The Week in Review

The Week in Review

Friday November 22, 2019 –

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

Elavon to acquire Sage Pay for £232 million

Atlanta-based Elavon is acquiring Sage Pay, a payments gateway business for £232 million, further expanding in the UK and Ireland; Sage Pay focuses on the SMB sector and has about 50,000 customers.

Grab announces ride-hailing partnerships in Japan, Middle East

Grab, the Southeast Asia-based app is extending its reach into Japan and the Middle East through partnerships with Splyt Technologies and Careem respectively; customers from Singapore and Philippines can book rides in their native language and make payments via GrabPay.

HSBC Bank USA now offers business clients the ability to send and receive payments in real time

HSBC Bank USA has announced the full launch of real-time payments for its business and institutional clients on the The Clearing House’s RTP® network allowing them to start sending real-time payments; businesses have had the ability to receive real-time payments since July 2019.

Wells Fargo Launches Ability to Send Payments on the RTP® Network

Wells Fargo has extended real-time payments capability for its business customers allowing them send real-time payments through the The Clearing House’s RTP® network via an API; Wells’ retail and business customers have had the ability to receive real-time payments since the end of 2018.

AmEx Is Paying Up to Get Businesses to Accept Its Cards

In an effort to expand its merchant base and achieve parity with Visa/Mastercard, American Express is offering sign-on bonuses to businesses to start accepting AmEx cards; the payments range from under $10,000 to about $450,000.

Alibaba Raises $11 Billion in Biggest Hong Kong Listing Since 2010

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has raised about HK$88 billion ($11.2 billion) in its Hong Kong share sale, marking the biggest equity offering in Hong Kong since 2010; shares will start trading November 26th on the Hong Kong exchange under the ticker 9988.

PayPal to acquire shopping and rewards platform Honey for $4B

PayPal is acquiring Honey Science Corporation, the maker of a deal-finding browser add-on and mobile application, for $4 billion; PayPal hopes to use Honey’s capabilities and functionality to embed itself more deeply in a customers shopping journey and become part of the shopping search and discovery process.

Investors pour almost $400m into African fintech in a week

Nigeria-based Africa focused payments companies have received about $400 million in investment in the past week or so signaling the vast payments and financial services opportunity in the continent; OPay has raised $120 million, PalmPay has raised $40 million, and Visa invested $200 million in Interswitch.

A digital bank that raised $110 million from investors including Leonardo DiCaprio has run into trouble

Aspiration, a digital-only bank with a social message is reportedly having trouble raising new funding and has recently laid off 15% of its workforce and is delaying vendor payments; the funding challenges underscore market concerns around profitability and business model viability of many startups, particularly given recent WeWork issues.

Fintech unicorn Plaid expands further across Europe, launching in Ireland, France and Spain

Plaid is continuing to expand in Europe (beyond the UK) and launching in Ireland, France, and Spain;  the company is looking to support integrations with Irish banks AIB, Ulster Bank, and Bank of Ireland, Spanish banks BBVA, Caixa, and Santander, and French banks BNP Paribas, Societe Genarale, and La Banque Postale.

Galileo Launches Galileo Instant Issuing, Empowering Businesses to Quickly Issue Debit Cards

Galileo has announced Galileo Instant Issuing, a fast and frictionless option for fintechs and other businesses to open bank accounts and issue debit cards; additionally the company has announced a collaboration with Mastercard with the Instant Issuing solution being added to the Mastercard Accelerate program.

India’s Razorpay launches corporate credit cards, current accounts support in major neo banking push

Indian payments company Razorpay is sharpening its focus on serving startups, businesses, merchants, and freelancers; recent announcements including the launch of checking accounts, the acquisition of payroll and HR management software company Opfin, and the issuance of corporate  credit cards with RBL Bank.