Morning Brief 10.22.20: Mastercard pilots biometric card; Westpac adds Afterpay

Register now

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

Battery parked

Mastercard is piloting a biometric card in Asia that requires a fingerprint to authorize payments at point of sale terminals.

The card brand is partnering with digital ID firm Idemia and Singapore fintech MatchMove, reports Finextra. The card does not have a battery, instead drawing energy from the payment terminal. It also stores the biometric data on the card's chip instead of a database.

Biometric cards are potentially a more sanitary option compared to PIN authentication and other methods that require touching a point of sale terminal.

After party

Buy now/pay later firm Afterpay is the first third-party fintech to join Westpac's banking-as-a-service platform as open banking takes hold in Australia.

The bank is using 10x's cloud-hosted technology to enable fintechs to add banking services. Afterpay can reach 3.3 million people in Australia through its connection to Westpac, reports ZDNet, adding the link will be completed early in 2021.

Similar to PSD2 in Europe, Australian open banking went into effect in July, with fintechs and mobile wallets among the first services available. P2P accounts, credit cards and mortgage and loan services will be added in November.

Sandbox

The Central Bank of the Bahamas has likely become the first to have a central bank digital currency, beating dozens of other nations that have projects in different stages of development.

Called the sand dollar, the government announced it would make regulated payments and financial services more inclusive, reports Coindesk. As part of the rollout, banks and credit unions are building compliance exams for digital wallets that plan to use the sand dollar. The sand dollar is backed by the Bahmanian dollar, which is pegged to the U.S. dollar.

China, the EU and other countries are working on central bank digital currencies, but the mix of privacy, security and the role of the private sector have proven complicated, leaving most projects in pre-launch.

In process

Crane Venture Partners led a seed round of about $4 million in Amsterdam-based payments technology company Silverflow ahead of its 2021 launch.

Silverflow uses the cloud to power merchant access to the card networks, and has a pair of Adyen execs on its founding team; Adyen's former card acquiring and processing exec Anne-Willem de Vries is Silverflow's CEP; and Adyen's former chief operating officer Robert Kraal is Silverflow's chief business development officer.

Silverflow is approaching merchants with transactions totalling from about $750 million to about $14 billion yearly, offering a single connection to card networks instead of multiple connections in different countries.

From the web

Amazon announces $100 million logistics investment in Mexico
REUTERS | Thursday, October 22, 2020
Amazon.com Inc said on Thursday it has invested $100 million in opening new warehouses in Mexico, including its first shipping centers outside the populous capital area, in a bid to offer faster deliveries.

Mass. fintech sector finds itself at crossroads during Covid-19
BOSTON BUSINESS JOURNAL | Thursday, October 22, 2020
A new EY report identifies access to capital and a lack of collaboration as the biggest impediments to the state’s financial services technology sector.

Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao swaps punching for payments
BBC NEWS | Wednesday, October 21, 2020
His company Pac Technologies aims to launch PacPay later this year to make faster and safer cross-border transactions.

More from PaymentsSource

Smart contracts don't take crypto firms out of regulatory range
The Department of Justice can still investigate and arrest the developers behind the automatic transactions, says Exante's Anatoliy Knyazev.

Chase undercuts fintechs with same-day card acceptance for small shops
Several large mobile point of sale projects are hitting the market at once to reach financially troubled retailers, with JPMorgan Chase making use of a three-year-old acquisition to push back against the technology firms that have been gobbling up small-business clients.

How PayPal’s approach to crypto breaks with precedent
PayPal isn’t the first company to open its platform to cryptocurrencies, but its technique is more hands-on than most payment providers.

Bitcoin on the brink of fresh 2020 high following PayPal embrace
Bitcoin approached a high for the year after PayPal Holdings Inc. announced it will allow customers to use cryptocurrencies.

FIS connects to Walgreens for card loyalty program
FIS has added Walgreens as a rewards partner in Premium Payback, its payment card loyalty program for financial institutions using its banking services platform.

Complying with faster pay rules is not enough to prevent fraud
The demand for faster payments speed and volume has surged over the past year. And with it, there has been a significant rise in cases of fraudulent activity, highlighting the need for the forthcoming Nacha WEB Debit Account Validation. The updated regulation is a significant step in minimizing payments risk, which can be enhanced with additional fraud prevention tools.

Visa debuts in-phone card acceptance as contactless takes off
As merchants and consumers increasingly favor contactless payments over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Visa is removing obstacles to contactless acceptance.

Creator of Samsung Pay's magstripe tech debuts a keychain wallet with a social twist
Even though mobile payments are gaining adoption during the coronavirus pandemic, the chicken-and-egg problem still persists: The wallets only work when both the issuer and merchant have the technology in place.

ClassWallet to distribute state remote-learning funds to families
Idaho has tapped ClassWallet’s cloud-based classroom-expense management platform to mete out $50 million in state education funds to help 30,000 families pay for remote-learning tools, according to a Tuesday press release.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.
MORE FROM PAYMENTSSOURCE