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France's Zelle
Paylib, a French mobile wallet backed by a network of French banks, is ready to introduce P2P payments triggered by the users' phone numbers, a model similar to the bank-operated Zelle network in the U.S.

The Paylib app has about 1.2 million users, and BNP Paribas will be the first bank to introduce the mobile number transfer feature, reports Finextra. Other members of the Paylib network, including Societe Generale, La Banque Postal and Credit Agricole, will deploy the feature over the summer.

Credit Mutuel-CIC is in discussions to join the network, which would cover 90% of the French consumer market, according to Finextra.

IMAGE: Bloomberg News

Bank robbery
Hackers have stolen more than $15 million from Mexican banks by creating payments orders for phony accounts at other banks, reports Reuters, which adds these accounts were then emptied.

Mexican authorities were able to halt some of the transfers, though these same authorities say it's uncertain if the attacks have stopped, suggesting further exposure in the coming days. It's still unclear how many banks are involved.

Alejandro Diaz de Leon, Mexico's central bank governor, said the attack on the bank payment systems is the largest in the country's history.

African payment app draws funds for expansion
The Rise Fund will acquire a stake in Cellulant, a digital payment provider that has 40 million users in 11 African countries.

The value is $47.5 million, one of the largest African fintech deals to date, and will increase Cellulant's ability to collaborate with banks, governments and mobile network operators. It's the first fintech investment for The Rise Fund, which is part of the private equity firm TPG Growth.

Cellulant launched in Kenya and Nigeria in 2004, and has since expanded to other countries such as Zambia, Ghana and Liberia.

WeChat reaches Singapore hotels
China's WeChat, which has used travel payments to expand to foreign markets, has made another large deal, this one with Millennium Hotels and Resorts in Singapore.

Millennium's six Singapore properties will support WeChat Pay for accommodations and dining, reports TravelDailyNews's Asia-Pacific edition.

The news site reports 2.7 million travelers from China visited Singapore in the first ten months of 2017, representing almost 20% of all arrivals.

From the Web

Worldline's $2.75 billion deal for SIX Payment Services sets stage for more consolidation
Reuters | Tue May 15, 2018 - Worldline’s $2.75 billion deal to buy the payments unit of Swiss exchange operator SIX Group, announced on Tuesday, could herald more consolidation in the industry, SIX’s chairman told Reuters. France’s Worldline beat competition from U.S. bidders to land the SIX business, reflecting a drive by financial sector companies to gain scale to benefit from the shift towards electronic and online payments.

Ant Financial reduces same-day withdrawals from its money market fund to manage liquidity risk
South China Morning Post | Tue May 15, 2018 - Ant Financial, Alibaba Group’s financial arm, will drastically reduce the amount of money that investors can withdraw each day from its money market fund, in a move it said was taken of its own accord to manage liquidity risk. Yu’e Bao is the world’s largest money market fund, accumulating US$266 billion in assets by the end of the first quarter by allowing millions of Alipay users to stash their idle cash in the fund, with no limits on time frame or a requirement for minimum investment.

Coinbase Launches 'Prime' Service in Push to Lure Big Institutional Investors
Fortune | Tue May 15, 2018 - Coinbase has unveiled a spate of products and services aimed at major players in the financial industry. Tuesday’s announcement, which included a new “white glove” offering called Coinbase Prime, comes as the San Francisco digital currency exchange seeks to entrench its dominant position in an increasingly competitive U.S. cryptocurrency market.

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