Morning Brief 3.31.20: Paytm adds 'at home pay' and coronavirus help

Register now

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

Redesign

Paytm has updated its app to streamline recurring payments for utilities, credit cards, insurance and other payments that are more frequently happening at home as India locks down to mitigate coronavirus spread.

Paytm, a unit of One97 Communications, has added a help center with virus information and helpline numbers, and a payment feature designed to streamline donation payments.

Paytm was hit early by the.coronavirus, temporarily shutting offices in two Indian cities after staff who had traveled to Italy tested positive.

Aggregating in Amsterdam

As it gets acquired by Visa, data aggregator Plaid has launched its second non-U.S. office in the Netherlands.

The company tied its move to the coronavirus' economic crisis, saying it hopes to work with the more than 400 fintech companies headquartered in Amsterdam, building connections between those firms and European banks to extend financial services to small businesses.

Plaid's growth in the U.S. made it attractive to Visa, which earlier this year agreed to pay $5.3 billion to purchase Plaid. But Plaid has also courted controversy, being part of data access disputes involving Capital One, PNC and Venmo.

SMB challenges

The coronavirus' economic fallout has hit small businesses particularly hard, leading fintech lender Kabbage to close its office in Bangalore and furlough some U.S. staff.

Kabbage intends to sustain benefits and rehire staff when small business conditions improve, reports TechCrunch. Members of Kabbage's executive team are also taking a pay cut.

In an earlier interview, Kabbage told PaymentsSource that it hopes the U.S. stimulus package will allow it to lend to small businesses to keep them open until their payment flows can resume after people stop sheltering at home.

Countertrend

The coronavirus has resulted in myriad merchants discouraging cash, and movements toward contactless payments.

But at the same time people are withdrawing more money from ATMs. Dollar banknotes in circulation increased from 1.809 trillion to 1.843 trillion between March 11 and 18, reports Coindesk, citing U.S. data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

That's the largest jump by percentage since December 1999, when there was a similar bump in cash withdraws ahead of fears the "Y2K bug" would disrupt digital banking systems. The trend suggests opposing "fears," with concerns that paper money is contagious bumping against more traditional panic withdrawals.

From the web

Visa transaction volumes hurt as coronavirus crisis deepens
REUTERS | Mon March 30, 2020
Visa Inc said on Monday its transaction volumes had been hit as the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc on consumer spending, leading it to forecast mid-single-digit percentage revenue growth for the second quarter.

Companies offer cash-strapped employees daily pay cards and other flex-pay options as a lifeline
CNBC | Mon March 30, 2020
This shift toward more flexible pay arrangements is part of a bigger change in financial services. Traditional banks, which have been slow to adapt to the digital age, are now facing competition from not only fintech providers but also tech companies that are dipping a toe into financial services.

Atlanta payments company EVO sees transactions fall due to COVID-19, cuts costs, raises $150M
ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE | Mon March 30, 2020
Atlanta payments company EVO said March 29 its business has been hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic, and as a result it is cutting costs and has raised $150 million in a stock sale.

More from PaymentsSource

How coronavirus fears could accelerate mobile self-checkout in the U.K.
U.K. supermarkets which have been experimenting with mobile scan-pay-go may see more consumers adopting the technology due to social distancing requirements in stores.

Security matters, but so does innovation and user experience
New features and improvements often take a back seat to security, says Entersekt's Claudius van der Meulen.

Card brands delay spring swipe-fee update to July, citing coronavirus' effect on retail
With the semiannual interchange update from the major card brands due in April, acquirers began notifying merchants late last week that those changes — which in some cases represent higher rates for certain types of businesses and cards — have been postponed until July.

Dwolla's new CEO is industry veteran Brady Harris
Just more than a month since its founder and CEO Ben Milne announced he was stepping down, payments technology provider Dwolla has named industry veteran Brady Harris as its new CEO.

Fraudsters exploit coronavirus fears as spending habits shift
Card fraud risks — already soaring prior to the coronavirus outbreak — are changing rapidly as the pandemic deepens, forcing issuers and merchants to rethink protective measures.

Coronavirus could destroy much of the U.K. gig economy—despite emergency handouts
On Friday morning, Fiona Lockyer logged onto the U.K. Live Events Freelancers Forum — a Facebook group with more than 7,500 members who are all self-employed contractors within the U.K. entertainment industry — to be greeted by a mixture of relief and confusion.

New tech can mitigate coronavirus chargebacks
It’s critical that merchants implement a COVID-19 strategy for avoiding, reducing, and disputing chargebacks to help recover disputed revenue and prevent future chargebacks.

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