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January 27, 2023

On the web

Nigeria Launches Domestic Card Scheme to Boost Cashless Economy


Nigeria’s central bank has launched a domestic card scheme to rival foreign cards like Mastercard and Visa, hoping to enhance its drive to make Africa’s biggest economy a cashless society and save the country foreign transaction fees. The announcement on Thursday by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele, follows its launch of Africa’s first digital currency, the e-naira, in October 2021.

EU Lawmakers Back 'Prohibitive' Capital Rules for Cryptoassets


European Union lawmakers backed a draft law on Tuesday to implement the final leg of post-financial global bank capital rules, adding "prohibitive" requirements to cover risks from cryptoassets....The United States, Britain and other countries are taking similar steps, but the committee used the draft law to introduce new elements, including requiring banks to hold enough capital to cover holdings of cryptoassets in full.

On the wires

PhonePe Raises $350 mln, Becomes India's Most Valuable Payments Firm


Walmart-backed PhonePe said on Thursday it raised $350 million from private equity firm General Atlantic at a $12 billion valuation, making it India's most valuable payments firm and giving it funds to expand into the lucrative lending space. A second tranche of investments from marquee global and Indian investors is expected to close next month, a PhonePe spokesperson said, declining to give further details.

January 25, 2023

On the web

Clik2pay Announces Bank Payments for Shopify Stores


Payment service provider Clik2pay announced it has developed an industry changing application which allows any Shopify store to seamlessly offer a direct-from-account payment option to customers. When using Clik2pay, payments are completed safely and securely using Interac e-Transfer™, one of the most trusted money transfer systems in the world.

January 23, 2023

On the web

Introductory Statement by Fabio Panetta, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament

European Central Bank

Our investigation into a digital euro started more than a year ago. Closely involving the European Parliament in the investigation phase has been a priority for the ECB from day one. Over the course of 2022, we regularly discussed key design options in this Committee...People’s payment behaviour is changing at an unprecedented speed: over the past three years, cash payments in the euro area have dropped from 72% to 59%, with digital payments becoming increasingly popular (Chart 1).

Can a Save-to-Pay-Later Model Forestall the Pitfalls of Buy Now, Pay Later in Nigeria?

Techpoint Africa

Once in a while, a new technology comes along that completely upends an entire industry. Other times, old industries are reimagined using technology. Buy now, pay later’s recent rise certainly belongs to the latter. For many Nigerians growing up in low or middle-income households, buying a product from merchants with a promise to pay later, usually at the end of the month when salaries are paid, is not entirely a foreign concept.

January 19, 2023

On the web

India May Give Visa and Mastercard Access to Its Payments Market

CTM File

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is reportedly drawing up plans to link credit cards issued by Visa and Mastercard to the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), the country's popular online payments protocol. According to news portal The Morning Context, two industry executives have said that the central bank will decide before April. A decision in favour of the two US companies would mark a distinct change in; as Bloomberg comments: “India’s dealings with American card networks has been frosty.

January 18, 2023

On the web

Nigeria’s e-Payment Transactions Hit 5-Yr High

Businessday NG

The volume of financial transactions performed electronically in Africa’s most populous nation surged to the highest in five years in 2022, according to new data from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS). BusinessDay analysis of the data shows that the total volume of NIBSS Instant Payment platform (NIP) transactions rose by 613.1 percent to 5.2 billion last year from 729.2 million in 2018.

January 17, 2023

On the web

Philippines Central Bank Pushes Through with Wholesale CBDC Plans to Improve Payments


The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has disclosed it will not be exploring the retail version of its central bank digital currency (CBDC) but will focus its efforts on transactions between financial institutions. The central bank confirmed that it remains keen on launching a wholesale CBDC in the future to improve settlement times between banks. BSP has previously announced the start of its wholesale CBDC pilot program dubbed Project CBDCPh, with several leading financial institutions playing a part in the program.

January 16, 2023

On the web

Singapore Debuts Ethics Test for AI

Biometric Update

Following the advice of many ethicists, leaders of city-state Singapore have committed to building an AI governance testing framework and tools against which they can compare their algorithms.

January 12, 2023

On the web

China Recognizes Digital Yuan in Cash Circulation Data


"Rite Aid Corp. is launching a new financial service for customers at its stores. The drugstore retailer is enabling consumers with access to the Kubra EZ-Pay Retail Cash Payments Network through their biller to pay their bills in cash at over 2,000 of its brick-and-mortar locations. Rite Aid is the 19th retailer to join Kubra's Retail Cash Payments (RCP) Network, adding 2,257 new retail locations in 17 states across the country. Kubra offers its RCP Network in partnership with payments technology company InComm Payments...Walgreens, one of Rite Aid’s chief rivals in the drugstore space, partnered with the PayNearMe retail network in March 2022 to enable customers to facilitate cash payments at nearly 9,000 Walgreens stores across the country."

January 11, 2023

On the web

Indians Living in Ten Countries Can Now Make Payments Through UPI


Sending money back home or making merchant payments has now become hassle-free for a whole lot of Indians living abroad. India’s National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has extended access to the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to non-resident Indians, a press release said yesterday (Jan. 10). The homegrown digital payments facility will be available to accounts using international mobile phone numbers from 10 select countries.

National Bank of Fujairah Introduces CVVkey to Tackle Online Card Fraud


"In a nationwide first, National Bank of Fujairah (NBF) has today announced the introduction of CVVkey™, a proven solution to online card fraud that can be used across all credit and debit cards issued by the bank. CVVkey™ will be a key element in NBF’s efforts to improve cybersecurity across its operations and protect its customers from fraud and other online threats... Every few hours, the CVVkey™ app provides a unique 3-digit dynamic security code for each card enrolled in the service. Whenever the three-digit security code on the back of the card is requested (for example, during check out for online purchases), the cardholder simply enters the fresh code from the app on their phone. Thanks to the dynamic nature of the security code, if the card is ever compromised or stolen, unauthorized online purchases will be denied. Recurring payments such as subscriptions, where the merchant has the card details on file, are not affected by switching to CVVkey™."

Philippines to Collaborate with Belgium, China on Digital ID

Biometric Update

"The Philippines’ Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) is separately partnering with Belgium and China to share expertise on diverse digital technology domains, including digital identity and infrastructure. The deal with China was signed recently during the Philippines President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s state visit to the country, according to a news advisory from the DICT."

On the wires

E-Yuan App Adds Payment Function for When Mobiles Are Offline, Out of Power

Yicai Global

"China has added a new function to its digital yuan payment app so that mobile phone can be still be used to make payments without internet connection or power. The Tap to Pay function can be used to complete payments even when mobile phones are powered off, Yicai Global learned. Users need to activate the function in the e-yuan app, and can choose how many times it can be used and how much can be paid after their phone shuts down. The system is available with Android-based mobile phones, and will be available on other handsets in the future. Users can find the payment-without-internet-or-power function in the payment settings of the e-yuan app. The convenient function has sparked security concerns, particularly about whether other people could spend money using a lost or stolen mobile phone."

TransLink Customers Can Now Tap With Interac Debit


"TransLink customers can now pay for transit using Interac® Debit on every bus and at every fare gate throughout Metro Vancouver. This makes TransLink the first transit agency in Canada to fully integrate contactless Interac Debit payments systemwide. As part of TransLink’s Customer Experience Action Plan – TransLink, Interac, Moneris, and Cubic Transportation Systems upgraded more than 5,000 Compass Readers throughout TransLink’s system to make transit payments more convenient. The upgrade allows customers to board transit by using Interac Debit with physical cards or through smartphone digital wallets."

January 10, 2023

On the web

Nigeria to Establish a Regulatory Framework for Stablecoins and ICOs


"The federal government of Nigeria is set to create a legal framework for stablecoins and ICO -Initial coin offerings. The importance of having a legal framework for stablecoins is highlighted in a new strategy paper released by the Central Bank of Nigeria. In the report headlined “Nigeria Payments System Vision 2025”, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) seeks to develop a regulatory framework for the possible incorporation of a stablecoin. The report highlights the need to provide a framework considering that stablecoins are a possible successful payment scheme in the country."

Digital Wallets and Biometrics to Replace Traditional Payments in UK: Mastercard Survey

Biometric Update

"Roughly half (51 percent) of people in the UK believe physical wallets will become less relevant as digital ways to pay become increasingly popular, new research from Mastercard suggests. The data hints at a decrease in cash usage in the UK. According to Mastercard, around 60 percent of payments were made in cash a decade ago, with UK Finance estimating that this figure will fall to 6 percent by 2031."

Hitachi Payment Services Receives RBI’s In-Principle Approval for Payment Aggregator Licence


"Hitachi Payment Services, India’s foremost end-to-end payment solutions provider, has announced that it has received the in-principle authorisation from Reserve Bank of India to act as a payment aggregator. Payment Aggregators (PAs) are entities that facilitate e-commerce sites and merchants to accept various payment instruments from customers for completion of their payment obligations. PAs facilitate merchants to connect with acquirers."

January 9, 2023

On the wires

Canada's Nuvei to Buy U.S. Payments Firm Paya in $1.3 Billion Deal


"Canadian fintech company Nuvei Corp has agreed to buy U.S. payments technology platform Paya Holdings Inc. in a deal valued at $1.3 billion, the companies said on Monday. The deal will expand Nuvei's footprint in the United States as it seeks to build out its payments technology to cater to business-to-business customers."

January 5, 2023

On the web

Cashless Denmark Has No Bank Robberies in a Year for First Time


“There were no bank robberies in Denmark last year, as a result of better security and the fact that the banks in the largely cashless society don’t hold large amounts of cash on-premise. But the figures from Danish bank association Finans Danmark also revealed that online banking fraud has increased as criminals change their strategies. For comparison, there were 221 bank robberies in 2000, 121 in 2004, and recent years have seen single figures, with just one in 2021.”

January 4, 2023

On the web

European Central Bank Calls For Input to Create Digital Euro Scheme Rulebook

Ledger Insights

"The European Central Bank is forming a working group that will consult in the creation of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) rule book for the Digital Euro Scheme. All potential digital euro payments will have to comply with the set of rules created with work on the rulebook commencing in February. In December, the ECB appointed Christian Schäfer to manage the digital euro scheme rulebook. Now it’s looking for individuals to join the Rulebook Development Group that Schäfer chairs, but they must represent a stakeholder association. The relevant stakeholders include banks, payment providers, as well as the users of a potential digital euro such as consumers, retailers, corporates or SME users."

December 30, 2022

On the web

Results of Digital Yuan Experiment “Not Ideal”, Says Former PBOC Official


“Xie is said to have expressed disappointment with the result of the digital yuan trial in select provinces and cities, noting that “the cumulative circulation of the digital currency in the two years of trial has been only ¥100 billion”. Adding that the usage has been “low and highly inactive”. Despite China being among the leaders in developing central bank digital currencies, Xie says that the digital yuan business had no synergistic effect and no commercial benefits in banks’ business.”

December 27, 2022

On the web

Mastercard, UNO Digital Bank Offer Numberless Debit Card

BusinessWorld Online

“MASTERCARD, Inc. and UNO Digital Bank have partnered to launch the country’s first numberless debit card to address security concerns on online and offline payments. In a press release on Wednesday, the companies said that the card shows only the cardholder’s name and the logos of Mastercard and UNO Digital Bank. They added that the feature averts the risk of personal or financial data theft in case the card is lost or stolen.”

China Adds More Cities To Its Digital Yuan Pilot

Globe Echo

“More Chinese cities will be added to the nation’s digital yuan pilot – with a rollout edging closer to reality. Per the newspaper the Workers’ Daily, the city of Jinan, Shandong Province, will be added to the pilot area. Also joining the pilot will be Nanning and Fangchenggang in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, as well as Yunnan Province’s Kunming. The Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture will also be added. The move sees the pilot move into somewhat unfamiliar technology. While the first batch of pilot cities comprised IT and financial powerhouses in the East of the country – the likes of Shanghai and Beijing – Yunnan’s economy is much more traditional. The province’s biggest industries include tobacco producers, agricultural firms, mining companies, and tourism operators.”

Japanese Fintech Leader Smartpay First to Launch the Next Phase of Digital Consumer finance Through Open Banking


“Japan-based fintech Smartpay has launched Smartpay Bank Direct, the country’s first digital consumer finance service that allows customers to pay for online installment purchases straight from their bank accounts. Smartpay Bank Direct emphasizes user security while delivering convenience for the consumer, through a network of 67 partner banks across Japan[1]. Smartpay is Japan’s first digital consumer finance company to utilize Japan’s open banking system.”

ToneTag’s POD 2.0 All Set To Disrupt The Digital Payments Space In India


“ToneTag, India’s largest voice-based commerce and payments solution provider aims to deploy its ground-breaking technology to resolve digital payment issues faced by micro and small businesses across the country. Through strategic partnerships with major global fintech players, the company is taking steps towards achieving this goal and has already reached and deployed this solution in over 100,000 small businesses and stores across India working with partners like Google, Amazon, ICICI Bank, NSDL and few others.”

December 26, 2022

On the web

BP and MAN to Pilot In-Vehicle Contactless Payments for Truck Drivers (UK)


“Petrol retailer BP and truck and bus manufacturer MAN are teaming up to pilot in-vehicle contactless payments at fuel stations across the UK. MAN plans to follow the UK pilot of its new MAN SimplePay digital wallet for trucks with a rollout in Germany and then additional countries “later”. For the UK pilot, MAN is initially launching a solution for automated contactless and secure payment processes when refuelling that lets the driver stay with the truck, “thus eliminating visits to the filling station shop and saving time as a result. This also reduces possible contact with other people in times of the coronavirus pandemic.””