7.24.19 Your morning briefing
The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the Web:
Local in India
PayPal plans to store data locally in India, complying with a controversial Indian regulation that's attracted pushback from Mastercard, which contends the rules may hinder innovation and prevent data sharing as part of risk management.
PayPal is developing a proposal for domestic payment data storage with existing partners, reports YourStory, a local news site. Visa and Mastercard began complying with the regulations in the fall of 2018.
India is an attractive market for U.S. firms, given the potential posed by a large market and a cash-heavy economy to be converted to digital payments.
All in one
Uber may expand its subscription payments service from rides to Eats, bikes and scooters. It's testing the combination in San Francisco and Chicago, with discounts or free bike and scooter rides for a $24.99 monthly fee, reports TechCrunch. Uber debuted its ride subscription service in 2018; and rival Lyft also offers a subscription fee in exchange for discounts on rides.
Uber and other ride-sharing apps are under pressure to add other services, and a consolidated discount plan would provide a steady revenue stream and a user base for more of the company's services.
Union Bank of the Philippines is the first bank in that country to successfully test a blockchain-remittance payment from Singapore to the Philippines, opening one of the world's largest remittance markets to distributed ledgers.
Union Bank collaborated with OCBC Bank, one of Singapore's largest financial institutions, and used the Adhara liquidity management and payments platform. The banks hope the pilot will bring more rural financial partners into the cross-border payments market.
The initiative is part of a Philippine government mandate to improve financial inclusion, with blockchain technology playing a major role in attempting to remove friction from financial processes.
Bitcoin Hyper, which is specifically designed for "high speed transactions," has launched on the virtual exchange Alterdice.com. Hyper contends it can execute a cryptocurrency payment in as little as two seconds, or similar to a credit card transaction, and shorter than the typical cryptocurrency transfer time, which is about 10 minutes.
Hyper hopes to support that time by using a network of processing facilities in Singapore, London, Frankfurt, California, Nevada and Florida.
From the Web
Indian Panel Proposes Fines and Jail Time for Cryptocurrency Use
CoinDesk | Tue July 23, 2019 - A panel reporting to India’s Finance Ministry suggested the country’s regulators have an “open mind” about a governmental cryptocurrency and, at the same time, proposed fines and up to ten years in prison for general use of crypto in the country.
Fintech firm Zeta’s valuation climbs to $300M in its first external funding round
TechCrunch | Tue July 23, 2019 - Startups looking to expand the reach of financial services continue to receive a nod from investors. Zeta, a fintech firm that runs a full stack neo-banking platform and offers enterprise payments solutions, said its valuation reached $300 million in its maiden outside funding.
Embedded finance, or why fintech mega VC rounds have become so common
TechCrunch | Tue July 23, 2019 - Personalized banking app MoneyLion raised $100 million at a near unicorn valuation. Last week, N26 raised another $170 million. Brex raised another $100 million last month. Meanwhile, companies like payments platform Stripe, savings and investment platform Raisin, traveler lender Uplift, mortgage backers Blend and Better, and savings depositor Acorns have also raised massive new rounds this year.
More from PaymentsSource
BRICS vs. Swift: Russia spearheads payments plan to guard against U.S. sanctions
Russia and its BRICS partners are developing cross-border alternatives to U.S.-dominated payments systems such as Swift, driven by the rise in cross-border trade and a desire to find non-dollar alternatives to international payments systems vulnerable to sanctions by the U.S. government.
Can Starbucks regain mobile payments mojo with new partnership?
A decade ago, Starbucks dazzled not just the quick-serve restaurant industry, but the entire payments industry with a breakthrough mobile wallet that saw rapid adoption among its customer base. But as the coffee giant’s tech has cooled, competitors have caught up.
ING ditches hardware to counter mobile point of sale fintechs in Turkey
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While Ant avoids U.S. consumers, it aggressively pursues U.S. businesses
Ant Financial has downplayed its interest in making its popular Alipay mobile payment app available to U.S. consumers, but it has no such reservations about American business clients.