PayPal raises crypto purchase limits; FIFA game sets virtual currency limits

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Raise the roof

PayPal is increasing weekly cryptocurrency purchase limits to $20,000 from $10,000, citing high early demand from consumers, and also dropped a waiting list for purchases. Bitcoin has been rallying recently, and passed $16,000 on Thursday for the first time since January 2018.

PayPal allows users to buy, sell and hold bitcoin in their PayPal accounts, and recently received a Bitlicense in New York. PayPal partners with Paxos to support bitcoin purchases, as well as other cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin and Ethereum. The pandemic has played a role in PayPal's cryptocurrency strategy, with the company seeing it as a way to promote financial inclusion.

Square's cryptocurrency feature has given the company a boost in recent months, and Visa and Mastercard have also warmed to crypto in the past year.

Yellow card

A new version of FIFA's online game, FIFA 21, will set limits on in-game currency purchases, a move that appears aimed at parents or relatively younger players.

A feature of the EA football game, called Playtime, includes tools that govern the number of points a player can buy through the in-game store, reports Engadget. These points are used for in-game transactions.

There are also ways to track how much a player has spent on points. The game manages payment processing for in-game purchases, and there are also physical and virtual gift cards that support in-game point buys.

Opening up

API company Yapily is expanding outside its U.K. core market to Germany, where it hopes to support PSD2-compliant open banking for German fintechs.

The company has appointed Chris Scheuermann, a former PayPal executive, to lead Yapily's commercial operation in Germany, reports Finextra.

Yapily, whose backers include members of Transferwise's founding team, has added hundreds of banks over the past year and reports it covers about 80% of Europe's banks.

Holiday list

Swedish point of sale credit firm Klarna has globally deployed an iOS price-drop widget that notifies users when there are discounts for items on a saved list.

The widget is part of the fintech's curated Wish List feature, and monitors the items online. Klarna is positioning the widget alerts for the holiday shopping season, but plans to make the feature permanent.

Klarna has also added general trending deals from a network of merchants that includes Foot Locker, GameStop Express and others. Klarna says the pandemic has created a need for faster alerts on price changes, citing internal research finding 80% of U.S. shoppers have become more budget aware, 61% shopping for sales, 54% using coupons and 25% using buy-now-pay-later services.

Digital highway

The New York State Thruway is ending cash toll payments in favor of a mix of EZPass, a mobile app and bills for normally cash-paying drivers that are mailed later to their homes.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the move will reduce carbon emissions and lines at toll booths, reports 1010wins, a local news radio station. Cashless tolls existed for portions of the Thruway, which runs between New York, Albany and south of Buffalo to the Pennsylvania border.

The update, which has been in the works for about two years, makes the entire system cashless.

From the web

Russia's Ozon targets $750 million in IPO as e-commerce booms: sources
REUTERS | Friday, November 13, 2020
Russian online retailer Ozon plans to raise about $750 million in an initial public offering (IPO) in the United States to help fund its expansion in a rapidly-growing e-commerce market at home, three financial market sources said.

Amazon's in-garage delivery is now available in over 4,000 US cities
ENGADGET | Thursday, November 12, 2020
Amazon’s Key in-garage delivery is now available in many, many more places. The internet giant has expanded the free, Prime-only service to over 4,000 cities and towns across the US, including Atlanta, Philadelphia and Phoenix.

This fintech-focused VC firm just closed a $75 million debut fund; backers “came out of the woodwork”
TECHCRUNCH | Thursday, November 12, 2020
Sheel Mohnot, who was formerly a general partner at the fintech fund of 500 Startups, and Jake Gibson, co-founder of personal finance startup NerdWallet, were a little taken aback by investor interest in their fintech-focused early-stage venture firm, Better Tomorrow Ventures, or BTV.

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