8.17.17: 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:
NFC class: POSB Bank has deployed about 6,000 Smart Buddy watches in 19 elementary schools in Singapore, introducing wearable technology to teach children about payments, spending money and financial services. StraitsTimes reports the watches track payments and their budgets, and also introduce children to a mode of paying that doesn't involve cash at a very early age. Parents set their children's daily allowances, send emergency money, monitor spending and savings, and also eating habits and physical activity similar to a fitness watch. As part of the program, which POSB has fully subsidized, the schools have deployed contactless Near Field Communication payment terminals in bookstores and cafeterias, and kiosks where students can scan their watches to check remaining balances. The bank collaborated with local fintech companies Touche and 3radical to supply the technology for the program.
IBM's DLT partners: Elsewhere in technology-heavy Singapore, IBM has made substantial investments in blockchain, and is putting some of that technology to work via a collaboration with Pacific International Lines and PSA International. The companies will develop proofs of concept for transactions, security, shipping and transparency for supply chain business networks. The companies will also study trade finance options that allow for faster payments and fraud prevention. IBM will use the Hyperledger Fabric platform, its supply chain business network and advancements from IBM's own Blockchain Innovation Center in Singapore.
Pocket cards: Australian youth payment company Spriggy is adding capital to enhance its "pocket money" app that links to a card account to allow young people to make payments. It has raised about $2.6 million from Alium Capital, Perle Ventures and a handful of angel investors. Spriggy was created by former derivatives traders from Citigroup and has about 35,000 customers after two years in business. It charges $2.50 per month for each child that's signed up to the account, and has many of the parental controls common for youth payment apps. After a few slow years, the youth card market has perked up recently with new entrants such as Vantiv, which earlier this year launched Family Manager, an app that allows kids to set their own spending limits with guidance from their parents; and Greenlight Financial, a youth card which raised about $7.5 million in seed funding this year.
Alpha's postal play: Generally considered part of the distant past—it's been decades since The U.S. Postal service offered banking—postal financial services are gaining some steam in other countries. Mastercard and Canada's postal service recently collaborated on a financial inclusion effort. This week, Alpha Payments Cloud entered a collaboration with Australia Post to make it easier for payments service providers to reach retailers and online merchants, Computerworld reports. The venture will allow third parties to access a cloud-hosted pool of merchant services and payments technology, including products for processing, ID management, fraud prevention, risk management, marketing, shipping and e-commerce.
From the Web
NAFTA talks must include discussion on fintech: Mexican negotiator
Reuters | Thu Aug 17, 2017 - Talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) must include a discussion of new financial services, a Mexican negotiator said on Wednesday, singling out so-called fintech companies rapidly gaining ground in the region. Created 23 years ago, NAFTA includes Canada, Mexico and the United States and is being renegotiated at the behest of U.S. President Donald Trump who made a campaign promise to get a better deal for U.S. workers.
MoneyGram-Ant Financial Merger On Track, High Costs Hurt
Yahoo! Finance | Wed Aug 16, 2017 - MoneyGram’s merger with Ant Financial Services Group, an affiliate of the Chinese e-commerce goliath Alibaba Group , is on track. In May, the company’s board of directors unanimously approved the amended merger agreement, pursuant to which each of its share will fetch $18 from the acquiring company. The transaction, which is expected to close by the end of this year, will strengthen MoneyGram’s business, which operates in an intensively competitive and fast-changing payments industry. While on its own, the company has to continually invest in business in order to keep pace with the constantly evolving industry, a union with a stable partner will make its journey easier.
Global cybersecurity spending to grow 7% to $86.4BN in 2017, says Gartner
TechCrunch | Wed Aug 16, 2017 - Analyst Gartner is projecting that worldwide spending on IT security products and services will grow seven per cent, year over year, to reach a total of $86.4 billion in 2017 — suggesting opportunities for security startups to tap into rising demand for specialist b2b services. Within the infrastructure protection segment, the analyst is forecasting fast growth in the security testing market, though it notes this is coming from a small base. Factors that Gartner points to as driving spending here include continued data breaches and growing demand for app security testing.
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