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February 3, 2023

On the web

Talking Credit Cards Help Visually Impaired People Prevent Abuse


Stephanie Khoeung’s white walking cane glides along a sidewalk as she navigates through a Paris suburb. She lost her sight when she was 12 after a series of failed operations. Now, as an adult, everyday situations are often challenging for Khoeung. Things like buying a sandwich. Credit cards are not easy for visually impaired people to use because they can’t always see the terminal to know where to insert their card.

On the wires

Paxos Launches Engineering Research & Development Center of Excellence in Israel

PR Newswire

Paxos, the most comprehensively regulated blockchain and tokenization infrastructure platform, announced it is launching an engineering research & development center of security and cryptography excellence in Israel. Paxos plans to expand its Israel engineering center with senior, staff and principal engineers with specialized skills in enterprise-grade security, applied cryptography and blockchain technology given the strong tech talent pool in Israel.

February 1, 2023

On the web

January 27, 2023

On the web

4 Payment Trends for Grocers to Watch Throughout 2023

Progressive Grocer

A landscape of mixed economic signals surrounds grocers entering the New Year. Inflation has slowed yet remained persistent, affecting everyday purchases like gas and groceries, while supply chains have yet to stabilize...So, how are grocers responding? We see multiple payment trends coalescing around two different themes: optimizing costs for the grocer and offering more choices for the shopper....

Payment Trends to Watch in 2023


If 2021 was focused on growth and scale, and 2022 saw cost-cutting and survival as key objectives, then 2023 is a year to aim for stability. A challenging macroeconomic climate is forcing payment issuers and acquirers to prioritize revenue growth and operating efficiency, seen as the top priority by 25% and 24% respectively of respondents.

January 11, 2023

On the web

Reap Leverages Fireblocks to Enable Crypto Repayments with Reap Card


Reap, the global fintech company powering expense management through the industry’s first Reap Visa Corporate Card (Reap Card) platform, launches industry-leading innovation by including cryptocurrency repayment functionality for the Web3 industry. Together with the Reap Card, Reap offers expense management software that will enable Web3 companies to settle their fiat payments with cryptocurrencies.

The Buy Now, Pay Later Bubble Is About to Burst


"Many Gen Zers have rejected traditional credit in favor of new-age layaway programs, which are riskier than they may seem. As familiar as Americans are with the concept of credit, many of us, upon encountering a sandwich that can be financed in four easy payments of $3.49, might think: Yikes, we’re in trouble.  Putting a banh mi on layaway—this is the world that buy-now, pay-later programs have wrought. In a few short years, financial-technology firms such as Affirm, Afterpay, and Klarna, which allow consumers to pay for purchases over several interest-free installments, have infiltrated nearly every corner of e-commerce. People are buying cardigans with this kind of financing."

January 10, 2023

On the web

Embedded Finance Is Fast Becoming A Viable Alternative To Traditional Banking For Many Financial Services


"It may now be less necessary for Americans to rely on a bank to succeed financially. As e-commerce grows and digital products become more available, embedded finance has become an option for consumers and companies. Embedded finance comprises non-financial companies offering financial products and services. These products and services can include debit cards, payment programs, accounting software, etc.  An example of embedded finance in action is how Uber now offers its drivers a debit card where the money they make on the app can be put on an Uber debit card, circumventing a traditional banking institution for its drivers. "

Afterpay vs LatitudePay: Difference Between the Two BNPL Services (Australia)


"Whether you want to purchase groceries, a new phone or even pet supplies, there's likely to be a buy now pay later (BNPL) service that lets you buy what you want and pay for it later in smaller instalments. However, the maximum amount you can spend on a BNPL app and how much time you get to repay the amount owing on your purchases could differ between service providers.   For instance, Afterpay, Australia's first BNPL service provider, allows you to pay for your purchases in four instalments, payable over six weeks. LatitudePay, another popular BNPL service, allows you to repay your shopping expenses in 10 weekly repayments."

Afterpay vs LatitudePay: Difference Between the Two BNPL Services (Australia)


"Whether you want to purchase groceries, a new phone or even pet supplies, there's likely to be a buy now pay later (BNPL) service that lets you buy what you want and pay for it later in smaller installments. However, the maximum amount you can spend on a BNPL app and how much time you get to repay the amount owing on your purchases could differ between service providers.   For instance, Afterpay, Australia's first BNPL service provider, allows you to pay for your purchases in four installments, payable over six weeks. LatitudePay, another popular BNPL service, allows you to repay your shopping expenses in 10 weekly repayments."

January 9, 2023

On the wires

Newest Personal Finance Data Study Looks at How Much Americans Have Spent and Saved Last Year, Despite Lingering Debt

PR Newswire

"Upgraded Points shared the results of a recent survey that delves into the spending habits of average Americans, from credit card expenditures to how much people have managed to save over the last year despite rising inflation. The study looked at credit card purchases, frequency of use, age/gender of cardholders, card benefits, banks most cardholders use, how often cardholders miss payments, and other interesting financials."

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."

Sezzle Becomes First BNPL to Offer Free Credit-Building in Canada

IBS Intelligence

“Sezzle, a Buy Now, Pay Later solution in Canada, has announced the expansion of Sezzle Up, a consumer credit product, into the Canadian market. Sezzle notes that many lenders are hesitant to extend credit to consumers without any credit history or score. Consumers may face a catch-22 situation –– unable to get that first credit product when they lack a credit history. Sezzle Up gives consumers the opportunity to build their credit profile if they choose to do so, bridging the gap between the credit underserved and the ability to use and build credit wisely.”

January 2, 2023

On the web

‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Company Afterpay Quits in New Mexico


“New Mexicans will no longer be able to use “buy now, pay later” service Afterpay starting Jan. 1. Last week, Afterpay emailed New Mexico customers informing them that due to “regulatory changes” in New Mexico, the company would no longer be doing business in the state. “Due to a new state regulation effective January 1, 2023, Afterpay is unavailable to New Mexico residents,” read a statement provided to the Journal by an Afterpay spokesperson. “We hope to be able to offer our service to New Mexico customers in the near future.” The regulation in question is House Bill 132, “Interest Rates for Certain Loans,” an amendment to the New Mexico Small Loan Act and New Mexico Bank Installment Act.”

December 30, 2022

On the web

The Ongoing Battle to Protect Consumer Payment Card Data

Retail TouchPoints

“Buying goods online is second nature to most of us. Using our payment card whilst we shop online rarely gives us pause, and the many millions who buy online generally trust the system.  However, the recent busy shopping season means it’s a good time to remind ourselves that there is an ongoing battle to make sure that the payment card data of your customers remains secure. The payment card industry has not sat still in the face of the threat of attack by criminal gangs. Their security standard (PCI DSS) is a contractual baseline for anyone that wants to accept payment cards, and is revised regularly to take into account both technological change and criminal attack methodology…”

On the wires

December 29, 2022

On the web

The Trends That Will Shape Next Year’s Fintech Scene


“The past year was an extremely turbulent one in several respects. Fintech companies in particular suffered greatly from the difficult market environment and resulting turmoil, with several high-flyers brought down to earth. Although 2023 will continue to be challenging, the fintech industry continues to evolve with market trends, and innovation in the fintech sector will continue to drive change in traditional financial services.”

Here’s What Happened to BNPL in 2022—and What It Means for Next Year

Insider Intelligence

“The popularity of buy now, pay later (BNPL) kept growing in 2022 as consumers sought out more flexible payment methods, merchant acceptance grew, and BNPL spread into new sectors. The total value of BNPL in the US increased 25.5% year over year in 2022, according to Insider Intelligence research. Here are five trends and events that shaped the BNPL industry this year:…”

December 28, 2022

On the web

Cyber-Attacks Set To Become ‘Uninsurable’, Warns Insurance Boss


“The days of organisations relying on insurance policies to pay out after suffering a cyber-attack, may be coming to an end.  This is the stark assessment from Mario Greco, chief executive at insurer Zurich, one of Europe’s biggest insurance companies, speaking to the Financial Times. Amid growing concern among industry executives about large-scale cyber-attacks, Greco warned that cyber-attacks, rather than natural catastrophes, will become “uninsurable”.”

Biometrics Trends for 2023: Multimodal and MFA to Grow Alongside Privacy Regulations

Biometric Update

“As we enter the last week of 2022, we look at some of the  biometrics and digital ID trends predicted by experts in the field. This was the year the world mostly emerged from the effects of the Covid pandemic, and numerous companies moved forward in creating innovative technological solutions. The trends and forecasts emailed to Biometric Update mostly reflect ongoing developments, but also suggest significant changes for how digital trust works in the near future.”

December 27, 2022

On the web

Fidelity and HSBC File Web3 Trademark Applications for Financial Services in the Metaverse


“American multinational financial services corporation, Fidelity, has filed three new trademark applications indicating further plans for the metaverse…the trademarks cover business marketing, referral services in the field of investment advice and financial planning, personnel placement and recruiting services, provision of an online marketplace for buyers and sellers of digital media, namely, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) featuring textual and graphic content, all in the metaverse and other virtual worlds…HSBC also filed Web3 trademark applications for its name and logo with the USPTO on Dec 15. The trademarks cove software to allow users to perform banking and electronic business transactions in the metaverse and other virtual worlds; downloadable virtual goods, namely, computer programs featuring bank cards, cash cards, cheque cards, debit cards, credit cards, charge cards for use online and in online virtual worlds; and downloadable digital files authenticated by NFTs.”

December 23, 2022

On the web

Compliance to Play Large Role in Banking-as-a-Service Sector in 2023

SP Global

“Banks involved in banking as a service will have to prioritize regulatory compliance in 2023 as scrutiny intensifies and opportunities in the segment grow. Throughout 2022, multiple bank regulators have stressed that they are increasing their attention on banks’ third-party risks. In one example, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency entered into a formal written agreement in August with Blue Ridge Bank NA, the bank subsidiary of Blue Ridge Bankshares Inc., to enhance the OCC’s supervision of the bank’s fintech partnerships. Regulators’ messages are helping increase banks’ awareness of risk management and not necessarily killing banks’ interest in BaaS, industry experts said.”

Whom Do Credit-Card-Rewards Programs Really Reward?

The New Yorker

“The credit-card industry wants its customers to know about a threat to “our favorite cash back and travel rewards programs.” They could disappear forever, the industry says, if Congress approves a piece of legislation called the Credit Card Competition Act. It remains to be seen if that prospect will inspire masses of cardholders to reach out to their senators and representatives with the message—“Hands off my rewards!”—that industry lobbyists have crafted for the occasion. Even if the response falls short of their hopes, though, the lobbyists will have performed a public service: by raising the spectre of a rewardless credit-card future, they have called attention to a very peculiar feature of the credit-card present.”

December 22, 2022

On the web

ECB Publishes New Digital Euro Report, Rollout Decision in Fall 2023


“The European Central Bank (ECB) has published its second report on the feasibility of launching a digital euro. It updates the progress made since the first report, published in September 2022. This includes information on how a digital euro would work in practice, such as the role of intermediaries, the settlement model, and the distribution model.”

December 15, 2022

On the web

The Accredited Standards Committee New X9 Report Demystifies Quantum Computing Risks


“The Accredited Standards Committee X9 Inc. (X9) today announced that it has published an updated version of its Informative Report titled “Quantum Computing Risks to the Financial Services Industry,” denoted X9.IR-F01-2022. The 120-page document, available for download at no charge, delivers a broad background on quantum computing and the security risks it is expected to pose to cryptography — specifically, the cryptography that the financial services industry depends on. The financial industry could be particularly hard hit should the potential computational power posed by quantum computing become a reality. It is predicted that large-scale, stable quantum computers will be able to quickly solve the mathematical problems upon which today’s widely deployed cryptographic systems are based; systems that are currently used to protect sensitive information on the internet and throughout the industry.”

State (NY) Issues New Rules on Gift Cards, Gift Certificates

Daily Sentinel

“The state Division of Consumer Protection has released tips to inform and empower New York consumers purchasing gift cards and gift certificates this holiday season. Any gift cards or gift certificates purchased in New York on or after Saturday, Dec. 10, will remain valid for a minimum of nine years from the date of purchase. And, when the remaining value of a gift card or gift certificate is less than five dollars, the recipient can opt to receive cash for the balance. All fees are prohibited under the new law, which will prevent gift cards and gift certificates from declining in value. The law specifically forbids the imposition of any “activation fees, retroactive fees, redemption fees, service fees, dormancy fees, latency fees, administrative fees, handling fees, access fees, periodic fees, renewal fees, re-loading fees, or any other fee of any kind.” There is one exception to the law. A gift card or gift certificate that is redeemable at multiple, unaffiliated merchants or service providers may charge a one-time activation fee, not to exceed $9…”

On the wires

Trigo, REWE Launch Germany’s First Fully Automated Supermarket


“Trigo, an Israel-based computer vision company that builds systems for autonomous checkout and retail analytics, has rolled out Germany’s first fully-autonomous cashierless supermarket in partnership with German grocery giant REWE Group. The new “Pick&Go” supermarket in the Bavarian capital Munich allows customers to walk in, select their items off the shelves, and leave without having to pay at checkout. Unlike self-checkout devices such as stationary or mobile scanners and digital carts, Pick&Go shoppers only scan once on their phones when they enter the store. When they leave they get the receipt automatically. Trigo’s computer vision algorithms –running off data produced by ceiling-mounted cameras and shelf sensors– create a 3D “digital twin” of the store. The system logs shoppers’ movements inside the store and correlates that with data on items they pick from the shelves. The algorithms can also be used to monitor inventory levels in real time, and detect items that have been misplaced or stolen.”

December 14, 2022

On the wires

HSBC Partners With Extend, Accelerating Availability of Expense Management Solutions for Commercial Card Clients in the U.S.


Extend, a leading virtual card and spend management platform, today announced a partnership with HSBC, one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organizations. HSBC will offer Extend solutions to its commercial card clients in the U.S. to help companies manage spending with the flexibility and control of virtual cards. Using their HSBC business cards, joint customers will be able to simplify essential processes – like closing the books at the end of the month – and instantly empower anyone, anywhere to make business payments. Extend’s digital solutions are now available to HSBC U.S. Commercial Card Clients with additional features coming in early 2023.

Will This Holiday Season Mark the End of Layaway and Debit Cards?

PR Newswire

“As the holiday shopping season heats up, buy now pay later (BNPL) apps are a hot commodity with younger consumers.  Insights in Marketing recently surveyed 1,000 consumers, ages 18-25, and conducted online focus groups to learn why more Gen Z consumers are drawn to BNPL than any other generation. The independent Insights in Marketing financial services study revealed 100% of survey participants discovered BNPL apps while shopping online. One in five respondents had tried BNPL, and 80% said they used these microloans more often in 2022 than in 2021.   Which BNPL Apps Do Gen Z Consumers Use Most? Most Zoomers rely on word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family members before trying BNPL, and then tend to use multiple BNPL apps or websites, mainly Afterpay (58%), Klarna (44%), Affirm (29%) and PayPal (27%).  Why do Zoomers use BNPL? All respondents agreed quick approval and interest-free transactions are the main draw, and ranked other reasons: 1) Avoid credit card debt and fees  2)Receive merchandise immediately (vs. waiting to complete layaway payments) 3) Stretch budgets 4) Make affordable payments in a set timeframe 5) Establish a credit history for future loans and rewards credit cards”

December 13, 2022

On the web

5 Metaverse Trends That Banks Should Start Monitoring


“You don’t need to be a science-fiction fan to believe in the metaverse. It’s here, it’s real and there’s still time for banks to jump on the bandwagon. The metaverse is a vision, not just a technology. It’s a virtual world with a diverse ecosystem and a thriving culture. More importantly, the metaverse runs on exchanging goods and services, and the financial infrastructure is still being built. That’s why banks need to pay attention to this opportunity. As you explore the metaverse and all it has to offer (as well as what your institution can provide in return), keep these five things in mind. The metaverse is fragmented, but not for long…”