Restaurant card program launches website for beneficiaries

… State of Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism … can check their eligibility status at www.myrestaurantcard.hawaii.gov.

LIHU‘E — On Tuesday, the State of Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT) announced a website for the unemployed to check to see if they are eligible to receive the $500 restaurant debit card issued by the state as part of the Economic Relief Program.

Qualified recipients will automatically receive this benefit beginning Oct. 16. Hawai‘i residents who opened an initial Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim on or after March 1, 2020; certified that their job loss is due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and received UI benefits during the month of September 2020, are eligible for this program. There is no need to apply.

Residents can check their eligibility status at www.myrestaurantcard.hawaii.gov.

The use of the debit card is limited to certain participating restaurants.

If the cardholder does not use up all of the funds on their card, by Dec. 15, it will be returned to the State of Hawai‘i.

For more info go to www.hawaiirestaurantcard.com.

1st Africa Data Protection Conclave set to hold October 15th and 16th

… has since January 2019 seen a meteoric rise in data protection compliance and active citizen participation in the protection of their personal data.

Standard Chartered in collaboration with Visa, has today launched a new ‘Safe is Smart’ campaign, aimed at encouraging the adoption of eCommerce solutions, as Nigeria journeys onto economic recovery.

This campaign will promote and educate consumers on smart ideas and e-payments solutions that will drive sustainability, survival and business recovery in the e-payments ecosystem.

Following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the campaign also seeks to provide convenient and secure cashless payment alternatives through the Standard Chartered Visa Debit card, QR payment solutions and the Standard Chartered digital banking mobile app.

Commenting on the partnership, David Idoru Head of Retail Banking at Standard Chartered West Africa, noted that it is important to increase consumer awareness on the safety of cashless payments solutions. “eCcommerce transactions make a large percentage of consumer spend and we want to be able to support consumers through our digital solutions to help them make smart financial decisions especially during the Covid-19 period. Our retail banking business is heavily focused on championing a digitized payments revolution to provide convenience and access to our customers especially through our fully digital mobile app.

This partnership with Visa also further emphasizes our commitment to the financial wellbeing of our clients, as Standard Chartered Visa Card holders, will enjoy numerous benefits including points earned using our 360 rewards program and zero surcharges at the point of sales through the ‘Safe is Smart’ initiative, he added.

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“The reality of the Covid-19 pandemic has presented a new shift in consumer behavior and through our network, we want to ensure that consumers are embracing the most secure payment solutions. Data from our Covid-19 impact tracker reveal that digital payments are on the rise, as more people now choose digital payments over cash transactions. The survey revealed that 39% of consumers in Nigeria started purchasing groceries online, 42% started purchasing food delivery online, while 43% of consumers started purchasing from pharmacies online for the first time” says Kemi Okusanya, Vice President Visa West Africa.

“The next evolution of payments is going to be driven by collaborations with financial institutions like Standard Chartered Bank. In a time as critical as this, our goal is to continuously foster innovation driven by technology to meet consumers’ every day needs, while driving the economy to recovery through accelerated eCommerce transactions,” she added.

Standard Chartered and Visa has since the pandemic continued to roll out initiatives that will help consumers and merchants mitigate and drive progression towards economic recovery.

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About Standard Chartered

We are a leading international banking group, with a presence in 59 of the world’s most dynamic markets and serving clients in a further 85. Our purpose is to drive commerce and prosperity through our unique diversity, and our heritage and values are expressed in our brand promise, Here for good. Standard Chartered PLC is listed on the London and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges as well as the Bombay and National Stock Exchanges in India.

About Visa Inc.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network – enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit About Visa, https://www.visa.com.ng/ and @VisaAfrica.

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Corporate Communications Contact

Dayo Aderugbo

Head, Corporate Affairs, Brand and Marketing Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria

+ 234 802 931 4012

[email protected]

OR

Niyi Adebiyi

Corporate Communications

appapp

Visa Sub-Saharan Africa

Mob: +2348166109761

E-mail: [email protected]

The death of cash

Those life lessons paired with the convenience of financial technology are all fine and good with Rogan. Albeit there is one drawback, especially on …

Opinion

Like many of her peers at Stonewall Collegiate, Rogan Stoecklin likes to go to “Tim’s” for a snack after class.

And she often doesn’t bring her wallet.

She doesn’t have to.

It’s not that her friends are incredibly generous, buying her a snack or drink.

Rather, the 14-year-old, who figure skates, excels at math and hopes to be a veterinarian one day, uses her mobile phone to pay.

“I rely almost solely on my phone and my card,” Stoecklin says, adding she still gets some cash from babysitting. But since getting a part-time job with a paycheque deposited into her savings account, she’d rather tap to pay.

“So I rarely have cash on me anymore.”

Cash used to be king — so the saying goes. But the crown is slipping off the king’s head more and more, by the year. Fewer Canadians use cash to pay, preferring debit and even more so credit cards — be it the actual plastic card or through an app on a mobile device.

What’s more, a recent Ipsos survey — part of its annual Canada Payments study — shows cash use steeply declined during the pandemic with credit card use rising significantly.

“We know that in the last five years we’ve seen credit cards increasing steadily,” says Heidi Wilson, vice-president of marketing and strategy at Ipsos and in charge of the study.

Prior to 2020, credit card use rose from 44 per cent to 52 per cent of consumer purchases from 2014 to 2019. So far this year, however, credit card use has increased to 59 per cent — with most of that growth occurring since March.

In contrast, cash use fell from 23 per cent in 2014 to 19 per cent last year.

Today, however, cash is now used only 11 per cent of the time. (Debit card use, by the way, has held steady from last year at 19 per cent.)

Wilson says cash isn’t dead just yet, but its prognosis isn’t great.

And its declining use is changing how we spend — in particular how much we spend.

First, it’s important to note the pandemic reduced debt-loads among Canadians. Many people have stayed home more, and in turn saved money by not paying for lunches out, going to movies and other leisure activities. In turn, many consumers seem to have been using those savings to pay down debt.

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p>
<p>Sarah Stoecklin-Falk and her 14-year-old daughter, Rogan Stoecklin, often use tap (either on their phones or with cards) to pay for goods.</p>

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Sarah Stoecklin-Falk and her 14-year-old daughter, Rogan Stoecklin, often use tap (either on their phones or with cards) to pay for goods.

Recent Statistics Canada data show Canadians now owe $1.58 for every dollar of household income, down from the high of about $1.75 prior to COVID-19.

Yet it’s likely deferrals of mortgage, auto, credit card and other debt payments have also helped. The Canada Emergency Response Benefit has likely played its part too, particularly for lower income earners carrying credit card debt.

That’s possibly one reason why debt counselling agencies, like Community Financial Counselling Services in Winnipeg, have yet to see a recent influx of indebted individuals with unmanageable debt.

“Our clients have been telling us that they have been thankful for the COVID support programs which have allowed them to reduce debt and manage their finances while many were facing reduced income,” says John Silver, CFCS’s executive director.

But its counsellors expect “calls will increase as CERB and all of the credit card, mortgage and rent default supports are cut at the end of September.”

Wilson adds the survey supports this premise. Some indebted consumers managed to pay off their credit card balances that had been building prior to the pandemic. Six per cent of the 28 per cent surveyed, who had indicated carrying a card balance in March, had paid off that debt by June.

But the remaining consumers with rolling credit card debt — 22 per cent of all surveyed — actually saw their debt rise from about $3,000 to nearly $5,000 on average.

“That’s a frightening stat because it means those most at risk and in need of money are turning to a really high interest loan with credit cards,” Wilson says.

Additionally, it’s easier to overspend using plastic, research has consistently shown, as revealed in a 2015 study published in the Journal of Consumer Research. Using cards, and even more so having the card on file when shopping online with click-and-buy, decrease the psychological pain we feel if we had used cash. In other words, paying with cash hurts more than paying with plastic because credit delays the pain. We don’t see the bill until a few days or weeks later. As such, it’s much easier to overspend with credit.

These findings are not lost on policy-makers, like the Bank of Canada, which tracks Canadians’ methods of payments. It recently published an in-house discussion paper that showed the “rush to plastic” wasn’t as dramatic as expected, the central bank stated in an email to the Free Press.

In its own survey, the Bank of Canada found 36 per cent of Canadians still used cash in a transaction the week prior to being polled while 52 per cent used debit, 62 per cent used credit cards and 38 per cent used e-transfer.

“About two-thirds of Canadians say they did not change their cash use during the pandemic, while 35 per cent reported a decrease,” the email further stated.

That said, the central bank is concerned about rising debt in Canada and anything that plays a role in that trend — including growing credit use.

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Many Canadians are monitoring their spending too, aware the tally grows more easily when tapping at the till. That includes Rogan’s mother Sarah Stoecklin-Falk, the “accountant” of the household.

“I personally like tap. It is fast and convenient,” she says. “The downside… is you don’t see how all the purchases add up.”

Yet Stoecklin-Falk still considers the potential to overspend an opportunity to teach the kids about budgeting. And given her children often use their phones to pay, she also has them paying their mobile bills — another “stepping stone” to financial independence.

Those life lessons paired with the convenience of financial technology are all fine and good with Rogan.

Albeit there is one drawback, especially on those jaunts to Tim Hortons.

“I often don’t take my wallet out when I go out with family, but my phone is always on me,” Rogan says. “So if we’re going to Tim’s, I often have to pay.”

Ripple partners ACI Worldwide and Currencycloud close new ‘big deals’

Ripple Partner ACI Worldwide is helping State Bank of India modernize its payment system and process payments in cryptocurrencies. RippleNet’s …
  • Ripple Partner ACI Worldwide is helping State Bank of India modernize its payment system and process payments in cryptocurrencies.
  • RippleNet’s long-standing member Currencycloud has partnered with Dunbridge Financial to offer e-wallets to customers in over 180 countries.

In a new press release, ACI Worldwide states that it has entered into a cooperation with India’s largest public bank, the State Bank of India. The aim of the partnership is to modernise the existing payment infrastructure for ATMs and Point-of-Sale (POS) stations through technical updates for more than 440 million account holders.

The State Bank of India uses the ATM network and POS ATM software provided by Ripple Partner SBI. The bank has more than 22,000 branches across the country and provides more than 58,000 ATMs. The bank serves customers from more than 32 countries worldwide and has recently expanded internationally.

ACI is a leading provider of real-time digital payments, providing State Bank of India with a payment solution that enables real-time financial transactions through ATM, POS and e-commerce channels without any delay. The technical upgrade has increased the transaction volume to over 30 million per day.

The technical update will continue to reduce downtime, and scalability has been greatly increased. SBI has implemented additional features that make the processing of payments for debit cards, mobile banking, Internet banking, prepaid and UPI payments more secure. Dhananjay Tambe, Deputy Managing Director & CIO, State Bank of India, described the migration as a complete success:

Considering the size and complexity of this upgrade, the migration process has been seamless and has not only minimized risk in the production environment—with minimum downtime required for switchover—but also minimized impact for our customers.

According to official figures, ACI processes just under 9 % of the total transaction volume of the payment giant SWIFT. The cooperation not only gives State Bank of India a faster payment network, but also access to additional payment channels, enabling it to process cross-border transactions quickly and cost-effectively for its customers.

Currency Cloud partners with Dunbridge Financial

Currency Cloud has entered into a cooperation with the internationally active payment company Dunbridge Financial. Currencycloud offers more than 30 different currencies and has a payment network in over 180 countries worldwide. The partnership enables Dunbridge Financial to integrate e-wallets into its range of services and thus provide another important service to its customers.

In addition, payments can now be made across borders at low cost and in near real-time. The CEO of Dunbridge Financial sees the partnership as a strong added value for its customers:

Currencycloud’s platform provides a strong breadth of currencies and industry-leading platform technology that will allow our customers to manage their FX exposure and move their money at a low cost, with fully transparent pricing.

Currencycloud recently entered into a partnership with Ripple to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) process micro-payments, thereby effectively supporting the SME sector. The demand for low-cost microtransactions is steadily increasing, so Ripple is also focusing on this area.

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