Morning Brief 6.4.20: Fed won't change payment formats for next two years

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

Standard delay

The Federal Reserve does not plan to change any messaging formats through the end of 2021, including the initial phase of the Fedwire Funds Service migration to ISO 20022.

ISO 20022 allows more information about transactions to be transmitted simultaneously, which can help process e-commerce and mobile payments in real time, so the standard underpins global faster payment initiatives.

The Fed's move follows Swift's delay of its new messaging standard to November 2022, a decision that has already complicated digital payment standard migrations in Europe, Finextra reports. Both the Fed and Swift have attributed the delays to the coronavirus, with the Fed saying it's still committed to the new standard. The Fed plans its own real-time payment system, FedNow, though it's not expected to launch until 2024.

Digital discount

The Reserve Bank of Australia may reduce fees for electronic payments given the rush to digital during the coronavirus outbreak.

The RBA reports ATM withdrawals are down 40% from the prior year, suggesting more digital transactions. But debit payments carry higher charges for certain routing schemes, causing an unexpected expense, reports The New York Times.

The RBA is reviewing these schemes and fees to vet transparency, though it has not yet mandated least-cost routing options for merchant acquirers.


U.K. fintech Revolut has launched an upgraded version of its app that organizes financial needs into "home" and "wealth" as the company adds more financial services beyond its payments core.

The home tab includes Revolut accounts, linked external accounts via open banking connections, budgeting tools and financial planning. The wealth tab has stocks, crypto, commodities and investment products.

Revolut recently added TrueLayer's API to aggregate and update account information to power its open banking feature. It's also in the midst of a multi-year geographic and product expansion.

ATM attacks

There have been a series of ATM thefts this week in Philadelphia, using a method in which the thieves use explosives to gain access to the cash machines.

The incidents caused at least one fatality, reports CBS, adding the machines were mostly in gas stations and convenience stores.

The ATM attacks came amid broader reports of looting in Philadelphia. ATM "explosion" attacks are a common form of ATM theft, with a series of similar ATM incidents in 2019 causing Dutch banks to take some machines out of service.

From the web

Varo Money Raises $241 Million As It Moves Closer To Becoming A National Digital Bank
FORBES | Wed June 3, 2020
Varo Money, a mobile banking startup, raised $241 million in venture funding with proceeds going to meet the capital requirements necessary to operate a national bank, develop new products, and otherwise support growth.

7.4 million in UK living an almost cashless life, data shows
THE GUARDIAN | Wed June 3, 2020
UK Finance, a trade association for Britain’s banking and financial services sector, said changes in payment habits had inadvertently left the nation better prepared to cope with life under lockdown than would have been the case a few years ago.

Google and Walmart establish dominance in India’s mobile payments market as WhatsApp Pay struggles to launch
TECHCRUNCH | Wed June 3, 2020
Google Pay had more than 75 million transacting users last month, ahead of PhonePe’s 60 million users, people familiar with the companies’ figures told TechCrunch.

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