Morning Brief 10.16.20: Square adds back office connections; Libra adds former HSBC execs
The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the web:
To entice developers eager to bundle digital transactions with broader business requirements, Square has added Terminal API, which powers connections between Square Terminal and enterprise resource management systems agnostic to the platform or operating system the developer is using.
Square envisions developers using the API to respond to coronavirus stresses on business operations, mentioning use cases such as building kiosks for ordering and checkout, enabling medical offices to synchronize payment data or support contactless payment acceptance in socially-distanced retail designs.
Terminal API is available initially in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Australia.
Money for nothing
To protect the country's dwindling cash system, the U.K. government is proposing a method in which consumers can withdraw cash from stores without making a purchase.
The proposal, in which merchants would offset the cost of managing paper bills by giving them away — in exchange for yet-to-be determined form of compensation — is already being criticized by financial accountancy firm Old Mill as adding expense for stores that have already moved on from cash, reports Finextra.
The U.K. financial news site also reports the U.K. government, which is about to leave the EU once Brexit is finalized, believes it can avoid PSD2 rules that classify no-purchase cashback services as a regulated payment product.
Adyen will foot the bill for consumer donations to merchants’ preferred charities through Giving, a new feature Adyen has built into its payment-acceptance platform.
Gap Inc., Crocs and Delivery Hero are the first merchants to participate, with Delivery Hero routing consumer donations to ShareTheMeal, a Berlin-based program that fights global hunger, according to an Adyen press release.
Shoppers at Adyen’s online and in-store merchants can click on a button at checkout to donate seamlessly within the transaction.
On the team
Libra, the Facebook-affiliated cryptocurrency project, has added former HSBC executive Ian Jenkins, who will be Libra's Chief Financial Officer and Chief Revenue Officer. Jenkins was deputy group finance director for HSBC and has also held executive jobs at Abbey National and Santander U.K.
Other HSBC executives have also jumped to Libra, including managing director James Emmett, the former HSBC Europe CEO, and new Libra CEO Stuart Levey, HSBC's former Chief Legal Officer.
Libra is preparing to launch following several changes to its partner roster and adjustments to its stablecoin model to assuage concerns from regulators in several countries.
Rapyd, the London-based payments provider, has formed an agreement with Atlanta-based InComm to support cash payments for a variety of transactions.
The integration will enable merchants using Rapyd’s global payment acceptance platform to accept payments in cash through InComm’s network of 60,000 U.S. retail locations including grocery stores and pharmacies, according to a press release.
Consumers show a Rapyd barcode to participating InComm merchants and hand over cash to complete transactions, including bill payments and online purchases.
Ecosia, an environmentally-focused search engine, has funded a seed round of $1 million in TreeCard, a debit card that will use 80% of its profits to plant trees.
TreeCard launched its waiting list on Thursday and reports 10,000 people signed up the first day. The card will plant a tree for each $60 dollars that the holder spends. It's partnered with Mastercard to build cards out of sustainable cherry wood.
Ecosia uses advertising profits to plant trees. TreeCard was founded by fintech entrepreneurs Jamie Cox, Peter Francis and James Dugan. It has offices in London and Berlin, Ecosia's headquarters.
From the web
Amazon says third-party sellers made more than $3.5 billion from Prime Day
ENGADGET | Thursday, October 15, 2020
Thanks to Prime Day 2020, small- and medium-sized businesses in 19 countries made $3.5 billion this week on Amazon. That’s according to the retailer’s own stats. In typical Amazon fashion, the company didn’t disclose how much revenue it made during the two-day event, nor did it say anything about total sales.
Small business payments and marketing startup Fivestars raises $52.5M
TECHCRUNCH | Thursday, October 15, 2020
It’s a difficult time for small businesses — to put it mildly. And Fivestars CEO Victor Ho said that many of the big digital platforms aren’t really helping.
U.S. judge 'not inclined' to reverse decision on WeChat app store ban
REUTERS | Thursday, October 15, 2020
A U.S. judge in San Francisco on Thursday said she was "not inclined" to reverse her decision blocking the government from barring Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google from offering WeChat for download in U.S. app stores.
More from PaymentsSource
Ingenico's cloud strategy looks ahead of pandemic-driven demand
Even before the pandemic, retailers were pushing terminal makers to adjust to new trends on the fly. Technology cycles have become even shorter now — if there even are development cycles anymore.
Businesses will be at a loss without digital payments
With the realities brought on by COVID-19, going digital is no longer optional—it’s necessary.
How Subway overcame a $7 million tech hurdle in its pandemic payments transformation
Drive-thru is almost synonymous with fast food, but for some quick-serve chains — like Subway — a past emphasis on in-store dining meant a much sharper pivot when the coronavirus pandemic struck.
Stripe agrees to buy Nigeria startup Paystack for $200 Million
The U.S. payment-services giant will pay $200 million to acquire the Lagos-based group, according to a person familiar with the terms. Shola Akinlade, Paystack’s co-founder and chief executive officer, confirmed the acquisition in a blog post Thursday, adding that the deal is pending regulatory approval.
Expanding beyond retail, earned wage access provider Even signs CoxHealth
The financial wellness and earned wage access (EWA) provider Even has continued its expansion into the health care vertical by signing Springfield, Mo.-based CoxHealth.
Mastercard adds gig-worker benefits for fintech partners
Targeting fintechs serving the fast-growing ranks of U.S. gig workers, Mastercard has formed a partnership with a portable-benefits provider Stride to help users find health, dental and vision care.
A new Euro payments initiative spurs innovation, and is a model for the world
The newly established European Payments Initiative promises a new vision of payments. Innovative use cases will be made available to consumers across Europe for the first time. There’s strong backing for the project already among financial institutions and the European Central Bank, making it likely to succeed.
Apple's contactless innovation puts pressure on banks to up their game
The buy-in from Apple proves contactless payments are on the rise, but should also act as a warning sign for banks to promptly restrategize if they want to uphold their position in the industry, says Tealium's Heidi Bullock.
E-commerce conversions accelerate worldwide, despite obstacles
A shift to online payments and digital technology across the globe occurred at warp speed during the coronavirus pandemic, but that trend doesn't magically solve payments challenges in various markets, nor does it render the fundamentals of customer service less meaningful.