Didi Chuxing expands into financial services

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing enters financial services amid profit push — South China Morning Post — “The new offering, which Didi introduced on Wednesday, includes mutual protection and crowdfunding products for critical illnesses, credit and lending, wealth management and auto-financing services… Didi’s foray into financial services is part of its effort to build a ‘more connected ecosystem’ with reliable and competitive services, according to a company spokesman.” 


T-Mobile offers mobile banking service that supports Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay

T-Mobile launches mobile banking solution T-Mobile Money, available now on Android and iOS — 9to5Google — “T-Mobile Money hasn’t been officially launched, but was discovered early thanks to its (likely unintended) addition to Google Pay’s list of US banks and credit card companies. Its official website, discovered by Domain Name Wire, went live today and has the full details of the interesting offering.” 


Monzo launches instant Google Pay provisioning

Start spending immediately after signup with Google Pay — Monzo — “If you sign up to Monzo today on a compatible Android phone, you’ll be able to add your Monzo card to Google Pay immediately, without waiting for the physical card to arrive in the post… We’re also bringing ‘in-app provisioning’ to Google Pay, which means you can add your Monzo card to Google Pay from the Account tab with just a couple of taps. No need to go to the Google Pay app to initially add your card.” 


Deutsche Bank unveils loyalty-first mobile wallet venture

Yunar's app in use

Deutsche Bank has launched Yunar, a wholly-owned subsidiary startup that is taking a loyalty-first approach to building out a fully featured mobile wallet by initially offering a simple way to manage up to 200 loyalty points schemes — and then gradually adding a range of mobile payments and banking services as adoption takes off. More


Bank of America links its mobile apps to let customers access multiple services without re-authenticating

Bank of America unveils new mobile capabilities — Bank of America — “Bank of America today announced that it is introducing a new feature that will allow clients to move seamlessly between the Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Merrill Edge and US Trust mobile apps without having to re-authenticate… The new app-linking feature will be available at Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and Merrill Edge today and at US Trust in November.” 


Micro loans let Chinese consumers buy snacks and lipsticks on credit

Chinese millennials are buying hamburgers on instalment, fuelling micro loan industry — South China Morning Post — “A small layer cake can be had for as low as 0.46 yuan per month for three years, or there’s lipstick for only 1.93 yuan (3 US cents) per month for two years. Interest rates differ based on the product price and repayment period but some loans are offered interest free.” 


Alipay builds travel guide into mobile payments app

Alipay launches in-app guide for Germany’s Oktoberfest — Alizila — “Alipay said Friday it launched an in-app travel guide in Chinese for visitors to Munich’s Oktoberfest celebration and the city’s 211-year-old downtown Viktualienmarkt… The pilot service will offer ‘a wealth of information on the culture and history of both venues,’ including a map, a guide to individual stalls and products, information on German behavioural norms, like how to toast with a glass of beer and advice on when and where it’s OK to take photos. Users can also pay for what they buy through the Alipay app.” 


Survey: Merchants are winning the US mobile wallet adoption battle

Merchants winning the battle for mobile wallet supremacy — Javelin Strategy & Research — “In the rush to market, the main wallet value proposition, paying at the POS, wasn’t particularly compelling. In reality, loyalty and rewards will drive adoption, something merchants are doing particularly well,” said Krista Tedder, director of payments at Javelin Strategy & Research.” 


Samsung Pay adds funds trading service in Korea

Samsung Pay begins funds trading service — Yonhap News — “Fund Online Korea Co said Tuesday it launched services for the trading of investment funds via Samsung Pay, the country’s top mobile payment tool. The service allowed users to shop for a variety of funds at the Samsung Pay platform after a simple process of opening accounts, according to the firm. ‘We are aiming at offering an easy, convenient and accessible investment channel,’ said company official Kim Seung-hyun.” 


Google adds bank loans to Google Pay in India

Google teams with HDFC Bank, ICICI, others for instant loans — Livemint — “Google Pay users will be able to access customised loans from HDFC Bank Ltd, ICICI Bank Ltd, Federal Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd with minimal paperwork… Once users holding accounts with these banks accept the bank’s terms, the money will be transferred to their accounts.” 


Google rebrands its Tez mobile wallet to Google Pay

Building services for every Indian, in their language — Google India — “Since launching our India-first payments app Tez last September, over 22 million people and businesses have used Tez to make over 750m transactions that are collectively worth over $30bn annually. We believe that many of the innovations and features we have pioneered with Tez will work in other countries. To take Tez beyond India, we will be unifying all of Google’s payment offerings globally. As a first step, Tez will now be called Google Pay.” 


Berkshire Hathaway invests in Indian mobile payments provider Paytm

Berkshire Hathaway confirms investment in Paytm parent One97 Communications — Economic Times — “Berkshire Hathaway has confirmed that it has made an investment in Paytm parent One97 Communications… ET had reported that Berkshire Hathaway is in talks to invest about Rs2,000-2,500 crore (US$285m-US$356m) in One97 Communications, that could value the company at $10bn. One97 Communications already counts China’s Alibaba Group Holdings and Japan’s Softbank among its major investors.” 


Facebook approaches banks for Messenger bot banking

Facebook taps banks, but for chatbots not purchase data like Google — Techcrunch — “Account linking enables people to receive real-time updates in Facebook Messenger where people can keep track of their transaction data like account balances, receipts, and shipping updates… The idea is that messaging with a bank can be better than waiting on hold over the phone — and it’s completely opt-in. We’re not using this information beyond enabling these types of experiences — not for advertising or anything else.” 


Barclays files blockchain funds transfer and KYC patents

Barclays seeks twin blockchain patents for banking services — Coindesk — “The US Patent and Trademark Office published two applications by the UK’s second-largest bank Thursday, both of which revolve around account security. Perhaps most notably, however, was an application for a patent which outlined a blockchain platform which could facilitate cryptocurrency transfers. The bank also proposed streamlining know-your-customer processes by storing identifying information on a private blockchain.” 


Survey finds money saving product recommendations will drive adoption of open banking

Brits cite money saving product recommendations as the biggest incentive to use open banking — Equifax — “Two fifths (40%) of Brits willing to share their bank transaction data with a new lender would do so if it provided them with product recommendations which save them money. Other motivations to share transaction data through open banking include the ability to easily compare products from different financial institutions (36%), being offered tailored incentives for switching to a new provider (34%), and a streamlined process when applying for mortgages (28%) and loans (25%).” 


JPMorgan Chase to reward mobile-only bank account customers for using key features

JPMorgan Chase takes smartphone account ‘Finn’ nationwide — Reuters — “JPMorgan is offering $100 to people who open accounts and complete 10 transactions of certain types, such as sending money to another person or paying a bill. The incentive is designed to make customers familiar with using the app, said Melissa Feldsher, head of Finn. She believes customers will stick with the accounts after seeing they can automatically make deposits to their savings accounts, such as moving $2 from their checking account every time they spend $5 with the app at a Starbucks coffee shop.” 


Citi to let customers check their bank account from within Facebook Messenger

Citi joins chatbot arms race, unveils Facebook messenger tie-up that will launch later this year — South China Morning Post — “Citi’s offering will be the first Facebook Messenger-embedded chatbot to let customers access their own financial records and potentially conduct transactions in future. It plans to roll out the service worldwide following its launch in Singapore in March.”