US Mastercard issuers commit to contactless

Mastercard Inc CEO Ajay Banga on Q4 2018 results — Seeking Alpha — “We’ve received commitments from issuers representing approximately two thirds of our total US consumer volume to issue contactless cards within the next two years. This includes Citi, Capital One, KeyBanc, Santander, HSBC and others. We’re also working with leading processors like FIS to bring contactless to smaller issuers and to credit unions.”



Mastercard to drop its name from its logo

Mastercard evolves its brand mark by dropping its name — Mastercard — “Mastercard today announced that it is dropping its name from its iconic brand mark in select contexts. The interlocking red and yellow circles, referred to as the Mastercard Symbol, will now stand on its own across cards using the red and yellow brand mark, acceptance marks at retail locations both in the physical and digital worlds, and major sponsorship properties… The flexible modern design will allow it to work seamlessly across the digital landscape.”


Paytm sets sights on US payments market

Paytm chief eyes dominance in Japanese market as ticket to US — MoneyControl — “After becoming an almost household name in India, digital payments major Paytm has set its sight on dominating the Japanese market, a development that its founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma feels will be its ‘ticket’ to the US… ‘If we kill it in Japan, we will get the ticket to go to the big country,’ Sharma said.”



NXP gets $2bn takeover breakup fee from Qualcomm

NXP Semiconductors reports second quarter 2018 results — NXP — PARTNER NEWS — “NXP has received today notice from Qualcomm Incorporated that Qualcomm has terminated, effective immediately, the purchase agreement between NXP and an affiliate of Qualcomm following the inability to obtain the required approval for the transaction from the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) of the People’s Republic of China prior to the end date stipulated by the parties under the purchase agreement. Qualcomm has notified NXP that it will pay the $2 billion in termination compensation by 9:00 am, New York City time, on July 26, 2018.”


WeChat Pay ‘will not seek to offer more local payment wallets’

WeChat Pay to keep overseas focus on outbound tourism instead of offering more local wallets — South China Morning Post — “Tencent’s WeChat Pay said it will not seek to offer more local payment wallets to overseas customers over the next three years and will remain focused on serving outbound Chinese tourists better in popular overseas destinations… ‘In mainland China we have millions of users so we can make WeChat Pay into a successful payments tool… We don’t have many WeChat users in overseas countries so we should accept that it will be hard to develop payment tools for them.’”


PayPal ‘ready to spend $3bn a year on acquisitions’

PayPal to spend $3 billion a year on M&A — Reuters — “PayPal Holdings Inc is on the lookout for further acquisitions following its recent takeover of iZettle, the Swedish fintech startup, for $2.2bn… ‘We have a healthy balance sheet and we are ready to put it to work to buy more companies,’ president and CEO Dan Schulman told Germany’s Handelsblatt… Paypal is ready to invest up to $3bn a year on acquisitions that enable it to acquire specific capabilities, Schulman added.”



Ant Financial targets South America and Africa for next phase of mobile payments growth

Ant Financial sees huge growth for cashless payments in South America, Africa — South China Morning Post — “Kenny Man, head of international investment for Ant Financial, said over the next five years, emerging markets including those in South America and Africa will be priority for the company’s global partnerships… ‘China has leapfrogged over traditional credit cards to the mobile wallet. That same change will be even more radical and faster in different parts of the world, whereby people will embrace mobile payments,’ Man said.”


Visa cuts transaction fees in India by up to 95%

Visa slashes fee on debit card payments, wants more small merchants on board — Economic Times — “In a note circulated among member banks recently, Visa said it would cut rates on debit card transactions by up to 95%… The largest quantum of decrease will apply to transactions under Rs 2,000 (US$29.57)… ‘Effectively, merchants and banks pay nothing for small value transactions. With this move, it should become more attractive for banks to deploy terminals at small shops and encourage debit card payments,’ said a senior banker.”


Ant Financial to pivot away from Alipay?

Exclusive: Ant Financial shifts focus from finance to tech services: sources — Reuters — “Ant Financial Services Group, the dominant Chinese fintech company, is shifting its main focus to technology services and away from payments and consumer finance as Beijing’s crackdown on financial risk deepens, four sources with knowledge of the matter said… They said the move was propelled, in part, by growing regulatory pressure on Ant’s core financial businesses, including payments, micro lending, credit rating and wealth management.”


Ant Financial signs technology sharing deals with Chinese banks

Ant Financial to support Shanghai Pudong Development Bank’s digital transformation with financial grade technologies — Ant Financial — “The partnership will allow Ant Financial and SPD Bank to strengthen collaboration on a broad range of inclusive finance initiatives, from improving user experience while using online and offline payment services, to providing secure, convenient and efficient financial services for small and micro businesses… The agreement is the third of its kind announced this month between Ant Financial and established banks, following partnerships with Huaxia Bank and China Everbright Bank.”



Shake Shack rolls back its cashless store plans

Shake Shack first quarter 2018 earnings call — Shake Shack — “Some of the things we’ve clearly seen is that our guests do often want to pay with cash. In the first rollout at Astor Place, we did not accept cash at all. And there are people who have told us very clearly, ‘We want to pay with cash’. So in this next phase, we’re going to go ahead and have cashiers as well as kiosks.”


Japanese airline ANA to enter mobile payments market

Japan airline ANA aims to build digital payments business — Financial Times — “The plan is part of a broader digital push by ANA, which hopes to build on data collected from the 31m users of its airline miles to provide a range of services including real estate, insurance and health to consumers across Japan… ‘We are aiming for ANA’s version of Alibaba’s Alipay,’ Shinya Katanozaka, ANA’s chief executive, said in an interview.”



Korean card companies to launch joint NFC payments service in bid to combat Chinese QR threat

Korean credit card companies to introduce a joint mobile payment system in March — Business Korea — “Eight domestic credit card firms have completed the development of NFC standard ‘Justouch’ and will jointly promote it by supplying 25,000 readers across the nation by the end of next month… They are concerned about the possibility of Chinese counterparts encroaching on the domestic market if they don’t take action now as mobile payment is very common in China.”


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.”


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