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:
Barclays pushes bitcoin: Banks have been more interested in bitcoin's underlying distributed ledger technology than the virtual currency itself, though there's signs that may be changing. Barclays has contacted regulators and financial services companies about bringing cryptocurrencies "into play," according to CNBC. Ashok Vaswani, Barclays' chief executive in the U.K., met with the U.K.'s FCA to discuss how to make bitcoin safe. Vaswani also mentioned several financial technology companies accompanied the bank on its meeting with the FCA. Barclays did not mention exactly how it would deploy bitcoin, though the bank has partnered with social payments app Circle, which supports bitcoin. The FCA told CNBC that while it does not prohibit banks from offering services to companies that support virtual currencies, it does suggest a degree of caution. Banks use blockchain and other distributed ledger technology to support faster payments, trades and security, but have been historically reluctant to directly support virtual currency because of its historical security risks and price volatility.
Toolshed standards: Application programming interfaces (APIs) have quickly become a staple for developers to build transaction capabilities into websites to create quick e-commerce capabilities, among other use cases. In an attempt to corral these uses cases, NACHA has published a summary for APIs that's designed to assist banks, businesses, financial technology companies and other payments stakeholders by creating a standardized API ecosystem. The summary details issues such as payment access, data management, portability, security risk and financial inclusion. "API standardization can have a transformative effect on the financial services industry," said George Throckmorton, managing director of network development at NACHA and the association's API Standardization Industry Group lead, in a release. "Our work is really just beginning, but we are excited to share the outcomes of the inaugural meeting. We look forward to keeping the industry informed of progress as we move forward."
A test for Kerv: After several years of development, the Kerv payments ring is gaining some traction. ABN Amro is including Kerv as part of a general test of wearable technology for contactless payments. The Dutch bank will also test a Near Field Communication watch, and plans to pilot other wearable and connected devices in the hope of deploying its first card free contactless product to consumers by the end of the year. Testers will use different devices to make payments from current ABN Amro accounts at NFC-enabled terminals, and the bank is working with Mastercard and Digiseq to make sure the products are properly secured and work reliably.
ANZ's IT overhaul gets e-commerce expertise: To help execute a digital redesign, ANZ has turned outside of the industry, hiring long-time e-commerce expert Jennifer Scott to be general manager of digital transformation and reporting at the Australian bank, according to ITNews. ANZ's project will cover all financial services, including payments, and will move the bank to a new agile model to speed IT projects, an increasingly popular technology development strategy for payment and other financial services projects. Scott has served in senior finance, strategy and marketing positions in Australia, Europe, the U.K. and the U.S. for companies such as eBay and Expedia. At ANZ, Scott will be responsible for the commercial delivery of new financial services, lending and payment projects, including strategic partnerships.
From the Web
Dutch payments processor takes pan-European licence to bypass banks
Reuters | Fri Jun 23, 2017 - Adyen, one of Europe's biggest fintech companies, has taken a pan-European banking licence that allows it to bypass banks and process cross-border payments directly for its merchant customers, including many of the world's top e-commerce firms. Chief Executive Pieter van der Does said on Friday that his Amsterdam-based company was awarded a European regional banking licence in late April by the Dutch Central Bank on behalf of the European Central Bank.
Yoyo Wallet raises £12M Series B led by Metro Group to expand in Europe
TechCrunch | Sun Jun 25, 2017 - The race to digitise the loyalty card just got a shot in the arm with the news that Yoyo Wallet, the European-based mobile payment and customer loyalty platform, has raised a £12 million Series B round, led by the US wholesale and food retail giant Metro Group. The round is joined by the UK-based Woodford Investment Management and Touchstone Innovations. The deal is subject to FCA approval. The round will help the London-based company expand partnerships with UK high-street retailers, expand the platform and aid its European expansion.
India's digital payments giant Paytm to offer credit card and lending services
CNBC | Fri Jun 23, 2017 - India's largest digital payments company Paytm is looking to expand its footprint to include lending services and credit cards for customers, in a move that threatens to shake up the country's traditional banking sector further. In an interview with CNBC, Chief Financial Officer Madhur Deora said the launch of its pilot lending program would come within weeks.
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