Morning Brief 8.10.20: Huawei taps the cloud to reach fintech developers

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Cloud formation

Huawei has launched a digital payment cloud, using an API to reach third party developers building innovation to improve financial inclusion in emerging markets.

The Chinese technology firm estimates there are more than 1 billion mobile money users, citing research from mobile operator trade group GSMA. Myanmar is an early market, where Huawei has partnered with KBZ bank to launch a local mobile wallet.

Mobile money is a common way for telcos to reach new consumers, and Huawei hopes to build a merchant network to match. Huawei has been expanding support for its mobile wallet, particularly in Asia, where it's competing with U.S. wallets such as Apple Pay. Huawei has also been part of the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China, which last week included a potential U.S. ban on WeChat transactions.

Crypto clearance

New York state regulators have approved Binance's stablecoin, BUSD, which allows banks and other financial institutions to support the coin without added approval, though the third parties still have to disclose their Binance plans to the state.

It's a boost for Binance, which is developing a stablecoin to rival Libra, the Facebook-affiliated project that has been the subject of almost constant controversy since its announcement more than a year ago. Libra plans to launch later in 2020.

The lack of an approval was a gap for Binance, since bitcoin, ether and litecoin all have similar green lights in New York, reports Coindesk. The Paxos Trust Company operates BUSD. Paxos received its initial cryptocurrency approval in New York in 2018.

Lebanon relief

Western Union has cut fees for money transfers paid in U.S. dollars to Lebanon, citing the recent explosion in Beirut that came as the nation faces an economic crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.

Other payment companies have made similar moves during the past few months, Skrill, for example, cut payment fees for transfers to Italy during the peak of the local coronavirus outbreak earlier this year.

Irish Bank AIB cut transaction fees for contactless payments to encourage the migration away from paper and plastic payments.

Advancing the internet

India has made strides in boosting digital payments, but there's still a heavy reliance on cash, particularly in rural areas. The Reserve Bank of India is making a concerted effort to move consumers away from cash outside of cities by pushing banks and other firms to build gateways for cards, digital wallets and mobile devices.

The central bank is trying to improve internet access, reports the Times of India, and will form a centralized innovation center to build new financial products such as improved point of sale systems.

India's UPI gateway provides standardized access to digital payments, and the large addressable market is popular with investors outside of India, including Amazon, Google, Walmart and the large U.S. card networks.

From the Web

How financial firms in Hong Kong may be affected by U.S. sanctions
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The blockchain subsidiary of messaging app giant LINE has made its native token available to Japan-based traders for the first time.

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