The 10 “Mega Trends” That Will Drive The Future Of Payments

The results are in!

Accenture Consulting has revealed the ten trends that they believe will drive the future of payments, thanks to the results of its Payments Pulse survey of 1,500 consumers in the United States – they are a mixed bunch, with each intriguing in its own way.

From the Gen Z-ers, to the power of “The Network”, to the “criminals making it their full-time job to out-innovate the payments industry”, it would not be an exaggeration to say that 2018 could genuinely be the most exciting and disruptive year for payments that we have ever known.

In this post we take a look at some of the trends more closely and assess their likely impact. Read more

Fitbit Pay On Ionic; Health Fanatics Can Make Contactless Payments With A Flick Of The Wrist

Fitbit, the health and fitness app that tracks your activity, exercise, sleep, weight and a myriad of other elements all designed to help you feel great in body and soul, is a class leader in a field that, despite the tech world’s best efforts, has sometimes struggled to live up to the hype.

Wearables, and the internet of things were two of the most talked about new tech phenomena of 2016, but this year progress has been teeth-grindingly slow, and public expectations have been dampened somewhat. We will have to wait for our talking fridges, it seems.

There are few standout companies that have successfully implemented wearables and / or contactless / IoT technology and created something life-enhancing and meaningful – but Fitbit is certainly one. Read more

Facebook Messenger Pay Arrives In The UK & France – Infographic Reveals How Brits Feel About Being Paid Back

2 years after it was launched in the US, Facebook Messenger Pay has finally crossed the Atlantic. Now it’s possible to make a P2P transaction across the platform in both France and the UK, simply by tapping the blue plus icon to the left of the chat bar, and choosing the green cash icon.

Facebook said in a blog post that it is “not just the transactional act of paying someone back, it’s the emotional importance of doing so”, and said that this is backed up by research they have conducted on Messenger, which you can see in the infographic below. Read more

Glint – The App That Lets You Buy, Spend & Share Gold – Launches In London

Ever since the global financial collapse of 2008, banks, currencies, and even governments seem to have gone down and down in our estimation – in fact, it’s quite possible that they have never before been held in such low regard.

First the public’s money was used to bail out the banks, then we were forced to accept record low interest rates, high inflation, and “austerity” as the norm.

This financial malaise has carried on for nearly a decade, but, luckily, the emergence of fintech and the disruption of services that it has wrought has suddenly put us all back in charge of our finances. Now it is the banks that must pander to our needs; now, if they slip up, we, the public, have options. Read more

Is The Digital Payments Industry Facing A Backlash From The Pro-Cash Lobby?

If you were to glance at the latest tech or payments industry news, you could be forgiven for thinking that the days of hard currency, or actual, physical, cash were numbered.

But, away from the front line of the digitalisation of all things banking related; bitcoin, e-wallets, online or mobile only accounts; peer-to-peer money transfer services; a group of organisations with a vested interest in the continuing use of physical currency are forming an alliance to secure teh future of notes and coins. Read more

Pay With Google? New Service From Search Giant Unveils Surprise New Feature

It’s probably safe to assume that nearly every person in possession of a credit, debit, or even a store card, has shared those card details with Google on at least one occasion.

Maybe you have made a purchase at the Google Play store. Perhaps you have added a card to Android Pay, or shared your details with YouTube, or almost certainly used them whilst browsing using Google Chrome. Read more

UK Is Third Most Cashless Country In The World, China Sixth, According To New Study

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The UK is reputed to be one of the most tech-savvy economies in the world, with digital banking, payments systems and finance platforms to rival anywhere in the world.

A new report from Forex Bonuses has ranked the UK as the third most cashless society in the world, behind only Canada, in first place, and Sweden. China, often thought of as the next global leader in fintech disrupted services, thanks to home-grown ecommerce giants like Alibaba and its affiliated payments service Alipay, and mobile wallet integrated full-service apps like WeChat, ranked sixth. Read more

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

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