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December 21, 2023

On the web

December 15, 2023

On the wires

December 14, 2023

On the web

January 25, 2023

On the wires

Universal Digital Payments Network (UDPN) is Launched to Support Seamless Digital Payments Across Multiple Central Bank Digital Currencies and Regulated Stablecoins

PR Newswire

Launched at Davos during the World Economic Forum week, the Universal Digital Payments Network (UDPN) is a DLT-underpinned messaging backbone focused on providing interoperability between the fast-growing number of different regulated stablecoins and CBDCs, and seamless connectivity between any business IT system and regulated digital currencies. At the Davos launch event, representatives from leading global financial institutions Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Standard Chartered, The Bank of East Asia, and Akbank discussed the rapidly evolving world of digital currency, the importance of interoperability, and the need for an infrastructure to support these developments.

November 10, 2022

On the web

Spanish Banks to Road Test Digital Euro

Finextra Research

“The Spanish banking sector has set up a working group and proof-of-concept to assess the impact of the implementation of a digital euro by the European Central Bank. Up to 30 banks, working in concert with infrastructure providers Bizum, Iberpay and Redsys, intend to roll out the PoC with the aim of undertaking an in-depth analysis of the technical, operational and business implications of the digital euro and its co-existance with existing payment instruments.”

August 17, 2022

On the web

Fighting Poverty With Direct Cash Payments

MIT News

“What’s the best way to help someone living in extreme poverty? Some might say improved access to food while others might focus on health care or education. All are worthy causes, but the truth is that the needs of people in extreme poverty vary. Walk through a slum in Kenya, for instance, and you might meet budding entrepreneurs, people who want to invest in education for themselves or their children, and even people who, given the ability, would simply work less and spend more time caring for family. Since 2009, the nonprofit GiveDirectly has allowed impoverished people to choose for themselves by facilitating digital cash donations that go directly into recipient’s bank accounts.”

UK Group to Test Stablecoin Payments, Provide Data to Bank of England


“The Digital FMI Consortium, a group of private-sector companies, said it plans to test cross-border payments and provide recommendations to the Bank of England using its own sterling-backed stablecoin, dSterling. “The backing of the dSterling will be pounds held in a Bank of England reserve account and it is 100% backed,” a company spokeperson told CoinDesk. The pilot, known as Project New Era, will start in October and run for 12-24 months, it said a press release . Digital FMI, which has 15-20 members, will provide white papers and recommendations to the Bank of England and other regulators. A stablecoin is a cryptocurrency designed to hold its value against another asset, often the U.S. dollar.”

April 22, 2022

On the web

Fintech Giant Stripe Jumps Into Crypto With a Feature That Lets Twitter Users Get Paid in Stablecoin


“Stripe will allow businesses to pay their users via cryptocurrencies, starting with Twitter, in the latest sign of how large financial firms are warming to digital assets. The $95 billion online payments company said Friday it will start offering merchants the ability to make payouts in crypto through the stablecoin USDC, which is issued by crypto firm Circle. Stablecoins are tokens that are pegged to fiat currencies to maintain a stable price. In USDC’s case, as the name suggests, the cryptocurrency is backed by the U.S. dollar.”

Germany’s Commerzbank Applies for Local Crypto License


“Germany’s Commerzbank (CBK) applied for a crypto license earlier this year, a spokesperson for the bank said. This makes it the first major bank in Germany to move towards crypto adoption.A bank spokesperson said Commerzbank wants to help shape emerging digital ecosystems, especially with regard to custody and trading in non-physical assets.“To this end, we entered into a cooperation with Deutsche Börse and Fin-Tech 330x in spring 2021. In addition, we are pursuing our own digital asset strategy and are also planning our own offerings for our customers in the coming years. We have applied for a license from the Bafin for the safekeeping of crypto assets. The future offer is initially aimed at institutional customers,” said Bernd Reh, senior spokesman, Commerzbank.”

On the wires

Alacriti Featured in Federal Reserve’s New FedNowSM Service Provider Showcase, Expands Its Unified Payments Platform for the FedNow Service


Alacriti , a fintech company specializing in payments and money movement, is proud to be featured in the Federal Reserve’s new FedNow Service Provider Showcase, an online resource designed to connect financial institutions looking to adopt and innovate upon the FedNow Service with service providers offering instant payment solutions. In addition, connection to the upcoming FedNow Service is now included in Alacriti’s Cosmos Payments Services to give financial institutions multiple paths forward for faster payments innovation.”

April 21, 2022

On the web

Euro Notches Biggest Drop as Global Payment Currency Since 2011


“The euro is being used less often as a global payment currency, posting its biggest percentage-point drop in more than a decade in March, as inflation and the war in Ukraine weigh on its appeal for transactions.  Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar remained in the top spot for a 10th consecutive month, and has dominated global payments for the most part since 2013, according to data from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications, or SWIFT.”

How Meta Platforms Fell Behind in Indian Mobile Payments

Wall Street Journal

“Mark Zuckerberg has pinned his hopes on commerce to save his business from stagnating user engagement and decelerating advertising revenue growth. But in the massive market of India, Facebook parent company Meta Platforms has fallen far behind in mobile payments, which serve as the crucial last step in closing an online sale. It needs to get its act together quickly if it doesn’t want to lose out to Google and Walmart in the race for controlling digital payments in the world’s second-largest internet market. Meta has a popular mobile messaging platform in the country with WhatsApp, which has its own local payment service. But so far, the encrypted messaging app has been at loggerheads with the Indian government over multiple issues, all of which are likely impacting its payment ambitions in India.”

April 20, 2022

On the wires

EPayments and Alchemy Pay Partner for Australian and NZ Crypto Payments


“Fiat-crypto payments provider, Alchemy Pay (ACH), has partnered with merchant payment provider, ePayments, to offer crypto payments and services in New Zealand and Australia. ePayments will integrate with Alchemy Pay to provide to their merchants with crypto payment acceptance, as well as payments with Binance Pay. As part of the partnership, Alchemy Pay will also leverage ePayments’ NZ and Australian fiat payment channels and provide global crypto service providers with access to users in these markets.”

Nationwide Building Society Improves Member Experiences With Pega Smart Dispute


Pegasystems Inc. (NASDAQ: PEGA ), the software company that crushes business complexity, today announced Nationwide Building Society deployed Pega Smart Dispute for Issuers to transform its Visa card disputes process. This enabled Nationwide to improve agent performance and customer satisfaction by streamlining the systems required to handle a dispute from 15 down to two and reducing dispute processing time by approximately 15%.”

April 19, 2022

Top Post

Ubiquity, Same Day ACH and Other Fast Payments

Payments Views

“It’s truly remarkable how this decades-old, ANSI based, batch based payment method is slowly but surely finding renewed vigor in today’s world of “fast payments.”  Clients at Glenbrook continue to inquire about how ACH can be leveraged for their needs and a key reason is that it’s a ubiquitous payment network where every financial institution is connected (okay, and it is also often a lower cost option). Same Day ACH is a perfect example of why ubiquity matters. It took 15 years for the original idea of same day ACH to become a reality and it may have taken another six for it to mature as a product but … it is now benefiting from the established ubiquity of the ACH network. Just look at the white hot increase of nearly 75% in transaction volume for Same Day ACH transfers in 2021. That amounted to just over 600 million transactions added to the overall ACH network transaction volume around 29 billion.”

On the web

Hand Implant Allows People to Pay With Chip


“The future is here. Those tired of taking out their wallet or phone to pay for things could soon skip that step entirely, thanks to a new implantable payment chip. The British-Polish company Walletmor has created a microchip that can be implanted inside a person’s hand and used as one would tap a credit card for payment. The technology is only currently allowed to be sold in the European Union and the U.K. “The implant can be used to pay for a drink on the beach in Rio, a coffee in New York, a haircut in Paris – or at your local grocery store,” founder and chief executive Wojtek Paprota told the BBC . “It can be used wherever contactless payments are accepted.””

On the wires

MYPINPAD and SmartPesa Merge to Become the Global Leader in Mobile Payments Acceptance


“MYPINPAD, a global leader in mobile-based payments acceptance and digital authentication solutions, and SmartPesa, a leading provider of payments and agency banking solutions, have agreed to merge. The combined entity will operate under the MYPINPAD brand.Customers will benefit from greater scale, a wider product offering and the certainty of continued support as the industry moves towards the PCI Security Standards Council’s forthcoming Mobile Payments on COTS (MPoC) Standard. The deal positions MYPINPAD as the leading global provider in the rapidly expanding mobile payments acceptance market. The combined entity expects to double its existing footprint in APAC, LATAM and EMEA and target North America in 2022 and beyond.”

April 18, 2022

On the web

On the wires

Data Mynt Crypto Payment Gateway Now Live On Bitcoin Lightning Network


Data Mynt , the world’s fastest growing cryptocurrency payment gateway, has launched support for its fourth major blockchain network in as many months, the Bitcoin Lightning Network. Data Mynt now facilitates seamless payments to and from all Lightning Network enabled wallets in addition to Polygon Network, Ethereum Mainnet, and Bitcoin network wallets and assets. Data Mynt merchants and partners, which are on schedule to number in the tens of thousands by the end of Q2 2022, now receive and send payments from all Lightning Network enabled wallets such as Cash App and Strike.”

Sila Now Provides Instant Access to ACH Debits on Its Platform Through Instant Settlement


Sila Inc., a fintech software platform that provides payment infrastructure as a service, today announced a new product called Instant Settlement. It provides instant access to ACH debits made to the Sila platform. Customers no longer have to use their own capital to pre-fund the full amount of a transaction or wait days for an ACH debit to clear. Instead, Sila is advancing funds for a fee. The responsibility for returned transactions remains with the customer, who is required to maintain sufficient funds in a reserve wallet to cover just that return risk. Instant Settlement is a great option in scenarios where ACH is the preferred method but return risks are small such as with payroll, back-office money movements, B2B transactions, or cash transactions at brick and mortar locations (“good funds”). With transaction speed being a differentiator, offering Instant Settlement can be a valuable competitive advantage for businesses.”

April 15, 2022

On the web

Bitfinex Collaborates With OpenPayd to Enable SEPA Payments

Finextra Research

“Bitfinex, a state-of-the-art digital token trading platform, in collaboration with fiat on-ramp services provider OpenPayd, is enabling real-time Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) payments for euro-denominated deposits and withdrawals. The introduction of SEPA payments provides additional options for Bitfinex customers to deploy euros onto the platform. Through the new collaboration, customers will have the ability to pay-in and pay-out from their accounts near-instantly.”

On the wires

The Gemini Crypto Rewards Credit Card Is Now Available in the United States

Gemini , a cryptocurrency platform to buy, sell, earn, and store crypto, today announced the Gemini Credit Card ™ is now available in all 50 U.S. states. Cardholders can earn up to 3% crypto back on dining+, 2% crypto back on groceries, and 1% crypto back on all other purchases, with rewards automatically deposited into their Gemini account. The Gemini Credit Card is issued by WebBank and features Mastercard as the exclusive card network. Since launching the waitlist, the Gemini Credit Card has amassed more than 500,000 sign-ups. Cardholders will be able to use the Gemini Credit Card anywhere Mastercard is accepted and can choose from among 60+ types of cryptocurrencies currently supported for rewards on Gemini’s exchange platform, including bitcoin, ether, dogecoin and other tokens.”

Impervious.ai Raises Seed Round to Develop the Peer-to-Peer Internet Standard


“Impervious Technologies Inc. ( impervious.ai ) is excited to announce the close of their seed financing round, with participation from notable Bitcoin and privacy-focused investors including CoinShares, NYDIG, Trammell Venture Partners, Fundamental Labs, Strategic Cyber Ventures, TEN-31 and others to scale the Peer-to-Peer (“P2P”) internet standard. In late 2021, Impervious launched a series of API’s that serve as a programmatic layer for the Bitcoin Lightning Network, adding Peer-to-Peer communications and data transfer capabilities to the real-time payments protocol of the Bitcoin Lightning Network.”

April 14, 2022

On the web

Tencent Commences Test Programme for Digital Yuan Wallet

Finextra Research

“Tencent has rolled out a wallet that enables users to make transactions using China’s central bank backed digital currency. Undergoing A/B testing, the Tencent e-CNY Wallet, enables users to transact using the digital currency through QR codes on WeChat. Users will be able to transfer funds, collect payments, and access credit card functions through the programe.To qualify, consumers need to to activate the wallet function of WeBank, Tencent’s digital banking arm, in the central bank’s e-CNY app, which arrived in Android and Apple app stores in January.”

Mercuryo Taps Volt for Open Banking Payments

Finextra Research

“Mercuryo, a leading crypto payments company, has launched open banking payments within their cryptocurrency wallet, used by over two million global customers. The real-time account-to-account payments (A2A) will be facilitated by leading open payments gateway Volt and will provide Mercuryo wallet users, alongside their business partners, with single-click payment solutions via fiat.”

Sweatcoin Eyes Launch of SWEAT Tokens That Turn Movement Into Money


“Getting into crypto just got a whole lot cheaper (and healthier), as London-based tech company Sweatcoin prepares to launch a new token, SWEAT, that allows users to mint currency using just their shoe leather. The company says its mission is to “inspire a healthier planet by incentivising people to move more” and has partnered with BVI headquartered crypto business, the Sweat Foundation Ltd, to offer the token. With over 63 million users, who have collectively walked over 20 trillion steps, the company claims that SWEAT represents the world’s largest crypto giveaway ever.”

April 13, 2022

On the web

Central Bank Digital Currencies: a New Tool in the Financial Inclusion Toolkit?


“Central banks are considering how retail central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) may help support financial inclusion. While they are not a magic bullet, central banks see CBDC as a further tool to promote financial inclusion if this goal features prominently in the design from the get-go. In particular, central banks are considering design options around promoting innovation in the two-tiered financial system (eg allowing for novel non-bank payment service providers), offering a robust and low-cost public sector technological basis (with novel interfaces and offline payments), facilitating enrolment and education (via simplified due diligence and electronic know your customer) and fostering interoperability (both domestically and across borders). Together, these features can address a range of existing barriers to financial inclusion.”

On the wires

All of the Benefits, None of the Gimmicks: Bread Financial™ Unveils New Bread Cashback™ American Express® Credit Card

“Bread Financial (NYSE: BFH), a tech-forward financial services company that provides simple, personalized payment, lending and saving solutions, today announced the launch of a new consumer credit card – the Bread Cashback™ American Express® Credit Card. Bread Cashback offers unlimited 2% cash back with no reward caps and no categories to manage. Plus, there are no annual fees or foreign transaction fees. Cardholders will also have access to premium American Express offers and benefits.”

Signature Bank Adds Fedwire Feature to Its Signet™ Digital Payments Platform, Allowing Instant Transfers Through Its Application Programming Interface

Signature Bank (Nasdaq: SBNY), a New York-based, full-service commercial bank, announced today the addition of a new feature allowing its clients to initiate real-time Fedwire transactions through its blockchain-based digital payments platform, Signet™ , directly through its Application Programming Interface (API). The addition of this Fedwire feature enables Signet clients to execute both Signet blockchain and traditional Fedwire payments through one API, providing clients with greater flexibility in automating treasury management workflows via Signature Bank’s integrated payments service.”

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