PayPal expands into mainstream banking

PayPal makes a move toward traditional banking — Wall Street Journal — “The San Jose, Calif-based payments company has been quietly reaching out to groups of customers in recent months with an offer to add basic banking features to their PayPal digital wallet. The features include Federal Deposit Insurance Corp insurance for their balances, a debit card that can be used to withdraw cash at ATMs and the ability to direct-deposit their paychecks.”


Google to work with European banks on PSD2 opportunities

Google says it is looking to partner with banks, not be their rival — The Irish Times — “Florence Diss, head of commerce partnerships for Google in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), said the company is actively working with a number of banks to explore opportunities arising from the payments services directive 2 (PSD2)… Ms Diss’s comments come as Google joined with KBC Bank Ireland at Finovate to demonstrate the latter’s mobile app, which allows users to open a current account in less than five minutes using a selfie for identification purposes.”



KBC adds third-party services to its mobile banking app

KBC first to incorporate non-banking apps in mobile app — KBC Group — “Starting this summer, customers can use their mobile banking app directly to start a car parking session and pay via the 4411 parking service; check the balance on their meal and eco vouchers (Monizze card) and monitor payments made using the card… In the future, as well, we’ll be continuing to actively seek out partners that can help enhance our banking apps and applications and help increase added value for our customers.”


Amazon plots move into mobile payments and financial services

Are you ready for an Amazon-branded checking account? — Wall Street Journal — “Amazon.com Inc is in talks with big banks including JPMorgan Chase about building a checking-account-like product the e-commerce giant could offer its customers, according to people familiar with the matter… Converting its shoppers into financial account holders could also aid Amazon as it ramps up its efforts in payments… The company is now trying to bring Amazon Pay to brick-and-mortar stores, according to people familiar with those plans. It is likely to begin with Whole Foods, which Amazon bought last year for roughly US$13.5bn.”



Wells Fargo puts AI into mobile app to help customers manage their money

Wells Fargo adds AI enhancement to mobile app, giving personalized account insights to customers nationwide — Wells Fargo — “Insights range from flagging higher-than-normal automatic monthly payments so that customers may look into a change to a reoccurring bill, to reminding a customer to transfer money from savings to a checking account to avoid a possible upcoming overdraft… Currently there are over 50 different prompts a customer can receive based on past and expected future account activity, with plans to continue adding new insights regularly. The feature will expand to small business and credit card customers later this year.”


One in five Americans are using voice assistants and chatbots for commerce

Securing conversational commerce: How to make your interactions with virtual assistants safer — Mastercard — “Voice-based and text-based agents are commonly used for basic informational tasks ranging from performing an internet search, to finding the nearest restaurant and giving simple commands such as making a phone call. But a growing number of people are using this interface for more complex tasks, with 21% of respondents using this technology to shop, pay bills, bank online or send money.”


Radius Bank lets customers add location-based transaction restrictions

Radius Bank launches innovative card control app to give customers greater financial peace of mind — Radius Bank — “The Radius Card app provides a number of money management benefits, including: On/off switch allows customers to quickly turn off their debit card should it become misplaced and back on again once it has been recovered; Location-based restrictions prevent transactions outside a specific area determined by the user; Real-time alerts whenever the card is used or when a transaction has been attempted and declined; Spending caps and activity limits to help users budget expenses better.”


Metro Bank lets customers open an account with a selfie

Bricks and clicks unite: Metro Bank takes the revolution nationwide with launch of current accounts online — Metro Bank — “The use of cutting-edge technology means identification documents, along with a selfie, are uploaded directly onto the application. With verification and authentication taking place in real-time, accounts can be opened in less than 10 minutes, including setting-up internet banking.”


Dutch banks ING and Rabobank begin QR code payments pilot

ING and Rabobank customers can now try out Payconiq — Payconiq — “Payconiq allows their users to simply pay online and in-stores by scanning a QR code. Thanks to a direct connection with the user’s bank account, transactions can be swiftly processed against low costs for the merchants… Consumers can already pay at over 45,000 merchants in Belgium and Luxembourg and soon in Germany where Payconiq has been released earlier this month.”


ABN Amro pulls out of Dutch banks’ mobile payment venture

ABN Amro and Payconiq discontinue collaboration talks — ABN Amro — “ABN Amro and payment service Payconiq have decided to end their talks to explore potential for collaboration… ABN Amro has made strategic choices of its own that impact the way the bank aims to serve its clients’ interests. For example, ABN Amro is further expanding the functionality of its popular payment request app, Tikkie, to retail and business clients.”


Commonwealth Bank introduces chatbot that can answer 200 banking and payments questions

Commonwealth Bank launches chatbot named Ceba — Commonwealth Bank of Australia — “Commonwealth Bank has launched its chatbot Ceba to assist customers with more than 200 banking tasks such as activating their card, checking account balance, making payments, or getting cardless cash… Available 24/7, Ceba can recognise approximately 60,000 different ways customers ask for the 200 banking tasks and will eventually be able to tell customers what they are spending their money on.”


Westpac integrates mobile banking app with iMessage

Westpac launches iMessage shortcut for customers — Westpac — “The new capability offers Westpac customers a shortcut to access banking services while texting with contacts on their iPhone. By clicking on the new Westpac icon in their text conversation window, customers will be able to make payments, generate a Cardless Cash code and share their BSB and account details without leaving their text message. Westpac for iMessage is an extension of the Westpac Mobile Banking App. Customers with iMessage enabled on their iPhone with iOS 11 and the latest version of the Westpac app (v8.4) will be able to use the capability.”


National Australia Bank integrates with Amazon Alexa

Hands-free banking: ‘Alexa, ask NAB if I’ve been paid’ — National Australia Bank — “The NAB skill for Amazon Alexa will allow customers, who have connected Alexa with their NAB account to ask their Alexa device questions like: ‘What’s my savings account balance?’, ‘How much do I owe on my credit card?’ or ‘Did I get paid this week?’… ‘In the future, we certainly see this experience turning into one where you can pay bills, make funds transfers or even purchase items at the command of your voice.’”



Bank of America reports 84% rise in P2P payment transactions

Zelle takes cashless payments to new heights — Bank of America — “Bank of America saw total Zelle transactions for 2017 hit nearly 68 million, an 84% growth rate from the previous year. In Q4 alone, Bank of America processed over 23 million transactions, totaling nearly US$7bn, up 91% from the prior year… Currently, Bank of America has nearly three million active Zelle users, and continues to add thousands of new users every day.”


Boston Fed: One in four US financial institutions now offer a mobile payments service

Survey: Retail mobile banking nearing universal adoption, mobile payment offerings accelerate — Federal Reserve Bank of Boston — “Implementation of mobile payment services is accelerating as financial institutions respond to competitive pressure and the industry momentum for mobile payments: In addition to the 24% already offering mobile payments, 40% plan to do so within two years. Additionally, more than two-thirds of respondents partner or plan to partner with third-party processors and more than half are considering a partnership with a near-field communication (NFC) wallet provider.”



Paytm CEO sets out plans to become the world’s largest digital bank

Alibaba-backed Paytm aims to become world’s largest digital bank — Bloomberg — “Paytm Payments Bank aims to create the world’s largest digital bank with 500m accounts, envisioning an online financial services provider of everything from wealth management to credit cards and stock market trading… The bank grew out of Paytm’s digital wallet, which amassed over a hundred million customers after India took high-denomination bills — or nearly 90% of the value of cash — out of circulation last November.”


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