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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Pag-IBIG payment system goes digital

It is the financial technology arm of Voyager Innovations, the leading technology company in the country backed by PLDT, KKR, Tencent, World Bank’s …

Pag-IBIG payment system goes digital

August 05, 2019

In line with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to make public services more convenient for Filipinos, members of Pag-IBIG Fund can now enjoy a more convenient way to pay for their savings and loan repayments.

This is now possible as the agency partners with leading digital financial services firm PayMaya to bring digital and card payments to its online and branch channels.

Through the partnership, Pag-IBIG Fund members can now remit their savings and pay for their loan amortizations using any Visa, Mastercard or JCB credit, debit and prepaid card. PayMaya account holders can also pay using their mobile number linked to their e-wallet via Pag-IBIG Fund’s online portal.

PayMaya will also soon equip Pag-IBIG Fund branches with One by PayMaya point-of-sale (POS) devices, which will enable the agency to accept PayMaya QR payments and any Visa, Mastercard or JCB credit, debit and prepaid card. One by PayMaya is the only POS device that can accept multiple modes of cashless payments via swipe, tap, and dip for cards, and pay-to-scan via QR.

Aside from bringing convenience to customers, offering alternative cashless payment methods will also lessen cash handling in paying Pag-IBIG Fund dues for better security and efficiencies.

All these channels complement the existing bills payment channel in the PayMaya mobile app that already allows for in-app payments of Pag-IBIG Fund transactions for millions of PayMaya and Smart Padala by PayMaya customers.

PayMaya is the only digital financial services company with an integrated suite of solutions for consumers and merchants complemented by the widest remittance partner agent network. It is the financial technology arm of Voyager Innovations, the leading technology company in the country backed by PLDT, KKR, Tencent, World Bank’s IFC, and the IFC Emerging Asia Fund. Its “one payment platform” enables the country’s top eCommerce sites, major retail and quick-service restaurants, government institutions, as well as MSMEs, to accept multiple kinds of cashless payments.

“With this partnership, our members now have an even wider range of options whenever they need to transact with Pag-IBIG Fund. For those who don’t want to leave their homes or offices, they can pay conveniently online. Overseas Filipino Workers would also be able to have easier access to payment options through our website powered by PayMaya. This is our way of bringing our services one convenient step closer to Pag-IBIG Fund members, wherever they may be,” said Acmad Rizaldy P. Moti, chief executive officer of Pag-IBIG Fund.

“We are glad that government agencies like Pag-IBIG Fund are embracing digital payment technologies to help bring convenience to all Filipinos. We at PayMaya are proud to be the partner of Pag-IBIG in delivering more accessible public services, which is in line with our goal of digital and financial inclusion for the Philippines,” said Orlando B. Vea, Founder and CEO of PayMaya Philippines.

By equipping government agencies with digital payment options, PayMaya is also helping the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas achieve its goal of transforming 20 percent of all transactions in the country to digital by 2020.

Zero launches a debit card with credit card rewards

The fintech has raised $35 million from investors including New Enterprise Associates (NEA), SignalFire, Eniac Ventures, and Nyca. What is it: Zero …

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.

  • When a user uses Zerocard to pay, she accrues rewards like many credit cards.
  • A customer’s available checking account balance effectively becomes his self-imposed Zerocard spending limit, helping to avoid unintentional overspending.

“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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Robocops on the cyber beat

According to US-based tech analysts CB Insights, “cybersecurity unicorns (companies valued at more than $US1 billion) are being minted at a faster …

The threats these companies are focused upon are not, in themselves, surprising. They cover security of devices, security of information networks, network management and back-up, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and unusual behaviours.

Never-ending

CB Insights notes the latest cybersecurity trends, opportunities, and startups to look out for include deepfake detection, armoured email and cloud native security.

Yet those lessons from the 90s – and earlier – still hold true. Criminal actors constantly change their behaviours and tactics. As financial institutions and their partners improve security at one level, criminals exploit another.

In the early days of payment cards, fraud shifted from “card present” – the use of fake cards – to “card not present” – where a transaction was by telephone or eventually online.

Once again, protocols evolved to better ensure the “not present” user was actually the bona fide owner of the card. This included the introduction of safeguards such as the card-specific card verification code (CVC) and multi-factor identification (such as confirmation by text message.)

Financial crime and prevention is a never ending arms race. As financial institutions, networks and regulators close off one avenue, the criminals – increasingly organised, networked and even state-backed – attack on a new front, typically adopting the latest technology for nefarious means.

It’s pertinent that one of the major hurdles facing Facebook’s proposed Libra cryptocurrency is how it can comply with anti-money laundering and anti-illicit funding regulation.

Global issues

In the recent independent review of APRA, cyber risk was deemed an area where greater resourcing was necessary.

The review noted APRA’s capability did not match the risk and indeed APRA’s chairman Wayne Byres said on the release of the review “[regarding cybercrime prevention,] the skills are scarce and the risk is large”.

That is also acknowledged globally. Benoît Cœuré, a member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank, said recently in a discussion of financial system risk the risk linked to cyberattacks was a new front.

“At the ECB, and elsewhere in Europe, we are paying close attention to this issue,” he said in a television interview. “We can’t rule out the fact that the next financial crisis may come from a cyberattack on a big financial institution or a financial infrastructure. It’s our priority to prevent this risk.

“Ask any company director; there are thousands of cyberattacks every day. We’re being tested all the time, including at the ECB. It’s part of being a company. But the financial system has weak points – there are systemic infrastructures that could be targeted by cyberattacks.”

Cœuré noted the bank also experienced “thousands of small (attacks) every day”.

Willing

But the cyber arms race is only one realm of the never ending battle where sophisticated enemy is pitted against sophisticated institution.

There is also an enormous challenge when the conflict is asymmetrical – when the criminals are smarter and better resourced that the targets.

Just as we have seen through the history of financial crime, criminals adjust their attack to focus on weakness. And one of the new areas of weakness comes not when the criminals manage to breach defences; it is when they are invited in.

Why go to the trouble of assaulting better and better barriers when a victim will invite you around to the back door and just let you in?

Thus fraud is increasingly shifting from unauthorised transactions to authorised ones. These include romance and fishing scams – digital versions of Ponzi schemes – a vast and growing front where the victims (until they finally realise what is happening) are willing.

Andrew Cornell is managing editor of bluenotes

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