As reported by Forbes today, Alibaba has invested in online invoice exchange marketplace Qupital, marking the Chinese e-commerce giant’s first foray into fintech investment in Hong Kong. Qupital raised a total of $2 million in its seed round. (more…)
Imagine being in the middle of Times Square, surrounded by flashing lights, fast-talking vendors, street performers, live music, noisy traffic jams, and endless other distractions. Now imagine you’re online and surrounded by the same energetic chaos. Welcome to China’s digital marketplace, where shopping is an adventure—a fire hose of rapidly changing content, offers, products, colors, and choices. For Western shoppers accustomed to simple, transactional online buying, it’s a culture shock. (more…)
By Amit, CEO of LTP
In many parts of the world, tech companies (TechFins and FinTechs) are beginning to dominate the FinTech scene except India. BATs (Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent) and Internet finance in China dominate the market now. PayPal (Braintree and Venmo), Stripe and the likes of Prosper/Lending Club/Sofi have made serious inroads in the US although not to the same extent as China where internet finance cos have more customers than traditional banks in some segments. (more…)
It seems that mobile payments are finding perfect harmony with concertgoers. The latest mPOS Tracker™ catches up with Ben Taylor, COO of Front Gate Tickets, on how the company is using RFID technology to take concerts cashless. This issue digs into the many moves by mobile payment technology providers like Square, as they set their sights on new markets and new payment experiences. Find all that, plus rankings of 271 top players in the space, inside this month’s issue.
By Josh Constine for TechCrunch
Snap’s growth rate increased only slightly in Q1 2017 — a bad start to its first quarterly earnings report since going public. Snap hit 166 million daily active users at a growth rate of 5%, compared to the 158 million DAUs it had in Q4 when it hit a 3.2% growth rate. Snap’s year-over-year growth rate continued to slip, falling to 36% year-over-year from 48% in Q4. (more…)
ItzCash, India’s largest digital payments company and the leading player in domestic remittances, has further ventured into cross-border remittances through its collaboration with Prabhu Money Transfer India, a leading remittance company in Nepal. (more…)
Insights from Google and Facebook at the Future of Digital Banking, Asia Pacific – Hosted by MarketForce
“The Future of Digital Banking: Asia-Pacific” was hosted by Marketforce on March 21 and 22, 2017 in Singapore. The conference managed to bring together an interesting set of C-suite, senior bankers, industry experts, tech companies and the startup community. (more…)
By Yon Heong Tung for e27.com
OOjiBO offers a full stack solution that can allow the unbanked to make digital payments even without data (more…)
During 2016, consumers in the U.K. spent £647 billion with payment cards, according to new data from the U.K. Cards Association. (more…)
First appeared at CryptoCoins News
Dr. Philippa (“Pippa”) Malmgren, the founder of DPRM Group, a London-based company that helps companies, investors and policymakers better understand how risk and prices move across the economic landscape, said blockchain signals the end of cash during the recent Cayman Alternative Investment Summit. (more…)
Passengers traveling through Singapore Changi Airport can now utilize their unneeded foreign change (or remaining Singapore dollars), using the new TravelersBox kiosks located at the airport. TravelersBox is an innovative fintech company that helps travelers convert their leftover foreign currency, including bills and coins, into digital money with favorite e-Gift cards (iTunes, JD.com, Grab, Tokpedia, Starbucks, Facebook) or e-wallet brands (PayPal and Baidu). (more…)
By Casey Hynes for Forbes
Financial inclusion is a topic of growing importance in countries such as Myanmar, where advances in tech are rapidly changing the dynamics in how people access financial products. As I wrote in 2016, fintech companies are capitalizing on Myanmar’s rapid development and increasing smartphone and internet penetration by offering digital financial products.
Although many people in Myanmar are skeptical of traditional banking institutions, fintech startups hope to win their confidence through low-cost, user-friendly products. One such organization is Wave Money, a joint venture between Telenor, Yoma Bank and Myanmar First Investments. (Disclosure: I performed contract editorial work for Telenor Group in 2014 and 2015.)
In a new partnership with the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Wave Money is targeting women consumers specifically in an attempt to increase financial literacy and inclusion in Myanmar. The company is developing a financial gaming application that will be accessible via users’ mobile phones.
The app’s content will be delivered through a gamified system that teaches consumers about savings, interest and insurance. Ultimately, the goal is to help women become confident enough to engage with formal banking systems and navigate financial products they may have shied away from in the past. Wave Money, UNCDF and Australia’s DFAT aim to reach 260,000 women, 30,000 of whom already use mobile money accounts.
“The partnership between Wave Money and UNCDF will be instrumental in identifying how we can most effectively serve those currently underserved and excluded,” said Brad Jones, Wave Money’s CEO, via email. “We believe that through this application, people in Myanmar will be able to improve their understanding of financial concepts, which will further enhance financial inclusion in Myanmar.”
Less than 10% of women in Myanmar between the ages of 18 and 34 currently have bank accounts, and only 29% have access to formal financial services. In a press release announcing the partnership, the partnering parties attributed the low numbers to “the lack of information that reaches women, and poor guidance available to them on where and how to use financial services that meets their respective needs.”
A digital gateway
But with smartphone penetration growing rapidly in Myanmar, digital platforms offer a gateway for reaching greater numbers of women and provide them with the means to participate more fully in the economy. In 2016, the GSMA reported that 33% of women own mobile phones in Myanmar, and about 1.4 million use smartphones. According to Jones, Wave Money will use UNCDF resources and data in developing the gamified app to ensure that it meets the needs of the women it aims to reach.
The Wave Money-UNCDF-DFAT partnership stems from UNCDF’s SHIFT Challenge program. The Shaping Inclusive Finance Transformations (SHIFT) department emphasizes empowerment through access to financial services and specifically focuses on women in underserved markets. Wave Money submitted a proposal for its gamification platform to the Challenge, and will receive funding from SHIFT, DFAT and the UNCDF’s Expanding Financial Access (EFA) program, the latter being the primary sponsor.
The EFA’s goals for Myanmar include increasing the number of adults who use more than one financial product from 6 to 15% and boosting overall inclusion from 30 to 40% by 2020. The program also aims to reach 830,000 “low income beneficiaries,” such as small-scale farmers, young consumers, and women entrepreneurs.
Winning over skeptics
As the first company to receive a mobile financial services license from Myanmar’s Central Bank, Wave Money sees an opportunity to “enable and empower people with the freedom to manage their money the way they most prefer in an easy and reliable way,” according to Jones. The hope is that consistent, transparent products will win over consumers who are skeptical of financial systems.
“The main objective of our digital gamification on financial literacy is to increase the understanding and perceptions of formal financial services and increase their interest and trust,” Jones said. “In this way, we believe that this will help improve these relationships.”
First appeared at Forbes
Sending money on Facebook is finally international. (more…)
Ever since India invalidated much of its cash, it has been encouraging its citizens to switch to mobile wallets and other epayment solutions. Today, it took another step in pushing its citizens to embark on the cashless payment solutions — but early boomers aren’t going to like it. (more…)
By Ketharaman Swaminathan for Finextra
With over 100 million users a year ago, PayTM was already ahead of its digital payment competitors before the Nov. 2016 demonetization of high value currency notes in India. (more…)
A movement by countries around the globe to embrace a cashless future is resulting in plastic payments (think credit and debit cards) to erode cash’s market share. (more…)
By Vinod Sharma Finextra
Abstract – Essentially, digital cash mimics the functionality of paper cash. The elimination of physical cash from economy is feasible is purely a technological perspective or assumption. Our hard earned money and investments disappear into a labyrinth of financial instruments so mysterious that “money” almost becomes more of an idea than a tangible reality. (more…)
HSBC is to launch a P2P mobile payment app in Hong Kong in early 2017, taking on established market operator Jetco. (more…)
– In-vehicle payment experience features secure Visa payment technology
– First proof-of-concept demonstration with fueling pumps and smart parking meters from infrastructure partners: Gilbarco Veeder-Root and IPS Group, Inc.
– Showcasing the simplicity and convenience of mobile payments directly from the vehicle (more…)
Chinese consumers are rapidly moving towards non-bank and cashless alternatives, such as Alibaba’s $60 bln financial application Alipay. To cope with the rapid growth rate of its FinTech industry, Chinese state-owned companies launched a $1.5 bln fund to support emerging FinTech startups and technologies. (more…)
By Ketharaman Swaminathan for Finextra
On the back of the demonetization of high value currency notes in India, the government has been aggressively pushing cashless payments. Trending on Twitter under the hashtag #CashlessIndia, the initiative has attracted criticism from the blogosphere and mainstream media on the grounds that India is not yet ready for digital payments. (more…)
A new analysis from the Federal Reserve shows checks as one of the few non-cash payment types to decline, while many others are on the rise. (more…)