Morning Brief 5.27.20: Alipay gets closer to banking in China

Register now

The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the web:

Alibank?

Alipay is inching closer to banking through a partnership with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, which will offer three-year term deposit services.

It's a quick expansion of an earlier one-year term deposit service that Alipay and ICBC launched in January. The bank reports a 700% increase in the scale of the one-year service in its first four months.

ICBC is also accelerating a digital transformation, planning to add more financial and payment services through Alibaba and Alipay. Alipay has also expanded its network of users through partnerships with parties outside of China, such as TransferWise.

ATM desert

Declining ATM access during the growth of mobile payments has long been a political hot button in the U.K., and the coronavirus has inflamed tensions.

About three dozen MPs warn the U.K. cash system may "collapse" as people abandon ATMs during the coronavirus outbreak, reports Finextra. ATM usage has plunged more than 60% during lockdowns, and 75% of U.K. residents say they are using paper money less.

The legislators are pushing a measure that would support free cash machines and cut ATM fees. The group also contends the Link ATM network's pledge to use member banks to backstop the loss of free ATMs is inadequate.

Mobile harvest

Mastercard and Airtel Payments Bank will co-develop NFC payments, credit access and locally tailored financial services for small businesses and farmers in India.

The two companies hope to push digital technology in agriculture, considered a key piece of financial inclusion in India, reports Economic Times.

Mastercard has had regulatory disputes with India over data storage, but has invested more than $2 billion to build new payment technology in the country.

Token beat

eMusic has launched its own digital currency to support payments directly to recording artists, which the company says will allow the musicians to have more visibility into how their music is being consumed.

Called eMU, the token is listed on Bilbox, and is designed as an alternative to streaming, which eMusic contends is prone to third parties extracting fees.

eMusic was founded in 1998 and has sold about one billion downloads from a catalog of more than 26 million recordings. It relaunched in 2017 as a fully digital service and is building a decentralized platform.

From the web

Payment giant Stripe launches in five new countries
THE TELEGRAPH | Wed May 27, 2020
Payments giant Stripe will start processing payments for businesses in the Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Malta.

MoneyGram shares surge after coronavirus partnership with Uber
FOX | Tue May 26, 2020
Shares of MoneyGram surged 16 percent Tuesday on news it will team up with Uber to support drivers and delivery couriers during the coronavirus pandemic by offering a discount on digital money transfers sent to family and friends in over 200 countries and territories.

GoBear raises $17 million to expand its consumer financial services for Asian markets
TECHCRUNCH | Tue May 26, 2020
Singapore-based fintech startup GoBear has raised $17 million from returning investors, which will be used to expand its consumer financial services platform in seven Asian markets. The startup serves consumers who don’t have credit cards or other access to traditional credit building tools.

More from PaymentsSource

Restaurants’ coronavirus tech could stick around post-lockdown
The coronavirus shutdowns have tossed businesses into disarray in numerous ways, most notably the tricky transactions that come with operating a restaurant as a drive-through for the first time.

Latin America's digital transformation can be a global model
Latin America's rapidly expanding fintech sector may prove to be the guiding light as we look to establish a widely accessible digital financial ecosystem.

When coronavirus closed churches, it opened a door to digital collection plates
The coronavirus has temporarily halted indoor gatherings of all sizes, church services among them. Those losses go beyond the chance for gathering.

Facebook renames blockchain division after Libra confusion
Facebook Inc. has renamed its blockchain division, called Calibra, to distance it from the Libra digital currency that Facebook created. The blockchain team is building a digital wallet for Facebook’s apps, which will eventually hold the Libra digital currency, but Facebook won’t control the coin.

Kenya’s biggest source of foreign currency hit by coronavirus
Kenya’s biggest source of foreign currency slumped last month, with the central bank indicating that shocks caused by the coronavirus will have a greater impact on the economy for the rest of this year.

Tech firms have used payments to jump ahead of banks
For too long lately, especially when it comes to the topic of payments, the banking industry has been late to the proverbial digital innovation table.

Relying on faster payments isn't enough
Instant payments are now mainstream. The last decade saw a ramp-up in adoption as regulation, customer expectation and technology dovetailed to create immediate, 24/7 demand for financial services.

Parents who educate kids in lockdown may—finally—see value in youth payment cards
The coronavirus lockdown could provide the opportunity for parent-controlled payment cards or mobile apps for children to gain traction after a wobbly past in terms of consumer adoption.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.
MORE FROM PAYMENTSSOURCE