Super Bowl goes cashless; Japanese firms work on digital currency

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Running a reverse

The NFL and Visa are removing almost all vestiges of cash at the Super Bowl, which will only support contactless transactions at the stadium and surrounding fan experience events.

The game, scheduled for Feb. 7 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, will allow 20% in-stadium capacity, though that could change in either direction based on the pandemic, reports CNBC. People can bring cash to the venue, but they will have to convert it to prepaid gift cards through "reverse ATMs" in and around the stadium.

Big sporting events like the Super Bowl are often a showcase for new transaction technology, and the NFL has been inching toward pushing paper bills to the sideline. Last year's game was half cashless.

Installation

Icici Bank has introduced a mobile feature that supports buy now/pay later for a network of electronics retailers.

The Indian bank calls the service ICICI Bank Cardless EMI, or Equated Monthly Installments, which can be used to make purchases and set up plans by using a mobile phone and account number instead of a wallet or cards, reports Finextra.

The installments range from three to eight months. Icici is partnering with Pine Labs, and the merchants carry brands such as Panasonic, Toshiba and Whirlpool.

Room to grow

A coalition of about 30 banks, telcos, utilities, retailers and brokerages in Japan are working on a common digital currency as part of a central government initiative to move consumers away from cash.

The group will develop a common settlement platform that's designed to be compatible with other digital currency projects, reports Reuters. Private banks will lead the issuance of a digital currency, though that could change over time.

Cash is still a major form of payment in Japan, with 20% of settlement being cashless, according to Reuters. That's below 45% in the U.S. and 70% in China.

Canadian consolidation

Vancouver fintech Mogo has agreed to acquire Carta, a Toronto-based digital payments firm, a $24 million deal that will add to Mogo's presence in the payments market.

Carta enables card issuance and has a client roster that includes TransferWise and Payfare. Adding Mogo will enable a range of new products, including a pending mobile wallet and expanded B2B services.

Mogo is also interested in adding clients in the subscription services market and can use Carta's technology to enable recurring payments.

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