IBM LAUNCHES BLOCKCHAIN-BASED PAYMENT NETWORK: IBM is set to launch Blockchain World Wire, its blockchain-based alternative payments solution. The product is expected to be unveiled at the annual Swift operations conference in October in Sydney, according to Finextra. Blockchain World Wire is positioned toward banks as a simultaneous clearing and settlement solution for cross-border transactions. The move into blockchain payments will see IBM compete with a number of alternatives including industry startup Ripple’s xRapid payments and Swift. Others set to enter the space with similar-minded products include GMO and Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial. IBM has chosen Stellar, an open platform for developing financial products that converts fiat currency into cryptos, to settle transactions across its new payment network. This latest development supports trends we’ve been seeing in the financial services sector, as early experiments of blockchain solutions shift toward deployment for specific case uses. Moreover, the launch of this latest blockchain solution for financial services suggests that the sector remains best placed to benefit from the potential of this nascent technology. Sigue leyendo
JAJA TO ROLL OUT MOBILE CREDIT CARD: UK-based startup JaJa Finance announced the upcoming launch of its first mobile-controlled credit card, managed entirely from an app, according to Finextra. This follows the firm raising £7 million ($9 million) in funding. JaJa features include fast onboarding, the ability to tag and search transactions, and the ability to share credit limits with friends and family. And users can link the app to bank accounts for repayment. The ability to control cards remotely is popular desire among consumers — 48% of respondents to a recent Fiserv study wanted their bank to offer the ability to temporarily deactivate cards in case of loss or theft, for example — so the flexibility this card offers could make it a popular option for consumers seeking alternative card offerings.
XIAOMI TO LAUNCH PAYMENT SERVICE IN INDIA: Chinese smartphone provider Xiaomi is reportedly launching Mi Pay, its digital payments service, in India, according to BusinessLine. The firm has tested the country’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI), which is a government-based interface that enables users to send and receive bank-based payments through smartphones, and it is currently waiting for approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for the launch. Mi Pay launched in 2016 in China in partnership with UnionPay, the state-affiliated Chinese card network, to provide contactless payments through debit cards from 20 different Chinese banks. It makes sense for Xiaomi to look to India for growth, as the Indian payments space provides a major opportunity for payment providers — only 14% of adults in India make mobile payments on a weekly basis, and only 6% do so daily — which is bringing companies to the market. And as the second-largest smartphone seller in India, holding a combined 60% share of the market with Samsung, Xiaomi could have an advantage if it integrates Mi Pay directly into its phones, allowing it to gain immediate access to millions of consumers.
XOOM EXPANDS GLOBAL REACH: PayPal-owned digital remittance firm Xoom is partnering with Ria, a Euronet-owned legacy remittance provider, to offer its customers access to a cash pickup service at 150,000 of Ria’s locations. Users can initiate a transfer using Xoom online or on mobile, and the recipient can retrieve the transfer in cash at a pickup location. This partnership expands Xoom’s reach in Eastern Europe and Africa. Sigue leyendo
Banca de México creció 18% su oferta de servicios financieros móviles
La banca de Argentina y Colombia lideran la adopción de tecnología para ofrecer servicios financieros a través de dispositivos móviles. Los bancos de México mantuvieron el tercer lugar al triplicar su oferta en el último año. Sigue leyendo
WIRECARD MOVES DEEPER INTO BRAZIL: European payment processor Wirecard is launching new offerings for its small business clients in Brazil, according to Finextra. The firm’s new features — which will become available in October — will allow its small business clients to make transfers to third parties without having to make intermediary transactions to their own bank accounts or make bill payments. And Wirecard will provide them with card solutions and lending services for financial management. Nearly 33% of the Brazilian population is unbanked, but they’re leveraging other services — fintech adoption is growing 30% YoY, indicating room for growth for payment solutions and demonstrating consumer willingness to try alternative services. Wirecard already has thousands of small merchant clients using its offerings, giving it an addressable base for this solution. If the product succeeds in Brazil, the market can serve as a blueprint for Wirecard to launch similar offerings in comparable markets.
WECHAT PAY LAUNCHES IN MALAYSIA: Chinese mobile wallet giant WeChat Pay launched a domestic mobile wallet product in Malaysia, called WeChat Pay My, making Malaysia the mobile wallet’s first expansion in Asia outside of China and Hong Kong, according to Finextra. WeChat Pay My will feature peer-to-peer (P2P) functionality and will allow users to pay offline merchants in local currency. To encourage adoption among Malaysian consumers, WeChat is running a week-long “free money” promotion offering a virtual money pack worth between RM3.88 ($.95) to RM88.88 ($21.70) to anyone who signs up, which will be applied to their mobile wallet balance. KK Super Mart, a major chain store, is the first partnering store. It’s worth noting that the wallet doesn’t yet have bank partnerships. Sigue leyendo
ALIPAY PROVIDES NEW INSIGHTS INTO ITS MOBILE PAYMENT ADOPTION: Chinese mobile wallet giant Alipay has indicated that its overseas transaction volume grew in several markets this summer, according to a report on China Daily. Although actual figures weren’t provided, the report highlights several countries that contributed to Alipay’s transaction volume growth. Sigue leyendo
SQUARE LAUNCHES SDK: Square is launching a software development kit (SDK) that will allow developers to build custom in-person payment solutions using Square’s hardware, according to a company blog post. The mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) provider has offered an application programming interface (API) for two years, but this expands on that solution by allowing access to “Square’s hardware without using Square’s software” — new territory for the company, according to Business Insider. Sigue leyendo