Morning Brief 6.30.20: BNP Paribas adds biometrics to contactless cards

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Raise the roof

Transaction limits for contactless payments are on the rise in numerous countries in an effort to migrate consumers from physical points of sale. BNP Paribas is attempting to push higher transactions through contactless fingerprint biometric cards.

The cards, which the bank will initially distribute to Premium and Gold consumers, execute transactions by asking consumers to place a finger on the card at a contactless point of sale. That supports transactions above the contactless limit, reports Finextra.

Other banks including Societe Generale, Credit Agricole and NatWest are testing the Mastercard/Thales technology, reports Finextra. Gemalto and Visa have also collaborated on a contactless biometric payment card.

Next installment

Point of sale credit firm Klarna has made several updates to its platform, including a mobile app that gives users access to deals, a feature to create wish lists for friends and family and expanded online installment options.

The Swedish fintech has also launched an advertising campaign in the U.S. in an effort to grow its brand that utilizes its roots (i.e., "Klarna is 'Swedish' for smoother shopping").

It's making these moves as the point of sale credit market grows in popularity among consumers looking to avoid credit card debt during the economic downturn.

Small biz reboot

Stripe has introduced several new products designed to help small businesses reopen after months of coronavirus-related shutdowns.

Through an open toolkit, the payment fintech will add features to support subscription billing, international bank debits, invoices and a dashboard that allows merchants to view their cash position, bills due and incoming payments.

Stripe recently raised $600 million to fund the new products, which are designed to bring more traditional brick and mortar businesses into digital commerce, as well as extend Stripe into new markets and products such as merchant credit.

Back on sale

Big Issue will resume street sales July 6, with sellers outfitted with contactless card readers and personal protective equipment.

The magazine's outdoor vendors are typically homeless people in the U.K. Those sales were stopped during the past few months, though the magazine was still available at supermarkets, reports MetroUK.

The Big Issue Group sells the magazines for about $5, with half of the proceeds going to the vendors.

From the Web

Ban on Wirecard's UK payments business lifted
BBC | Tue June 30, 2020
The UK's financial watchdog has lifted restrictions on German payments company Wirecard, allowing it to resume payment activities. Christopher Woolard, the FCA's interim chief executive, said they spent the last few days making sure money belonging to people in the UK was now safeguarded in UK bank accounts with strict conditions.

Facebook, Cielo ask Brazil's antitrust watchdog to reverse decision on payments deal
REUTERS | Mon June 29, 2020
Facebook Inc and card acquirer Cielo SA have asked Brazil’s antitrust watchdog Cade to reverse the suspension of an agreement they struck paving the way for WhatsApp to roll out a new payments system.

South Africa's MTN allows customers to pay for online shopping using mobile money
REUTERS | Mon June 29, 2020
South Africa’s MTN is branching into the online shopping space by providing its customers with the option to pay for online purchases using mobile money payment instead of a bank card.

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