Morning Brief 6.19.20: Payment firms, banks mark Juneteenth

Register now

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


Several payment companies and financial institutions have taken steps to recognize Juneteenth, a day that marks June 19, 1865, when more than 250,000 enslaved Black people were freed in Gaveston, Texas, ending slavery in the U.S.--more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

Square and Twitter, which share Jack Dorsey as CEO, earlier in June announced Juneteenth would be a company holiday. Mastercard has declared Friday a Community Day and a company holiday.

Several other payment companies have made donations in the wake of the civil rights protests that followed the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, among other incidents. In an announcement earlier in June, Visa established a social justice and equality donation fund as well as a Black scholarship program. Amex PayPal earlier June also established an investment fund for Black-owned businesses. Klarna announced it would donate to the ACLU and NAACP and match staff donations.

Among banks, JPMorgan Chase, Comerica and PNC announced full or partial closures on Friday. And Citigroup has encouraged staff to take a personal day.

Retailers such as JC Penney and Target made Juneteenth a paid holiday, as have firms in other business lines. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos asked staff to seek "learnings opportunities" and avoid scheduling meetings for June 19.

All access

Cryptocurrency company Ripple has launched a P2P-like service called PayID that would enable users to send funds to one another through a distinct ID available to anyone, Fortune reports.

Built using open-source technology and a private-browsing service called Brave, each PayID would operate like a personal web domain name for deployment in any app or on any platform.

Ripple has 40 partners involved in PayID so far and the company expects to draw at least 100 million users for a service it says provides a secure alternative to using complex account numbers for digital payments.

Calling all fraud

Doing its part to battle fraud, the Federal Reserve has unveiled the FraudClassifier model, a set of tools and materials to clarify and define different types of fraud involving ACH, wire or check payments.

FraudClassifier enables users to sort out the origin and type of payment fraud that has occurred by answering a series of questions beginning with who initiated the payment, the Fed said in a press release.

The model aims to streamline classification of fraud independently of payment type, channel or other payment characteristics, and the Fed hopes to encourage its voluntary industry-wide use.

Driving in

Many fast-food restaurants stayed open during the height of coronavirus, but their year-over-year sales still declined. At McDonald’s, U.S. same-store sales fell 12% over two months beginning April 1.

Wendy’s sales also fell in the second quarter, despite launching breakfast service nationally in the middle of the pandemic in March.

Overall, Sonic Drive-In was the No. 1 dining-out fast-food destination for people during the coronavirus threat, according to a survey from Top Data. Based on research that measured consumers’ preferred fast-food locations in each state as of June 12, 2020, Sonic was first in most states, and Wendy’s and Taco Bell tied for second, Top Data said in a press release.

From the Web

Vivid is a new challenger bank built on top of solarisBank
TECHCRUNCH | Thu June 18, 2020
New challenger bank Vivid was recently launched in Germany and promises low fees and an integrated cashback program. It relies on solarisBank for the banking infrastructure, a German company with a banking license that provides banking services as APIs to other fintech companies. As for debit cards, Vivid is working with Visa.

Payfone raises $100M for its mobile phone-based digital verification and ID platform
TECHCRUNCH | Thu June 18, 2020
Startup Payfone, which has built a B2B2C platform to identify and verify people using data (but no personal data) gleaned from your mobile phone, has raised $100 million to expand its business. It plans to build in more machine learning into its algorithms, expand to 35 more geographies and make strategic acquisitions to expand its technology stack.

Credit card and loan repayment holidays extended as £6bn debt mountain piles up
THE TELEGRAPH | Fri June 19, 2020
New guidance to be issued by the FCA has made clear lenders will be expected to continue offering repayment breaks on credit cards, store cards, personal loans and overdrafts until October to those still struggling to pay for. Banks will be told to make interest-free overdrafts of up to £500 for those in need.

More from PaymentsSource

Did coronavirus permanently increase merchants’ transaction costs?
E-commerce sales boomed during the height of the coronavirus when consumers were stuck at home, and merchants had no choice but to accommodate the surge. But some retail industry observers are concerned about potential long-term costs from the pandemic.

Ingenico's e-commerce gamble in Russia pays off
When launching an e-commerce service in Russia more than a year ago, Ingenico Group knew it was entering a complex financial and payments market, as well as one with domestic e-commerce ecosystems unique to each region.

Splitit's point of sale credit gains access to Mastercard's network
Splitit has boosted its merchant access in the crowded install payment market through a series of deals with large payment companies, the latest being a five-year agreement with Mastercard.

Old B2B payment rails go digital to spur global growth
By adding direct debit from bank accounts as a payment option, YayPay feels it is in a far better position to help the accounts receivable departments of U.S. businesses expand international growth.

PayPal and Salesforce CEO's Even investment show momentum for early wage access
The coronavirus-induced recession has broadened the addressable market for early wage access, and that's drawing investors such as PayPal and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, who just poured a fresh funding round into Even.

Sudden shifts in working conditions are creating more payment fraud
COVID-19 is heightening fraud concerns, and for good reason. Payments fraud is increasing during the pandemic, with simple fraud such as phishing and business email compromise attacks creating the biggest mishaps.

True decentralization is needed for financial inclusion and coronavirus stimulus
Blockchain technology can reduce the inefficiency and even corruption that accompany centralization. While those who already have access to significant capital can make blockchain investments, it’s important to remember how everyone from small-business owners and workers to underserved communities can benefit.

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