5.25.17: Your morning briefing
Welcome to the PaymentsSource Morning Briefing, delivered daily. The information you need to start your day, including top headlines from PaymentsSource and around the Web:
Facebook opens up fundraising: As Facebook enhances its overall transaction capabilities, it's also expanding the scope of fundraising by offering a service similar to GoFundMe. Any person can now operate a self-fundraising campaign for medical bills, funerals or other personal reasons, according to the social network. Facebook will take a cut of 6.9% plus 30 cents per transaction for personal donation campaigns. The types of campaigns are also expanding, including ventures such as community causes, sports leagues, public gardens, crisis relief and other ventures. The program will still have a 24 hour review period, similar Facebook's fundraising pilot, which would favor longer term fundraising.
Android Pay builds its global network: As Google's Android Pay adds technology and partnerships, it's also building its market. The app will debut in Canada on May 31, according to MobileSyrup, which did not report which banks would support it. Apple Pay launched in Canada with support from only American Express at first, so it's not unusual for a mobile payment app to debut in Canada without a full network of participating banks. Google also recently stated it would add Brazil, Germany, Spain and Taiwan, and recently launched in Russia. Android Pay will work with any NFC mobile device running Android version 4.4 (KitKat) or higher and will work with any major debit or credit card in Canada.
Not charging fees is expensive: As Travelex digitizes its currency exchange service, it's also cutting back on its discount features. Travelex on July 24 will end Supercard, which let consumers link up to five debit or credit cards to a Mastercard that avoided currency fees. Current users can access the app until Oct. 24, after which their transactions will disappear from the site. Travelex, which asked users to destroy their Supercards after July 24, attributed the closure to costs of the service being higher than it anticipated, and it would no longer accept or process new applications. During Supercard's test two years ago, consumers saved more than $1.2 million on exchange, reports Engadget, which speculates volume was the reason for the closure.
A Wyre connection: The technology underpinnings of virtual currency have proven popular with startups that process cross-border payments, and San Francisco-based startup Wyre is adding social platforms to the mix. The company, which last year processed $350 million in cross-border payments, has built a chatbot that connects WeChat and Facebook to add another element for users, reports Forbes. The company says WeChat, a popular venue for financial technology collaborations, is becoming a more popular channel in China than email, noting WeChat has more than 1.1 billion accounts and 750 million active users. Facebook is equally popular in the U.S., Wyre told the magazine. Wyre has already inked partnerships with NihaoPay, the developer platform Baofoo.com, 9fBank.com and RationalFX. Wyre charges 0.25% for each transaction, and uses different exchanges to optimize foreign exchange rates.
From the Web
GOP Lawmaker Drops Debit-Card Provision From Regulatory-Overhaul Bill
The Wall Street Journal | Wed May 24, 2017 - The Republican author of a bill to roll back Obama-era financial regulations has agreed to remove a controversial provision concerning debit-card swipe fees that had divided GOP lawmakers and threatened to derail passage of the sweeping legislation next month.
Naspers pours $5M into Coins, a fintech startup for Southeast Asia’s unbanked population
TechCrunch | Wed May 24, 2017 - Prolific investment firm Naspers is making a push into bitcoin and financial services after it backed Philippines-based startup Coins.ph to the tune of $5 million. Coins is focused on offering financial services for the unbanked in the Philippines and Thailand. It uses the blockchain as its underlying technology to facilitate transfers and remittances.
Could Square help the struggling high street survive Brexit?
Wired | Wed May 24, 2017 - Square’s Sarah Harvey told WIRED Money how the mobile payment firm is helping small businesses move to ‘an omnichannel world’. The advent of app-based mobile payments could help small retailers to take on the giants of internet retail, according to Square, the finance firm founded by Twitter boss Jack Dorsey.
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