Uber Says It’s Having Some Success in Reducing Payment Card Costs

Ride-sharing leader Uber Technologies Inc. reported Thursday that it’s had some success in reducing payment card acceptance costs, though it didn’t …

Uber didn’t disclose card-acceptance costs in its latest financial report, but Digital Transactions News estimates the bills total at least $1 billion a year. That estimate is based on figures from the registration statement Uber filed ahead of its May initial public offering of stock. The document said Uber paid $749 million in credit card processing fees in 2017, up 62% from $461 million in 2016. While the filing didn’t give 2018 acceptance figures, it did say 87% of Uber’s gross bookings last year were on credit or debit cards.

Next up for Uber in the payments area is “testing, broadening out some of the capabilities, particularly in Latin America,” Chai said without being specific. The goal is to give drivers options to operate more frequently and to reduce cash payments in some markets, particularly Brazil.

Anything Uber can do to reduce expenses will be welcomed by its top brass and investors in light of the $5.24 billion loss the company reported for the second quarter versus an $878 million loss a year earlier. Though much of the recent red ink is attributable to IPO expenses, including $3.9 billion of stock-based compensation costs and a $298 million “driver-appreciation” award, Uber still finds operating profitability elusive.

Uber reported $15.8 billion in second-quarter gross bookings, up 31% year-over-year. Uber’s bookings typically come through its mobile app. Revenue increased 14% to $3.17 billion. The company said it had 99 million active customers who used its ride-sharing, other mobility options, or the Uber Eats restaurant-delivery service at least once a month in the second quarter, up 30% from 76 million a year earlier. Uber drivers made 1.68 billion trips in the second quarter, a 35% year-over-year increase from 1.24 billion.

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    Verrency and Coinify partnership a ‘game changer’

    By partnering with Coinify, Verrency is now able to enable banks to offer their customers virtual currency and token usage.” And the use of existing …

    Verrency and Coinify are teaming up to enable customers to spend virtual currency via banks’ existing payment cards.

    Consequently, banks can offer customers the ability to use virtual currency at any merchant.

    Specifically, the partnership empowers banks utilising Verrency’s middleware platform to integrate virtual currency funding sources and digital wallets. Moreover they can do so within their existing payments rails.

    At the same time, it avoids the need for customers to use specially issued prepaid or debit cards.

    Instead, customers can make payments anywhere using virtual currency via existing payments products, including their physical cards and digital wallets.

    The service uses Verrency’s high-performance value-added payments technology layer. And so a bank can route payments to different funding sources authorised by the bank. This includes custodial or non-custodial wallet containing digital assets.

    Coinify supports the selection and connection of the wallet infrastructure, which may be either internal or external to the bank.

    Verrency and Coinify partnership a ‘game changer’

    Verrency CEO David Link says that the partnership is a game changer. In particular, it will increase the utility of token-based assets among major financial institutions.

    “Virtual currencies are transitioning in the next few years from being speculative investments into a smaller number of mainstream assets.

    “This will see more government or fiat-backed stable tokens, or even tokens simply as a payment element. So it is critical that banks have the technology in place to actually allow the usage of such virtual assets.”

    He adds that it is crucial that this runs across bank’s consumer-centred legacy payments rails. Mainstream usage of tokens or virtual assets will not occur by connecting the merchant-side of the equation.

    “It simply will take too long to achieve ubiquity, without which there will be no significant usage. By partnering with Coinify, Verrency is now able to enable banks to offer their customers virtual currency and token usage.”

    And the use of existing debit and credit cards means that banks avoid costly infrastructure overhaul.

    Verrency capital raising

    Payment innovation fintech Verrency is headquartered in Melbourne.

    Verrency’s API platform provides an overlay to legacy infrastructure. This enables banks to upgrade their customer offerings with digital services including auto-rounding, real-time budgeting notifications and instant loyalty rewards.

    In June, Verrency raised A$10m in funding ahead of planned international expansion.

    Verrency clients include Emirates NBD and Australian digital challenger Volt.

    Virtual currency payment provider Coinify is headquartered in Denmark.

    2e83c1df591eac268536f94801809666f6703c8f - Verrency and Coinify enable virtual currency spend at any merchant

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    Verrency and Coinify Partner to Enable Bank Customers to Spend Virtual Currency at Any …

    Global payment innovation leader Verrency, and Coinify, a leading virtual currency payment provider, have today announced a new partnership …

    MELBOURNE, Australia and COPENHAGEN, Denmark–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aug 8, 2019–

    Global payment innovation leader Verrency, and Coinify, a leading virtual currency payment provider, have today announced a new partnership enabling banks to securely offer their customers the ability to use virtual currency for payments at any merchant around the world.

    The partnership will empower banks utilising Verrency’s middleware platform to integrate virtual currency funding sources and digital wallets with their existing payments rails, without the need for customers to use specially issued prepaid or debit cards. Instead, banks can offer their customers the ability to make payments anywhere using virtual currency via their existing payments products, such as their physical cards and digital wallets.

    The service works by using Verrency’s high-performance value-added payments technology layer to enable a bank to easily route payments to different funding sources authorised by the bank, such as a custodial or non-custodial wallet containing digital assets. Coinify supports the selection and connection of the wallet infrastructure, which may be either internal or external to the bank.

    Verrency CEO David Link, who was also appointed as an advisor to Ripple in early 2016, said the partnership is a gamechanger for the beginning of increased utility of token-based assets among major financial institutions.

    “The rapid growth in consumer interest and ownership of virtual currency assets and the rise of virtual trust technologies has been a key trend for the payments sector as a whole over the last decade,” Mr Link said. “As virtual currencies transition in the next few years from being speculative investments into a smaller number of mainstream assets – which will see more government or fiat-backed stable tokens, or even tokens simply as a payment element – it is critical that banks have the technology in place to actually allow the usage of such virtual assets across their existing consumer-centered legacy payments rails. Mainstream usage of tokens or virtual assets will not occur by connecting the merchant-side of the equation – it simply will take too long to achieve ubiquity, without which there will be no significant usage.”

    “By partnering with Coinify, Verrency is now able to enable banks to offer their customers virtual currency and token usage via their existing debit and credit cards without engaging in a costly infrastructure overhaul.”

    “Coinify is honoured to partner with Verrency and connect our two platforms, which holds a huge potential for crypto adoption” said Mark Højgaard, co-founder and CEO of Coinify. “Verrency’s platform that can easily integrate third parties with the existing banking payments infrastructure is a potential breakthrough for the future space of digital currency and mainstream token usage, where established technology titans, such as Facebook’s Libra project, are beginning to explore the possibilities.”

    Verrency’s platform is a high-performance bank-grade technology layer and API platform that fits on top of a processor’s, bank’s or digital wallet’s existing infrastructure, enabling them to rapidly deliver enhanced services and products around the moment of payment without changing their existing technology.

    The partnership sees Coinify join Verrency’s V+ partner ecosystem, which facilitates collaboration with Fintechs and enables a nearly endless set of hyper-personalizable services including redemption of rewards, facilitation of disbursements, rounding up of payments to savings or charitable destinations, access to installment credit at point of sale, facilitation of ‘real-time’ sandbox environments, and many more.

    This announcement comes as Facebook’s proposed virtual currency, Libra, has reinvigorated discussion around the potential for virtual currencies and fiat-backed tokens to become a more mainstream part of global payments infrastructure.

    About Verrency

    Verrency empowers banks and other financial institutions to quickly, cost-effectively and reliably deliver innovative new products and services to consumers and business partners around their most important interaction – the moment of payment. Verrency’s high-performance bank-grade technology layer works behind the scenes to enable a nearly endless range of value-added services for a bank’s customers quickly and easily without major changes to existing payments infrastructure or the need to integrate to point-of-sale systems. Verrency also enables rapid connection to third-party services via its FinTech ecosystem with little to no integration. For more information, see www.verrency.com.

    View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190808005279/en/

    CONTACT: For More Information:Verrency Danya Al-Qattan

    Sard Verbinnen & Co

    Dal-Qattan@sardverb.com

    +1 212 687 8080Ron Low

    Sard Verbinnen & Co

    Rlow@sardverb.com

    +852 3842 2200Jonathan Costello

    GRACosway

    JCostello@gracosway.com.au

    +61 424 096 770

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    INDUSTRY KEYWORD: TECHNOLOGY FINANCE BANKING PROFESSIONAL SERVICES SOFTWARE RETAIL ONLINE RETAIL

    SOURCE: Verrency

    Copyright Business Wire 2019.

    PUB: 08/08/2019 03:00 AM/DISC: 08/08/2019 03:01 AM

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    Zero has unveiled its debit card that earns cash back rewards. All members on its waiting list were invited to apply for Zero as part of a public launch.

    The fintech has raised $35 million from investors including New Enterprise Associates (NEA), SignalFire, Eniac Ventures, and Nyca.

    What is it: Zero combines the simplicity of a debit card with the rewards of a credit card, featuring unlimited 1.0% to 3.0% cash back on qualified spending.

    • Zero is available now in the Apple App Store and has opened pre-registration for Android in the Google Play store.

    How it works: Zero account holders get access to two types of accounts. Zero Checking holds a user’s money and Zerocard acts a credit card.

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    “Unlike big banks, Zero won’t tempt consumers to overspend their way into debt,” said Bryce Galen, Founder and CEO of Zero. “Big banks are also built on highly outdated technology. We built Zero from the ground up with the latest tech, so we could give customers a more delightful and rewarding experience.”

    Four levels of Zerocards

    4 flavors of cards: Zerocard is available in four levels – Quartz, Graphite, Magnesium and Carbon.

    • Each card comes with a corresponding increase in percentage of cash back earned and a unique industry award-winning card design.
    • Zerocard customers can level up in two ways – first, based on their annual spending, and second, by referring qualified friends to apply.

    Zero’s credit card is issued by WebBank as a World Mastercard that provides unlimited cash back with no category restrictions at a higher rate than many other credit cards in the U.S. market.

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    The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the Web:

    License to breach

    National Australia Bank has suffered a data breach that affects names, dates of birth, contact details and government ID numbers such as driver’s license numbers — all information that can be used to hack accounts and commit payment fraud.

    The NAB breach comes closely on the heels of another breach on Australia’s PayID, a bank-led real-time transfer app that works similar to Zelle, reports The Sydney Herald, adding the earlier breach involved compromised Westpac consumer accounts.

    The latest breach was a result of human error and was a violation of NAB’s data security policy, the newspaper reports.

    National Australia Bank headquarters
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    Bad gamble

    Gambling payments are potentially lucrative and risky for card payment processors, and may soon be more heavily restricted in the U.K.

    The United Kingdom Gambling Commission plans a public consultation on credit card payments for gambling. The commission may ban credit card payments for gambling but will consider input from the gambling industry first, reports Casino Guardian, a U.K. publication.

    The consultation will start in August. The commission is attempting to reduce the risk of gambling with borrowed money, which includes credit cards.

    More movie subscriptions

    The movie subscription payment business is filled with struggles but continues to draw new competitors who are attracted by the possibility of more predictable revenue streams.

    Regal Cinemas plans to launch a service with three tiers of membership ranging from $18 to $23.50 per month, IMAX, 3D and double features, reports Engadget.

    Finding the right mix of recurring payments, movie discounts and special fees has been tough for movie apps. Sinemia shut down in April after adjusting its debit card and pricing strategy several times, and MoviePass relaunched in January with an ad campaign and a new tiered pricing system.

    Huawei weighs in on Libra

    Huawei’s CEO is calling for China to build a virtual currency to rival Facebook’s Libra.

    Ren Zhengfei was speaking about U.S. global hegemony and China’s capability of issuing its own central bank currency to L’economia, an Italian media outlet, reports Coindesk. China has taken a mostly negative view of cryptocurrency, so there would likely need to a change in policy.

    China’s Huawei has been caught up in the U.S.-China trade dispute, though there are signs that is easing as the U.S. government recently agreed to speed licensing decisions for U.S. technology companies to sell to Huawei.

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