7.11.17: 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:
Tencent's next stop, Malaysia: Tencent's WeChat has extended payments into several global markets, mostly to make it easier for Chinese travelers to make payments in other countries. The company is taking it a step further in Malaysia by applying for a license to offer local payment services via WeChat Pay, which would be its first domestic payment platform beyond China and Hong Kong, reports Reuters. If its application is approved, consumers would have the option to link their local bank accounts to WeChat's app and pay in local currency. The license is different than the cross-border deals Tencent has struck in other countries, since it requires Tencent to provide services in local currency and with local financial institutions, a process that presents a different regulatory challenge. Rival Alipay has also explored building a local presence outside of China, recently announcing plans to approach merchants in the U.S.
Bank of England softens on DLT: A few weeks after saying blockchain is not "mature" enough to support a core real-time gross settlement system for all forms of payments, the Bank of England has said a distributed ledger technology (DLT) proof of concept from Ripple has convinced it to build a real-time gross settlement that's compatible with DLT in the private sector for some payment types. That means it's more likely DLT will be used for a limited number of transactions in the U.K. particularly cross-border payments, where the needs are different from retail and corporate transactions, reports Finextra. DLT such as blockchain has advanced as a popular way to execute cross-border payments, particularly for smaller payments such as international e-commerce purchases and remittances, since it can remove some third-party expense and time from processing.
Canadian automation project adds bank payment expertise: Payments Canada appointed several board members with bank payments technology expertise to its board of directors. The venture, which is changing much of Canada's payment infrastructure to accommodate faster processing and mobile payments, is in the midst of hiring technology vendors and other stakeholders to execute IT projects. The new directors are Carolyn Burke, the head of enterprise payments for RBC; Francois Desjardins, the chair of the board of directors for B2B Bank; Garry Foster, who sits on the board of SmartREIT and Real Matters; and Ernie Johannson, who is head of North American Retail Credit and chief risk officer for Canadian P&C Banking and Wealth Management at Bank of Montreal.
Can the Tencent model work in Latin America?: While Alibaba and Tencent are expanding quickly, a startup called Movile is trying to replicate the same idea by pairing online marketplaces with delivery, payment and other fulfillment services. TechCrunch reports the company just received $53 million in new capital. One of the investors is Naspers, which is a large shareholder in Tencent, and Innova Capital also participated in the new Movile funding. Movile hopes to expand in Brazil and other nearby countries through its subsidiary, Rappido. Rappido plans to shortly launch a service that combines ticket ordering, mobile account top up, restaurant ordering and delivery and online groceries through a single messaging point of access.
From the Web
CompareAsiaGroup scores $50M from investors including IFC, Alibaba and Goldman Sachs
TechCrunch | Mon Jul 10, 2017 - CompareAsiaGroup, which runs online financial marketplaces in seven Asian countries, has closed a $50 million Series B. The round was led by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and includes capital from new investors Alibaba, SBI Group and H&Q Utrust. Returning investors like Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, which led CompareAsiaGroup’s $40 million Series A in 2015, Nova Founders Capital, ACE & Company and Route 66 Ventures, also participated.
Women are key to Alibaba's success: Jack Ma
China Daily | Mon Jul 10, 2017 - Alibaba Group Chairman Jack Ma said on Monday that women are the 'secret sauce' behind the company's success, and warned men of losing jobs to women and artificial intelligence in 30 to 50 years. Addressing 2017 Global Conference on Women and Entrepreneurship in Hangzhou, Ma said women's perseverance and attention to details will outperform men in the age of robotics and machine learning. "It is women who encouraged me to undergo the tough times in the past 18 years since the founding of Alibaba,” he said. "I hope to be a woman in my next life, have two children and run two businesses - not one big business (like now)," he said. Alibaba used the event to promote female entrepreneurship and showcase its own gender diversity.
US consumer credit up $18.4 billion in May, most in 6 months
ABC News | Mon Jul 10, 2017 - American consumers increased their borrowing in May at the fastest pace in six months, reflecting a sharp rebound in the category that includes credit cards. The Federal Reserve reported Monday that total consumer borrowing rose by $18.4 billion in May, the strongest gain since a $25.1 billion increase in November. In addition, April's gain of $8.2 billion, the weakest increase in nearly six years, was revised up to a more respectable increase of $12.9 billion. Consumer borrowing is closely watched for signals it can provide about consumer spending patterns.
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