Visa expands public transit program to encourage contactless fare collection

Visa expands public transit program to encourage contactless fare collection

Visa and Chase unveiled tap-to-pay technology at the OMNY New York mass transit pilot.

Visa said that 100 partners are now enrolled in its Visa Ready for Transit program, which gives public transit agencies access to the latest technologies that will help convert local bus, subway and commuter train systems to accept tap-and-pay fare collection. 

The tap-to-pay system helps customers save time that fare collection cards require during monthly reloads or standing in line to purchase tickets for a daily commute. 

Visa said it has helped upgrade at least 60 new transit projects in the past year alone and it is seeing a 40% increase in fare adoption. 

“Transit riders around the world are embracing the speed, security and convenience of traveling with contactless payments, and transit agencies have taken note,” Nick Mackie, global head of urban mobility at Visa, said in a company release. “We are encouraged by the continued growth of Visa Ready for Transit as a key part of accelerating the delivery of contactless travel solutions by giving transit agencies access to Visa certified solutions while helping partners maximize their investments.”

In New York, for example, contactless fare conversion has resulted in about 3 million tap-and-pay transactions since the pilot launched at the end of May when the OMNY transit pilot launched. The pilot is testing subway service between Grand Central Station and downtown Brooklyn as well as Staten Island bus service. 

Cover image: Visa. 

Topics: Card Brands, Mobile/Digital Wallet, Mobile Payments

Companies: Visa

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Starling Bank launches business euro and dual currency accounts

Starling Bank launches business euro and dual currency accounts

Starling Bank, a U.K.-based digital bank, announced a business euro account and has gone live with a dual currency account that allows business and personal customers to spend directly in euros or British pounds from the same debit card. 

In order to start using the new Euro Card feature, business and personal account holders must open a euro account. The existing debit card can be switched on inside the app to operate in either pounds or euros. 

Founder and CEO Ann Boden said the new features go a long way towards making Starling Bank a truly international, 24/7 service. 

“A single card that can buy things in both euros and pounds is long overdue and something we know our customers will value both in their personal and business lives,” Boden said in a company release. “Businesses of all sizes have customers spread across different countries. Our new business euro account will make a huge difference to these type of business customers, who are regularly carrying out international transactions whilst operating on a tight budget.”

Starling said the new account will help its 77,000 business customers conduct transactions across the Euro zone and help reduce currency exchange costs. The business account is designed to help customers that need to do the following: 

  • Pay overseas suppliers.
  • Get payment from customers in the Euro zone.
  • Rent out European property as a business.
  • Get payment for services in euros as a self-employed contractor.

For customers that conduct a lot of business in euros, the account also helps reduce rate exchange risk, according to the bank. The company notes that unlike similar products from other banks there are no fees for euro-to-euro transactions.

Both new and existing Starling business account holders can open a business euro account and customers can transfer funds from their business account to their business euro account with a single tap on the mobile app. 

A monthly charge of two British pounds ($2.58) per month will be charged for the business euro account and transfers to the account are made at the prevailing rate, plus a 0.4% fee. 

Lastly, Starling said it is extending its international currency transfer service to weekends, allowing customers using the Starling app to convert currency 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Cover image: Starling.



Topics: Mobile Apps, Mobile Banking, Region: EMEA

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Financial Organisations Must Wake Up to the True Value of Passwordless and Biometric Authentication

UniCredit has revealed a data breach resulting in the leak
of information belonging to three million customers. This marks the
third occasion that their customer account data has been lifted by

In July 2017, the Italian global Bank said hackers had accessed
client data in two separate attacks, in September and October 2016,
affecting 400,000 customers. Considering 81% of all data breaches
are from compromised passwords, financial organisations need to
turn to passwordless solutions and take a strategic approach to
implement multi-factor authentication based on biometrics. This
redefined strong authentication for the digital age is truly a
business differentiator.

Cybersecurity has thus far failed to keep up with the rapid rate
of digital demands and technology transformation. Turning a
security transformation to meet the expectations of the target
audience into a business differentiator is the goal. As
organisations take on the challenge of ensuring a high level of
security whilst improving user experience, more firms are
recognising that a mobile-first strategy builds consumer adoption
and confidence quickly. Utilising consumer accepted technologies
such as biometrics is a key part of an authentication strategy that
migrates from legacy to disruptive innovation.

Leveraging widely adopted consumer technology, both through
device possession and digital identity using biometrics, along with
a vision that uses implicit artificial intelligence such as
location and behaviour will deliver a continuous authentication
model meeting the digital and cybersecurity requirements. Consumers
expect a passwordless user experience that offers the highest
levels of safety without risk of cyber breach through compromise or
phishing but differentiates through the excellence of digital user
experience comments Jason Tooley. 

Turning a security transformation to meet the expectations of
the target audience into a business differentiator is the goal.

Jason Tooley, Chief Revenue Officer at Veridium comments:
“Eliminating the password from user authentication is more easily
achieved with the adoption of a multi-factor approach using a
combination of possession, biometrics and artificial intelligence.
However, to view solely biometric authentication in isolation is
myopic and overlooks the wider opportunity. The role of biometrics
is not to just replace passwords, but to create a verifiable
Digital ID that businesses and governments can use to improve user
experience, productivity, and security.” 

“The native biometrics used by many organisations are not
secure enough in isolation and replay passwords, defeating the
object of transitioning to passwordless. Native biometrics were
designed for ease of access and convenience rather than
multi-factor authentication using digital ID. Organisations will
see the greatest value in incorporating a multi-factor approach
that includes cutting edge behavioural biometrics, adding quality
and strength through intelligence such as location and unique

Jason continues: “Organisations who point to security breaches
as a reason to avoid biometrics should look at innovation
associated with encrypting the biometric data with techniques such
as sharding or visual cryptography, which renders the sensitive
biometric data unusable to the hacker. These concerns are to do
with storage decisions, not the technology itself.”

The post Financial
Organisations Must Wake Up to the True Value of Passwordless and
Biometric Authentication
appeared first on The Fintech Times.

TransPecos Banks Goes Live with Nymbus to Support BankMD

TransPecos Banks has gone live on Nymbus’ SmartLaunch
solution to outsource the infrastructure and operations of its
digital-only subsidiary brand, BankMD,
Alex Hamilton of Fintech Futures, Finovate’s sister

Nymbus will provide onboarding, internet banking, and mobile
banking for BankMD, which was founded with the intention of serving
medical professionals in the state of Texas.

“We are dedicated to creating specialized products and a
service culture that meets physicians’ unique needs and
demands,” said Dub Sutherland, vice president and secretary of
TransPecos Financial Corporation.

Sutherland adds that Nymbus was the only technology partner
which took on BankMD’s concept to “bring it to life.”
SmartLaunch eliminated the need for the bank to undergo a
technology transformation, he said.

SmartLaunch is a banking-as-a-service product provided by Nymbus
to stand up banks in a short time. The vendor claims it can do so
in just 90 days.

The process involves the outsourcing of a bank’s entire
operations to a team working within Nymbus. The platform also
utilizes Nymbus’ SmartCore banking system.

“Launching a niche, standalone digital experience has gained
tremendous momentum as an opportunity for financial institutions to
compete and grow revenue,” said David Mitchell, president of

Other users of the Nymbus SmartLaunch platform include Centier
Bank and Pacific National Bank.

NYMBUS, which demoed
at FinovateFall last month, also offers a SmartBanking product that
includes solutions focused on core, marketing, digital, payments,
and services. Since it was founded in 2015, the company has raised
$33.4 million and made three acquisitions, including
R.C. Olmstead
KMR, and Sharp

The post
TransPecos Banks Goes Live with Nymbus to Support BankMD

appeared first on Finovate.

97% of Merchants are Already Looking to Leverage PSD2, Despite Further Delays

This month, the European Banking Authority (EBA) announced an 18-month delay to the implementation of Strong Customer Authentication (SCA). However, the delay to PSD2 – which follows UK FCA’s own delay in August – seems to have come too late to harm merchants’ appetite for Open Banking Solutions.

Having already implemented the necessary technical fixes, many are now turning their focus from SCA compliance activities to the benefits that PSD2 can offer. Could this mean that businesses are finally turning to the capabilities of Open Banking Payment methods?

The Open Banking World Series report from Nuapay, a Sentenial Service, suggests that merchants are emphatically ready to implement Open Banking initiatives. 79% of the 100 senior finance, payments and product professionals from industries including commercial aviation, supermarket retail and the subscription economy surveyed, said they were certain their company is planning to use Open Banking services and are ready to do so.

The report asked businesses when they expected to implement Open Banking initiatives. A striking 97% of merchants expected to implement initiatives within the next year. Of these, 56% expected to do so within 6 months. The findings show that the UK is at a tipping point when it comes to Open Banking implementation.

And data from the OBIE backs this up. After languishing at only a few thousand transactions per month until the start of the year, PIS payments have started accelerating – growing at 70% per month for the last 6 month. In August alone they grew 141% to more than 450,000 transactions. While this remains small in the scheme of total online payments, it demonstrates that Open Banking payments are now being used at scale in live environments.   

One of the potential drivers in this growing take up is the improvement in customer experience for Open Banking payments. 87% of merchants surveyed indicated that the customer experience is important to their organisation, and improving the customer experience has been a major focus of recent updates in Open Banking. 

Over the last 7 months all major banks in the UK have rolled out their “App to app” payment experiences. This means for users making Open Banking payments on their smartphone, the payment will automatically open your mobile banking App and ask you to authenticate the transaction with your biometrics, without any data entry needed whatsoever. 

Of course, this is still only the start. While more and more merchants are starting to adopt Open Banking payments, 76% of them believe implementing Open Banking will be a challenge. 

However, the survey found that rather than viewing Open Banking as a compliance exercise, merchants see it as an opportunity to compete and innovate. 86% of the merchants that are rolling out Open Banking or are considering its use say they are ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ confident that they will realise the opportunities of Open Banking in their organisations. Indeed, to date, there are more than 80 third party providers registered with the FCA to provide payment services or data capabilities. 

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Ally Bank CMO: Virtual reality is a personal finance teaching tool

Ally Bank just closed out a personal finance experiment using
storied board game Monopoly as a launch pad for financial literacy.
Earlier this month, Ally Bank launched the Ally + Monopoly game,
which allowed customers and potential clients to engage with the
brand through a digital version of the popular board game. The move
aligns […]

Become raises $12.5m to be the ‘Expedia of small business lending’

Small business lending marketplace Become announced Tuesday that it raised $10 million in Series A capital to grow its platform. Benson Oak Ventures and Magenta Venture led the round, while RIO Ventures Holdings, iAngels and Entrée Capital participated. Viola Credit provided an extra $2.5 million in debt. Eden Amirav, Become CEO and co-founder, told Bank …Read More

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Hong Kong regulator imposes new terms and conditions on virtual asset fund managers

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in Hong Kong has published pro forma terms and conditions which will be imposed on SFC-licensed virtual asset fund managers as a condition of their licence. All virtual asset fund managers will now be subject to the pro forma set of terms and conditions, subject to minor variations depending on individual business models and circumstances.


The SFC announced back in November 2018 a regulatory framework which would apply to SFC licensed firms which managed, or planned to manage, funds which included virtual assets. As part of this framework, the SFC is imposing terms and conditions on such “virtual asset fund managers” as a condition of their licence. It has now released the pro forma set of terms and conditions on its website.

The SFC intends for all virtual asset fund managers to meet the same standards, subject only to minor variations depending on individual business models and circumstances. This is regardless of whether the assets invested in amount to securities or futures. The aim is to ensure a consistent and high level of investor protection.

The introduction of the regulatory framework last year is not an attempt to bring all virtual assets into the SFC’s regulatory perimeter, but rather to create an enhanced set of rules for SFC licensed firms who are dealing with unregulated instruments, such as virtual assets, in addition to their activities involving regulated instruments.

What constitutes a “virtual asset fund manager”?

To fall within this definition, a firm must:

  • be licensed by the SFC;
  • manage a fund, or portion of a fund, that invests in virtual assets; and
  • either (a) have a stated fund investment objective to invest in virtual assets or (b) intend for a fund to invest 10% or more of its gross asset value in virtual assets.

The SFC has a wide definition for “virtual assets”, which covers “digital representations of value which may be in the form of digital tokens (such as digital currencies, utility tokens or security or asset-backed tokens), any other virtual commodities, crypto assets or other assets of essentially the same nature, irrespective of whether they amount to “securities” or “futures contracts” as defined under the [Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO)]”.

What is covered by the terms and conditions?

Many of the terms and conditions set out standards and requirements that firms which are licensed by the SFC will recognise and adhere to already, albeit that the focus is on virtual asset funds and virtual asset fund managers. The areas covered include:

  • General principles: these are similar to those in the SFC’s Code of Conduct for Licensed Persons and include, for example, principles on honesty, conflicts of interest, disclosure and senior management responsibility.
  • Organisation and structure: these include requirements to maintain effective compliance, organisation and resources, AML/CTF safeguards, risk management and audit.
  • Fund management: these include requirements around liquidity, operating the fund and managing transactions for the fund and custody (which includes a requirement for the fund managers to assess the most appropriate custodial arrangement for holding the fund’s virtual assets, e.g. independent custodian or self-custody, host locations, use of hot or cold wallets).
  • Dealing with the fund and fund investors: these relate to marketing (for example, only professional investors may invest in virtual asset funds), provision of information to clients and fees, commissions and rebates.
  • Reporting to the SFC: any actual or suspected material non-compliance with the terms and conditions should be reported to the SFC as soon as possible.
What happens if a firm fails to comply?

A failure to comply will be treated as misconduct under the SFO, which will reflect adversely on the fund manager’s fitness and properness, and could result in disciplinary action by the SFC. However, the SFC has said that it will take a pragmatic approach, taking into account all relevant circumstances, including the size of the virtual asset fund manager, and any compensatory measures implemented by its senior management.

What now?

The terms and conditions are already in use by the SFC. Firms are required to inform the SFC if they plan to manage portfolios that involve virtual assets. The SFC will review the plan and if it believes the firm can meet the regulatory expectations, it will impose the terms and conditions on the firm (with any necessary variations). If the firm does not accept those terms and conditions, it will not be permitted to manage portfolios that involve virtual assets.

Australia’s Trade Ledger Chalks Up Another European Win

Jessica Ellerm is a thought leader specializing in Small Business and the Gig Economy and is the CEO and Co-Founder of Zuper, a neowealth disruptor in Australia.

Aussie trade finance startup Trade Ledger is one of a handful of Aussie fintechs chalking up success after success offshore, especially in Europe. Last year the company won Barclay’s Open Innovation Challenge, and just this week it was announced UK VC fund Hambro Perks had led a £1.5M investment into the lend-tech business. According to the company’s press release, the funds will be used to further accelerate revenue growth for the business.

That revenue growth comes in the form of deep partnerships with global banks and alternative finance providers, helping to automate their commercial lending processes, no doubt ensuring they are competitive and agile in an increasingly tech enabled lending environment. Europe is a key focus for Trade Ledger, who established headquarters in London last year.

Trade Ledger isn’t the only local lend-tech business to have found appetite in the Northern Hemisphere. Aussie SME lender Waddle has partnered with Royal Bank of Scotland, who is now in the process of rolling out the Waddle platform across its UK business, under the brand name NatWest Rapid Cash.

Given Australia’s condensed banking market, looking towards Europe can be a sound commercial strategy for a local fintech, not only to increase revenues, but to build credibility back home. The UK is certainly well advanced compared to the local market, and has benefitted from earlier adoption of regulatory and structural changes, such as Open Banking. All these learnings can eventually be imported back to Australia.

There is also the possibility many of these global players, who choose partnerships with Aussie fintechs, may eventually use them to passport back into the market here, catching our local banks unaware. It’s a long shot, but not entirely improbable. One thing local fintechs have struggled with in Australia is building deep enough war-chests to compete head on with the major banks. Banks of the ilk of RBS certainly don’t have that issue.

Deep Learning Is Overtaking Classic Machine Learning Methods, Study Finds

Peltarion, leading AI innovator and creator of an operational deep learning platform, and AI Knowledge Network CognitionX, organiser of the CogX festival of AI and emerging technology, today released a new study based on research and interviews with other AI industry leaders across Europe – such as Amazon, Google, DeepMind, and JP Morgan.

The report “Deep Learning: Opportunities and Best Practice” provides insight that deep learning is overtaking more classic machine learning methods. However, several challenges remain; cost, complexity, and skills still need to be solved to enable market growth.

The study is intended to serve as a primer for those with limited knowledge of deep learning, and a guide for those with more experience. The report gives an understanding about deep learning, where its moving, and best practices from the field.

“We believe there are about 10,000 people in the world who really understand deep learning.”

Tabitha Goldstaub, Co-Founder of CognitionX comments: “At a time when so many organisations are debating the risks and rewards of using AI, I’m thrilled to see this report give some practical guidance to businesses on where deep learning can be applied, along with options on how to deliver this technology and some pointers on where the technique will go in the future. This is a good starting point for business leaders who are thinking about adopting AI.”

The report shares a brief history of AI in general and deep learning more specifically. It includes case stories of real-world applications from different verticals. Among them, you will find stories about:

  • Pattern-recognition in healthcare diagnostics
  • Real-time prediction of fraudulent transactions
  • Automation of complex tasks in manufacturing workflows

However, a few challenges still need to be solved for deep learning to meet its full potential. The report states “As with any large-scale IT project, deep learning projects often fail due to factors such as complexity, failure to clearly define requirements and lack of proper communication between business and technical teams.” And these challenges get even worse when tools are expensive and complex to use, if your data is not in order, and if you lack talent in your team.

According to report contributor, Scott Penberthy, Director of Applied AI at Google: “We believe there are about 10,000 people in the world who really understand deep learning. There are about 100,000 deep learning practitioners and a million data scientists.”

The study is intended to serve as a primer for those with limited knowledge of deep learning, and a guide for those with more experience.

Deep learning expert Luka Crnkovic-Friis, Co-Founder and CEO of Peltarion, argues that for deep learning to reach its full potential, it needs to be operationalised: “AI and deep learning will save millions of lives and improve the lives of billions. The technology will fundamentally impact health, food production, energy, business and creativity.

But if the true potential of AI and deep learning is going to be reached, it needs to be practically accessible by innovators across the world – the many, not just the few. One of the suggested routes to making deep learning more accessible is via a platform model, which simplifies and automates many tasks and provides the capability for managing the end-to-end DL workflow in one place, with an easier transition to running these models in live production environments.”

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Varo crosses 1 million customers, with plans to become a bank by 2020

Digital banking brand Varo has 1 million customers, and is pushing ahead with plans to become a nationally-chartered bank early next year, CEO Colin Walsh told Bank Innovation Tuesday.

The four-year-old company received conditional approval for a national bank charter from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in August, a process it initiated in 2017. Securing approval from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has been more challenging for Varo, but Walsh said the company is making encouraging progress.

“The [FDIC application] process is going quite well,” he said. “Once we have FDIC approval and OCC approval, then we’ll go to the Federal Reserve to set up a bank holding company. We’ll be looking to open the bank in the first half of next year.”

The company applied for federal deposit insurance from the FDIC in 2016; it subsequently withdrew its application in 2018 to meet FDIC conditions, including key hires, policies, procedures and technology requirements, Walsh explained. In addition, Varo previously told Bank Innovation that it was talking to regulators about its Community Reinvestment Act plans.

See also: Varo’s FDIC application tests uncharted territory

Varo offers checking accounts, savings accounts and installment loans. Becoming a nationally-chartered bank will help Varo differentiate through an expansion of its product suite, said Walsh. Like other digital-only banks, Varo intends to grow relationships with customers through multiple product relationships and integrations with other platforms. According to the company, 60% of its customers have more than one product relationship with the brand.

“There are things that we will be able to do across a broader set of products — including credit, deposits, cash flow, savings and lending — much more seamlessly as a national bank,” noted Walsh.  “[It includes] things we will be able to do with our data, and the whole basic banking experience.” With a banking charter, Varo will be able to deliver a more comprehensive group of offerings, including joint accounts, wire transfers, money market accounts and certificates of deposit, he added.

Varo also seeks to set itself apart from competitors on product design. Asked about the company’s decision to pull back on a savings goals feature earlier this year, Walsh emphasized that Varo doesn’t want to impose the same personal finance solution on all of its customers.

Instead, it plans to roll out a personalized app experience based on data. “We have fairly rich information on customers that allows us to use notifications like alerts and email, even the sort of the welcoming experience when you come into the app,” he said. “It’s about how to welcome you in a way that is much more about you and what we know about you. Over time, you’ll start to see Varo using its data in interesting and sophisticated new ways.”

Bank Innovation Build, on Nov. 6-7 in Atlanta, helps attendees understand how to “do” innovation better. It is designed to offer best practices, to guide the innovation professional to better results. Register here Lands Funding to Power Digital Invoicing for SMEs in Indonesia

Invoice and accounting SaaS solution announced a fresh round of funding this week, closing a Series A investment from Golden Gate Ventures and Modalku.

The exact amount of the round was undisclosed, though the company mentioned the funds total “billions of Rupiah” (one billion Rupiah equals just under $71,500). will use the funds to expand its SME client base within Indonesia.

“The pervasive problem of collecting and slow cash flow may not be solvable in the short term. In this digital era, however, SME’s need to be educated to understand their cash flow and business performance with a system that is easy to use,” said CEO Jeremy Limman. “With, business owners can create an electronic invoice with their favorite device…”

Jeremy Limman and Yosia Sugialam co-founded in 2017 to help Indonesia-based SMEs manage their business finances by moving their invoicing processes to the digital realm. Using the freemium product, business owners can keep track of receivables, generate cash flow reports, and receive payments digitally.

The company also announced today that it is working with Bank of Negara Indonesia (BNI) to help launch Yap!, a QR code payment tool that enables business users to allow their clients to pay their invoices by taking a picture of a QR code. “Every invoice that is sent by will include a QR Code that customers can directly pay using Yap! application,” said Idi Priadi Wibawa, Assistant Vice President of Internet Banking & e-Commerce Business at BNI. “Together with, we are working together to make it easier for business owners to digitalize their business process, from sending their invoice to receiving payment with their digital payment solution.”

Limman and Sugialam demoed at FinovateFall 2018 in New York, showing how the company’s Supply Chain Financing helps banks offer businesses invoice financing in real time.’s users, which number in “the thousands,” have sent more than 30,000 invoices digitally using’s platform.

Chile's Transbank, AEVI to pilot mobile payment, loyalty apps for merchants, restaurants

Chile's Transbank, AEVI to pilot mobile payment, loyalty apps for merchants, restaurants

Transbank S.A., a payments provider in Chile, announced an agreement with AEVI that the companies say will enable omnichannel experiences for customers at retailers and restaurants inside the country. 

Transbank will initially provide smart payment devices for merchants, including a point-of-sale and loyalty app, under a pilot program that is scheduled to begin Nov. 20, with 10 merchants in the capital of Santiago. The majority of the merchants will be in the restaurant industry. 

The companies are planning a soft launch of the program by the end of January 2020, when Transbank will bring specific apps and services for specific types of merchants. 

“Transbank will continue to lead merchant payments as the demand for new digital and connected commerce grows,” Richardo Blumel, manager, division marketing and development at Transbank, said in a company release. “AEVI’s open platform for next generation acquiring services gives us the flexibility to choose innovative partners relevant to our clients and rapidly bring their solutions to market in a secure environment.”

Transbank has been the sole merchant acquirer and card issuer for Chile’s banks for decades, where it was responsible for working with 170,000 merchants. However, a series of reforms were announced in April, designed to promote technological innovation. 

Cover image: AEVI.

Topics: Mobile Apps, Mobile Payments, POS, Region: Americas, Restaurants, Retail, Technology Providers, Transaction Processing

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Uber unveils Uber Money to improve driver benefits, reward loyalty

Uber unveiled its long anticipated foray into the fintech business, announcing Uber Money as a series of mobile applications and credit products that will enhance the working conditions of its drivers, while also rewarding customers who frequent the ride sharing service. 

Peter Hazelhurst, who leads the payments business at Uber, unveiled the initiative at the Money 2020 conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday and also outlined the product line in a blogpost.

The Uber Money service will provide drivers with real-time access to their earned income through the Uber Debit account, which will credit drivers with updated earnings collected during every trip instead of making them wait for weekly checks. 

“Uber Money is a consolidation of previous efforts in the financial services area by Uber, including attempts at cash advances and credit cards,” Nick Maynard, lead analyst at Juniper Research, told Mobile Payments Today via email. “By offering instant payments for drivers, it means that its large driver pool will be able to access funds much quicker, which will improve conditions and incentivise drivers to continue working with Uber, rather than moving to competing platforms.” 

Maynard said the broader move into financial services, including its branded credit card, will allow Uber to capitalize on its ecosystem of customers to add additional revenue streams and strengthen its customer relationships. 

Uber is also updating the  no-fee Uber Debit Account, backed by Green Dot, to integrate seamlessly with the Uber Driver app. The updated Uber Debit Card will provide 3% cash back rewards on gas and up to 6% for the highest tier of Uber Pro drivers. 

Uber also announced the Uber Wallet, which allows users to track their spending and earning history and manage their money. The Uber Wallet will be available in the Uber App within a few weeks and eventually get integrated into the Uber and Uber Eats apps as well. 

Lastly, Uber is relaunching the Uber Credit Card, its flagship consumer card with Barclays. Cardholders will get 5% back for spending on the Uber platform, including purchases on Uber Rides, Uber Eats, Jump bikes with scooters and even helicopter rides to JFK International Airport from Manhattan. 

The Uber Money effort addresses a couple of issues for the ride sharing company, which is facing a move by California regulators to reclassify independent contractors as company employees across multiple types of companies. The legislation threatens to radically change the economics for ride sharing companies, restaurants, publishers and multiple types of business that rely on gig workers and freelancers. 

Uber, Lyft and other ride sharing firms have faced years of pushback from local regulators, unions and their own workers seeking what they perceive as more equitable treatment for the work that they do. In one of the more high profile countermeasures by workers, Uber was hit several years ago by a wildcat job action by drivers at JFK airport . 

Uber is taking a page from so-called super apps like Grab Pay, WeChat Pay and Alipay, which operate in Asian markets with different combinations of ride sharing, fintech, social media, food delivery and economic inclusion. 

In May, rival Lyft announced a co-branded Mastercard that provided immediate access to funds for drivers, cash back on purchases and other perks.

Cover image: Uber.

Valyou Case Study: On a mission to empower migrant workers
Valyou Case Study: On a mission to empower migrant workersPublication Type:
Case Study

Published / Updated:

Valyou committed to being an innovative mobile financial service operator to achieve their objectives and at the same time, has helped the migrant worker population in Malaysia take control of their money, by digitally fixing the gaps in their current model.

Find out how with the first year of their platform launch, Valyou saw 66% growth in their customer base, and now entering its third year of operation, has never had a moment of downtime.

The Telepin platform lets customers add new functionality and services to keep pace with the mobile digital economy demand, industry trends, and the growing financial needs of mobile users. Telepin’s customer base includes successful deployments with tier-one mobile and telecommunications operators in the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas. With more than 256 million subscribers and more than a million merchants, Telepin has securely processed more than 10 billion transactions— a number that grows daily.

Telepin Software

Who needs a bank when you have a phone? Telepin provides mobile payment solutions that fit the needs of mobile operators and their customers.

Visit Company Showcase »

How retailers use AR, VR and 3D to enhance product visualization
How retailers use AR, VR and 3D to enhance product visualizationPublication Type:
White Paper

Published / Updated:

The adage that a picture is worth a thousand words is ancient, but its application is more relevant than ever to e-commerce retailers: high-quality product images can increase conversions and decrease returns in nearly every vertical.

Luckily, software now makes it possible to create visual content more easily and inexpensively than ever. And that content is no longer limited to static images: today’s retailers can offer shoppers augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and 3D experiences to help customers understand their offerings move through the purchasing process.

Venmo launches cashback rewards program with major retailers

Venmo launches cashback rewards program with major retailers

Venmo, the P2P platform from PayPal, is launching its first-ever rewards program that pays cash back to customers when they use their card at participating merchants, including Target, Dunkin’ and Chevron stations, according to a blogpost

The limited time rewards will be offered by new retailers after existing offers expire and the rewards cash will automatically be deposited back into customer accounts. 

Venmo users can track their earned rewards in the ‘my feed’ section of the mobile app and choose the share the rewards from featured merchants in the Venmo feed. 

Among the cashback rewards, purchases at these retailers are paying back the following:

Cashback rewards of 5% at Target, Sephora, Chevron, Papa Johns and more.

Cashback rewards of 4% back at Dunkin’, Sam’s Club.

PayPal uses the Dosh Holdings Inc. cash-back platform to manage the Venmo program. 

 Cover image: Venmo. 

Topics: In-App Payments, Loyalty Programs, Mobile Apps, Mobile/Digital Wallet, POS, Retail

Companies: Venmo, PayPal

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Discover Bank launches Zelle P2P service for checking, savings customers

Discover Bank launches Zelle P2P service for checking, savings customers

Discover Bank said that its checking, savings or money market customers can now use Zelle P2P payments through its mobile app and online center. 

Zelle, a P2P service from Early Warning Systems, allows consumers and businesses to send and request money to almost anyone with a bank account. The funds are transferred immediately and the only personal information required are an email address or mobile number. 

“Giving Discover Bank customers the ability to send and receive money between friends and family is a natural extension of our commitment to offer a seamless, full service digital banking experience,” Ram Subramanian, vice president of deposits at Discover, said in a company release. “We are continually listening to what our customers say and are excited to offer Zelle to improve their banking experience.”


Topics: Card Brands, Mobile Apps, Mobile Banking, Mobile Payments, Money Transfer / P2P

Companies: Discover Financial Services

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Starbucks named first launch partner for Bakkt consumer crypto rollout in 2020

Bakkt Trust Co., a digital asset company that uses bitcoin, announced that Starbucks will be the first launch partner for a consumer app that it plans to debut during the first half of 2020.

Mike Blandina, chief product officer at Bakkt, announced the plans in a Medium post yesterday as the company unveiled plans for the rollout during the Money 2020 conference in Las Vegas. 

The consumer app will be unveiled as a way to let consumers conduct transactions with digital currency. 

“As the flagship retailer, Starbucks will play a pivotal role in developing practical, trusted applications for consumers to convert their digital assets into U.S. dollars for use at Starbucks,” Maria Smith, vice president, partnerships and payments at Starbucks, said in a post regarding the announcement. “As a leader in mobile pay to our more than 15 million Starbucks Rewards members, Starbucks is committed to innovation for expanding payment options for our customers.”

Topics: Bitcoin, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Loyalty Programs, Mobile Apps, Mobile/Digital Wallet, Mobile Payments, Restaurants, Retail

Companies: Starbucks

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Blend expands digital lending products to include consumer auto financing

Blend expands digital lending products to include consumer auto financing

Blend customers will now be able to finance car purchases or refinance existing loans through the company’s mobile app.

Blend, a San Francisco-based digital lending platform, said it is expanding its product line into auto loans, marking further expansion of its consumer product line following moves to add home equity loans, HELOCs and deposit accounts earlier this year. 

Blend earlier this year completed a pilot program with a $38 billion bank in the Midwest and the results showed a three-fold increase in completed applications and a 10% increase in approval rates using Blend’s technology, according to a company release. 

“We’re excited to roll out our auto financing product to help lenders enhance the level of service and experience they provide to customers,” Olivia Teich, head of product at Blend, said in a company release. “Blend’s technology uses verified data to eliminate steps and the passing around of documents, streamlining the application process for consumers and reducing origination costs.”

Blend said it processes more than $2 billion in consumer loans and mortgages per day and works with a range of banks and financial institutions, including Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank and others. 

Cover image: Blend.


Topics: Mobile Apps, Mobile Banking, Technology Providers

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