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Stalled point of sale credit rules

The U.K. Parliament has rejected a bill that would regulate buy now-pay later firms, which are coming under increased scrutiny following a year of fast growth.

A Labour MP, Stella Creasy, sponsored a bill citing potential debt risk for consumers. BNPL firms have become more popular globally in the past year as merchants look for ways to finance large purchases and consumers seek an alternative to credit card debt during the financial crisis.

But there are movements to curtail the practice. U.K. banking regulators are investigating the BNPL industry and Sweden passed regulations that require options that don’t produce debt to be presented to consumers first. The U.K. bill was designed to speed the regulatory effort.

Under scrutiny

Cryptocurrency researchers and law enforcement agencies are hunting down the sources of a transfer of $500,000 in bitcoin to virtual wallets tied to right-wing organizations, part of a broader U.S. investigation into the recent attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The transfer came in early December, about a month before the attack, with recipients including VDARE and the Daily Stormer, reports Yahoo News. Investigators are looking for ties between the transfers and participants in the attack, or other funding such as providing travel to Washington, though Yahoo reports motivation is difficult to prove. Software company Chainalysis has also been part of the investigation.

In the wake of the attack, several payment processing companies and card networks cut off support for right-wing organizations and outgoing President Trump’s online stores.

New corridor

Ripple will power a direct digital wallet remittance rail between Bangladesh and Malaysia, connecting two of the largest corridors in South Asia.

The blockchain company will connect Malaysia’s Mobile Money and Bangladesh’s bKash via RippleNet, reports Finextra. Mutual Trust Bank will provide settlement.

Malaysia is one of the five largest sources of remittances to Bangladesh, according to Finextra.

New conversation

Digital experience firm Kasisto will integrate its virtual assistant platform into NCR’s technology, covering banking, payments and account management.

The combo will allow NCR to offer customer service and assisted product delivery through a virtual engagement that’s similar to a “real” conversation. NCR hopes to address a trend toward virtual assistants as voice-directed payments and banking become less of a novelty and more mainstream.

NCR has also invested in upgrading its payments and banking technology to rely less on hardware as a revenue source, including a bid to buy ATM operator Cardtronics.

SMB cards

New York-based Valar Ventures has led a $25.5 million round in Moss, a German corporate card startup that uses its own risk engine to offer higher limits.

Moss also provides a panel that tracks expenses, searches for specific payments, manages subscriptions and identifies duplicates, reports TechCrunch. Users can make payments on the Mastercard merchant network.

The startup has issued 1,000 cards, mostly to other startups and technology companies. It hopes the new funding will enable a push to other industries.

From the web

Pizza Hut Hopes Drop Zones Can Help Bring Drone Delivery to Fruition
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL | Monday, January 18, 2021
Pizza Hut Israel is trying a new approach to make pie deliveries by drone a reality at last, but it means customers won’t get the thrill of accepting their orders from futuristic flying machines themselves.

TikTok owner ByteDance launches Douyin Pay, its mobile payment service for China
REUTERS | Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Beijing-based ByteDance launched on Tuesday its third-party payment service for the Chinese version of its hit short video app TikTok, “Douyin Pay”, as it presses to expand into the e-commerce business in China.

Google backs Indian courier startup Dunzo in $40 million fundraising
REUTERS | Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Indian hyperlocal courier startup Dunzo has raised $40 million from existing investor Google and others, it said on Tuesday, after seeing a surge in usage during the COVID-19 pandemic.

More from PaymentsSource

Incremental steady change won’t cut it for payment companies
Payment companies in the near future will need to address the impacts of industry consolidation, pricing pressures, regulation, card based technology solutions, and spotting the proper niche, says moneycorp Americas Bob Dowd.

Payments in 2021: What’s coming, what’s going, and what’s poised for a comeback?
The question is not whether things will magically return to the 2019 status quo. The question is: Where is there still pent-up demand among consumers and merchants?

When rioters attacked the Capitol, these payment companies were quick to respond
The recent attack on the U.S. Capitol building shed light on how much power payment companies have to enable or stifle political violence.

Goldman Sachs to take over General Motors’ credit card business
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. signed a deal to take over General Motors’ credit card portfolio.

E-commerce poses new opportunities for ‘card testing’ attacks
As e-commerce volumes grow, so do opportunities of online fraudulent activities. Card testing in particular has seen a spike in occurrence detected on merchant sites, confirmed in recent merchant monitoring reports by acquiring banks.

As stablecoins gain footing, Circle sees a path to growth
Fresh market interest and government action have created a chance for payment technology providers like Circle to promote blockchain-powered transactions.

Fintechs rise in value but should be prepared for scrutiny

While fintech’s advancement creates a pathway for innovation, it also expands exposure to unintended risk, says Flywire’s Mike Massaro.

Startup goes beyond payments as market demands more digital services
What started as Mezu and went through 18 difficult months competing as a payments offering has now rebranded as Alviere, with a broader range of digital banking services.

Visa: COVID-19 payment habits may be here to stay
Most consumers expect to be offered a variety of digital payment options in stores in a post-COVID-19 world, and small and midsize businesses believe that change will be permanent, a Visa study finds.

(Excerpt) Read more Here | 2021-01-19 05:07:00


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