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:
SoftBank grabs a big piece of Flipkart: SoftBank has made a substantial investment in Flipkart through its $100 billion Vision Fund in what is likely the largest private investment ever made in an Indian technology company. The size of the investment was not publically disclosed, though the Economic Times reports it's about $2.5 billion, and gives New York-based Tiger Global Management, Flipkart's largest investor, a partial exit. SoftBank's investment builds off of Flipkart's $1.4 billion financing round from earlier this year, and leaves Flipkart with more than $4 billion on its balance sheet. It also adds SoftBank to a roster of heavy-hitter investors, including Microsoft, Tencent and eBay, reports TechCrunch. That sounds like a lot, but Flipkart faces major competition from Amazon, which has pledged to spend at least $5 billion to build a market in India, and Alibaba is also building a market in the country. TechCrunch reported SoftBank's initial investment may be part of a larger stake to come.
Russian e-commerce venture gets a kick: Sberbank will take a 50% stake in Yankex.Market, an e-commerce venture powered by Yandex, the Russian search engine. Sberbank's investment of $500 million will give it an equal stake in the venture, which will combine Yankex's online technology with Sberbank's digital payments and fulfillment, reports Barron's. Yandex.Market will serve more than 20,000 Russian and international merchants, covering about 150 million products and an addressable market of 20 million users. Sberbank has also expanded its digital payments reach through collaboration with technology company PAX and by using Host Card Emulation through a partnership with Sequent.
Payments vets push Railsbank: Currencycloud co-founder Nigel Verdon has attracted $1.2 million from investors for a new company, Railsbank. TechCrunch reports Railsbank, which has not yet launched, will offer an open banking and compliance platform that it will offer to other fintechs that require API access to global banks. The new investment is led by Firestartr, and Railsbank's other investors include Peter Jackson, former CEO of WorldPay U.K., and Phillip Rise, the former chairman of Zopa. Beyond access to banks, Railsbank will offer a sandbox to power technology to send and receive money, enabling straight through processing and other elements of faster transaction processing.
Virtual currency investment: Fidelity Labs has partnered with virtual currency wallet Coinbase on a pilot in which customers can authorize Coinbase to provide Fidelity with data on Coinbase wallet holdings. This will allow users to view Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin balances alongside other accounts in their Fidelity portfolios. Fidelity is making the move to get a sense of how virtual currency trading and use in transactions can impact a person's broader financial picture. Hadley Stern, senior vice president and managing director at Fidelity Labs, told Finextra that bitcoin and other blockchain technologies are emerging from infancy. While mass adoption is still years away, virtual currency will transform how people manage finances, Stern said.
From the Web
Contactless transactions take UK debit and credit card use to record high
The Guardian | Wed Aug 9, 2017 - A record number of payments took place by credit and debit cards in June, fuelled by the continued popularity of contactless transactions. UK Finance, the new trade body for the banking industry, said almost 1.4bn card payments were made during the month. The 12% increase was the biggest annual growth in the number of payments since June 2008. The data follows recent figures from the British Retail Consortium that found cards now make up more than half of all retail purchases. In June, a record 34% of card transactions were contactless compared with 33% the previous month.
As bitcoin comes off its record high, the next step is to avoid a 'lightning fork'
CNBC | Wed Aug 9, 2017 - The bitcoin community is eagerly waiting for the next big development called the Lightning Network, a technology that enables instant transactions. This after it reached a new milestone on Tuesday, with the digital currency network "locking in" a decision to implement a new piece of technology called SegWit, that improves capacity of the bitcoin network.
Glint is a stealthy London fintech startup that promises to turn gold into a ‘new global currency’
TechCrunch | Thu Aug 10, 2017 - Glint, a stealthy London fintech startup that promises a new “global currency,” has raised £3.1 million from a plethora of individual backers in the financial services and asset management space, alongside early-stage investor Bray Capital. The Glint website describes the startup as “a new global currency, account and app” and says it will make your money “reliable and independent” and give you more control in the way you “store, spend, exchange and transfer money”. If that all sounds a bit vague — aside from alluding to a new (and more) stable currency tied to a payments app — it’s probably intended to be. The company isn’t pegged to launch until the last quarter of this year.
More from PaymentsSource
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NCR brings IoT software to ATMs in Europe
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Fifth Third to realize 3Q windfall from latest sale of Vantiv shares
Fifth Third Bancorp in Cincinnati plans to record a one-time, pretax gain of about $1 billion during the third quarter as it continues to sell off its equity stake in the payment processor Vantiv.