EU-STARTUPS: In the last decade, there were a bunch of really successful fintech companies that started in Europe. Companies like Klarna, Adyen or Transferwise (to name just a few) changed the way we do payments or the way we transfer money overseas. By pursuing radical new concepts, these fintech startups became some of Europe’s most valuable companies within just a few years.
FORBES: Apple has quietly filed for a new patent which details a person-to-person money transmission method which could potentially grab market share from PayPal and Square, and hit the already beleaguered banking sector struggling to keep up with FinTech. Apple is already banking on consumers using the wallet in Apple Pay as their central source for general payments, (more…)
The Economist: Paying for a taxi ride using your mobile phone is easier in Nairobi than it is in New York, thanks to Kenya’s world-leading mobile-money system, M-PESA. Launched in 2007 by Safaricom, the country’s largest mobile-network operator, it is now used by over 17m Kenyans, equivalent to more than two-thirds of the adult population; around 25% of the country’s gross national product flows through it. M-PESA lets people transfer cash using their phones, and is by far the most successful scheme of its type on earth. Why does Kenya lead the world in mobile money? (more…)
TECHCRUNCH: Bitcoin’s most disrupting feature is its decentralized architecture. Indeed, bitcoin relies on a P2P network of computers to proceed money transfers. Each part of the network works to create new bitcoins (‘mining’), keep the network alive and validate transactions. All the transactions are registered in the blockchain that is used to validate a transaction using cryptography technology: it ensures that you can’t use a bitcoin you don’t own or you don’t use the same bitcoin more than once. This last action previously required a third party, but with bitcoin this is not the case anymore: the network replaces financial institutions and banks. (more…)
TECHCRUNCH: Despite the shift away from paying with cash or check in favor of digital transactions in recent years, many smaller organizations, and even schools, still rely on old-school methods when it comes to collecting money from groups. Though it’s a hassle for both the organizer and the payer in the long run, checks are often easier than pointing users to online tools like PayPal or setting up websites with payment mechanisms built-in solely for the purpose of a one-time fundraising campaign, for example. A company called Cheddar Up wants to offer an alternative for group payments, while still making the process as simple for both parties as collecting checks or cash. (more…)
THE NEXT WEB: Square introduced Square Cash in 2013 to go against Venmo as an easy payment system anyone can use to send some money over to friends and families. Turns out companies liked the idea too, so Square has now made Cash available for businesses in the US. As with Cash for consumers, payments are deposited directly into bank accounts with an intermediary holding account. Square is charging businesses a 1.5 percent fee (value of transaction being limited to $250 per transaction and $2500 per month) for the service – just over half the 2.75 percent it charges for payments via its hardware devices. Non-business money transfers are still free. (more…)
TECHCRUNCH: When you chat with friends about settling debts or splitting the bill, Facebook doesn’t want you to have to open another app like PayPal or Venmo to send them money. So today it unveiled a new payments feature for Facebook Messenger that lets you connect your Visa or Mastercard debit card and tap a “$” button to send friends money on iOS, Android, and desktop with zero fees. Facebook Messenger payments will roll out first in the U.S. over the coming months.
TECHINASIA: Yesterday at Cebit in Hanover, Alibaba founder Jack Ma took the stage to wax philosophical on entrepreneurship and the future of technology. While he oozed charisma on stage, the real treat came at the end of his address. After noting how online payments can sometimes be troublesome, the founder took out his smartphone and paid for a set of stamps on Alibaba using face-recognition technology (more…)
TECHCRUNCH: Wiper, a chat application designed to provide users with control over their sent and received messages, recently rolled out support for bitcoin transactions between its users. The tool is simple, allowing individuals to send cryptocurrency to others inside the app’s main chat interface. But CEO Manlio Carrelli told TechCrunch that Wiper was “removed from the iOS App Store in China due to violating that app store’s policies,” and that “Apple [had] explained to [the company] by phone that this violation was related to Wiper enabling bitcoin payments.” (more…)
E27.CO: Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons Ratan Tata has made an undisclosed amount of investment in mobile payments and commerce company Paytm. With this investment, Tata will pick up a small stake in One97 Communications, the company that owns and operates Paytm. He will also take on the role of an advisor at the company.