Morning Brief 2.13.20: FIS and PayPal team for loyalty marketing

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

Double duty

Consumers in FIS’ credit card rewards program will soon be able to redeem points at PayPal merchants. The move is an expansion of an existing partnership, building on FIS’ acquisition last year of Worldpay, which processes PayPal transactions, according to a press release.

Starting this summer, credit card users whose financial institutions participate in FIS’ Premium Payback loyalty network can use their card rewards to shop online through PayPal’s Pay with Rewards program.

PayPal has made significant headway over the last few years in converting rewards earned from various credit card issuers to its own currency through Pay with Rewards. Chase, Citi, Discover and most recently American Express have enabled their credit card customers to use rewards points as a payment option at PayPal e-commerce merchants.

On the map

Discover Global Network has signed an agreement with the National Bank of Oman to extend acceptance of Discover and Diners Club credit cards, extending Discover’s reach in the Arabian peninsula. Oman is a key destination for travelers from Europe and Russia, and the deal will increase the density of merchants accepting Discover in the region, according to a press release.

The pact with NBO means major hotels and merchants in the surrounding area including duty-free shops at Oban’s airport will accept Discover for the first time, with plans to expand to other terminals and shopping zones.

Ready to play

Australia’s financial regulators have loosened rules for fintechs experimenting with products, after users complained that government-sanctioned sandbox’s original policies were too restrictive, Finextra reports. Only a handful of fintechs have participated in the Australian Securities and Investment Commission’s sandbox unveiled in 2016, which limited fintech product tests to 12 months.

New rules Australia unveiled this week through an amendment enable fintechs to test credit and other products for up to 24 months without a financial services or credit license, as long as strong consumer protections are in place.

Separately, Australia’s competition authority also finalized consumer data-sharing rules this week, paving the way for open banking to commence in Australia beginning in July 2020, according to Finextra.

A bigger bite

If Apple Pay continues on its present growth path, it will account for 10% of global card transactions by 2025, according to 9to5Mac reports, citing new trend research by equity firm Bernstein. Currently Apple Pay accounts for about 5% of all card transactions but recent data suggests Apple Pay’s share of all transactions is growing through the acceleration of NFC, in-app and online payments.

Tailwinds for Apple Pay’s growth include major transit systems enabling its Express Transit mode for quicker payment on trains and buses in New York, Portland, Ore., London, Japan, Beijing and Shanghai, along with cash-back incentives available to Apple Card users who transact with Apple Pay.

From the Web

Embedded Payments Are Here: How To Prepare
FORBES | Wed February 12, 2020
Until recently, building an embedded payments system—meaning a company builds and manages its payments software—was a Herculean task. Just as Amazon Web Services and others introduced the concept of managed infrastructure that allowed companies to more efficiently and cost-effectively manage workloads in the cloud, the same scenario is now playing out in the payments world.

Official: Puerto Rico govt loses $2.6M in phishing scam
ABC NEWS | Thu February 13, 2020
Puerto Rico's government has lost more than $2.6 million after falling for an email phishing scam, according to Rubén Rivera, the finance director of the island's Industrial Development Company. Rivera said the government agency transferred the money on Jan. 17 after receiving an email that alleged a change to a banking account tied to remittance payments.

Ramp, a corporate credit card to rival Brex and Amex, raises $25 million
FORTUNE | Wed February 12, 2020
Ramp, a New York-based fintech firm whose founders sold their last venture to Capital One, has raised $25 million and signed up nearly 100 businesses to its card, the company announced Wednesday. Ramp declined to disclose its valuation, but Keith Rabois, a partner at Founders Fund who invested in the company and now sits on its board, said the number is well below $1 billion.

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