Visa quarterly earnings rise on strong e-commerce, retail spending

Visa Inc. reported solid earnings growth in the fiscal first quarter, as increased spending in e-commerce and overall retail overcame a slowdown in travel and restaurant spending. 

Visa said earnings rose to 10% to $3.3 billion in the quarter, or $1.46 a share, compared with year-ago figures. Per share earnings were 12% higher for the quarter. Revenue increased 10% to $6.1 billion in the quarter, compared with year ago figures.

“Key business drivers were largely consistent with the fourth quarter, as we expected,” Al Kelly, chairman and CEO of Visa said during the quarterly conference call Thursday with analysts. “For the first time in our history, total network volume was over $3 trillion.”

Payments volume rose 8% for the quarter, while cross-border volume rose 9% for the quarter and 37.8 billion transactions were processed on the Visa network during the quarter, an 11% increase from the year-ago quarter. 

Service revenue rose 9% to $2.6 billion, while data processing revenue rose 16% to $2.9 billion and international transaction revenue grew 9% to $2.0 billion. 

Holiday shopping

Kelly said holiday spending was similar to the 2017 and 2018 holiday seasons, which were both considered strong. 

He said e-commerce grew three to four times faster than non e-commerce spending and that e-commerce drove about one-third of all consumer spending, a 2% increase from a year ago. 

He said retail spending was slightly better than a year ago, fueled mainly by strong e-commerce growth. However he said that restaurant and travel spending went through a slowdown during the period.

Holiday spending in Brazil and Canada were slightly stronger than the year ago, while spending was flat in the U.K., while spending in Australia slowed down slightly. 

A quarter of renewals

Visa renewed an issuing agreement with Capital One as well as an agreement with DKB in Germany, that country’s issuing bank, where it will be issuing new service as a product, Kelly said. It also renewed a multi-year agreement with Royal Bank of Canada regarding credit and debit in 17 countries and territories in the Caribbean market and reached a deal with Santander in Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.

Kelly said the NYC tap-to-pay program is growing strong, with about 350,000 taps per week at the New York City subway and bus stops using contactless. The pilot that launched out of Grand Central Terminal last May recently expanded to Penn Station.

Visa also launched a contactless program in Johannesburg, the first contactless transit system in Africa. 

He noted that spending slowed down in the U.K., with business down during the recent parliamentary elections and the holiday season. 

He said it was too early to understand the full impact of coronavirus in China, but said with airlines withdrawing service and employees staying home, among other issues, there will likely be some impact.

Cover image: iStock 



Starbucks adds 33 markets to delivery route

Starbucks adds 33 markets to delivery route


Starbucks and Uber Eats have added 33 markets to its delivery program, making the service available in 49 markets across 29 U.S. states. New cities include Austin, Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, Nashville, Portland and San Antonio, but plans are in the works to expand to nearly every state in the coming months, according to a company press release.

Using the chain’s mobile app, customers may track progress of their orders, and nearly all core food and beverage items and several seasonal beverages are available from the menu.

In addition to the U.S., Starbucks has launched delivery programs in more than 15 global markets, including Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, the U.K. and Vietnam. Its’s made several investments to its global delivery initiatives, including voice-ordering and delivery capabilities through Alibaba’s delivery platform in China and expanding Starbucks Delivers, in partnership with Uber Eats, most recently in the U.K., U.S. and Canada.

Starbucks first rolled out delivery 18 months ago in Miami.

Although the chain reported this week that fiscal first-quarter earnings beat expectations, it also warned that the ongoing coronavirus spread in China had forced it to temporarily shut down a couple thousand locations in the region. The news also delayed a planned upgrade in earnings guidance for the future.

Topics: In-App Payments, Mobile Payments, Restaurants, Retail

Companies: Uber Eats, Alibaba, Starbucks

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Nationwide Building Society uses contactless smart window to raise funds for homeless

Nationwide Building Society in the U.K. has deployed contactless payment technology to help raise money to fight homelessness.

NBS, the U.K. equivalent of a credit union, and the Bath Business Improvement District, are using smart window technology to raise money for the Good Start Tap to Donate campaign, which helps eradicate homeless in Bath and North East Somerset through the Julian House Good Start Fund. 

“At a time when many people don’t have spare change or may not wish to hand it directly to someone who is homeless, having a contact point in the window of the branch has bridged the gap,” Stephianie Pritchard, branch manager at NBS, said in a press release. “As a branch we are very much here for the community. This novel way of raising money for a fantastic cause is a great example of how technology is playing a role in helping society one tap at a time.”

The system works using a smart window poster that sits next to a cash machine at the Union Street branch of NBS. Customers and other pedestrians may tap to pay a default amount of 3 pounds ($3.93) using a contactless device instead of handing the funds directly to the homeless, who often congregate at the ATM. 

Topics: ATMs, Contactless / NFC, Mobile Payments, Region: EMEA

Companies: Nationwide Building Society

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UK arrests 3 in probe of Malta's Bank of Valletta cyber attack

The National Crime Agency in the U.K. made three arrests in Belfast and London as part of a money-laundering investigation linked to a massive malware attack against Malta’s Bank of Valletta that took place nearly one year ago.  

Two males, aged 17 and 22, were arrested during raids in the West Hempstead and Ladbroke Garden sections of London. On Thursday, a 39-year old male was arrested in Belfast on suspicion of money laundering, fraud and theft. 

“Our 12-month investigation, carried out with the help of the Malta Police Force Economic Crime Unit, has focused on a number of individuals we suspect may have been involved in laundering money on behalf of the organized crime group who carried out the cyber-attack,” NCA Belfast branch commander David Cunningham said, in a release from the agency. 

The attackers stole 13 million Euros ($14.3 million) from Malta’s oldest bank in the February 2019 incident and transferred more than $1 million to other banks around the world, including here in the U.S.

NCA officials said that a spending spree using the stolen funds led Maltese authorities to contact the agency. The transactions included card payments and cash withdrawals totalling 340,000 British pounds ($446,000) were used before a stop could be placed on the transactions, including purchases at Harrods and Selfriges in London, about 110,000 British pounds ($144,000) were spent on Rolex watches and payments were made on a Jaguar and Audi A5 at a car dealership. 

Topics: Mobile Banking, Region: EMEA, Security

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Gan seeks Nasdaq listing in US amid surge in online sports betting

GAN plc, a London-based developer of online gaming software, said it was filing with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for permission to begin trading on the Nasdaq as a foreign private issuer. 

GAN officials also said the company expects its earnings report to beat market expectations, with revenue growth of between 115% and 120%. The company cited higher-than-expected growth in online gambling in New Jersey and Pennsylvania after the start of the National Football League season last September and higher-than-expected cross selling of sports to casino gambling. 

The company also cited faster-than-expected ramping up of sports betting in Pennsylvania and the launch of online sports betting in Indiana starting in October 2019

“We are delighted with our full-year performance in 2019, which proved the long theorized margin opportunity available to GAN as a specialized enterprise software provider and provides a solid foundation for 2019 and beyond,” Dermot Smurfit, CEO of GAN, said in a company release. “Our intellectual property and technical expertise put us at the forefront of the internet sports betting and casino gaming market as demonstrated by our diverse and expanding client base.”

GAN is currently listed on the London Stock Exchange. 

Topics: Gaming, Mobile Payments, Region: Americas, Regulatory Issues

Companies: GAN PLC

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Amazon's Q4 a big earnings win thanks to Prime, grocery and same-day delivery
| by David Jones
Amazon's Q4 a big earnings win thanks to Prime, grocery and same-day delivery Inc. reported a better-than-expected profit in the fourth quarter, as new customers continued to sign up with its Prime program, grocery delivery surged and a rush of shoppers embraced its faster delivery programs during a compressed holiday season. 

“Prime membership continues to get better for customers year after year,” Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, said in the earnings announcement. “And customers are responding — more people joined Prime this quarter than ever before, and we now have over 150 million paid Prime members around the world.”

Bezos said the number of customers using one-day and same-day deliveries quadrupled during the quarter. 

Grocery delivery orders more than doubled during the quarter, compared with a year ago, as Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods is offering free delivery to Prime members, after previously charging $14.99 a month. 

Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky told analysts on a conference call Thursday that revenue of $87.4 billion exceeded the high end of AMmazon’s own revenue estimate of $86.5 billion. 

On the international front, Amazon plans to spend $1 billion to help digitize trades and micro, small and medium-sized businesses in India. The company has a goal of reaching 10 million MSMBs online by 2025. 

“We’re definitely continuing to improve the experience for customers and sellers,” Dave Fildes, director, investor relations, said on the call. 

The company has 550,000 sellers on the Amazon India marketplace and more than 60,000 manufacturers and brands exporting on the service. Amazon hopes its investment will yield $10 billion in exports from India by 2025. 

Company wide, third-party sellers, which are mostly small and medium-sized businesses, sold more than one billion items during the holiday season, including 100 million items sent using Prime free one-day shipping.

Net income rose to $3.3 billion during the quarter, or $6.47 a share, compared with $3 billion, or $6.04 per share in the year-ago quarter. 

Sales increased 21% to $87.4 billion in the quarter, compared with $72.4 billion in the year-ago quarter. 

Net income for the year rose to $11.6 billion, or $23.01 per share, compared with $10.1 billion, or $20.14 per share, in the year-ago quarter. 

Cover image: Amazon

Topics: Earnings Reports, In-App Payments, Mobile Apps, Region: Americas, Region: APAC, Retail

Companies: Amazon

David Jones

David Jones is a veteran business and technology journalist, with three decades of experience writing about business travel, real estate and technology.

Since 2015 he covered a range of technology stories for the ECT News Network, which includes the E-Commerce Times, TechNewsWorld, LinuxInsider and CRM Buyer, writing about cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, machine learning, open source computing and privacy issues among others,. He recently covered FinTech issues for

He worked as a staff writer for Bloomberg Business News and an online reporter for Crain’s New York Business. He has written for numerous media organizations, including Reuters, The New York Times, The Real Deal, Continental, City Limits and The Nation.

He was previously awarded the George Washington Williams Fellowship for Journalists of Color by the Independent Press Association.

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Industry comments. The Bank of England’s interest rates decision

Following the Bank of England’s decision to keep the interest rates the same, Stuart Law, CEO of marketplace lender Assetz Capital says it’s as an ‘easy but incorrect choice’ by the Bank of England and predicts a drop in interest rates in the near future.

Stuart Law, CEO at Assetz Capital

“With inflation at a three-year low and details of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU still uncertain, the Bank of England has taken the easy but incorrect choice to keep interest rates on hold.

“Depending on how things unfold immediately following January 31st, there’s still a high probability in our view that we could see interest rates go down shortly – even to the point of eventually introducing negative interest rates – to attempt to stimulate the economy further and address the global slowdown that is partly due to trade wars.

“Traditional bank savings would then represent a guaranteed loss versus inflation for businesses and consumers alike, which would drive people to alternative sources of finance like P2P and marketplace lending.”

Markus Kuger, Chief Economist at Dun & Bradstreet comments:

Markus Kuger, Chief Economist at Dun & Bradstreet

“Despite speculation and calls for monetary stimulus, today’s decision from the Monetary Policy Committee to maintain interest rates is not surprising with the Brexit deadline now upon us. With consumer prices growing by the slowest pace in three years, global headwinds are likely to continue to impact the outlook for the British economy and Dun & Bradstreet’s latest Industry Report forecasted real GDP growth of just 1.3% in 2020. 

“Businesses still face uncertainty about the real impact of Brexit, but our data also shows positive signal such as an overall reduction in corporate liquidations (down 1.1% year on year) and an improvement in the percentage of B2B payments made on time (average delay down to 13.5 days, closer to the European average).”


Paresh Raja, CEO at Market Financial Solutions

Paresh Raja, CEO at Market Financial Solutions, said: 

“The Bank of England treads carefully when deciding on the interest rate, so the fact they’ve decided to leave it at 0.75% is an important decision. Investor confidence is returning, and we are likely to see the markets post a modest performance in the aftermath of this announcement.

Low interest rates work to the advantage of borrowers; I expect many lenders to review their rates and consider further cuts to ensure they have an edge of their competitors. When it comes to mortgages, however, this doesn’t necessarily mean getting a loan from a bank will become any easier. To minimise their risk exposure, banks are tightening their lending criteria, making it more difficult for investors and businesses to access the finance they need to buy a property.

“Overall, I’ll be interested to see how this rate cut affects the property market, and whether the Bank will consider further rate hikes over the coming months depending on how Brexit plays out.”

Andrei Dikouchine, Founder of 3s Money Club

Andrei Dikouchine, Founder of 3S Money says: 

“Yesterday’s announcement by the Bank of England was all-around positive and rewarding for sterling bulls.

The forward markets are now pricing a much lower probability of a rate cut in May providing support to the currency. But most important was the commentary and not the decision itself. In particular, Governor Carney stated in his last meeting at the helm of the bank that the preliminary data post-election looked positive. It felt that way even in the run-up to the election, but hearing the same from an always cautious Governor is a totally different matter.”

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Watch now: what the long-awaited ROFIEG report tells us about the direction of EU law around fintech

At the end of last year, the European Commission’s Regulatory Obstacles to Financial Innovation Expert Group (ROFIEG) published its findings. The Group’s recommendations are likely to inform and drive the EU’s legislative agenda over the coming years. Here are two short videos discussing the key priorities the report identifies and its recommendations around distributed financial networks and cryptoassets.

Significance and key priorities

Watch Richard Hay and Sophia Le Vesconte discuss the significance of the report and the key priorities it identifies. (~4.5 mins)

Distributed financial networks and cryptoassets

Watch Sophia Le Vesconte, Richard Hay and Sam Quicke discuss the report’s recommendations around distributed financial networks and cryptoassets (~6 mins)

More information

Read our blog post on the release of the ROFIEG report here.

This Week in Fintech 31 January

week with pics BL.001

This weekly summary from our 5 experts, brings you insights based on their experience as investors, entrepreneurs & executives.

Ilias Hatzis started his first company, an internet search engine, during the dot-com era & now focusses on crypto.

Efi Pylarinou worked for top tier Wall Street firms and is now a top global Fintech influencer.

Jessica Ellerm is CEO of Zuper Superannuation & previously worked for a top Fintech startup, Tyro.

Patrick Kelahan is a CX, engineering & insurance professional, working with Insurers, Attorneys & Owners.

Bernard Lunn is CEO of Daily Fintech and author of The Blockchain Economy.

If you want to continue receiving This Week in Fintech, you can either become a paying Member for $143 per year (and receive all our content in addition to this weekly summary) by clicking here.  If you just want to receive This Week in Fintech for free, you will need to fill in this form. Or fill in the same sign up form at the bottom of this post.

Your Editor is Bernard Lunn. He is also the CEO of Daily Fintech and author of The Blockchain Economy.

Monday Ilias Hatzis @iliashatzis our Greece-based crypto entrepreneur (Founder & CEO at Mercato Blockchain Corporation AG and Weekly Columnist at Daily Fintech) wrote From ICOs to STOs and IEOs. What is next in the evolution of crypto fundraising?

Funding is a prerequisite for any new crypto project or startup. At the dawn of the new decade, we’ve seen a decline in token sales as source of funding. Where is the capital for crypto projects going to come from? Will traditional investment vehicles, like venture capital become more significant or will we see another evolution in crypto fundraising?

Editor note: ICOs were great for entrepreneurs but not investors. Legacy VC was the other way round. Security Token Offerings (STOs) may get the balance right.  


Tuesday Efi Pylarinou @efipm our Swiss-based Fintech Adviser,  founder of Efi Pylarinou Advisory and a Fintech/Blockchain influencer – No.3 influencer in the finance sector by Refinitiv Global Social Media 2019 wrote 50 Diverse Takeaways from Davos WEF2020

I am transparently stealing Ben Pring’s format to honor the 50th anniversary of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, with my own 50 diverse takeaways. Some are my own big picture opinions from spending two intense full days in Davos and participating in two side events. Others are takeaways from the diverse speakers that I had the privilege to listen to. And some are my Tech innovation picks again from the events I participated.

Editor note: What a smorgasbord of brain food from Efi’s two days at the WEF in Davos!


Wednesday Jessica Ellerm @jessicaellerm, our Australia-based Fintech entrepreneur and thought leader specializing in Small Business and the Gig Economy & CEO/Co-Founder of Zuper, a new superannuation startup in Australia wrote Nimbla To Take Invoice Insurance Mainstream With Barclays Deal

This week news broke that Barclays would partner with Rise accelerator participant Nimbla. The startup offers an interesting fintech proposition to SMEs – invoice insurance – and the deal with Barclays will see the company get access to the high street bank’s one million customers.

Editor note: Invoice insurance at the right price and with low friction – not easy to do – will provide a real alternative to SME Financing options such as Factoring and Supply Chain Finance. 


Thursday Patrick Kelahan @insuranceeleph1, our US based Insurtech expert (a CX, engineering & insurance professional, working with Insurers, Attorneys & Owners who also serves the insurance and Fintech world as the ‘Insurance Elephant’) wrote When a traditional risk fix isn’t the fix, and sometimes a fix needs to be found for a risk

It’s an increasingly connected world- digitally and physically- and that means occurrences there increasingly have effects on business existence here.  ‘Effects’ means risk, risk means exposure, and exposure means need for insurance.  Climate/environmental occurrences, urban congestion, or virus outbreaks have far reaching consequences.  It used to be that businesses simply dealt with consequences over which they had no control in mitigating, and who was dealing with the issues were local to the effect or involved in the business or its collaterals. Is that true in today’s insurance world?

Editor note: Insurance is on the front lines of a dangerous world. We expect Insurance to deliver when the poop hits the fan. If your job is to figure out how to do that, check out this post. 


Friday  Bernard Lunn, CEO of Daily Fintech and author of The Blockchain Economy, wrote: Security Token news for Week ending 31 January 2020

Editor note: This weekly snapshot is the news that matters for busy senior people in the Security Token market.


To continue receiving ‘This Week in Fintech’, the weekly recap of our articles, you will need to fill this form to give us consent to send this to you. Please note that Daily Fintech requires your organizational email address (e.g. corporate, educational or government) and your LinkedIn URL. This information is required for subscribers who want ‘This Week in Fintech’ for free. If you prefer to not provide this information, you can still receive all our content by becoming a paying member.

Citi appeals to socially conscious investors with City Builder

Citibank will try to connect investors with neighborhoods in need through City Builder, a new digital tool launched last month. The searchable web platform allows investors to research and invest in “opportunity zones,” or areas in need of economic development, where investors get tax breaks for investing their capital gains.

City Builder

“It’s a market-driven approach to economic development,” said Valla Vakili, managing director and head of studio at Citi Ventures. “There’s a lot of capital gains out there on the sidelines looking for a place to invest, and there’s a lot of communities in need of investment.”

City Builder allows investors to search city maps for neighborhoods that need investment. With more than 8,700 designated opportunity zones in the U.S., finding information about individual zones previously required data from multiple sources of public records, but City Builder puts all this data in one place. It’s a means to connect investors with new opportunities while broadening Citi’s reach to potential new clients.

With City Builder, investors can filter search results and focus on opportunity zones.  For example, investors considering opportunities in Chicago could filter results that include food deserts, affordable housing projects and job opportunities. The tool incorporates recent census data, housing data, transit data and Department of Agriculture information, and investors can also browse funds dedicated to investments in opportunity zones.

The platform is free to use for anyone, including non-Citi clients, and according to the bank, doesn’t generate any revenue from referral benefits or advertising.

Wally Okby, a senior analyst with Aite Group’s wealth management practice, said City Builder could act as a customer acquisition tool for the bank, with appeal to investors focused on making a social or economic impact; the platform also offers a way to realize these goals through the bank, he observed.

See also: Inside Citi Ventures’ internal ‘Shark Tank’ D10X

Opportunity zones were created as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. According to the IRS, they are designed to spur economic development and job creation in distressed communities throughout the country. Investors don’t need to live, work or own a business in an opportunity zone to invest and get the tax breaks, and they can invest non-cash assets.

Citi launched City Builder with nine cities, and investors can now explore 25 cities, including Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Houston and Indianapolis. Although the tool only works on desktop for now, Vakili said the goal is to have the tool function on mobile in the future.

Citi joins other institutions launching tools to promote economic development. This week, JPMorgan Chase committed $22 million to promote affordable housing in the Bay Area, and earlier this month, TD Bank committed more than $28 million to housing in Fort Lauderdale.

Since opportunity zone investments can last years, Okby argued that City Builder could deepen Citi’s relationship with its wealth management clients, embedding them further into its ecosystem.

“This gives Citi the chance to engage quite often with their clients. You get someone in the door, and they could be a client for years,” Okby said. “It’s the holy grail for a wealth management relationship.”

Bank Innovation Ignite, which will take place March 2-3 in Seattle, is a must-attend industry event for professionals overseeing financial technologies, product experiences and services. This is an exclusive, invitation-only event for executives eager to learn about the latest innovations. Request your invitation.

Security Token news for Week ending 31 January 2020

utility security tokens.001

Here is our pick of the 3 most important Security Token news stories during the week:

One. Vertalo Chooses Tezos for Security Token.

The Austin, Texas-based transfer agent, Vertalo shocked investors after announcing it would transfer its tokens over to the Tezos blockchain. The decision to convert tokens over to the Tezos blockchain comes after Vertalo executives examined the benefits of such a transfer carefully  after it announced that its VToken smart contract securities would be produced on the Tezos blockchain, by default, for all new issuers.

Transfer Agent is one of those niche jobs that are a relic of legacy finance. So interesting to see them move into Security Tokens. Plus, it is interesting to see them move from Ethereum to Tezos.

Two. Swiss company Overfuture To Offer Tokenised Equity Crowdfunding (Security Token Offering).

Swiss company Overfuture has been approved to list the first articles of incorporation hosted on the blockchain in Switzerland. Overture will list class A shares hosted on blockchain as they tokenize their Initial Product Offering (ICO), and furthermore, onto secondary trading of the digital asset.

NYLON dominated Legacy Finance but Switzerlend maybe the place for Blockchain Finance. It is a crypto friendly jurisdiction with an open economy and great technology education. 

Three. Israel Promotes Development of Security Token Sector.

This week, Israeli officials raised eyebrows across the entire blockchain sector after the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) announced that the country would actively pursue the development of a security token trading platform. The decision to actively facilitate security token trading in its jurisdiction is far cry from the country’s neighbors, many of whom, banned crypto trading over the last year.

In Legacy Finance, ventures had to cluster in a few overcrowded expensive cities where the money was. In Blockchain Finance that becomes decentralized so you can build it in Tel Aviv and stay there. 

We have a self-imposed constraint of 3 news stories each week because we serve busy senior leaders in Fintech who need just enough information to get on with their job.

For context on Security Tokens please read the chapter on Security Tokens in our Blockchain Economy book and read articles tagged Security Tokens in our archives. 

You get 3 free articles on Daily Fintech. After that you will need to become a member for just US$143 a year (= $0.39 per day) and get all our fresh content and our archives and participate in our forum.

Visa shares drop on warning client incentives will rise in 2020

Visa shares drop on warning client incentives will rise in 2020

Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Visa Inc. said the incentives it hands out to banks and retailers will climb faster than revenue and are on track to be at the high end of its targeted range for 2020.

  • Visa last year renewed its longtime partnership with JPMorgan Chase & Co., and has been spending more on rebates designed to encourage banks and retailers to route transactions over its network. Those incentives added up to $1.75 billion in the first quarter, a jump of 20%.

Key Insights

  • Visa has said it’s benefiting from the shift to tap-to-pay cards at transit systems like New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Visa’s network handled 49.3 billion in transactions during its fiscal first quarter, a 11% increase, as spending on its cards also climbed.
  • While client incentives are expected to climb, the first quarter figure fell short of the $1.82 billion average of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
  • The company kept its annual expenses target of mid-single-digit growth after announcing the $5.3 billion purchase of Plaid this month.
  • Investors are keeping a close eye on cross-border spending at Visa and its rival Mastercard Inc. to determine whether the spread of the coronavirus could weigh on consumer confidence around the world. Visa said overseas spending climbed 9% in the quarter, the highest in more than a year.

Market Reaction

  • Visa shares fell 1.6% at 4:25 p.m. in late trading in New York. They’ve risen 50% in the last year, compared with the 46% advance of the S&P 500 Information Technology Index.

Read More

  • “We continue to have great success in building and renewing partnerships and growing our acceptance network,” Chief Executive Officer Al Kelly said in the statement announcing fiscal first-quarter results. “We are excited about the recent announcement to acquire Plaid which will enhance the growth trajectory of our business well into the future.”
  • Read Visa’s full statement here.

— Jenny Surane (Bloomberg)

US consumers reluctant to embrace contactless payments

While U.S. merchants and consumers believe in quick transactions at the point of sale, a Hanover Research survey commissioned by payments tech companies Ingenico and FreedomPay this month suggests consumers have lingering questions about the security of contactless payments. The study queried 350 merchants and 1,350 consumers in the U.S. on their perceptions regarding payment …Read More

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Stevens of Fifth Third to give fireside chat at Bank Innovation Ignite

Melissa Stevens, chief digital officer and head of digital and design at Fifth Third Bank, will attend and speak at Bank Innovation Ignite event on March 2-3 in Seattle.

Melissa Stevens, chief digital officer, Fifth Third Bank

She will share insights and perspectives on digital customer experience in a dynamic one-on-one fireside chat at the conference.

“I’m excited for the energy at Ignite and really looking forward to the conversations you can have at a conference held in a smaller, intimate setting,” Stevens told Bank Innovation.

Stevens, who was named one of American Banker’s “Women to Watch in 2019,” led the bank’s efforts to rebuild its consumer and commercial digital channels. During her tenure, Fifth Third launched an online consumer loan platform, rolled out new apps that have helped customers pay down student debt, and launched innovation lab ONE67.

See also: HSBC’s Alvaro Teixeira to speak at Bank Innovation Ignite

Stevens has been at Fifth Third Bank since May 2016. Prior to that she was the chief operating officer and head of consumer innovation lab at Citi.

As of September 2019, Fifth Third Bank has $171 billion in assets and branches in several states including Ohio, Kentucky, Florida, Tennessee and North Carolina.

Bank Innovation Ignite, which will take place March 2-3 in Seattle, is a must-attend industry event for professionals overseeing financial technologies, product experiences and services. Other agenda items include brainstorming the next big fintech idea, lessons from big tech and making SME banking innovation work. This is an exclusive, invitation-only event for executives eager to learn about the latest innovations. Request your invitation.

FinovateEurope Sneak Peek: Chatvisor

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateEurope on February 11-13, 2020 in Berlin. Register today and save your spot.

Chatvisor combines customer engagement and analytic platforms powered by Co-Browsing, providing improved customer communication for companies.


  • Screen-sharing without downloading
  • Bi-directional control
  • Maximum security & privacy

Why It’s Great
Co-Browsing is screen-sharing without downloading, optimized for websites, mobile apps & desktops.


Horst Fuchs, COO
Fuchs is a former competitive swimmer as well as former COO at his family company. He’s passionate about innovation & disruptive technology and loves competition, sports, learning, and pushing limits.

Markus Wagner, CEO & CTO
Wagner is a problem solver at heart and applies his exceptional skills daily in his co-role as CEO & CTO. He leads Chatvisor’s product development to not just match, but exceed customer expectations.

FinovateEurope Sneak Peek: Fidel

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateEurope on February 11-13, 2020 in Berlin. Register today and save your spot.

Fidel’s card-linking API gives developers easy access to real-time payment data from Visa, Amex and MasterCard through a single integration point.


  • Plug into global customer payments data
  • Create innovations with ease
  • Grow projects securely

Why It’s Great
Fidel enables you to link directly to customer credit cards through secure SDKs and easily surface real-time transaction data from Visa©, Mastercard© and Amex©.


Sam Leslie-Miller, Head of Ops.
Leslie-Miller looks after Fidel’s delivery of products, existing & new, ensuring Fidel is adhering to it’s ambitious goals.

FinovateEurope Sneak Peek: Covr Security

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateEurope on February 11-13, 2020 in Berlin. Register today and save your spot.

Passwords should not exist. Covr is the next generation of digital on-boarding & authentication solutions. Credential-less, for maximum security and user experience for your customers.


  • User intuitive with end users in full control
  • One Time Passwords, ending reliance on passwords and hardware tokens
  • Biometrics for digital on-boarding of new customers and three factor SCA

Why It’s Great
Digital identification is a strategic asset in financial services. Covr is the next generation of digital on-boarding & authentication solutions, eliminating passwords and optimizing your UX and security.


Johan Envall, VP Bus. Dev.
Envall brings more than 15 years of experience in banking and financial services, including JPMorgan, Mastercard and as entrepreneur in Fintech start-ups. Currently, VP Bus. Dev. at Covr Security, based in Sweden.

FinovateEurope Sneak Peek: Neonomics

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateEurope on February 11-13, 2020 in Berlin. Register today and save your spot.

Neonomics arose as a direct response to the challenges facing the financial industry during its radical transition into the era of PSD2 and open banking.


  • Reduce cost
  • Plug-and-play integration
  • Seamless customer journey

Why It’s Great
Users are enabled to trigger instant payments and transfers from their bank, directly from your app or website.


Roar Alme, COO
Alme is extremely experienced with business development and finance in Norway and internationally. He is the Chief Commercial Officer at Neonomics.

Yifan Yu, Software Developer

FinovateEurope Sneak Peek: Zelros

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateEurope on February 11-13, 2020 in Berlin. Register today and save your spot.

Zelros is a software company developing Artificial Intelligence for insurance players.


  • Specializes in the insurance industry
  • Seamless integration with existing processes
  • Maximizes cross and up selling

Why It’s Great
Augments insurance employees to enhance the customer journey.


Gero Reiniger, Sr. Account Manager
Reiniger has 12 years of experience in the insurance industry sales & management roles.

How can banks attract new customers through technology?

More and more retail and commercial customers are demanding a seamless banking experience. And it’s not just the centennials and millennials; Gen Xers and baby boomers also want immediate access to bank products and services. Financial institutions will need to leverage technology to meet these expectations if they want to retain existing customers and attract new ones.

To understand how bankers plan to attract new customers through technology in 2020, CSI, a leading provider of fintech solutions, polled banking executives from throughout the country, representing 227 financial institutions from across the asset-size spectrum. The data from this survey was then collected and used to create an executive report to help bankers get a pulse on the industry’s hot topics and strategies.

The CSI survey asked bankers to rank the technologies their institutions will use to attract new customers. The results? Bankers are digitally focused:

  1. Mobile Banking Apps: Bankers know their mobile app is the best way to attract new customers. Given that a mobile app puts your bank directly in the hands of consumers, enhancing its functionality is a smart way to secure and increase your customer base.
  2. Digital Onboarding: Unless you provide new customers with immediate access to your bank and their accounts through digital onboarding, it will be difficult to remain competitive in today’s landscape, much less tomorrow’s.
  3. Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Institutions making good use of their CRM can leverage customer data to proactively offer beneficial products and services to customers, even before they realize they need them.
  4. Digital Lending: Digital lending ranked the second-least important, only ahead of social media outreach. However, digital transformation is incomplete without digital lending.

Prioritizing Payments Technology

The days of cash and checks are dwindling. So, which payments technology will be the highest priority for institutions in 2020?

  • P2P: There was no clear majority answer, but 31% of respondents placed the highest priority on P2P payment services. This tracks with the growing popularity and acceptance of P2P. Although it originally gained traction with centennials and millennials, it is quickly spreading to all demographics.
  • Same Day ACH: This ranked at 27% by bankers and will remain prevalent as consumers’ demand for “instant” intensifies.

Spending on Banking Technology

Given the significance of technology in transitioning to digital platforms, products and services, as well as improving the overall customer experience, how will this affect technology spending in 2020 as a percentage of institutions’ budgets?

  • An overwhelming 96% of respondents will either increase technology spending in 2020 or maintain their 2019 spending level. Within that majority, 64% plan to spend more.

Download the Full Executive Report

Get a full breakdown of the data from the survey, including insight on compliance, technology, talent acquisition and cybersecurity, by downloading the full Banking Priorities 2020 Executive Report.