Big Issue now available via contactless payment to increase sales in cashless society

The Big Issue magazine is now available via contactless payment as consumers move away from using cash. The magazine, which is sold by …

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The Big Issue magazine is now available via contactless payment as consumers move away from using cash.

The magazine, which is sold by homeless people, launched the initiative. Vendors involved in a trial scheme in five cities saw 80% of sales become cashless and card reader devices are being rolled out across Britain.

Sellers will “increase their ability to earn a legitimate income”, the managing director of the magazine Russell Blackman told the BBC.

Mr Blackman added that the scheme was “an effort to improve levels of financial inclusion for vendors, who often live lives that are blighted by poverty and who have difficulty accessing mainstream financial services and products typically offered by retail banks”.

Financial technology company iZettle is making card readers available to Big Issue vendors for the reduced price of £9.

It says they will benefit from a per-transaction fee “significantly lower” than its standard rate of 1.75%.

Some enterprising vendors already decided to offer cash payments before the scheme was announced.

Big Issue seller Robin Fabian from Bristol bought a card reader after potential customers said they did not carry cash, according to the BBC.

Mike Hall, 29, who sells the magazine inside Bristol Temple Meads railway station said: “It has been really important in attracting more customers to buy copies of the magazine from me”.

Norwich Big Issue seller Jim Hannah, 59, said: “I am really pleased to be able to offer card payments to my lovely customers, which I am now able to do thanks to the Big Issue team and iZettle.

“Before all this started I had no ID, no bank account and a rubbish phone and now I have a decent smartphone, a passport, a bank account and a card reader. I now feel ready for a cashless future.”

Edward Hallett, managing director at iZettle UK, said: “Today, 80 per cent of iZettle’s total card payments in the UK are contactless, as more people than ever choose to tap to pay for their purchases.

“It is fantastic to give even more sellers access to the tools they need to stay on top of consumer trends and manage in an increasingly cashless society.”

The Big Issue was launched in 1991 and is sold by people who are homeless or close to homeless.

Vendors buy each magazine for £1.25, before selling them on for £2.50.

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8-month-old startup FPL Technologies raises $4.5M to improve credit card experience in India

Pune-based FPL Technologies said Thursday it has raised $4.5 million in its maiden financing round from Matrix Partners India, Sequoia Capital India, …

An eight-month-old startup in India that wants to improve the user experience of credit card holders in the nation has received the backing of at least two major investors.

Pune-based FPL Technologies said Thursday it has raised $4.5 million from Matrix Partners India, Sequoia Capital India and others in its maiden financing round.

In an interview with TechCrunch earlier this week, Anurag Sinha, co-founder and CEO of FPL Technologies, said the startup aims to build a full-stack solution to reimagine how people in India get their first credit card and engage with it.

Even as hundreds of millions of people in India today are securing loans from organized financial lenders, most of them are unable to get a credit card. Fewer than 25 million people in the country today have a credit card, according to industry estimates. And even those who have a credit card are not exactly pleased with the experience.

fpl team

Vibhav, Anurag, Rupesh, co-founders of FPL Technologies, pose for a picture

Much of the blame goes to banks and other credit card issuing firms that are largely relying on archaic technology to operate their plastic card business.

Sinha, an industry veteran, said through his startup he aims to address a wide range of pain points of credit card holders, such as in-person meeting or telephonic interaction with bank representatives for getting a credit card, having to talk to someone to get basic support and not being able to mask the card’s identity when shopping online.

The startup, which employs about 20 people, aims to build the mobile credit card service in the next couple of months, but in the meantime, it is offering an app called OneScore to help users check their credit score and learn how to improve it. Sinha said OneScore, unlike most of its rivals, doesn’t sell the data of customers to third-party agencies.

The app was launched two months ago and has already amassed more than 100,000 users, Sinha said. These users would get the first dibs on the startup’s mobile credit card, he said.

In a statement, Shailesh Lakhani, managing director of Sequoia Capital India, said, “When they presented a plan to modernize credit cards in India it immediately resonated with the Sequoia India team. It’s a delight to partner with them as they work on developing more flexible, affordable and easier to use financial products for Indian consumers.”

In recent months, a handful of startups in India have started to explore ways to expand the reach of credit cards in the nation and incentivize users to become more responsible with how they engage with it. Bangalore-based SlicePay offers a payment card with a pre-approved credit line for students, gig-workers, freelancers and startup employees. CRED, a startup by industry veteran Kunal Shah, recently raised $120 million to motivate users to improve their financial behavior.

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Tech Glitch Halts Card Processing For Some Mexico Merchants

With a valuation of $22.5 billion, Stripe has investors like Tiger Global, Andreessen Horowitz, Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Google’s venture outfit Capital G, …

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Shops in Mexico started asking customers to pay with cash after several of the country’s biggest banks started having issues handling debit and credit card payments, Reuters reported on Saturday (Aug. 10).

Cards affected included Banorte, HSBC and Santander, who said on Twitter that they would find a way to rectify the problem, which seemed to be with the company processing the payments. Reuters reported that it was not immediately clear whether cards other than those issued by Banorte, HSBC and Santander were affected.

Customers at various stores in Mexico City said their cards were declined at different stores, and other shops had signage indicating systems were down but cash was being accepted, Reuters said.

The Mexican Finance Ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

The card processing outage comes on the heels of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s recent encouragement to use cards over cash.

Payments startup Stripe announced earlier in August that it was planning to open an office in Mexico City to take advantage of opportunities for growth in the Latin American region. Stripe said it wants to get engineers from the area and take advantage of the fast-growing mobile payment and eCommerce sectors.

Stripe Chief Business Officer Billy Alvarado said that the activity in the region made the move an easy choice. “Our goal is to make sure that the internet works the way it was intended to — it should be global, and it should be borderless,” Alvarado said. “There’s a very rich ecosystem for us in Latin America.”

San Francisco-based Stripe competes with Square and Adyen to help businesses facilitate payments over the internet.

With a valuation of $22.5 billion, Stripe has investors like Tiger Global, Andreessen Horowitz, Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Google’s venture outfit Capital G, Sequoia Capital, Kleiner Perkins and other notable names in the space.

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.