A leading payments industry news source for more than 17 years. Glenbrook curates the news and keeps you abreast of the important daily headlines in payments.

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February 8, 2022

On the web

Home Depot Worker Swapped $387,500 in Fake Bills for Real Ones, Officials Say

The New York Times

“Adrian Jean Pineda had an entry-level job at a Home Depot in 2018, working as a vault associate in Tempe, Ariz., in charge of counting the money from registers, placing it in sealed bags and depositing it at a local Wells Fargo Bank. Over the next four years, however, the bank found $100 bills from the store’s deposits with “PLAYMONEY” written as a serial number — a clear sign of prop currency, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.”

December 17, 2021

On the wires

BLUbeem™ by Brink’s® – Digital Cash Payment Solutions for Merchants

“With BLUbeem, Brink’s places a secure, tech-enabled device at a customer’s site. The customer registers cash deposits using the BLUbeem mobile app, and places cash into the onsite device. Brink’s digitally confirms that the deposit was made, and provides credit for that deposit to any bank account of the customer’s choosing. Brink’s then picks up the cash at a later time that is convenient for both parties.”

December 15, 2021

On the web

UK banks back rollout of shared branches

FT

“The largest UK lenders will support a new initiative to maintain access to cash for communities across the country with five new shared bank branches set to open next year. The move follows a review of several different pilot schemes aimed at maintaining access to cash services in areas hit by bank branch closures over the past decade.”

On the wires

Paysafe Partners With OSG to Enable Cash Payments for Online Billing

Paysafe (NYSE: PSFE), a leading specialized payments platform, today announced a partnership with Output Services Group (OSG) , a global provider of customer engagement and payment solutions. OSG, which provides online billing and payment solutions to many industries serving U.S. consumers, will now offer the Paysafecash ™ online cash solution as an alternative payment method to their platform, further promoting financial inclusion for unbanked and cash-focused consumers to pay their bills online.”

December 3, 2021

On the web

Covid-19 Made Americans Into Super Savers. Now They’re Hoarding Cash.

Wall Street Journal

“Americans are hoarding cash because of fatigue and uncertainty, with little chance the trend will reverse soon. Over the past two years, households have socked away close to $1.6 trillion in “excess savings,” or resources they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to save before the Covid-19 crisis, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The funds are well beyond the three to six months of emergency savings generally recommended by financial advisers.”

November 29, 2021

On the web

Payment Choice Act Wins Bipartisan Backing

Payments Dive

“The Federal Reserve Board may be mulling a digital dollar, but U.S. Rep. Donald Payne Jr. has cash on his mind. He was so concerned about stores not accepting cash that he introduced the Payment Choice Act to preserve the right of Americans to pay in cash and to bar merchants from rejecting it. He first introduced the bill in 2019 and reintroduced it this past July.”

September 20, 2021

On the web

U.S. Cash Payment Kiosks Rise Despite Digital Age

Payments Dive

“City governments nationwide are joining a trend to make more cash payment options available to consumers looking to pay their bills, with Chicago undertaking a significant expansion and New York installing new kiosks for the first time next month. Cities take in more income when consumers have additional ways to pay for parking tickets and taxes, while residents benefit from conveniently placed kiosks that don’t charge them fees and that have access to their data.”

September 17, 2021

On the web

U.S. Cash Payment Kiosks Rise Despite Digital Age

Payments Dive

“City governments nationwide are joining a trend to make more cash payment options available to consumers looking to pay their bills, with Chicago undertaking a significant expansion and New York installing new kiosks for the first time next month. Cities take in more income when consumers have additional ways to pay for parking tickets and taxes, while residents benefit from conveniently placed kiosks that don’t charge them fees and that have access to their data.”

September 2, 2021

On the web

Cash Not Only Survived the Pandemic — It Came Out Stronger

American Banker

“Cash usage is showing signs of surpassing pre-pandemic levels — and some of the digital payment options put in place during lockdown are actually fueling the trend… Cash Connect , a division of the Wilmington, Delaware-based bank WSFS Financial that provides cash-management technology for independent ATM operators and retailers, is seeing growing demand for unmanned secure kiosks to accept cash payments, for example.”

August 26, 2021

On the wires

InComm Payments Partners With Doxo, Enabling Consumers to Pay Bills With Cash on Doxo’s Nationwide Bill Pay Network at More Than 60,000 Retail Locations

InComm Payments , a leading payments technology company, and doxo , the largest bill pay directory in the nation, today announced an exciting new partnership that will enable doxo users to pay household bills with cash at more than 60,000 retail locations throughout the U.S. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta , a little more than 12% of bills, equating to nearly 1.9 billion of the 15.5 billion bills paid by US households each year , are paid using cash. Paying with cash is still a critical need for many consumers who regularly receive cash income or who don’t have bank accounts and need to cover household obligations.”

August 6, 2021

On the web

Coin Shortage Redux: Banks, Merchants Again Searching for Pennies

American Banker

“Bankers thought the nationwide coin shortage was over, as the U.S. economy reopened and previously housebound consumers were able to unload more of their change. But a combination of factors — including government stimulus payments, accelerated consumer spending and the threat of the COVID-19 delta variant — has stymied progress and forced retailers to resort again to asking shoppers for exact change. After lifting the limits on some coin orders by banks at the end of last year, the Federal Reserve reinstituted them in May.”

July 6, 2021

On the web

The Pandemic Pushed Us Toward a Cashless Economy. It Could Be the New Normal

San Francisco Chronicle

“In the before times, more than 90% of farmers’ market customers for Dirty Girl Produce used cash to buy its dry-farmed tomatoes, little gems of lettuce and haricot vert beans. That switched totally during the pandemic with 90% using cards or phones to pay. “For a while, everyone was afraid of cash; they thought you’d get sick if you touched someone else’s money,” said Joe Schirmer, owner of the 40-acre farm near Watsonville (Santa Cruz County), which sells at 10 local farmers’ markets, including San Francisco’s Ferry Building. Cash use at the markets has ticked back up as the state has reopened and vaccinations have increased, but it’s still far short of where it used to be. Now about half of his farmers’ market customers use cash and the other half use digital payments.”

June 21, 2021

On the web

Chinese Commercial Bank Enables Digital Yuan-Cash Conversion at ATMs – CoinDesk

CoinDesk

“A state-owned Chinese commercial bank has enabled a feature that allows users to convert their digital yuan to cash at more than 3,000 automated teller machine (ATM) locations in Beijing. According to a report by Xinhua Finance on Friday, the Industrial and Commerce Bank of China (ICBC) has become the first bank in the country to launch such a feature. The move effectively lets users switch between digital and non-digital versions of government-issued currency with ease, bringing the nation one step closer to having a digital currency built atop a blockchain network.”

June 16, 2021

On the web

Euro Zone Citizens Stock up on Cash in Pandemic, ECB Says

Reuters

“Euro zone citizens have stocked up on banknotes as a safety buffer since the start of the coronavirus pandemic despite using other means of payment more frequently, European Central Bank board member Fabio Panetta said on Tuesday. The data pours some cold water on the popular notion that physical cash was set to all but disappear, replaced by private-sector tokens such as bitcoin or digital currencies introduced by the central bank themselves.”

June 2, 2021

On the web

World Bank Finds Contactless Cards Are Not yet Displacing Cash

NFCW

“Contactless payments technology is causing “a sizable increase in the use of debit cards for small-value payments”, but is having an “economically small and statistically insignificant” impact on the use of cash and cash demand, according to a study conducted by the World Bank … The study’s findings are based on anonymous bank account data for card payments and cash withdrawals collected from 30,000 customers of a Swiss retail bank between 2015 and 2018.”

May 28, 2021

On the wires

REPAY Partners With Paysafe to Enable U.S. Merchants to Accept Online Cash Payments

Repay Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: RPAY) (“REPAY”), a leading provider of vertically-integrated payment solutions, today announced a partnership with Paysafe (NYSE: PSFE), a leading specialized payments platform, to enable REPAY merchants to accept cash payments at over 60,000 of Paysafe’s retail partner locations, including major convenience stores, dollar stores, and pharmacies across the United States. Leveraging Paysafe’s Paysafecash online cash, or eCash, solution, these cash transactions are recorded as real-time payments, adding even greater convenience to payers and expanding the capabilities of lenders and B2C companies to meet customer payment preferences.”

April 28, 2021

On the web

Crunchtime for Cash at Singapore’s Famed Hawker Food Stalls

BNN Bloomberg

“Singapore officials trying to digitize the economy are targeting a tricky group of holdouts: elderly vendors who run the country’s famed hawker stalls. For generations of Singaporeans, stalls selling popular street food have been an indispensable part of local life. Even amid unbearable midday heat, these open-air complexes draw office professionals, families and retirees with favorites such as chicken rice, prawn noodles and the nasi lemak coconut rice dish. Hawker centers have won global acclaim, recognized by Unesco last year as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Most of these stalls have been cash-only businesses though, and that’s part of the challenge as Singapore encourages consumers to use electronic payments.”

April 20, 2021

On the wires

Santander and Prosegur Cash Launch Cash Today, the First Digital Cash Management Service for Companies

“Santander and Prosegur Cash have teamed up to launch a ground-breaking, in-store digital cash management solution. Christened Cash Today, the pioneering service, available from 19 April, means customers will immediately get the cash they collect in their bank accounts. The initiative, which combines the strengths of two companies at the forefront of their industries, gives customers a personalized and simple product under a fixed-price lease. Cash Today is designed to guarantee the cash merchants collect is held in a secure device and contractually insured. It mirrors the benefits of card payments so customers can have the cash the device confirms immediately in their Santander bank account.”

March 19, 2021

On the web

Cash Is Most Dominant in Romania, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria and Ukraine

PaymentsSource

“Despite digital payment advancements and the availability of mobile wallets in most countries, cash remains a prominent payment form — especially in Romania, where 78% of transactions are still made with cash. Romania tops a list of top 10 cash-dependent countries across the globe, according to research from Merchant Machine , a U.K.-based organization that performed an in-depth study of each country’s payment methods through 2019 and early 2020, monitoring cash use and ATM placements.”

March 1, 2021

On the wires

Paysafe Partners With RentMoola to Enable US Renters to Pay Rent Online With Cash

“Paysafe, a leading integrated payments platform, today announced its expanded partnership with RentMoola, the North American online rent payment platform. Building on its long-standing payment processing partnership with Paysafe, RentMoola has now added the company’s Paysafecash™ eCash alternative payment method to better serve U.S. tenants whose payment preference is cash.”

ACI Worldwide and InComm Payments Partner to Digitize Cash Payments, Driving Financial Inclusion Amid the Pandemic

ACI Worldwide (NASDAQ: ACIW), a leading global provider of real-time digital payment software and solutions , and InComm Payments , a leading global payments technology company, today announced a partnership that will digitize cash payments through the use of a barcode payment token, making it easier for consumers to pay bills. For some consumers, such as the unbanked or underbanked populations, cash payments are essential. With ACI Speedpay and InComm Payments’ VanillaDirect Pay, consumers will follow the account provider’s process to get a barcode printed, scanned from a website, or sent to their phone via text or through ACI’s moBills digital wallet feature.”

February 19, 2021

On the web

Cash-Loving Japan Shifts From Banknotes in Boost for Lenders

Bloomberg

“The coronavirus pandemic has encouraged more cash-loving Japanese to move away from banknotes and coins, giving a boost for banks in their drive toward digitalization, the industry’s lobby group chief said. “A trend toward cashless payments, which so far progressed gradually, has picked up speed during the pandemic,” Kanetsugu Mike, chairman of the Japanese Bankers Association, said at a news briefing on Thursday. “The banking industry would like to actively work toward going cashless.””

February 1, 2021

On the web

Don’t Bank on Covid-19 Killing Off Cash Just Yet

Wall Street Journal

“Peter Coffey, an advertising copywriter, has used cash just once since the Covid-19 pandemic started—to buy a used car. When the health crisis began, he set up his smartphone’s tap-to-pay function with a credit card. “Some places weren’t accepting cash. I just got into the habit of never even thinking about cash,” he said. Mr. Coffey, 28 years old, who is working remotely from Tucson, Ariz., said he expects to continue using touchless payment technologies after the pandemic.”

January 28, 2021

On the web

Thieves Target ATMs Flush With Cash During Covid-19

Wall Street Journal

“Attempts to break into ATMs and steal cash more than doubled in the U.S. last year, as some criminals took advantage of civil unrest in cities and others targeted the larger-than-usual amounts of cash stocked in machines when banks closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, ATM security companies said.”

January 27, 2021

On the web

Cash Machine Use Fell 38% in 2020 Due to Covid Contact Fears

The Guardian

“A sharp fall in cash machine usage last year has prompted a warning that more ATMs could end up being closed or imposing fees. Link , the UK’s largest cash machine network, said its latest data showed there was a 38% decline in ATM transactions in 2020, caused in large part by the coronavirus crisis.”

January 21, 2021

On the web

France to Shut Almost 40% of Cash-Handling Centers

Bloomberg

“The Bank of France will shut down more than a third of its cash handling centers by the end of 2022 as the Covid-19 pandemic accelerates a decline in the use of notes and coins.    Operations will cease at 14 of the 37 centers that stock currency and replace damaged notes and coins. The central bank estimates the network would be 40% underused if it remained as expansive as it is now.”

January 19, 2021

On the web

More Than a Third of UK Shoppers Blocked From Paying With Cash in Covid-19 Crisis

The Guardian

“More than a third of shoppers have been blocked from paying with cash since the start of the Covid crisis, prompting calls for urgent action to protect the millions who rely on the UK’s “critically endangered” cash network. The consumer group Which? said mixed messages about the safety of cash was partly to blame. The Bank of England has since clarified that “any risk from handling cash should be low”, especially when compared with touching shopping baskets, self-checkout screens or products in stores.”

December 15, 2020

On the web

China central bank urges wider acceptance of cash as payments go digital

Reuters

“China’s central bank has called for wider acceptance of cash in economic activities and vowed to punish those who refuse to accept cash payments in the wake of a widening gap in access to digital services. China’s online payments via barcodes and third-party payment apps such as Ant Group’s Alipay and Tencent Holdings’ Tenpay have gained in popularity over the years on government policies to promote innovation.”

On the wires

December 10, 2020

On the web

Coin shortage persists ahead of holiday shopping rush

American Banker (paywall)

“Coins have been creeping back into circulation after a shortage earlier in the year — brought on by the coronavirus pandemic — left banks and retailers scrambling to make change for customers. But while the situation is improving, some members of a federal task force that assembled this summer to get coins back into empty tills are worried about a persistent lack of supply as the busy holiday shopping season kicks into gear.”