Shopify adds Alipay in U.S.; Western Union shuts U.S.-Cuba remittances

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E-commerce platform Shopify has partnered with Alipay to enable U.S.-based Shopify merchants to directly accept payments via Ant Group's Alipay wallet, according to a press release.

Previously, Shopify merchants were required to work through third-party integrations to accept Alipay, which has a user base of 1 million in China and expanding audiences across Asia.

Through the partnership, Shopify will extend Alipay acceptance directly to its online merchants in major Asian countries in the coming months.

Back on

Vending machine and self-service kiosk payment company USA Technologies will relist on the Nasdaq exchange November 19, trading under USAT.

USA Technologies was delisted in September 2019 after missing a reporting extension with the SEC. The Malvern, Pa.-based company said its relisting comes after a six-month initiative to improve its core business and financial performance.

Self-serve retail has been pressured due to the growth of Amazon Go and other checkout-free initiatives. USA Technologies has partnered with Ingenico to broaden function for autonomous retail.

Cold war redux

Western Union has halted dollar-denominated remittance payments from the U.S. to Cuba following new U.S. sanctions against Cuba.

Western Union said it's exploring options to keep services open, but new rules from the U.S. government mandating a 30-day window for implementation of new restrictions made it prohibitive to find a new solution.

The Trump Administration has taken a hard line on Cuba, reversing much of the opening between the two countries that had taken place during the Obama years. Joe Biden's election raises the possibility that the more recent Trump moves may be undone, according to Reuters.

On the farm

Online grocery Farmstead has expanded quickly as consumers look to avoid in-person shopping, leading it to plan service in Raleigh-Durham, where it expects to launch in early 2021 as a prelude to a national expansion beyond its Bay Area roots.

Farmstead uses AI and a hyper-local focus, generally relying on a 50-mile radius market, as a way to discount groceries and offer free delivery. Raleigh-Durham is its second market outside the Bay Area, with nearby Charlotte, N.C. being the first.

Farmstead recently added new pre-ordering and scheduling features to accommodate a rapid uptick in business after the coronavirus closed numerous stores in San Francisco.

From the web

Cash cards for kids: digital banks race to capture the next generation
REUTERS | Wednesday, November 18, 2020
When John Hibbs' daughter Xanthe received her first bank card in the mail, the six-year-old spent the next week Googling how to buy a horse.

Payments app True Balance raises $28 million to reach more underbanked users in India
TECHCRUNCH | Wednesday, November 18, 2020
True Balance, a South Korean startup which runs an eponymous financial services app aimed at tens of millions of users in small cities and towns in India, said on Wednesday it has raised $28 million in a new financing round and expects to turn a profit next year.

Apple to lower App Store fees for smaller developers
REUTERS | Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Apple Inc on Wednesday said it plans to start a program to lower its App Store commissions for software developers who make $1 million or less in proceeds each year from the store.

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