Morning Brief 9.24.20: UnionPay bets on travel's return in Europe

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Union station

UnionPay is betting on a recovery in the travel sector, striking deals with Logitravel and Destina, two of Europe's largest travel companies.

The companies will accept UnionPay in a deal that covers the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain and about a dozen other countries. The two travel agencies process about 8.5 million bookings per year, covering flights, hotels, taxis and related experiences. UnionPay also supports PSD2 authentication requirements.

The collaboration demonstrates confidence that students and business executives from Asia will again travel to Europe for long-term stays. Europe has mostly avoided the trade war issues that have afflicted travel and other business between the U.S. and China.

Extra allowance

As youth-oriented financial services apps gain in popularity during the pandemic, French startup Kard has attracted an additional $3.5 billion, doubling the size of its seed investment.

Founder Future led the round, reports TechCrunch, adding the funds will fuel Kard's challenger bank designed for teenagers. Accounts include an IBAN and Mastercard debit card, with parental blocks and notifications when users send and receive money. It has signed up 50,000 free accounts, and is adding paid subscriptions.

Kard has also added features allowing parents to manage allowances via the app and initiate scheduled transfers.

Church teller

Several ideas are being floated to retain access to cash in the U.K. including financial hubs in churches and pop-up post offices.

The tests are follow-ups to the 2019 Access to Cash Review, which found 17% of the U.K. population relies on cash despite the country's larger migration to digital payments, reports Finextra.

The cost of handling cash and the decline of ATMs and bank branches have become a controversial political issue in the U.K., with regulators pressuring banks to maintain access levels, often through partnerships with the postal service.

Transfer partners

MoneyGram and Tesco Bank have co-launched an international money transfer platform that mixes digital payments with Tesco's store chain.

Consumers of the bank and Tesco can set up transactions online, then pay by cash or card for national or international transfers at Tesco stores without requiring paperwork in stores, reports Eastern Eye.

The service is available at 810 stores at launch, and will expand to Tesco's entire 1,500 store footprint over the next 18 months, reaching MoneyGram's network of more than 200 countries and territories.

From the web

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Wells Fargo signs data exchange agreement with Envestnet Yodlee
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Wells Fargo & Co and data aggregator Envestnet Yodlee said on Thursday they had signed a data exchange agreement, the latest move in an ongoing tug of war between fintechs and large banks over information sharing.

Shopify says two support staff stole customer data from sellers
TECHCRUNCH | Thursday, September 24, 2020
The online shopping site said that its investigation so far showed that the two employees, who have since been fired, were “engaged in a scheme to obtain customer transactional records of certain merchants.”

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