Google fails to comply with the GDPR when it comes to transparency and consent.
3PW  FK 
2 days ago by lafgrp
SWIFT launches new ‘Pay Later’ API standard
RL commentary QUOTE SWIFT's announcement last week of an API dubbed 'Pay Later' feels like a very significant move for the banking industry. The API will allow e-commerce buyers to select a loan for the purchase and a payment plan at the point of purchase. "Pay Later gives e-commerce customers the opportunity to pay for goods or services in instalments with a simple loan provided by a regulated bank," according to swift.com. "By selecting Pay Later during the checkout process, customers will be shown loan offers and the schedule for repayment, before accepting an offer. Once a loan is initiated, the funds are immediately credited to the merchant, and the transaction completed." Swift says this offers a three-way benefit, with the customer getting funding from a trusted and regulated bank, the merchant making a sale, and the bank getting a loan on its books from a known customer. Businesses such as Klarna have made great bounds in recent years by positioning themselves between merchants and customers and offering instant lending outside of credit cards. Note too that this is a global standard, which means that it opens up opportunities for banks in many countries where credit cards have not yet gained acceptance, and may give Alipay et al a run for their money.
3PW  RL 
2 days ago by lafgrp
Brazil: Mogul’s next venture Is creating the Alipay of his country
RL commentary QUOTE As Alipay and Tencent winkle their way into Brazil, local sugar magnate Rubens Ometto wants to build an indigenous brand to get customers of his Cosan empire using his digital wallet instead. "The company, which also has fuel and natural gas-distribution businesses, wants to convince at least some of its 20 million customers to fill their tanks or pay their gas bills using a digital wallet named Payly (a combination of "Pay" and "Daily.") It's starting by cutting out the middle man — namely, credit- and debit-card companies and payment processors — in some of the 6,300 gas stations it owns in a venture with Royal Dutch Shell Plc." Chief executive of Payly Juliano Prado said his business aims to do an end-run around credit cards. Its costs to merchants will be about 0.1 percent of a purchase, versus 2.63 percent on average for accepting credit cards.
3PW  RL 
2 days ago by lafgrp
Safaricom launches Fuliza
QUOTE Safaricom is becoming a serious digital lender with the recent launch of its new service Fuliza, which it operates with bank partners KCB and CBA. The service began on 7 January, and has exceeded expectations, according to Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore. "We got a million (customers) by day eight and by day eight we had lent US$10 million. Now we are probably at US$15 million," CEO Bob Collymore told Reuters in an interview. Yet Safaricom's dominance in the field is causing its own problems. The telco falls under the regulation of the Communications Authority which is looking at "Safaricom's ability to set its retail prices, curb its marketing expenditure and force it to share its extensive infrastructure with the other operators, to level the playing field". In Tanzania, which also has a big mobile money market, regulators learned from the Kenyan experience and forced telcos to offer interoperable services, to prevent one business from seizing the market.
3PW 
5 days ago by lafgrp
US: Fiserv to acquire First Data
QUOTE US business Fiserv, best known as a provider of core banking solutions to smaller banks in the US, is to acquire First Data in a $22 billion transaction, as consolidation continues in the merchant acquiring business. Private equity groups have driven dealmaking in the area as data processors found new admirers. "Fiserv's $22 billion deal to acquire First Data creates a company of massive scale," writes Paymentssource.com. "First Data alone processed 6,000 transactions per second during the recent holiday season, and has 4,000 financial institution clients and 6 million merchant locations in 100 countries. It spends $1.5 billion a year on technology, and has the heft to partner with the likes of China's Alipay. Fiserv controls a third of the U.S. core banking market and has more than 12,000 clients, and the deal with First Data provides a doorway to the international markets where Fiserv had only dabbled strategically before." Sources point to the planned investment of $500 million in improved digital capabilities as the enlarged business tries to stay trim and nimble as competitors such as Square and Stripe continue to gain momentum. "These fintechs have also moved into point of sale lending and merchant credit, placing more pressure to combine banking and merchant services for a one-stop shop."
3PW  RL 
6 days ago by lafgrp
UK: Jaja, a 'Monzo for credit cards', gears up
QUOTE Jaja Finance has stashed away £5m after a £3.5m crowdfunding round, topped up by an additional £1.5m from Celeres Investments. Jaja is focused on launching an app-driven credit card, which is still in beta mode, and testing with early users. The investment will allow Jaja to hire extra staff and expands its London operations. The company will eventually apply for a banking licence but for now will focus on its credit card niche. Co-founder Kyrre Riksen told City AM that there has been a lot of innovation in the debit card space with players such as Monzo and Revolut. "But there's not been much innovation in the credit space. I believe a lot of people are shying away from the challenge of monitoring a portfolio and a funding line. We've chosen to invest in a team that's well equipped to handle these things. It's not only the fintech side, but also a robust operational team that is needed to manage credit sustainably," he added.
3PW  RL 
7 days ago by lafgrp
Apple v Android: worldwide device totals (from Benedict's Newsletter 272)
Per Tim Cook QUOTE Apple now has 1.4bn active devices, which is roughly the same as Wintel [ie, Windows on Intel]. Google Android is something over 2bn with Chinese Android adding well over half a billion more.
3PW  FK 
8 days ago by lafgrp
WeChat Pay pilots credit-scoring rival to Alibaba’s Sesame
RL's take QUOTE The rise of digital credit is largely dependent on "alternative data" enabled by the vast swatches of information on individuals and businesses that is sucked up by the digital advertising industry, ending up in the hands of Google, Amazon, Alibaba and WeChat. In China, the government now requires this private credit data to flow through its servers, so it can better monitor the shadow banking world. Alibaba pioneered the Sesame Credit system and now WeChat is building its own system. "To merchants, WeChat Pay Points provides them with features including user identification for credit risk and payment collection, in order to reduce merchants' bad debt rate," writes ejinsight.com. "Without disclosing the scoring range, users with more than 800 points are reportedly considered high scores. Chinese media reported that a domestic power bank-sharing service has waived the 99 yuan deposit for users with WeChat Pay Points score reaching 550. WeChat Pay Points is now linked to WeChat's "mini-apps", which are mini mobile applications that are built into the WeChat platform and developed by third-party businesses.... President's Xi Jinping's initiative to build a social credit system based on the principle of "once untrustworthy, always restricted."
3PW  RL 
8 days ago by lafgrp
US: Alibaba partners with Big Data-powered lender Kabbage to address SMEs
QUOTE Alibaba's new partner in the US is Kabbage, the digital credit interface for small businesses. It's an interesting combination, to say the least: Kabbage is a pioneer of alternative credit data in the US, while Alibaba was one of the Chinese businesses allowed to build a private credit rating system in China. Alibaba is taking a softly softly approach to the US following the rejection of its attempted acquisition of Moneygram. "To increase sales to U.S. small businesses, the company has partnered with Kabbage, the SoftBank-backed unicorn that provides loans to SMBs using big data and machine learning to determine eligibility faster than a traditional bank lender, to provide up to $150,000 of financing at the point of sale on Alibaba.com as part of a new program called Pay Later," reports TechCrunch. Kabbage's proposition uses social media and alternative data including from a partnership with delivery business UBS, along with more traditional metrics, to gauge creditworthiness of small business borrowers, and it also offers its service as a white label for other lenders. "For Alibaba, offering a way to finance purchases is an essential component of courting small and medium businesses, which may not always have a large amount of working capital at hand to reinvest in equipment and other business services. The high $150,000 limit is a signal that this is not about buying small office supplies but making larger purchasing commitments."
3PW  RL 
8 days ago by lafgrp
Beijing continues to delay V and MC domestic licences
QUOTE Among the sticking points in trade negotiations between China and the US is the question of allowing Visa and Mastercard to process renminbi-denominated cards in China. (Currently they work with international cards for Chinese banks.) According to insiders quoted by the FT, China has not only failed to issue domestic licences to Visa and Mastercard — as required by a WTO ruling from 2012 — but the People's Bank of China has not even acknowledged receipt of the applications more than a year after they were made. In the intervening years, China UnionPay has grown to more than a third of the global payments cards market, ahead of Visa or Mastercard. Last year Amex won approval to operate in China but in a joint venture with a local business. Of course, the US has lately been minded to block Chinese acquisitions such as Alipay's thwarted attempt for Moneygram, along with the latest rumblings about Huawei.
3PW  RL 
9 days ago by lafgrp
Kenya: Credit card on your phone? M-Pesa ties in with lending from CBA Bank
QUOTE The Kenyan Central Bank has approved the new loan offering by Safaricom's M-Pesa, which will allow Kenyans to tap a lending facility provided by CBA Bank. The scheme, which was announced in November, will offer short-term loans of up to 90 days. The "facility fee", in reality an interest rate, is set at 0.5 percent daily. Demand for the service is expected to be significant: Michael Kimani at kionecki.com calls it "a credit card on the phone". "According to the Safaricom, 58% of all daily M-Pesa transactions fail due to insufficient funds," reports Techweez. "Fuliza's aim is to solve this issue. The overdraft facility will only apply to Lipa na M-Pesa transactions, ie, PayBill and Buy Goods." The loans will not be available in cash. CBA is already the major partner of Safaricom, providing popular short-term emergency loans through M-Pesa.
3PW  RL 
12 days ago by lafgrp
British banks going for EU licences
QUOTE RBS already has a Dutch licence and applied for a German banking licence in December to help expand its German operations. "Lloyds Banking Group is to set up three subsidiaries in Berlin, Frankfurt and Luxembourg, while Barclays is expanding its Dublin office," the BBC reported. "Under the plan, RBS will upgrade its current branch in Frankfurt with a new licensed unit. It will be responsible for processing and settling euro-denominated payments and offering loans to large German companies. It would also allow RBS to maintain its ties to Germany's central bank and continue benefiting from passporting rights that give financial services firms cross-border access to EU clients."
3PW  RL 
13 days ago by lafgrp
N26 now most valuable fintech business in Europe
QUOTE This morning German fintech-turned-bank N26 announced a $300 million investment round led by Singapore fund GIC and New York's Insight Ventures. The new injection of money will value the business at around $2.7 billion, making it the most valuable fintech business in Europe. "While it's hard to top the incredible year we had, 2019 is also starting off on a high: We have closed our Series D funding round with an incredible $300 million," said the co-founders Maximilian and Valentin Stalf. "This figure represents the largest private equity financing round for a fintech business in Europe in recent years. With a valuation of $2.7 billion, it also makes N26 one of the most valuable technology startups around the world." Chief executive Valentin Stahl told the FT that the business is still lossmaking but is making money on a per-customer basis. "Mr Stalf also said about 30 per cent of UK users had signed up for the bank's premium account, which charges a £14.90 per month subscription fee and offers a metal debit card, plus perks such as travel insurance, discounted hotel bookings and WeWork membership."
3PW  RL 
13 days ago by lafgrp
Ant Financial amassing blockchain-based remittance capabilities
QUOTE Is blockchain still in the sandbox? Perhaps, but Ant Financial is giving us a flavour of how these apparently piecemeal developments could eventually form a network, as it continues to develop blockchain-based remittance services including a service for the Malaysia-Pakistan corridor. Ant has teamed with Telenor its Easypaisa service along with fintech business Valyou to trial the service. "The new remittance service is one of the examples of how emerging technologies can help countries meet their digital and financial inclusion goals. We're thrilled to be part of Pakistan's financial inclusion efforts and we're dedicated to exploring breakthroughs and applying them to benefit more people in more places," said Eric Jing, Chairman and CEO of Ant Financial.
3PW  RL 
14 days ago by lafgrp
UnionPay's API platform opens up for outside developers
QUOTE Between them, Alipay and WeChatPay can claim almost two billion users, but don't forget that these numbers pale compared to the more than six billion UnionPay cards in circulation. The combination of both options, meanwhile, makes travelling overseas far less daunting to Chinese tourists and businesspeople. Just like Mastercard, UnionPay is not tied to the physical card: "UnionPay, based in Shanghai, has developed a number of payment services, including the UnionPay app, the mobile QuickPass, the QR code payment and the in-app payment." It has recently opened its platform for developers "to create new applications based on the company's cross-border mobile payment products and other technologies", according to a statement. "Developers will be able to use UnionPay's application programming interface to integrate the UnionPay technology into their own products," reports Mobile Payments Today. The company's UPI has been used to develop UnionPay International Mobile Payment Service and TSP, which allows partners to conduct UnionPay mobile payment services quickly, according to the announcement.
3PW  RL 
15 days ago by lafgrp
Mastercard Drops Its Name from Logo
QUOTE Mastercard Inc. is removing its name from its logo in most contexts, leaving the interlocking red and yellow circles to represent the brand on cards, in stores, at events and in advertising.

The move continues an effort to play down the “card” in “Mastercard” as new payment methods and technologies spread. It also places the company among a small group of marketers such as Apple, Nike and Target that have preferred to go by visual symbols alone.
3PW  FK 
15 days ago by lafgrp
India: Bank of Baroda to join top tier
QUOTE India's state-owned Bank of Baroda is soon to become even bigger than ICICI, currently the country's leading private bank by assets. The Indian government has approved the merger of three state-owned Indian banks: Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank. In our 2018 ratings project, Baroda scored two stars, with Vijaya and Dena rating three stars. So why the merger? Officially, the reason is to lower the non-performating loans across all three, but we suspect that part of the reason lies in the unravelling of the Gupta state-capture story of 2018. Readers of Lafferty News will recall a report in 2018 by the US-based Organized Crime and Corruption Project and The Hindu newspaper that found the South African branch of the Bank of Baroda operated essentially as an offshore branch for the Zuma-linked Gupta family. Several established South African banks ceased doing business with the Gupta family, which began to rely heavily on the Bank of Baroda.
3PW  RL 
16 days ago by lafgrp
Singapore: Banks partnering w/fintechs in quest for digital dominance
Eg QUOTE DBS and UOB have linked up with ride-hailing app partners that are evolving into fintechs - a cluster attracting premium valuations.
3PW 
16 days ago by lafgrp
All SWIFT Banks to Adopt gpi Payments by End-2020
QUOTE Instant cross-border payments using interconnections with real-time domestic systems were successfully trialled with banks in Australia, China, Thailand and Singapore.
3PW 
16 days ago by lafgrp
At last, US banks are introducing contactless cards
QUOTE Issuers which are first with long-delayed technology are set to reap benefits
3PW  FK 
16 days ago by lafgrp
States must rework their arguments against OCC fintech charters
QUOTE A more cynical read would be that the states are seeking to protect the lucrative licensing fees they would lose if state-licensed firms got a federal charter instead.

However, this doesn’t mean that the states are entirely wrong. They are right that the nationally chartered fintech banks would have a competitive advantage over their state-licensed non-bank rivals, just as banks now have an advantage over non-banks.

Further, even if the states wanted to, they couldn’t offer a competing non-depository bank charter because federal law requires state-chartered banks to take federally insured deposits in order to get benefits like the ability to lend nationwide under one set of laws governing interest. This is the states’ most legitimate grievance and the thing they should focus on fixing.

Rather than suing to prevent regulatory innovation by the OCC, the states should go to Congress and secure the ability to issue licenses or charters that can compete with the OCC’s new charter. This will enable states and the OCC to compete on innovation instead of litigation, and allow consumers to reap the benefits.
3PW  FK 
17 days ago by lafgrp
Nordic banks to launch new payments infrastructure plan in 2019 | The Paypers
A group of Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Finnish banks have announced launching financial infrastructure for the pan-Nordic payment network.
3PW  EM 
19 days ago by lafgrp
Apple Beware: Samsung’s Great Fall in China Was Swift
QUOTE Apple’s stumble in China is an all-too-familiar story for Samsung. In five years, the iPhone’s biggest rival went from China’s No. 1 phone maker to an also-ran [with less than one percent of market]
3PW  FK 
19 days ago by lafgrp
Hungarian banks start testing instant-payments system | The Paypers
As Reuters reports, under the new system, which has been in development since 2017, domestic bank transfers worth up to HUF 10 million (USD 35,306) will be settled within five seconds, 24/7.
3PW  LB 
19 days ago by lafgrp
Apple and Samsung feel the sting of plateauing smartphones
QUOTE smartphone shipments had to eventually hit a level at which demand for them tapered off. That point was reached sometime over the past couple of years, driven by three major long-term factors: the shrinking benefit when upgrading from a recent phone to the latest model, the increasing average price of new devices, and the concordant reluctance to treat smartphones as things to be disposed of every year or two.
3PW  FK 
20 days ago by lafgrp
Didi Chuxing moves into financial services
QUOTE Chinese ride-hailing app will use location data to determine credit-worthiness
3PW  FK 
21 days ago by lafgrp
Remittances into mobile wallets: WU teams up with Terrapay
Western Union has QUOTE announced a partnership with Terrapay, a Holland-based mobile-first payments network. "TerraPay's low value payments network connects financial instruments internationally," writes the FInancial Post. "The company's interoperability engine enables customers to send and receive transactions across diverse payment instruments and platforms — enabling mobile wallets in international, regional and domestic markets. 'Joining with TerraPay is a great opportunity to further diversify and expand our payment options across the globe, delivering remittances into mobile wallets,' said Sobia Rahman, global head of account payout network for Western Union. " She added that Terrapay will provide a "convenient and automoated channel" for its customers. In principle, TerraPay will make it easy to send money directly to a mobile number and into a wallet on that user's phone.
3PW 
23 days ago by lafgrp
Revolut gets EU banking licence
QUOTE Revolut has gained a banking license as the latest fintech to switch into the regulated banking world. "In a statement, Nikolay Storonsky, Revolut chief executive, said: "Our vision is that retail and business customers will be able to apply for a loan in just two minutes) from within the app, and then have the money in their account almost instantly. We'll remove the bureaucratic process and come in cheaper than traditional lenders." The move into lending will put the bank into more direct competition with other online banks and digital upstarts such as the UK's Monzo and Germany's N26. However, Mr Storonsky said Revolut had a 'broader vision' than its start-up rivals, citing its international expansion and move into businesses such as stock trading." We noted earlier this year that Lithuania was a logical place for Revolut to obtain its licence, given the Lithuanian financial regulator and central bank's interest in establishing the country as a leader in blockchain and digital assets. Revolut put a rocket under its customer numbers during 2018, now claiming around three million customers, and its defiant pursuit of offering a basic crypto wallet for its customers was part of that spurt.
3PW 
23 days ago by lafgrp
EU to exchange UK access to Euro clearing for information sharing
QUOTE The European financial sector, apparently aware that everything is now entering the terminal stage, is now sharing drafts with the FT suggesting that the EU will offer the UK access to Euro clearing in exchange for information sharing. "The European Commission is in advanced plans with its draft of rules that will give banks and brokers in the European Union access to vital market plumbing based in the UK," the FT reports. "The drafts envisage that equivalence will be limited, but do not specify a time period." The FT continued: "The legal certainty would ease growing concerns over access to the UK's infrastructure. London dominates the European market for swaps and futures clearing, handling the bulk of the €660tn market. Around £45tn of swaps positions held by EU banks are at risk from a no-deal Brexit, according to the Bank of England. Without approval, EU banks and brokers cannot use UK venues to trade derivatives and face a hefty rise in trading costs -- or an inability to hedge their market exposures."
3PW 
23 days ago by lafgrp
In GDPR world, building trust will take time
QUOTE Tandem Bank chief operating officer Nick Bennett...remarked that Tandem's strategy would be to build trust among customers that judicious use of their data would bring rewards — but over a five to ten year period. That is definitely hard won. And Bennett believes that incumbents are going about open banking in the wrong way. "People are not going to say after all this time that they will share data with their bank," he told Finextra. "It's a five to ten-year thing and Open Banking and data privacy will make it more of a gradual transition. GDPR is a good thing and we should expect consumers to be aware about how they share their data. I think social media has not helped because these companies haven't been as transparent as they should have been about how they use people's data. Bennett added that banks have a reputation for managing money well and that is why they pushed forward for a banking license for Tandem Bank. It is the bank's responsibility to look after customer data and while GDPR is encouraging trust, progress will not be abrupt."
3PW 
23 days ago by lafgrp
BIS head sees existential threat from Big Data
QUOTE "Internet and 'big data' giants like Amazon and China's Alipay pose an existential threat to traditional banks, the head of the Bank for International Settlements, Agustín Carstens, said on Tuesday." However, with the tech giants facing their own particular sets of problems, a point acknowledged by Mr Carstens, who was until one year ago governor of the Central Bank of Mexico. "Each model is different, but what is universal is the exploitation of information," Carstens said. "Amazon doesn't have much of an open financial intermediation model, they don't have a financial arm like Alipay but there is nothing that prevents them from generating it."
3PW 
23 days ago by lafgrp
Brexited UK will need equivalence regime to preempt catastrophic loss in finance
QUOTE The UK will suffer a catastrophic loss in its financial industries post-Brexit, according to new research from the Centre for European Reform. "The think-tank sought to assess the impact of new trading barriers on the key areas of services where Britain currently has a comparative advantage -- finance, insurance, law and accountancy," reports the FT. "It estimates, in a paper published on Tuesday, that exports of financial services, minus insurance and pensions, would drop from their level of £23.6bn in 2013 to £9.8bn -- a decline of 59 per cent -- if Brexit led to the UK and EU trading services under the provisions of a free trade agreement, rather than as a member of the single market." The Centre for European Reform, according to Wikispooks, is a "New Labour think tank" which is close to the American Enterprise Institute. The author's paper Sam Lowe said the only way to limit this damage was a huge expansion of the equivalence regime.
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
UK: Private Eye sees no change in banking culture
QUOTE Has the bonus-driven culture, blamed for the financial crisis, changed? "Judging by the cover-ups at Lloyds over HBOS Reading and RBS over its Global Restructuring Group, Danske Bank's laundering of €200bn of mainly Russian dirty money, Santander and other banks' involvement in a possible Europe-wide dividend tax fraud, and Goldman Sachs' assistance in the $2.7bn pillaging of Malaysia's 1MDB sovereign wealth fund, the answer is No." Those are some of the milder comments by Private Eye, which notes that the FCA (which it dubs the Fundamentally Complicit Authority) has failed to report on two HBOS investigations.
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
RBS and HBOS Lloyd's to face lawsuits over restructuring units
QUOTE Neil Mitchell...today announced the Bank Claims Group Limited as a litigation management company to take collective action against RBS and Lloyds. Mr Mitchell is the whistleblower who brought allegations of widespread fraud at RBS's GRG unit. In a statement, Mr Mitchell noted that "In the UK the headline claims in the litigations will be that RBS and Lloyds HBOS through their respective GRG and BSU restructuring units systematically sought to defraud their customers for their own commercial purposes targeting cash and asset rich businesses which they then funnelled into their GRG and BSU units on the basis of the pretext of a default (often invented), applied heavy charges, placed them into a manufactured insolvency process and then in many cases obtained their key assets at below market value prices, or had them sold off by complicit advisers, accountants and administrators to associated vulture funds or in the case of RBS often sold to their own company West Register." Through the Bank Claims Group Limited, Mr Mitchell will lead 530 "verified and validated" cases already gathered, which he says have a conservative asset value of £2.5 billion. "The claim will have a starting quantum of circa £15 billion — which is material given that RBS only has a market capitalisation today of £26.6 billion," he added.
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
UK banking licence for P2P pioneer, Zopa
QUOTE UK peer-to-peer lender Zopa now becomes the latest fintech to pick up a banking licence. "The company said on Tuesday that it had been granted an initial permit with restrictions from the Financial Conduct Authority, the UK's financial watchdog, to open a bank," reports CNBC.com. "Zopa is considered to be one of the world's first peer-to-peer lenders. It was launched in 2005, ahead of U.S. rival LendingClub and U.K. enterprise-focused lender Funding Circle." Zopa says it will launch a credit card, a savings account and a money management app. The company follows Klarna as former fintech which has applied for and gained a banking licence.
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
Switzerland: Worldpay buys SIX Payments
QUOTE European payments business Worldline confirmed at the weekend its acquisition of Swiss payments business SIX Payments. In a statement, Worldline said that from a strategic point of view, Worldline and SIX Payments are will complement each other's services: "As a result, the combined Group is now the leading and largest European provider in the payments industry, reaching c. 10 percent European market share in Merchant Acquiring and c. 20 percent in Financial Services." The group said that the deal will include a 10-year commercial agreement with SIX to "deliver financial processing services to the Swiss banking ecosystem, with long term oriented quality of services and best-in-class innovation."
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
SA: Standard Bank to reward customers with mobile data
QUOTE Standard Bank enters the virtual mobile network operator space in Ghana with an offering that rewards users with free data, in an evolution of offerings in the mobile space. "With the MVNO space fiercely competitive in SA at the time, Stephen Bailey Standard Bank Mobile CEO, says SB Mobile is offering something totally different: an integrated (rather than a stand-alone) service, which rewards customers with free calls and data for doing something they do every day — bank," according to Mobile Money Africa. "Customers also earn money every time they use their credit, check or debit cards." SB Mobile will also do away with data bundles, offering data prices with no expiry data, in a nod to the power of pre-paid in Africa. Standard Bank's Funeka Montjane, chief executive for personal and business banking in South Africa, said that SB Mobile was not a downmarket offering but an extension of the bank's digital offering. It's something we've been predicting here at Lafferty News: banks will eventually take on MNOs with VMNOs that offer for free what MNOs make their customers pay for. The SB Mobile news comes top of announcements earlier this month about a rapid evolution in the mobile money space, with mobile operators agreeing on interoperability in a move that will accelerate the potential for mobile networks to solve financial inclusion issues that banks have not been able to solve with fee-driven banking models.
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
Revolut gets money remitter licence in Singapore
QUOTE Revolut has plans to offer its services in the Asia Pacific region, announcing yesterday that it applied for and received a money remitter licence in Singapore. The London-based fintech says it is also working with Singapore authorities to shape the forthcoming Payment Services Bill, given its experience in London — suggesting that open banking is going to be a global experiment. The bank also said it has received a full banking licence in Japan, and has already entered partnerships with Rakuten, Sompo Japan Insurance and Toppan. Japan also offers an advanced digital asset ecosystem, which will be a good fit for Revolut's offerings. The Times of London reported recently that Revolut was in talks with Softbank that may result in a new funding round to raise $500 million — and Revolut's new licence in Japan may give credence to that report.
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
Indonesia clears path for WeChat and Alipay QR code payment
QUOTE A Bank of Indonesia source said the central bank is preparing cross-border regulation for regulating QR code transactions in rupiah made by foreign players, according to kontan.co.id on Sunday. "The unnamed source said the regulation would facilitate domestic financial institutions to cooperate easily with foreign platforms like WeChat and Alipay that offer QR code payment options.... Meanwhile, business director Anthoni Morris of switching company Artajasa Pembayaran Electrinic (ATM Bersama) expressed the hope that the planned regulation would provide clear rules on cross-border payments. Cross-border transactions are still new among switching companies, particularly non-card based payment services like QR code transactions that also involved merchants."
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
Africa: MTN and Orange JV to offer interoperable payments
QUOTE Big moves in Africa as MTN and Orange, dominant telcos in different parts of the continent, announce plans to offer interoperable payments through a joint venture called Molawi. Previous iterations including mPesa were plagued by lack of interoperability, creating something of a monopoly. It's also emerging at a significant time as regulators look to offer payment licences to non-banks — though regulators will not want to see a re-emergence of one dominant network. "The venture, dubbed Mowali, will make it possible to send money between mobile money accounts issued by any mobile money provider, in real time and at low cost. Mowali will immediately benefit from the reach of MTN Mobile Money and Orange Money, bringing together over 100 million mobile money accounts and mobile money operations in 22 of sub-Saharan Africa's 46 markets."
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
Australia: New digital bank, 86 400, emerges from fintech
In Australia QUOTE a new digital-only bank is poised to take on the incumbents, and interesting too that the bank is emerging from payments business Cuscal. Speaking to pymnts.com, Cuscal's managing director Craig Kennedy says the banking idea grew out of the company's experience in B2B payments. The new bank, to be called 86 400, will operate separately from Cuscal and will seek its own banking licence. It is currently in beta. "Australia remains an ideal market for digital banking and mobile transactions, said Kennedy, noting that "we are a little bit different than some of the other markets because we went contactless so early." He stated, too, that high adoption rates of new payment methods remain high because that market is dominated by four banks -- with 80 percent of the market share in consumer banking -- and a handful of retailers."
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
Monzo to compete for business accounts
QUOTE Monzo is the latest of the new breed to take aim at the underserved UK business banking market. It will join Starling Bank, Metro, CYBG and Santander in competing for a chunk of the £775 million fund that has been set aside as part of the rescue of RBS, under the aegis of the comically-named Banking Competition Remedies. Monzo, which say it has 800,000 customers, has focused to date on consumer banking. "Chief executive Mr Blomfield said Monzo hoped to launch a business account that integrated with payroll systems and accounting software, which would primarily be aimed at digital businesses that did not process large amounts of cash. Monzo would be less likely to refuse to open an account for a business without a good credit history, he added. 'Any business that is newly incorporated has no credit history,' said Mr Blomfield, adding that banks that refused to open accounts for this reason were 'acting as a brake on entrepreneurs'". One part of the fund is available to encourage switching but it appears that part will only go to banks that already offer business banking.
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
Apps turning into multifunctional wallets
QUOTE The potential for apps to turn into multifunctional wallets is a major trend in 2018, with services such as Uber and Grab evolving into food delivery services and other services, and investors hoping to see a Tencent-like platform evolve from one of these. Middle East ridehailing app Careem, which has engaged in a high-profile battle with Uber — and with taxi drivers in the UAE often driving for both apps — will seek fresh investment from China, according to a Reuters report. "Earlier this week, it was reported that CICC and Jefferies, the New York investment bank, were acting as advisors to Careem on its potential capital-raising strategies," according to pymnts.com. "There was talk of a potential deal with Uber in the Middle East. Careem already has Daimler and Didi Chuxing as backers of the startup, which compete against Uber in the Middle East. It said in October it had raised $200 million in funding from investors that had already backed the company. Reuters noted Careem has a valuation of higher than $2 billion."
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
London-HQed banks applying for EU subsidiaries
QUOTE Daniele Nouy, the chief supervisor for banks at the ECB told Bloomberg that 25 banks with their European headquarters in London headquarters are finishing or have finished their applications for EU subsidiaries.
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
Brazil: Tencent investing in Nubank
QUOTE Tencent is investing a further $90 million in Brazilian fintech Nubank. "This brings the total amount of funding raised to $420 million over seven funding rounds since Nubank's launch in 2013. Tencent is one of the world's biggest companies by market capitalisation and operates digital services including mobile games, e-commerce, online payment systems — including WeChat, a Chinese messaging app with more than a billion monthly active users." Nubank offers a fee-free credit card to more than five million users. The card is supported by an app. Tencent has previously backed the German challenger bank N26, and appears to be building a portfolio of investments in challenger banks.
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
US: Buffett now a major shareholder in four of five largest banks
QUOTE Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate controlled by Warren Buffett, is doubling down on its bank investments, including a new stake in JPMorgan, which now advertises itself as a tech company. "The billionaire's company piled more than $13 billion into those stocks in the quarter, making Berkshire a major shareholder in four of the five largest U.S. banks, according to a regulatory filing Wednesday. Berkshire disclosed a new stake in JPMorgan Chase & Co. and increased bets on Bank of America Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc," according to Bloomberg. "The newly disclosed stake in JPMorgan deepens the ties between the two companies. Todd Combs, one of Buffett's top deputies, is already on the bank's board, and Berkshire has teamed up with JPMorgan and Amazon.com Inc. for a health-care venture."
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
Morocco issues mobile banking licences
QUOTE Moroccans can now also use their phones to make payments using the country's m-wallet. Moroccan central bank Al-Maghrib has issued eleven mobile banking licences, according to the Ecofin website. "In its 2017 report on bank supervision, BAM revealed that 56 percent of the 35.74 million residents were banked. In addition, the telecom regulator published that at the end of 2017, there were 43,916,000 mobile subscribers. By June 30, 2018, this figure rose to 44,027,000 subscribers. With the advent of mobile money, the country's central bank is confident in the progress of financial inclusion and the development of the digital economy."
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
Nigeria: SA's MTN to go for one of new payment bank licences
QUOTE South African telco MTN will apply for one of Nigeria's forthcoming payment bank licences in order to offer a new mobile money service. The Central Bank of Nigeria borrowed the payments bank licence concept from India where it was introduced to push competition and increase financial inclusion. MTN chief executive Rob Shuter said the company hoped to apply for the licence before the end of 2018 and, if successful, to launch in the second quarter of next year. We predict that Africa's telcos will open up mobile money to new tokens such as cryptocurrencies — an obvious step given that the use of prepaid tokens as currency was an African innovation more than ten years ago. Another note of interest: as Transsion pushes its Boomplay service, MTN is also stressing its Simfy music service offering. The fact that Spotify will be a distant player suggests that we'll see an African Netflix before long. Bets?
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
Kenya: Google tightens up data access, to digital lenders' dismay
QUOTE Google Play will no longer provide open access through apps to the SMS data that [Kenyan] digital lenders use to calculate risk for mobile loans. According to the upgrade note, "only the app that has been selected as a user's default app for making calls and text messages will be able to access call logs and SMS respectively." The development was greeted by people such as Tricia Martinez of Wala, who tweeted: "Will adversely impact the lending startups, but that is a good thing. We need more responsibility from these payday lenders. Data is a privilege and they are abusing it."
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
Amex first to settle and clear in China
QUOTE American Express will be the first international card scheme to gain a settlement and clearing licence in China. "The card scheme has formed a joint-venture with China's LianLian to build a network business that will enable charges on American Express branded cards to be cleared and settled domestically by the joint-venture," according to Finextra. Previously, foreign card businesses have had to partner with UnionPay for access to the country's payments network. "The opening up of the market comes as China bids to mend fences with Trump's Government in the US and follows almost a decade of lobbying by US-based payment schemes." Mastercard and Visa are still waiting on their licences. What kind of signal is China sending? With the shift in economic heft to the East, there is now speculation that in the next decade, China will displace France as the world's biggest tourist destination. China would clearly like to see Amex-wielding tourists at the head of the queue.
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
Mexico vows bank fees reform
New Mexican govt QUOTE plans to stop bank charging commissions on withdrawals, checking a balance, or requesting statements of past financial transactions. "The bill referenced a study by Mexico's financial products watchdog Condusef that said 30 percent of Mexican banks' revenue on average comes from commissions," reports Reuters. "It would prohibit financial entities from charging clients for checking a balance, withdrawing cash and requesting past bank statements, among other things. The plan would also require the Bank of Mexico and Mexico's banking regulator to create a plan to annually lower commissions on bank transfers."
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
2008 crisis: Australian bank tottered
A QUOTE new memoir from former Australian premier Kevin Rudd reveals that an unnamed tier one Australian bank nearly went to the wall. In recent months the reputation of Australian banks has taken a battering but which one was the worst back in 2008? "A couple of red hot contenders among the Big Four banks have jostled for this dubious honour in cautious, way-off-the-record retellings of the most depraved highlights of the crisis," writes Ian Rogers for Banking Day. "So, one of these two entities — on the accounts heard by Banking Day from diverse sources — was in more severe peril than the other major bank name on our shortlist of the hapless, with both of those in unquestionably more difficult straits at that time than either of the other two majors. At this critical time, this bank's CEO and chair were the leaders of a chorus (alongside their three major bank peers) pleading directly with Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan for unambiguous, urgent deposit and wholesale funding guarantees."
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
SA: BankZero to focus on savings
QUOTE "There is a massive amount of software that is available for free," [Michael Jordaan, ex-CEO of FNB] tells Moneyweb, explaining that his new venture Bank Zero — which he co-founded with former FNB Head of Retail Yatin Narsai — won't even have a website, just an app. "And the hardware costs much less than the existing banks pay to maintain their legacy systems. Our technology costs will be 1% of 1% of the usual tech budgets. This is the challenge that start-ups — not just banks — pose to big established businesses." Mr Jordaan tells Moneyweb that Bank Zero will focus on "business market, individuals, families and communities", leaving corporates to the existing market. Significantly, BankZero will not do lending. "The real need in South Africa is not for more lending. We should all be saving more. We are on a bit of a crusade. So we want to give people the ease of transactability on a smartphone, but with competitive deposit rates." BankZero is expected to launch in mid-2019, bringing more competition to the South African banking market.
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
Barclays stressed out per ECB
QUOTE Barclays fared worst of the 48 European banks tested in the ECB's latest stress tests. The results of the test, according to Bloomberg, underscored the vulnerability of UK lenders to "weak growth, credit losses and Brexit", and won't help Jes Staley and his plans to boost returns to shareholders. "Staley has previously said he's wary of the risks lingering in consumer debt as the U.K. faces uncertainty over Brexit. He has also said he's concerned that disruption to supply chains and the economic repercussions from a hard Brexit could eventually hurt his business customers."
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
Discover: New CEO sees future in partnerships
QUOTE new Discover CEO Roger Hochschild sees the company's future in consumer banking, electronic wallets and network-to-network partnerships. Speaking at Money20/20, he said that "while fintechs are bringing new tools to the table, businesses and consumers are still looking for a bank they can trust. 'The winning product is the one that will add value for consumers,' he said. This is important to keep in mind, he said, as technology continues to offer new capabilities." Hochschild pointed to the company's tendency to partnerships. "Apple selected Discover to leverage Apple Pay Cash, which allows consumers to make purchases in stores, in apps and on the web, with merchants, he noted. The Discover Network payment network handles Apple Pay Cash transactions. Discover has also partnered with PayPal, Venmo, Synchrony Bank and SAP, he added."
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
India: Mastercard chafes at Delhi's protection of RuPay
QUOTE Reuters [reporting] a note showing that Mastercard complained to the US government about Indian protectionism and nationalism because India's RuPay domestic network was eating into Mastercard's Indian profits. "Modi has in recent years backed India's homegrown payments network "RuPay", whose rise has broken the dominance of U.S. payment giants such as Mastercard and Visa," writes Reuters. "More than half of India's 1 billion debit and credit cards now go through the RuPay payment system, and that means companies such as Mastercard face an uphill task to expand rapidly in one of the world's biggest payments growth markets." Mr Modi has endorsed the RuPay network, saying fees earned from RuPay would remain in India and go towards construction projects such as schools and hospitals. The note, seen by Reuters, shows Mastercard doubling down by criticising India's payments promoter, the NPCI. "The NPCI acted both as 'a quasi-regulator and a competing payment network', Mastercard said, adding that this was 'compounded by the government's open preference for RuPay with misleading statements and inaccurate information on pricing, despite Mastercard being priced lower than RuPay'."
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
US: Lower liquidity regs for sub-Tier1 banks
QUOTE The US Federal Reserve is proposing different rules for mid-sized US commercial lenders that do not have deep Wall Street exposure, which will result in four tiers of regulation for banks with assets of $700 million or more. "Under the Fed proposal, midsized lenders including U.S. Bancorp, Capital One Financial Corp, PNC Financial Corp and Charles Schwab Corp would face lower liquidity and compliance requirements, and smaller banks would get even easier treatment. The proposal stems from a law Congress passed in May that ordered the Fed to reduce regulatory burdens on community and regional lenders."
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
Sweden: official pushback against banks' cashless drive
QUOTE Proposals by lawmakers to force banks to keep cash on hand are being opposed by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority and by the Swedish Competition Authority, which says that the plan distorts competition by impacting only a few banks. "While Riksbank Governor Stefan Ingves said the central bank 'mainly welcomes' the plans, he also said it 'wishes to go a step further'. 'It's our opinion that all banks and other credit institutions that offer payment accounts shall be obliged to handle cash,' Ingves said in a statement."
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
Wirecard: earnings soar
QUOTE Wirecard's preliminary reports for the third-quarter indicate a 35 percent rise in earnings, to reach about 150 million euros ($170 million), with anticipated revenue of 549.2 million euros ($624 million). This leaves the business on course for annual revenues in 2018 around the two billion euro mark. The company is aiming for annual earnings over 3 billion euros by 2025, as it grows on the back of the shift to digital payments. Wirecard this year replaced Commerzbank in the DAX, the German top thirty.
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
Brexit: BoE advises bank to have cash on hand
QUOTE At an event in London last night, deputy governor of the Bank of England Sam Woods told banks they must hold enough cash to prevent a disorderly Brexit hitting financial markets in March 2019. "Woods said he was making sure that Britain's departure from the European Union is as smooth as possible for markets, even if there is no exit deal between London and Brussels. 'Just in case things go badly we have been working with firms to ensure they have in place liquidity sufficient to accommodate a severe dislocation in financial markets,' Woods told an audience of bankers.'
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
India: P2P system UPI upgrades
India's QUOTE Unified Payments Interface, or UPI, is designed for the mobile age, and now moves to a 2.0 version in a way that allows payments to be made to a mobile number, and to have much of the payments experience, including issuing of invoices or receipts, take place on the platform. "With the launch of UPI, India became one of the only 18 countries worldwide to have a real-time P2P payment system (across different banks) way ahead of the USA and some of the other developed countries. Since its launch in Aug'2016, UPI has seen tremendous growth with 114 Banks live on UPI, approx. 50 million customers and 235 million transactions being processed through it in July'2018." The updated interface, according to Rajiv Anand of Axis Bank, will ease B2C or person-to-merchant payments through mandate transactions, which allows users to file and save details for regular payments.
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
Kenya: Apps accused of payday lending
QUOTE Tricia Martinez, CEO of Wala, has slammed Silicon Valley-based digital lenders such as Tala (which acquired a strategic investment from Paypal recently) and Branch, writing: "Digital loans in Africa = predatory payday lending! Stop testing shitty algorithms on the most vulnerable!" A story in the Daily Nation suggests that many of the 6.5 million Kenyans who are digital borrowers have become prisoners of these lending apps, borrowing cash to gamble.
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
LaffertyNews - Daily briefing - 23 October 2018
QUOTE HSBC follows Barclays into the US digital lending business as it tries to forget the horror show it produced on its last foray into the US. "The UK banking giant said on Monday that it is launching a digital lending platform for US customers in the first half of 2019. The platform will be powered by online lender Avant, which has already processed almost $5bn of loans for more than 600,000 customers. 'The US unsecured personal loan market is growing at 20 per cent annually and has surpassed $125 billion in balances,' said Pablo Sanchez, Regional Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management for HSBC in the US and Canada." HSBC already offers credit cards in the US. HSBC acquired subprime lender Household ahead of the 2007 subprime crisis and closed the business in 2009.
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
Brexit: UK cross-border lending drops
QUOTE the [Brexit] screw is beginning to turn on banking business itself resulting in a drop in cross-border lending out of London. Bloomberg reports that "as the U.K nears the Brexit deadline with no plan for an amicable breakup, some money has started to move. The BIS estimates that in the three months through June, cross-border lending from the U.K. declined by $129 billion (adjusted for currency fluctuations) -- the largest drop in three years." And who benefited? Paris saw a $93 billion boost in its lending, with the Netherlands booking a modest increase also.
3PW 
26 days ago by lafgrp
Norway: Bank-owned VIPPS mobile wallet to partner with Gemalto digital security
QUOTE Norway's mobile wallet VIPPS is now producing its own technology solutions that it will offer to other wallet systems via a partnership with Gemalto, which has refashioned itself as a digital security company. VIPPS, which is operated by a consortium of Norwegian banks, has merged with Norway's national payment scheme BankAxept and the bank-backed digital identification system BankID. (We've covered several of these stories separately in RBF2030). "We have seen the success of mobile wallets in China. In Europe, it is picking up nicely. But interoperability between mobile wallets (in different countries) will be the key," Bjørn Skjelbred tells Lafferty News. That interoperability will depend on digital identity solutions, with VIPPS looking to anticipate all the different ways in which users might wish to pay by phone, including NFC proximity payments, QR codes and for e-commerce. VIPPS decided that to be competitive, it needed to develop its own technologies, given Norway's position as a relatively advanced cashless society with wide adoption of mobile payments. "People here don't carry cash. Already we use a card to pay for a newspaper or a coffee and in Norway, nine out of ten in-store payments are done by card or digital payments. And the digital ID is a very important part of the digital value chain. So we decided that we needed to invest in developing those digital technologies."
3PW 
5 weeks ago by lafgrp
Australian banks score low with Lafferty
QUOTE while the Australian banks seemed to have escaped the worst of the [global] financial crisis, there were other problems simmering away which have come into the spotlight in recent years including money-laundering, bribery, theft, misselling, deceptive practices and a list of scandals that eventually produced an ongoing Royal Commission. "We used to listen to Aussie and Canadian bankers saying 'Thank God we weren't involved in any of this' but they were and somehow they remained uncovered," said Mr Lafferty. Mr Lafferty said in many cases banks were taken over by small groups of investment bankers who paid themselves millions in what he calls the greatest bank robbery in history." He also criticised the culture of installing investment bankers at the helm of banks. "They are not suitable people because they will glorify and promote the culture of excessive risk taking," Mr Lafferty said. The Lafferty benchmarking exercise has always rated culture and strategy as significant — if not the most significant — factors in the operation of a quality bank, and the Australian banks scored dreadfully on these measures. "The strategy statements of all four are fluff and fail to set out credible actions. All score zero for culture. All score zero for digital dependability," Mr Lafferty said.
3PW 
5 weeks ago by lafgrp
UK: Contactless opens way to mobile replacing wallet
QUOTE Tap and go adoption in the UK sees contactless payments overtake chip and PIN transactions for the first time. Steve Newton, Worldpay EVP said: "The rise of contactless is part of a bigger story: it's not simply about tap and go — it's about convenience and reducing the parts of the shopping experience that customers find irritating, like queuing and waiting to pay. Over 50 percent of shoppers believe that their phones could replace their wallets within the next five years — the phenomenal growth of mobile contactless is a leap along this path. With the added benefit of 'limitless' transactions and biometric security offered by mobile wallets, our smart phones could be the key to the next frontier of frictionless commerce."
3PW 
5 weeks ago by lafgrp
India: UPI transactions surge while mobile wallets falter
QUOTE India's UPI platform is seeing a growth in usage, putting pressure on the previously high-flying mobile wallet sector, as a chunk of P2P payments previously done through wallets moves to the bank-to-bank transfers on UPI. "UPI transactions surged to about 405 million in September, up from about 151 million at the beginning of this year, show data shared by the RBI and the National Payments Corporation of India, which runs UPI", according to cardsandmobilepayments.com. "Digital wallet transactions dropped to 320 million in July — the latest month for which data is available — from about 326 million in January. Nearly 90 percent of the transactions on UPI and digital wallets are small-value P2P fund transfers, according to industry estimates."
3PW 
5 weeks ago by lafgrp
Nigeria: payment banks coming
QUOTE Nigeria will follow India in launching a new category of payment bank in efforts to drive financial inclusion. Inviting public comment on draft regulations by 19 October, the Central Bank of Nigeria envisages the new Payment Service Banks operating in close conjunction with the new agency banking guidelines. Critically, the CBN wants these new operators to be technology driven and to "leverage on digital and mobile services" and the CBN expects applications for PSB licences from agents, telcos, retail chains such as supermarkets, and mobile money operators.
3PW 
5 weeks ago by lafgrp
Code 402 could be used for payments, undermining oligolopy
A QUOTE excerpt from the Wired piece [on Stripe]: "When Berners-Lee and his team were building the world wide web and designing HTTP and HTMP standards, they included error codes such as '500: internal server error', or '404: page not found'. In the early 90s, they were trying to realise Licklider's vision and setting out the rules for how we were all going to interact over this information network. One long-standing error code is '402: payment required'. The original intention — the reason 402 is reserved for future use — was that this code would be used to transact digital cash or micropayments. It has never been implemented — and the Collisons argue this is the reason tech is turning from an equal access opportunity to an oligopoly controlled by five companies now worth more than $3 trillion."
3PW 
5 weeks ago by lafgrp
Square offering cards alternative at POS: instalments
QUOTE Point of sale instalment loans are making a comeback, with Square the latest to offer consumer lending. As an alternative to credit card payments, POS instalments can offer clearer details on cost and duration of paying back a loan, which Square is offering on purchases ranging from $250 to $10,000. Payments business Square has been lending to merchants since 2014, leveraging its knowledge of business data flows and inventory, and now it will try to apply that expertise to consumer lending, encouraged by its success on the merchant side. With installment loans, Square will be exposed to consumer defaults. "We feel very comfortable with the type of risks we're taking," head of Square Capital Jackie Reses said. She noted that Square targeted markets where it had "unusual access to data". "Square plans to hold the consumer loans on its balance sheet, but as it lends more, it could sell them to outside funds, as it does with its loans to merchants," writes Payments Source.
3PW 
5 weeks ago by lafgrp
Outvaluing Deutsche, Wirecard growth excites and troubles
Despite deep FT scepticism about its viability QUOTE Wirecard appears to have its face firmly to the future of digital payments. In fact, observers watched with astonishment as Wirecard entered the DAX Index of the top 30 quoted businesses in Germany by elbowing sclerotic Commerzbank out of the way. In mid-August, Wirecard surpassed the market capitalisation of Deutsche Bank, though admittedly Wirecard's valuation is soaring upwards while Deutsche's is headed the other direction. And while Wirecard continues to grow at 25 percent per annum, analysts such as Bob Liao at Macquarie question where the growth is coming from — or how to find it in the company's financials. Other analysts are more sanguine. Markus Braun, the chief executive and main shareholder, sees plenty more runway as the world switches over to digital (smartphone) payments, with cash and cards the losers. "Over the next five to 10 years, the entire payment volume in physical retail will be re-distributed," he told the FT.
3PW 
5 weeks ago by lafgrp
Wells vet departs the scene
QUOTE Lisa Stevens is to leave Wells Fargo after a 29 year long career at the bank. Stevens was head of retail banking for the Western US region, and previously head of small business at Wells Fargo. As a regional head, she reported to Carrie Tolstedt, who was forced out of the bank in the wake of the fake account-opening scandal that surfaced in 2016. Wells Fargo is attempting to claw back bonuses previously paid to Ms Tolstedt and former CEO John Stumpf. (Ms Tolstedt was due to return $69 million.) A Wells Fargo board report in 2017 found that Ms Stevens was in charge of a region that was an "unfortunate leader" in the fake account episode, although it did note that she also challenged the cross-selling model. But it was too little, too late. On external appearances, it appears that Ms Stevens is leaving of her own volition, but it clears the way for new people at Wells Fargo. "Stevens is among a generation of leaders that helped make Wells Fargo what it is today," noted BizJournal.com, listing Stevens alongside many other senior leaders that have left or been forced out in the last two years.
3PW 
5 weeks ago by lafgrp
Australia scrutinises forex
Australia's QUOTE competition watchdog will look at charges that Australian forex providers are profiteering from overly high charges. "The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said on Tuesday it would look into price competition among providers of foreign exchange services to consumers and small businesses, noting that the cost of sending money overseas from Australia was 11 per cent higher than the average among G20 countries. 'Complaints have been made about a number of suppliers, including the big four banks, a number of online transfer companies, Travelex, Western Union and PayPal,' the regulator said." Currencyfair was founded by Australian Brett Meyers while living and working in Dublin. Its original market was the Irish-Australian corridor.
3PW 
5 weeks ago by lafgrp
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