Morning Brief 2.7.20: MoneyGram adds web services amid Singapore tech boom

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

Hot spot

MoneyGram has launched a website in Singapore, providing a boost for its digital strategy and giving it more access to one of the world's major digital hubs.

Both MoneyGram and Western Union have invested in digital channels to counter services like Zelle and Venmo, with MoneyGram seeing its digital transaction volume outside the U.S. double between 2018 and 2019.

Singapore's remittance market is expected to expand dramatically over the next five years, with economic and job growth from the city's fintech industry. Singapore has updated several regulations and licensing practices to encourage challenger banks and other fintech startups.

Delink

Rabobank has spun off its Sure Pay unit before launch in the U.K. to conform with pending Confirmation of Payee rule updates, which tighten the standards to prevent payments from misdirection and fraud.

By acting as a private limited company, Sure Pay can serve as an independent service provider for other banks, government agencies and businesses, reports Finextra.

Sure Pay covers payment party identity vetting for 90% of all transactions in the Netherlands, which Rabobank says positions Sure Pay to offer the service in other countries.

Convenient convenience

7-Eleven is testing a checkout-free store at its headquarters in Irving, Texas. It's using a 700 square foot venue that's open only to employees, reports Supermarket News.

Technology investors are pouring billions of dollars into checkout-free stores, spurred in part by the influence of the Amazon Go initiative.

Most of the deployments have been in small stores, which would make 7-Eleven's convenience store model a good potential fit. The technology is also being deployed in larger venues, with Munich International Airport and sports facilities adopting checkout-free payments.

Fast VC

Glory Global Solutions plans to invest about $223 million in Acrelec, a French firm that develops "customer experience" technology for quick service restaurants.

Acrelec's core products are AI-driven kiosks, drive-through and self-checkout stations, with clients including McDonald's, Burger King, KFC, Walmart, Carrefour and Auchan.

The Glory investment will feature a co-development partnership that will combine Acrelec's services with Glory's cash automation and process engineering functions.

From the Web

Ant Financial pauses credit rating service amid coronavirus outbreak
REUTERS | Fri February 7, 2020
Zhima Credit, or Sesame Credit, a Chinese credit rating service backed by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial stopped updating scores as of Wednesday, saying many users could miss payments because of the coronavirus outbreak, a reflection of emerging financial pains caused by disease. The scoring service will resume after the virus is under control and social functions return to normal, it said, without giving a specific time frame.

Why Central Bank Digital Currencies Are The Killer App For Blockchain In 2020
FORBES | Thu February 6, 2020
With the global mobile payment market currently estimated at US$816.50B and projections that it will reach over US$5.5T by 2025, the way we pay and transact money is about to change drastically. The promise of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) for regulated and compliant payments with faster settlement and increased liquidity management, comes at a time when the Bank of International Settlements estimates that over 80% of the central banks are looking at blockchain as a place to issue digital currencies.

Digital payments index to assess industry potential
ECONOMIC TIMES | Fri February 7, 2020
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will issue periodic scores to assess the performance of the digital payments industry on key operating parameters such as rural penetration and innovation in existing modes and channels. Called the Digital Payments Index (DPI), the ‘composite’ scoring system will allow both consumers and stakeholders to better gauge local area developments in infrastructure, access, demographic and acceptance related growth with reference to broader domestic and global standards in digital payments.

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