Morning Brief 10.4.19: Barclaycard opens a hub to attract supply chain clients

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One of the last major payment types of automate, supply chain transactions are attracting a range of strategies from the consumer world, such as install payments and e-commerce marketplaces.

To compete with the myriad alternatives, Barclaycard has launched an online hub to connect suppliers and buyers in a centralized platform, using a virtual card or transfer to complete the payment.

The bank hopes to expand usage of its Precisionpay virtual card. Barclaycard added the SAP Ariba B2B marketplace to Precisionpay earlier this year.

More Libra wavering

Less than a day after word spread that Visa and Mastercard are considering bailing on Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency, PayPal is also reportedly hedging.

PayPal pulled out of a Libra meeting in Washington, reports the Financial Times, citing unnamed sources, adding PayPal is worried Facebook is not doing enough to address regulatory concerns. The FT's sources said PayPal may not join Libra initially, but may rejoin at a later date.

There's some irony as David Marcus, the Facebook executive who is leading Libra, used to be president of PayPal. Libra has 28 partners, which have pledged to invest and play a role in Libra, though the agreements are non-binding.

Driver perks

Lyft has introduced a rewards program for its drivers, turning dollars earned to points that can be used as a virtual currency for cash or credits toward Lyft services.

The program will commence in Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and about a half-dozen other cities, reports TechCrunch. It's a signal of how important incentive marketing has become to ride-sharing apps, as Uber has used incentive marketing as part of the broader rivalry between the two companies.

Both companies are also under political pressure to improve perks for drivers, given the California gig economy law that strengthens employee protections for contract workers.

Curve adds former Samsung Pay exec

"All in one" card company Curve has hired Nathalie Oestmann as chief operating officer.

Oestmann was formerly the head of Samsung Pay Europe, where she helped expand the payment app to European markets and forged partnerships.

At Curve, she will help lead corporate structure as the firm plots its expansion in Europe and the U.S. in 2020.

School bell

One of the attractions for Fiserv when it acquired First Data was Clover, First Data's tablet payment system and a building block for First Data's technology expansion.

Part of the strategy is to expand merchant relationships through collaborations, such as the one Fiserv entered into this week with DonorsChoose.org, a crowdfunding platform that funnels donations to educational causes.

Clover will support a Round Up for Schools app, which will give consumers an option to round up purchases, a common donation tool in the digital payments age, and donate the difference to schools that the merchant has chosen to fund supplies and technology.

From the web

Digital payments at forefront of S-E Asia's booming Internet economy
THE BUSINESS TIMES | Fri October 4, 2019
THE digital payments market in South-east Asia has hit an inflection point, and growth in this segment is likely to propel the region's Internet economy in the region to a US$300 billion market by 2025. This is according to the annual e-Conomy report by Google.

Sendmi lets you allocate part of your paycheck for remittance
TECHCRUNCH | Thu October 3, 2019
Sendmi works pretty much like a 401k or a Flexible Spending Account. But instead of saving money for later, you set it aside to send it to your family abroad. And this mix of payroll and remittance is what sets Sendmi apart from the countless foreign exchange services out there.

Temasek eyes fintech firms, aspiring unicorns in region
THE STRAITS TIMES | Fri October 4, 2019
Financial technology firms as well as the array of aspiring unicorns in South-east Asia are two areas that Temasek is eyeing for future investment opportunities. Temasek is also monitoring the nascent education and healthcare sectors, said Mr Rohit Sipahimalani, joint head of its portfolio strategy and risk group.

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