In London, Even IMF Chief Christine Lagarde Is Suggesting Digital Currencies Could Be The Future!

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When it comes to debating digital currencies, increasingly it seems to be the case that we must ask “whose side are you on?”

Are you a sceptic, like JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, or billionaire hedge fund veteran Ray Dalio, or Nobel prize winning economist Robert Shiller, all of whom have bashed bitcoin recently, calling it a “a fraud”, and “a bubble”?

Or are you a “believer”, like Fidelity CEO Abigail Johnson, or even International Monetary Fund chief and economist Christine Lagarde? Read more

Safaricom Mobile Money Vehicle M-Pesa Rolls Out “1-Tap” Mobile Payments System After 90,000 Sign Up During Trial Period

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Near Field Communications (NFC) technology is the driving force behind M-Pesa 1Tap, which is making it possible for Safaricom’s customers in Kenya to pay for goods and services with their mobiles in a single step. Read more

PSD2 Coming, But British Open Banking Regulation Already Ahead of the Game (So Long As It Stays Compliant) Says Payments Expert

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As always, this month’s European Payments Council (EPC) newsletter contains some essential reading.

As anybody who works within the payments or indeed the wider fintech industry surely knows, PSD2, the much-anticipated update to the first set of Payments Services Directives, is nearly here. Read more

Google Launches Tez: A New Digital Payments App For India With A Host Of New Technologies

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Google says it is trying to help India to become a cashless society, by mimicking the ubiquity of notes and coins in the country through a new all singing, all dancing app called Tez. Tez is a Hindi word, meaning “fast”.

The company hopes that, by providing multiple use-cases through its new service, customers will seamlessly adopt it without missing the versatility of hard currencies. Read more

Mobile Money In Africa Is Bucking The Trend For Gender Imbalance Around Tech Products

According to the World Bank, women are 50 percent less likely than men use the internet in Africa, and significantly less likely than men to own or use a cell phone. And yet recent findings, cited in a fascinating article by Susan Johnson, a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Development Studies at the University of Bath, suggest that when it comes to mobile money, the gender gap is closing to the point of equality. Read more

TNG Raises Hong Kong’s Largest Ever Fintech Funding Round To Develop Blockchain e-Wallet & Overseas Money Transfer Services

Hong Kong’s fintech community are celebrating the biggest Series A funding round in the city-state’s history, and one of the largest to have been completed anywhere in the world.

TNG Fintech Group raised a “record breaking” $115 million-dollar round which values the company at $565 million. The company, which specialises in disruptive technologies such as AI, blockchain, and cashless payments and money transfers, was founded in 2013 and employs around 300 people according to a company spokesperson. Read more

TerraPay & Yes Bank Partnership Allows Migrants To Make Real-Time Money Transfers To India

India is the world’s largest receiver of remittance inflows; some $62.7 billion was sent in 2016-17 – more than the total Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country.

Now, thanks to a partnership between mobile payments provider TerraPay and private sector lender Yes Bank, India’s diaspora will be able to make instant cross-border money transactions into the country.

Read more

A Goldman Sachs-backed Digital Payments Startup Just Launched A Fee-Free Money Transfer Service

It seems we may well be heading towards a world where, when sending money internationally, the only thing we need to concern ourselves with is the exchange rate – because transaction fees are rapidly being consigned to history.

Starting from today, Circle, a money transfer service and app that allows its users to ping money to one another using a mobile messaging service, is introducing fee-free person-to-person (P2P) money transfer services for users in the UK, Spain, and the US. Read more

Samsung Pay Is (Finally) Available In The UK

It may have been a long time coming, given that Apple Pay has been available for more than two years, and Android Pay for more than 1 year, but Samsung Pay has finally arrived in the UK.

Samsung have been experimenting with different ways to convince its users that it is more than just a mobile device provider, in order to generate additional revenue streams, and Samsung Pay could be the solution. Read more

The Truth About Credit Cards! We Pay $163 Billion In Fees Every Year!

They may be marketed as convenient, flash, and “rewarding”, but in reality, the credit card trap is one you don’t want to fall into unless you can pay back everything you owe, every month, on time, and without bringing other accounts overdrawn. Which of us, hand on heart, can promise this, especially when there are temptations everywhere, from fashion to food, travel, gadgets, and a million and one subscription based services? Read more

Mobile Payments’ Failure To Take Off Hasn’t Stopped Experts Projecting Large Growth by 2020

To date, it seems that contactless debit and credit cards have won the battle for consumers’ affections, as, despite the obvious advantages of making payments via mobile and using digital wallets, namely the ability to earn loyalty points, heightened security and a smoother checkout experience, mobile payments simply refuse to take off in the way analysts predicted. Read more

Contactless Card Theft: How To Safeguard Your Data From A Counterfeit Reader

Near field communication (NFC) has revolutionised the way we pay. However, it also means our contactless cards provide a more accessible route to our bank details. While these advances have made life easier for us, they’ve also made life easier for those looking to discover such information. Here’s what you need to know about contactless theft and how to avoid it. Read more

Why Tech-Driven Money Transfer Startups Are Cheaper Than Their Older Rivals

The fintech industry has exploded in recent years, slowly growing into niches once dominated by big finance. In the international money transfer market high street banks and wire transfer companies like Western Union are starting to find themselves undercut and outperformed by innovative startups. But what is it that gives these fledgling companies their edge? Read more

Why We’re Closer To Cashless Than You Might Think

2014 was a landmark year for the cashless revolution in the UK. For the first time, cashless payments overtook those made using ‘real’ money, signalling a pretty significant change in the national mentality. The UK’s not the only one saying goodbye to coins and notes, either. Countries like Singapore, the Netherlands and France are leading the way here, making around 60% of their payments without physical currency. Read more