Morning Brief 10.21.20: U.K. merchants attack interchange; Emburse partners with TransferWise
The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the web:
U.K. retailers are asking the government to pressure Visa and Mastercard to lower fees because the percentage of card payments is growing so quickly.
The British Retail Consortium reports card usage grew from 54% of payments in 2016 to 61% in 2019, a percentage that's likely jumped in 2020 due to the pandemic. The BRC also says the cost to retailers for accepting cards was more than $1.2 billion in 2019, reports Finextra, adding the cost per transaction jumped 15% for credit cards and 6% for debit cards between 2016 and 2019.
Merchants in the U.K. scored a victory in court earlier in 2020 when the U.K.'s supreme court ruled Visa and Mastercard's fees were hurting competition.
Emburse is streamlining cross-border corporate expense management through a partnership with global remittance provider TransferWise.
San Francisco-based Emburse, which serves 14,000 companies, has launched Emburse Global Reimbursements so its clients can quickly reimburse employees for out-of-pocket expenses across multiple countries and currencies, according to a press release.
The partnership relies on TransferWise’s international network of local banks to exchange funds using the mid-market exchange rate, with transfers completed within minutes after submitting expenses.
Making a deal
The pandemic has led more companies to adopt digital payments for accounts payable, leading to a merger agreement between Toronto fintech Versapay and Twinsburg, Ohio-based payment technology company Solupay.
The combined company will focus specifically on accounts receivable automation and integrated B2B payment products, totalling $10 billion in yearly payments volume for more than 8,000 businesses.
The new company will operate under Versapay's brand, and follows Boston private equity firm Great Hill Partners' February acquisition of Versapay.
Payment technology firm Worldline has extended a partnership with PSA Payment Services in Austria, giving it a continued 100% share of Austrian debit card payments.
That partnership yielded more than 1 billion debit transactions in 2019, and helped drive Austria's push to cashless payments, Worldline reports.
Earlier this year, Worldline entered an $8.6 billion merger with Ingenico to boost both companies' European operations and potential growth into other global markets. The European Commission last month approved of Worldline's acquisition of Ingenico, under some conditions that would assure fair competition throughout the continent.
From the web
Latin American payment giant rises amid pandemic, with an eye on China's Ant
REUTERS | Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Latin America's top e-commerce firm is revving up its digital payments engine as shops shift online amid the coronavirus pandemic, and is looking toward China for inspiration to bring the region's un-banked and cash-loving savers online.
Whole Foods now offers free one-hour grocery pickup at all US stores
THE VERGE | Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Amazon Prime subscribers now get free one-hour grocery pickup at all of Whole Foods’ 487 US stores, Amazon announced today. The news marks an expansion of Whole Foods’ existing pickup service, which was previously only available at select stores, according to CNBC.
Amazon launches a program to pay consumers for their data on non-Amazon purchases
TECHCRUNCH | Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Amazon has launched a new program that directly pays consumers for information about what they’re purchasing outside of Amazon.com and for responding to short surveys.
More from PaymentsSource
Visa debuts in-phone card acceptance as contactless takes off
As merchants and consumers increasingly favor contactless payments over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Visa is removing obstacles to contactless acceptance.
Creator of Samsung Pay's magstripe tech debuts a keychain wallet with a social twist
Even though mobile payments are gaining adoption during the coronavirus pandemic, the chicken-and-egg problem still persists: The wallets only work when both the issuer and merchant have the technology in place.
ClassWallet to distribute state remote-learning funds to families
Idaho has tapped ClassWallet’s cloud-based classroom-expense management platform to mete out $50 million in state education funds to help 30,000 families pay for remote-learning tools, according to a Tuesday press release.
Klar raises $15 million to expand access to debit, credit in Mexico
Mexican payments startup Klar has raised $15 million in a Series A round in an effort to challenge traditional banks by expanding access to debit cards and credit lines.
Incognia adds fraud protection for QR-code transactions
At a time when contactless payments via QR codes are on the rise, Incognia is launching a fraud protection solution for payments providers, retailers and restaurants.
Accounts payable will sputter without full automation
During the pandemic, some industries have experienced a boom while others struggle to reinvent themselves with new products and services. For many, the biggest challenge is to find the time to focus on strategy, something that’s harder to do with the business environment in flux and staff working remotely. As a result, finding new ways to improve efficiency has become a priority.
How a fintech startup plans to speed up capital markets payments
Capital markets play a key role in a modern economy because they move money, stocks or bonds from people who have them to those who need them to execute trades, secure equities or invest. But as core a function as this is, it hasn't been very fast.
Ant's non-payments ambitions make Alipay a global power
Alipay’s assembling a portfolio to stitch together a multinational financial services ecosystem. The mobile payments titan’s IPO will provide an enormous war chest to develop new services, turbocharge international expansion, and fund acquisitions, says Intrepid Ventures' Eric Grover.
Visa, Mastercard invest more in digital issuance as consumers look beyond branches
Fewer consumers are relying on physical banks to get payment cards, giving Visa and Mastercard an incentive to bet on technology that expedites the work of neobanks and fintechs.