Morning Brief 4.9.20: Visa invests in U.K.-based open banking fintech Railsbank

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On track

Visa is one of the investors backing Railsbank, a London-based open banking and compliance platform. Tokyo-based Global Brain also participated in the startup’s latest funding round, though the total amount wasn’t disclosed, Tech Crunch reports.

Railsbank and Visa have formed a five-year partnership to deliver financial services in southeast Asia, after Railsbank recently signed on as a Visa principal issuer and part of Visa’s Fintech Fast Track program.

The move enables Railsbank’s customers to quickly launch Visa products throughout Asia. Nigel Version, a founder of Currencycloud, is Railsbank’s co-founder and CEO.

Slower payments

ACI Worldwide is helping cash-strapped consumers cope with the Coronavirus financial downturn by rolling out a tool for delaying bill payments. ACI has re-engineered its ACI Speedpay solution for billers so that companies sending consumers bills can offer new short- and long-term bill payment options, according to a press release.

The move comes in response to an ACI survey suggesting incoming calls from consumers to finance companies’ bill payment centers has skyrocketed in recent weeks, ACI said.

The “Delay My Payment” feature will be available within ACI’s moBills mobile wallet, notifying consumers of extended payment options.

Rising star

Jupiter, a digital bank taking shape in India, has drawn $2 million in a recent funding under the leadership of Jitendra Gupta, who was previously managing director of PayU India. The cash influx brings Jupiter’s total funds to about $26 million gathered in recent months through parent Amica Financial, itself a startup Gupta launched in August 2019, the Economic Times reports.

The latest round of Jupiter’s funding came from U.K.-based Hummingbird Ventures and Bedrock Capital, a three-year-old New York VC firm that specializes in fintech opportunities.

Mumbai-based Jupiter echoes other digital bank startups like the U.K.’s Monzo mobile digital bank, and plans to target millennials with a range of financial services products when it opens its doors in July.

All automatic

Nuro, which is developing driverless delivery vehicles, has received the green light for testing the vehicles in California with no backup driver on board. The state’s DMV has approved plans to test the cars for making free deliveries in the Silicon Valley area, according to a report in Engadget.

Waymo is the only other company that has received permission to test driverless cars in California with no backup driver, though similar tests are taking place in other states.

The latest test of Nuro’s vehicles will begin at some point after the coronavirus pandemic subsides, the report said.

From the web

Coronavirus: contaminated money fears push Australia to card payments and cashless shopping
THE GUARDIAN | Wed April 8, 2020
A record $1bn in digital wallet transactions were recorded in March, according to Mastercard and Visa records tallied by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The coronavirus is accelerating the shift to cashless shopping in Australia as fears that coins and notes might spread infectious diseases are encouraging greater use of digital payments.

Cannabis Brand Caliva To Accept Digital, ‘Contactless’ Payments For Delivery And Pick-Up
FORBES | Wed April 8, 2020
Caliva is partnering with Hypur to provide its clients with digital, contactless payment options. The new feature, dubbed “safe checkout” will allow all cannabis consumers completing purchases via delivery or curbside pick-up pay for their purchases, and even tip drivers and budtenders, using their an app on their mobile devices.

Programmable fintech payments startup Sila raises $7.7M seed to wipe out ACH
TECHCRUNCH | Wed April 8, 2020
Sila, a payments and banking API infrastructure company, announced today a $7.7 million seed funding round led by Hope Cochran of Madrona Venture Group and Rick Holt of Oregon Venture Fund. The startup is designed to eventually supplant ACH as the payments choice for companies who need to move money.

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