Morning Brief 10.1.20: Singapore orders Wirecard to shut down
The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the web:
The Monetary Authority of Singapore has ordered Wirecard to shut down and refund all of its clients in the next two weeks.
The MAS says Wirecard cannot provide payment processing for a significant number of merchants, reports Finextra. Under the order, Wirecard will have to deposit funds in banks inside Singapore, and help move clients to new processors.
Following Wirecard's accounting scandal, the company has been trying to divest parts of its business in different countries. It's had varying degrees of success, with BBVA recently pulling out of bidding for Wirecard's German unit while Railsbank agreed to acquire Wirecard's U.K. unit.
The push toward contactless payments during the pandemic and the competitive threat from Amazon Go have sparked a growing market of more than a dozen firms pushing varied forms of autonomous checkout.
Charlotte-based data privacy firm XcooBee has launched a system that uses QR codes and an API connection to support payments, verifications and other merchant services via the shopper's phone and the store's app, without requiring NFC terminals or scanners.
That would reduce static points of sale since the contactless self-service scans would bill the consumer's store e-commerce account. There's also an option to bill an enrolled external provider, which the startup envisions could be used by staff making purchases on behalf of their employers.
ABN Amro and childcare platform Charly Cares are piloting an app that allows sitters instant access to earnings after finishing a job. That's much shorter than the normal wait of up to two weeks which is common for on-call or gig economy workers in the Netherlands.
Charly Cares is using ABN Amro's instant transfer rail for the initial wage access product. It later plans to expand the relationship to include tax returns, financing and insurance.
Both companies argue the prevailing wait for wages is a disincentive for childcare workers and other for-hire staff.
Ripple is partnering with non-profit Energy Web in an attempt to reduce the amount of energy used to process and manage cryptocurrency.
Ripple and the XRP Ledger Foundation will support an open source app, EW Zero, which is designed to make it easier for blockchains to locate and transfer to renewable energy through certifications, according to Coindesk.
Cryptocurrencies are notorious for energy consumption, though not all blockchains and crypto use the same amount of energy. Ripple hopes the collaborative approach will encourage traditionally competitive firms to cooperate on energy policy.
From the web
Fintech Startups Founded by Women Have Harder Time Raising Cash
BLOOMBERG | Thursday, October 1, 2020
Funding for female entrepreneurs in financial technology has grown in recent years, yet startups founded by women still face more difficulties raising cash than do other firms, a study shows.
Google expands its free Shopping listings to merchants worldwide
ENGADGET | Wednesday, September 30, 2020
With the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the retail industry hard, many sellers have placed more focus on e-commerce. Google has helped out merchants in the US by allowing them to list their products on the Shopping tab for free since April. Retailers throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America can soon do so too through the Google Merchant Center.
Coinbase offers severance package to employees unhappy with its new apolitical stance
REUTERS | Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Coinbase Inc Chief Executive Officer Brian Armstrong has offered a severance package to employees unwilling to cope with the cryptocurrency exchange's new policy of not entertaining discussions on societal and political issues.
More from PaymentsSource
Compliance is a conversation starter for international payment expansion
Following compliance policies and respecting the requirements of the regulator is a good foundation for effective marketing communication, says Aximetria's Dmitry Ryzhkov.
The digital payments revolution still trips on its legacy roots
The COVID-19 pandemic was a clear incentive for advancing contactless and digital payment technology — but the systems merchants put in place today could create new problems down the road.
Fiserv wants to bring open banking, payment apps downmarket
There’s no PSD2-style law requiring banks in the U.S. to share data with third-party payment apps, but the market is progressing as if there will be one, leaving some smaller banks at a disadvantage.
Walmart unveils redesigned 'omnichannel' stores
Walmart is expanding the contactless payment options in its stores as part of a new design that aims to blur the online and in-store shopping experience.
Mastercard, ACI offer tech to urge real-time payment adoption
Mastercard and ACI Worldwide are partnering to provide technology to help central bank infrastructure meet the demands of real-time payments during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Billionaire-backed Argentine fintech Ualá launches in Mexico
Argentina’s Ualá, the mobile payments startup backed by heavyweight billionaire investors George Soros and Steve Cohen, is launching its prepaid card operations in Mexico.
Banking groups urge Congress to block OCC payments charter
WASHINGTON — Several trade groups representing the banking industry appealed directly to Congress in an effort to stop the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency from granting a specialized national bank charter for payments companies that do not take deposits.
Mobile wallets break down obstacles in new markets
Successfully harnessing efficient payments in one market can drive success in others. For example, the growth of digital business models, enabled through digital payments such as cards and mobile wallets, may start life in one region, most notably Asia Pacific, but ultimately influence regulations, business models and customer preferences in companies’ home markets too.
Processing transactions quickly enough to serve digital commerce comes with arduous upgrades and complicated choices, but that's only the stick. The carrot is people like faster payments, so there's plenty of opportunities to boost payment revenue.
Fintechs' growth lays the groundwork for embedded finance
Embedded finance isn't new, but the influence of online payments and banking create vast new scale, says Kunai's Sandeep Sood.
Amazon’s new palm payment tech is complicated but well timed
Amazon's palm-reading payment system is the sort of product that could probably succeed only at this point in time.