Morning Brief 2.6.20: Google Pay grabs share quickly in India

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Alphabet city

Google Pay is expanding quickly in India. In two years since launch, the app has added 67 million monthly users with transactions worth more than $110 billion, reports Hindustan Times, quoting Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

Google Pay makes up 59% of UPI's total volume, more than PhonePe's 26% and Paytm's 7%, according to the paper. Google has made a series of releases in India, supporting payments at local stores and railroads, which have fueled its growth.

Alphabet reports it has accumulated intel from Google Pay's success in India, which it will apply to payment projects in other markets.

Square investment

Square has joined a $14 million Series A funding round in Transparent Financial Systems, a Seattle firm that powers cryptographic transaction settlement that traces its roots to Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Other investors include Pantera Capital and Digital Currency Group.

Allen and Shawn Johnson, former chair of State Street Global Advisors' investment committee, directed the launch of Transparent in 2018, reports Finextra.

The firm was spun off later that year, and is in pilot with financial institutions that are demonstrating on-demand settlement for complex transactions involving multiple parties.

Redirect

Australia may prevent the country's largest four banks from automatically directing contactless debit payments to Visa and Mastercard, and give EFTPOS as an option.

Local institutions control EFTPOS, which costs about half of what Visa and Mastercard cost, according to Reuters.

Government-mandated options for debit routing is a controversial issue in many countries. In the U.S., for example, the Durbin Amendment has sparked years of disputes between the card brands and merchant groups.

ICE's bridge

Intercontinental Exchange, Bakkt's and the New York Stock Exchange's parent company, has agreed to buy incentive marketing firm Bridge2 solutions as part of Bakkt's strategy to centralize digital assets such as game tokens and loyalty points into a single digital wallet.

Bridge2 has a network of banks and merchants, as well as an existing loyalty payment program, that will feed a broader payments strategy.

ICE has also been connected to a possible acquisition of eBay, though ICE has downplayed media reports about eBay discussions.

From the Web

Clear gets $13M Series A to build high-volume transaction system on the blockchain
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Clear is an early-stage startup with a big ambition. It wants to build a blockchain for high-volume transaction systems like payments between telcos. Today it announced a $13 million Series A investment.

Ripple Partners with Nasdaq-Listed Firm to Bolster US-Mexico Payments
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Ripple, the firm behind the third largest cryptocurrency XRP, has made a new partnership to bolster cross-border payments between the United States and Mexico. The company has partnered with International Money Express, a money remittance services firm focused on the Latin and Caribbean corridor, Ripple announced on Feb. 5.

7-Eleven tests first cashierless store at Texas HQ
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7-Eleven is piloting its first cashierless store for employees at its headquarters in Irving, Texas, the convenience store chain said Wednesday. The company started testing a mobile checkout app called Scan & Pay at a number of Dallas locations in November 2018 and New York stores in August 2019.

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