Morning Brief 2.5.20: Visa sells Earthport's FX business
The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the web:
About a year after acquiring Earthport, Visa has sold Earthport's foreign exchange unit to Foreign Currency Direct PLC, an investor backed by Pollen Street Capital.
Foreign Currency Direct has been stockpiling FX businesses over the past year, acquiring Infinity International and Pure FX as it expands its corporate payments business.
Visa paid about $320 million for Earthport as part of the card brand's larger evolution beyond card payments, using Earporth's underlying tech to help Visa expand its cross-border and P2P capabilities. Mastercard acquired Transfast, a firm with a similar model as Earthport.
A group of fintech investors from VC Sequoia, Acrew Capital, Bain Capital Ventures, Active Capital and Inspired Capital have poured $35 million into Finix, a payment company whose founders come from Stripe, Klarna, PayPal and Worldpay.
Finix provides APIs and dashboards for companies trying to build their own payment processing systems in about two months, saving the time and cost of in-house work, Finextra reports.
Finix's new round comes a few months after an initial $17.5 million Series A round, and in the wake of Visa's $5 billion deal to buy Plaid, a firm with a similar business model. Visa was also part of the earlier Finex round.
Australia's Senate is studying a rule that would limit cash purchases over $A10,000, and the government's Treasury investigations unit is being asked about potential loopholes.
The bill is part of an AML measure, and has already been delayed about six months, reports ZDNet.
Potentially, payments could be split into "lots" that would fall under the $10,000 limit, thus avoiding the cap. Also, there is still disagreement over jurisdiction as the Australian government considers how the law will be enforced.
Italian regulators have ended an investigation of Telepass, Atlantia's digital toll payment unit, saying the firm made proper adjustments.
The government was concerned the company was making it difficult for consumers wishing to pay from a non-Italian bank account, reports Reuters.
Telepass is updating its system to support consumers with European bank accounts to pay tolls through Telepass.
From the Web
Does Starbucks Want to Be Your Bank?
THE MOTLEY FOOL | Tue February 4, 2020
Your average Starbucks store doesn't look anything like a typical bank. But as surprising as it might sound, there's rising speculation in some corners of the banking industry in Asia that the coffee giant might be seeking to enter the financial services industry.
'Death of the wallet' as consumers stop carrying cash
THE TELEGRAPH | Wed February 5, 2020
According to a survey by payments firm PayPal, a fifth of Brits are not carrying cash anymore, and around 7pc of people have decided to scrap their wallets and purses entirely. In total, as many as 10 million people have stopped taking money out with them, PayPal said, basing this off a survey which asked 2,000 members of the public how they made payments.
Will Faster Payments Lead To Faster Fraud?
FORBES | Tue February 4, 2020
As payments move faster or in real-time, preventing fraud has to change its approach. With faster and real-time the game changes quite a lot, said Sarah Grotta, director, debit and alternative products at Mercator Advisory Group. Mercator has released a report on fraud and faster payments that covers authorized push payment fraud, account takeover fraud, money mule fraud and account opening fraud.
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