The Week in Review

The Week in Review

Friday June 19, 2020 –

Here are the new and noteworthy stories we have been following this week.

American Express wins bank card clearing licence for China’s US$27 trillion market

American Express has received approval to start bank card clearing services in China, making it the first foreign payments network to be allowed to process local currency transactions; according to a statement from the People’s Bank of China, Amex  is required to start the clearing service within six months.

Facebook’s WhatsApp brings digital payment to users in Brazil

WhatsApp launched its payment service in Brazil allowing users to send money to individuals or local businesses within a chat; initially the payment service will be available to Visa/Mastercard debit and credit cardholders from Banco do Brasil, Nubank, and Sicredi.

Welcoming the Verse team to Cash App

Square has acquired Verse, a Spanish P2P payments app that allows customers to send and receive payments from friends and family instantly, safely, and free of charge; deal pricing was not disclosed and for the time being Verse will continue to operate as an independent business in Europe.

Tonik raises $21 million to launch digital bank in the Philippines

Philippines based startup Tonik has raised $21 million in a new financing round to launch its digital bank targeted at the Southeast Asian market; Tonik recently received a license to operate a digital bank in the Philippines, and is expected to launch the bank in the third quarter of this year.

SoftBank-Backed Greensill Buys Colombia Fintech to Grow in LatAm

UK-based Greensill Capital a company that provides supply-chain finance is acquiring Colombia-based Omni Latam to speed up growth in Latin America; Omni provides working capital to small and midsize businesses in Colombia and Chile.

UK’s Supreme Court rules against Mastercard, Visa in retailers’ fees battle

The UK’s highest court upheld the finding of the Court of Appeal in July 2018 that the multilateral interchange fees (MIFs) charged within the Visa and Mastercard payment card schemes was an unlawful restriction of both European Union and UK competition law; the ruling opens the door for retailers to go to trial to decide compensation.

African payment startup Chipper Cash raises $13.8M Series A

San Fransisco-based and Africa focused cross-border payments startup Chipper Cash has closed a $13.8 million Series A funding round led by Deciens Capital; Chipper Cash offers its mobile-based, no fee, P2P payment services in seven countries: Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa and Kenya.

Pay by Bank Account? Worldpay from FIS Enables Instant Payments from Your Bank Account through Open Banking Hub

FIS has launched ‘Open Banking Hub’, a new payment solution for its Worldpay merchant clients and their consumers; merchants who enable this digital bank account payment method in their online stores can allow their consumers to pay for purchases directly from their bank account.

InComm partners with American Logistics and Uber Health to launch a new Transportation Benefit Program for Health Plan Members

InComm has partnered with American Logistics and Uber Health to launch a Transportation Benefit Program that will allow Medicare Advantage members to request non-emergency medical transportation using plan-provided benefits; the solution is driven by an OTC Network® benefits card,

European fintechs come together to launch new cross-border organisation

A group of Europe’s fintech companies have launched a new non-profit organisation, the European Fintech Association (EFA) to help create a single financial market within the EU and remove cross-border barriers for financial services; founding members are Raisin, Finleap, Funding Circle, Moneyfarm, N26, and TransferWise.

Payments Giant Wirecard’s Shares Plunge on $2 Billion Audit Deception

Wirecard’s stock crashed after auditors said they could not locate €1.9 billion ($2.1 billion) of the company’s cash; Wirecard delayed publication of its annual report and said its management board was working with its auditor Ernst & Young GmbH to clarify the situation.

Splitit to go global with Mastercard deal

Australia-listed buy now, pay later company Splitit has entered into a multi-year distribution and development partnership with Mastercard; under the arrangement, Spliit’s payment installment software will be integrated with Mastercard’s technology as a network partner.

Industry Leaders Launch PayID, the Universal ID for Payments

A number of technology, finance and nonprofit companies have joined forces to launch PayID’, a universal payment ID to simplify the process of sending and receiving money globally – across any payment network and any currency; the founding companies have developed PayID through the Open Payments Coalition, a multinational alliance of industry leaders.