Ant Financial seeks US$9bn in new funding

Jack Ma’s Ant Financial to raise $9bn, become world’s biggest unicorn — Wall Street Journal — “Chinese billionaire Jack Ma’s financial technology business is about to vault into the ranks of the world’s most valuable companies. Ant Financial Services Group, carved out of his e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd seven years ago, is preparing to raise US$9bn in a private funding round, according to people familiar with the matter. That ups a previous fundraising target of US$5bn.”


Alipay parent Ant Financial to go public at a $100bn valuation?

China’s Ant plans equity fundraising at potential $100 billion valuation — Reuters — “China’s Ant Financial Services Group is planning to raise up to US$5bn (£3.59bn) in fresh equity that could value the online payments giant at more than US$100bn… A fundraising would bring Ant, in which e-commerce firm Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is taking a one-third stake, a step closer to a hotly anticipated initial public offering.”



Sberbank to build ID platform that supports face, voice and retina biometrics

Sberbank and VisionLabs to build biometric identification platform — Sberbank — “Sberbank announces the signing of a deal to acquire a block of shares in VisionLabs, a global leader of the facial recognition market… The investment in VisionLabs is a major first step by Sberbank to build a biometrics platform of Sberbank’s ecosystem, involving face, voice and retina identification, as well as other biometric factors… This will allow the creation of a unique biometric identifier that will let Sberbank clients access any service.”


Thinfilm raises US$110m to support growth in NFC market

Thinfilm raises $110 million as NFC solutions traction increases among leading consumer brands — Thinfilm — “The substantial funding secured in this private placement is a testament to both the opportunity that exists in the NFC solutions space and Thinfilm’s ability — as a market leader — to address the increasing demand among consumer brands of all sizes,” said Davor Sutija, CEO of Thinfilm. “With sufficient financing to get us to cash break-even, we are now keenly focused on bringing affordable intelligence to billions of everyday items.”



Retailers ready to pay more for payments services that add value

Majority of EMEA retailers plan to increase investment in payments — ACI Worldwide — “55% of retailers and merchants in the EMEA region are planning to increase their investment into new payment capabilities in the next 18 to 24 months… 66% say they are willing to pay more for a broader range of payment services if they add value to their business. 89% say they would expect increased operational efficiency and 88% enhanced customer experience from their investment.”


USA Technologies files for proposed public offering

USA Technologies files for proposed public offering — PARTNER NEWS — “USA Technologies Inc (USAT), a premier payment technology service provider of integrated cashless and mobile transactions in the self-service retail market, today filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed underwritten public offering of its common stock consisting of approximately $34.5 million of shares to be sold by USAT.”





UK sees 250% rise in NFC mobile payments in stores

Worldpay

The number of mobile transactions as a percentage of all in-store transactions has grown by 247% in the UK over the last year, analysis of transaction data and a consumer survey conducted by payments processor Worldpay has found. Workers paying for lunch on the go and payments for drinks in bars are the main drivers of the increase in transaction volume. More




Citi launches global API Developer Hub

Citi has launched a global API Developer Hub to give developers access to APIs across eight usage categories including account management, peer-to-peer payments, money transfer to institutions, Citi rewards, investment purchases and account authorisation... More







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