Morning Brief 11.5.19: Curve hooks up with Samsung Pay

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

New twist

Curve, an all-in-one payment card launched last year by a U.K. fintech, has gone mobile with a connection to Samsung Pay. Curve users in the U.K. may link their Samsung Pay account to any Mastercard or Visa debit card, regardless of bank issuer, according to a press release.

Adding a mobile connection via Samsung Pay is one of many ways Curve is trying to build scale in the notoriously tough niche of all-in-one financial-management products. So far Curve doesn’t support Apple Pay or Google Pay.

The Curve platform has raised about $75 million, including £6 million (US$6.7 million) from a crowdfunding push in September.

Connecting the dots

In its latest move to reach customers through new channels, Citi is boosting rewards for AAdvantage co-branded American Airlines credit card customers who open installment loan and savings accounts with Citi.

Citi AAdvantage customers may earn up to 50,000 bonus miles for making purchases with Citi Flex Pay, which has a fixed APR and payments. AAdvantage customers are also eligible for up to 50,000 bonus miles for opening a Citi Miles Ahead Savings Account, Citi said in a press release.

Through the first 10 months of this year, Citi has gathered more than $4 billion in digital deposit sales, and roughly half of the total came from credit card customers who previously had no retail banking relationship with the bank, the release said.

Regulatory salvo

How cryptocurrencies, stablecoins and ICOs are regulated is still an open question, with the answer going a long way toward deciding how the market will develop.

The International Organization of Securities Commissions says stablecoins should be regulated as securities, which would potentially heighten the regulatory burden and pose compliance challenges to firms such as Ripple and Facebook's Libra project.

The SEC has not formally weighed in on the issue, though it has leaned toward regulating most cryptocurrencies as securities.

Too slow

Nearly 60% of payments stakeholders feel the U.S. is not making satisfactory progress toward faster payments adoption, according to the first survey from the U.S. Faster Payments Council.

The council, an industry-led organization aiding the creation of a faster payments scheme, surveyed more than 700 stakeholders from banks, core processors, network operators, acquirers, fintech companies and others, from Sept. 18 to Oct. 6 this year.

Reasons for concern over U.S. progress included 53% saying the current systems were not interoperable; 48% said costs and complexities, and 35% cited a lack of common rules and standards.

From the web

US Federal Reserve Hiring Retail Payments Manager to Research Digital Currencies
COIN DESK | Tue November 5, 2019
The U.S. Federal Reserve is hiring a manager to oversee its traditional payments section, while adding new responsibilities to the role, including researching how to integrate digital currencies, stablecoins and distributed ledger technologies. In a job posted to the Fed’s website on Monday, the role, to be based in Washington, D.C., would manage the Fed’s Retail Payments Section, overseeing check and automated clearinghouse services, facilitating research in retail payments innovation, and addressing policy and regulatory issues concerning retail payment systems.

Cryptocurrencies backed by cash could elude new regs
COMPUTER WORLD | Mon November 4, 2019
The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), made up of securities regulators from the U.S., Europe and Japan, said its analysis shows "stablecoins can include features that are typical of regulated securities." "And they could potentially contribute to the development of global payment arrangements that are faster, cheaper and more inclusive than present arrangements," Ashley Alder, chair of the IOSCO Board, said.

Japan wants to go cashless, but elderly aren't so keen
REUTERS | Tue November 5, 2019
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to make more Japanese - the world’s most dedicated cash-hoarders – switch to using cashless payments is producing some success, but not nearly as much as desired. A growing rank of the nation’s elderly pensioners are resisting change, which could see Japan fall further behind its peers in adopting mobile app payments and electronic money.

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