Google Pay grows its U.S. network, Billhop and Visa reach out to Finnish businesses

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New recruits

Google Pay has gotten a wave of new support accompanying an update that added in-app banking through a partnership with Citigroup and Stanford Federal Credit Union.

The search giant's mobile wallet attracted 67 financial institutions this month in the U.S., following a month that saw it add 89 financial institutions, reports AndroidPolice. More than 3,000 U.S. financial institutions now offer Google Pay.

Google Pay's upgrade, which was in the works for more than a year, includes a tab for consumer purchases, P2P transfers, incentive marketing and expense management.

Staying liquid

Swedish invoice technology company Billhop has partnered with Visa's Finland operation and Finnish financial institution OmaSp to provide pandemic recovery services for businesses in Finland.

OmaSp has released a Visa business credit card, the first in Finland, that supports B2B payments with discount rates. The lower rates are designed to help local businesses that have cash flow problems due the economic downturn, Billhop said in a release.

Businesses globally have suffered liquidity problems during the pandemic, sparking a series of products from payment companies to improve processing.

VC rewards

Revelis Capital, Nima Capital, the Forbes family and other investors have poured $4 million into Tap Network and its alternative rewards marketing system.

Tap, which calls its product "rewards as a service," allows consumers to spend points over a network of rewards programs that can be redeemed at a lower point level, reports TechCrunch. Tap offers its product as a white-label feature to other incentive marketing operators.

Uber, for example, recently used Tap Network to expand the ride-sharing app's rewards to offer free Apple Music or HBO Max, or donations to a group of philanthropic organizations.

Awkward partners?

Coinbase has reportedly chosen Goldman Sachs to lead the crypto exchange's IPO, a potentially odd choice given the investment banking giant has been critical of cryptocurrency.

Goldman in May issued a report that argued bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not an asset class, reports Coindesk, adding last week Goldman sent a memo to clients saying bitcoin does not threaten gold as a currency hedge. On the other hand, Goldman Sachs has invested in Circle, Bitgo and other cryptocurrency firms.

Coinbase is striking while the iron is hot. Bitcoin has rallied more than 200% in 2020, boosted by buzz from PayPal's support and anxiety over inflation.

From the web

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As Jack Ma was trying to salvage his relationship with Beijing in early November, the beleaguered Chinese billionaire offered to hand over parts of his financial-technology giant, Ant Group, to the Chinese government, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Indian court rejects retail giant Future Group’s plea against Amazon
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Tesla's Elon Musk asks about converting 'large transactions' to bitcoin
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