Super Bowl goes cashless; Japanese firms work on digital currency

Register now

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

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.


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.

From the web

Amazon reduces the size of its delivery drone team
ENGADGET | Friday, November 20, 2020
Amazon has confirmed that it is laying off a number of people working on its internal drone delivery project.

Amazon France CEO: We have decided to delay Black Friday operations to Dec. 4
REUTERS | Thursday, November 19, 2020
The head of Amazon France said on Thursday his group had decided to postpone its "Black Friday" discount shopping sales to Dec.4.

Former Wirecard boss Braun stonewalls German lawmakers' inquiry
REUTERS | Thursday, November 19, 2020
Wirecard's former boss stonewalled questions from lawmakers on Thursday when he was temporarily released from jail for an inquiry into post-war Germany's biggest corporate fraud.

More from PaymentsSource

Money laundering reform from Congress is needed more than ever
Bankers must identify money launderers and traffickers, and yet although not precluded, the current legal framework actually limits the sharing of data about potential suspicious activity and customers between institutions, says Giant Oak's Gary Schiffman.

Contactless payments rise from pandemic lows, but mall foot traffic still weakened
In addition to monitoring the spike in contactless payments because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Verizon Business has also cited the expected decrease in foot traffic at the largest malls in the U.S. through its mobile data metrics.

E-commerce surge rekindles debit fee fight between merchants and industry
The Federal Reserve is facing pressure to allow retailers to route PIN-less debit-card purchases over their choice of networks. It’s a new stage in an old battle, fueled by the shift toward online shopping during the pandemic.

In Affirm IPO, point of sale credit's immediacy jolts valuations, threatens banks
Companies like Affirm and Klarna have been a beacon for investors, leading to at least one multibillion-dollar planned IPO in support of a point-of-purchase lending model that could set the stage for use cases well beyond credit.

Jack Dorsey’s Square invests $18 million in Italy’s app Satispay
Square Inc., the payments company run by Jack Dorsey, is among new big investors in Italy’s mobile digital payment platform Satispay SpA, in a move aimed to expand its operations across European markets, according to a statement by Satispay.

E-commerce surge rekindles debit fee fight between merchants and industry
As pandemic-scarred consumers increasingly shun traditional shopping experiences and make more purchases remotely, the long-simmering dispute between U.S. banks and merchants over debit card fees is intensifying.

BNP Paribas considering sale of Italian payments business Axepta
BNP Paribas SA is considering the sale of its Italian payments unit Axepta SpA, according to people with knowledge of the matter, adding to a spate of deals in the rapidly consolidating sector.

Forter valuation tops $1.3 billion in new funding round
E-commerce fraud prevention provider Forter has raised $125 million in a Series E funding round, pushing the New York-based company's valuation to more than $1.3 billion.

ISOs need to find a new level of agility
Software developers and ISOs must go into payment partnerships with a full understanding of what capabilities their merchants are seeking, including flexibility and choice, says NMI's Nick Starai.

In Wirecard's collapse, Railsbank finds tech and talent to compete with Apple Card
Within the payments industry, Wirecard as a brand has become almost like Enron — but an exec at Railsbank says the German processor's fall from grace masks talent and innovation that can thrive elsewhere and help forge new paths to financial services.

Google Pay overhaul adds in-app banking with Citi, Stanford FCU and others
Google has redesigned Google Pay to add new financial management and loyalty features; and to offer consumers checking and savings accounts from partner banks and credit unions in 2021.

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