Morning Brief 10.20.20: Instagram adds CRM tech, MoneyGram ups digital remittances in Philippines

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

Digital relationship management

Facebook will allow businesses to manage Instagram messages through third-party apps, part of an ongoing strategy at the social network to centralized payments, marketing and other retail services across its different platforms.

The Instagram API update is designed to improve CRM by tracking shopping, payment and loyalty transactions alongside a user's messages, reports Engadget. Instagram also added tech to manage basic customer service queries, sending the more complex issues to human agents.

Additionally, the API will centralize messages from Shops, Stories and other parts of Instagram. An earlier feature of Facebook's project, deployed in September, allowed consumers to post content across Facebook, Instagram and Messenger, creating a seamless checkout experience.

Pacific crossing

MoneyGram and PayMaya Philippines have co-launched a mobile feature that allows consumers in the U.S. to send funds to the Philippines via Visa Direct's push payment rail.

Visa Direct has been part of MoneyGram's efforts to reduce reliance on physical agent locations in favor of digital transactions over the past few years. The migration can also save costs as overall remittance flows decline during the pandemic.

The Philippines is expected to be one of the hardest hit countries in reduced remittance flow, along with Ukraine and Latin America.

All in one

Curve has hired cloud-powered bank technology firm Thought Machine to run Curve's lending and credit service.

Curve's core business is an all-in-one card that combines several accounts and allows users to retroactively change the card for a purchase through a "back in time" feature. It also supports most of the major mobile wallets, providing a workaround for customers of banks that don't offer a full menu of mobile payment apps.

The company's credit product will allow borrowers to pay in three, six, or nine-month installments. The back in time function will allow credit to be applied to different card accounts over time.

Government job

The Bank of Canada is recruiting an expert on economics, digital currency and financial technology as part of its research into a potential central bank digital currency and the broader impact of fintech, digital payments and financial intermediation.

The job's responsibilities include monitoring crypto exchanges and cryptocurrencies. The central bank is looking for someone with knowledge of bitcoin and ethereum, reports Coindesk, which cited the job posting.

Dozens of countries are considering central bank digital currencies, with China likely the closest to launch. Most of the projects have the growth of stablecoins and cryptocurrency in mind, with the central bank currencies designed to curb the influence of crypto on traditional monetary policy.

From the web

Pandemic boosts card payments in cash-loving Germany
YAHOO FINANCE UK | Tuesday, October 20, 2020
“King Cash” is being slowly dethroned across the European Union, according to a new survey from ING bank. The study found that even Germany’s famous addiction to paying with cash has deteriorated during the COVID-19 pandemic, by an amount that would have normally taken a generation.

Trilo lets merchants offer rewards to customers choosing bank-to-bank payments
TECHCRUNCH | Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Open banking enables bank-to-bank payments, meaning that (in theory) merchants should be able to accept payments without having to hand over fees to Visa or Mastercard or other payment providers, such as Stripe.

ShopUp raises $22.5 million to digitize millions of mom-and-pop shops in Bangladesh
TECHCRUNCH | Monday, October 19, 2020
A startup that is aiming to digitize millions of neighborhood stores in Bangladesh just raised the country’s largest Series A financing round.

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