7.23.19 Your morning briefing

Register now

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

Betting on B2B

Visa is part of an $25 million investment in PayMate, a Mumbai startup that digitizes business payments and offers small business credit, a growing opportunity for B2B payment companies.

The 13-year-old PayMate began business as a consumer-facing digital payments firm, but shifted focus to small business, believing the traditional financial services industry in India overlooks the segment, reports TechCrunch.

Visa's investment will fuel PayMate's expansion in Africa and parts of Europe; and its corresponding collaboration with Visa will extend PayMate's addressable market in these regions by offering its technology to Visa's small-business banking clients.

A new kind of merchant network

Japanese cash automation company Glory and Standard Chartered's SC Ventures are part of a $6 million investment in soCash, a Singapore startup that uses an API to embed mobile bank technology into retail stores.

Consumers make a cash order through a mobile app and select a nearby merchant to collect the funds. Loan applications and other financial services are also available. ICBC and Standard Chartered are among soCash's bank clients.

soCash will use the funds to expand in Indonesia, Malaysia and Hong Kong, trying to find merchant adoption for its model, reports e27.com, a site that tracks Singapore's technology startups.

Crypto risk

Cryptocurrency crimes have resulted in about $2.3 billion in losses in South Korea in the past two years, including illegal exchanges, Ponzi schemes and transaction fraud.

More than 400 people have been charged with cryptocurrency crimes, reports Coindesk, citing the South Korean justice ministry and adding the figures do not include exchange hacks In June, the government started an initiative to claw back the profits connected to illegal cryptocurrency acts.

The news is unwelcome for the broader cryptocurrency industry, which has long suffered from the image that alternative currencies are linked to crime.

Circle's license

Circle has launched a subsidiary in Bermuda, where it has also received a license to offer crypto-based financial services under Bermuda's Digital Assets Business Act.

The act provides a regulatory framework for cryptocurrency services such as payments and exchange operations that's more detailed than most markets, contends Circle, which has made several moves in the past year to move deeper into cryptocurrency, such as its acquisition of Poloniex.

Cryptocurrency firms often seek regulatory certainty since the laws governing cryptocurrency vary widely, and are often based on regulations for non-crypto financial services.

From the Web

Starbucks Takes Stake in Tech Company Brightloom
The Wall Street Journal | Mon July 22, 2019 - Starbucks Corp. said it is taking a stake in a digital technology company to speed up its offering of mobile ordering and payment options at its global stores to improve customer convenience.

AlipayHK will extend mobile-wallet service nationally, granting Hong Kong users new payment rails in mainland China
Yahoo Finance | Mon July 22, 2019 - E-wallet AlipayHK has been licenced to provide services country-wide. The Hong Kong version of Alipay currently boasts more than 2 million mobile users and, according to Alipay, is the first Hong Kong e-wallet whose services extend to the whole country.

Square launches robot photography service for online sellers
Los Angeles Times | Mon July 22, 2019 - Before the rise of online shopping, photographing inanimate objects wouldn’t have been a logical growth opportunity for a global payments business with a market value of $33 billion. But Square thinks there are enough store owners with a bad eye for photography that it spent more than $20,000 on a robot and devoted 1,000 square feet to the project in a New York warehouse.

More from PaymentsSource

Equifax fine punches a hole in data security culture
As with many breach settlements over the years, the Equifax settlement is large enough to make headlines but small enough that there is no long-term risk to Equifax. But the timing of the settlement serves as a warning to other companies of the risks they face in an increasingly data-focused economy.

Expertise becoming more valuable to ISOs than products
Payments technology is advancing at such a rapid pace, the most valuable asset for those in merchant acquiring is expertise.

U.S. Bank buys BMW cobranded card, readying switch to Mastercard
U.S. Bank has purchased BMW’s cobranded Visa credit card portfolio and will issue a new version of the card under the Mastercard brand early next year.

The battle waged over Prime Day payments
When Amazon was busy driving traffic to its site — and the likes of Walmart and Best Buy were aggressively trying to pull shoppers away — it also invited several issuers to compete to be the top-of-wallet card for Prime Day spending.

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