Google brings mobile payments app to India
Google has introduced a new mobile payments and commerce app to India. Labelled Tez, the new app gives users a simple and secure way to pay for goods or services, online or offline. India now has more than 300 million smartphone users and rapidly improving connectivity, making the internet a daily part of life for many Indians, Google noted. However, cash still remains king in India, with smartphones often going unused when it comes to payments.
GoCardless closes $22.5m funding round
London-based payments FinTech GoCardless has secured $22.5 million in funding, led by existing investors Accel, Balderton Capital, Notion and Passion. GoCardless has created a new international payments network to help businesses take and settle recurring payments from anywhere and in any currency. Users are currently able to collect payments from the UK, the eurozone countries and Sweden, with Australia, Denmark and others soon to follow.
FCA finalises PSD2 requirements
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published its approach to implementing the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2). PSD2 is an EU Directive which sets requirements for firms that provide payment services, and will affect banks and building societies, payment institutions, e-money institutions and their customers. As well as promoting innovation, PSD2 aims to improve consumer protection, make payments safer and more secure, and drive down the costs of payment services. The new regime will be in force from 13 January 2018.
Commonwealth Bank enables Android Pay
Australia’s Commonwealth Bank has collaborated with Google to allow its customers to use Android Pay and enable payments on the go with Garmin smartwatches. Android Pay allows customers to make convenient and secure payments on their Android compatible devices. Android Pay is available at almost 800,000 stores across Australia, wherever contactless payments are accepted.
Equifax: 400k UK accounts ‘may be compromised’
Equifax has confirmed that the personal information of around 400,000 UK consumers may have been breached in its recent US cyber attack – which has also now seen the company’s CIO and CSO step down. The Equifax statement said that while UK systems were not affected by the US attack, a file containing UK consumer information may potentially have been accessed. This was due to a process failure, corrected in 2016, which led to a limited amount of UK data being stored in the US between 2011 and 2016.
HSBC China introduces selfie payments
HSBC customers in China can now make peer-to-peer payments with a selfie, as the bank has introduced new facial recognition technology to its mobile app. Customers will be able to add new payees to their account and transfer money easily and securely via their mobile phone and a face scan. Customers simply blink into their camera using the ‘selfie mode’ and their identity is then checked against a photo held on a database. If the pictures match, and the customer enters the correct passcode into their banking app, they can transfer up to $7,600 a day.
Nomura establishes $100m FinTech fund
Japanese bank Nomura has announced plans to establish a new office in San Francisco, equipped with $100 million to invest in Silicon Valley tech startups. Serving as a hub for global collaboration between Nomura, Silicon Valley startups and venture capital firms, the new office will explore next-generation businesses and cutting-edge technologies. Nomura said it will leverage these technologies to further enhance its existing businesses and transform the way it operates.
Yolt bolsters money app offering
ING-backed money management app Yolt has released a series of new updates today, following the apps launch earlier this year. Yolt lets users view their accounts and credit cards in one place, set budgets and plan for upcoming expenditures. The new upgrade has improved the app’s spending categories and extended them with the most requested ones.
Western Europe ATM figures drop for first time
For the first time since their introduction 50 years ago the number of ATMs in western Europe have seen a decline, with the region ending 2016 with 2,000 fewer terminals than the previous year. This is according to a new study from RBR, which found that the three largest markets in the region – the UK, Germany and France – all saw marginal falls, while the Nordic countries continued to shed ATMs at a high rate. Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland all saw annual reductions of five per cent or more, as consumers increasingly switched to alternative payment methods such as cards and mobile banking apps.
TNG FinTech closes $115m funding round
Hong Kong-based digital wallet firm TNG FinTech has completed a $115 million Series A funding round, led by Chinese private equity firm NewMargin Capital. The round values the startup at $565 million, with TNG claiming that the deal is the largest Series A funding round raised by any startup in Hong Kong and any FinTech firm worldwide. A spokesman for the TNG said that the new version of its electronic wallet will be available in Hong Kong at the end of the year.
HSBC and Ignia back Mexican startup programme
HSBC and venture capital fund Ignia have been announced as Startupbootcamp FinTech Mexico’s two new partners. Startupbootcamp FinTech Mexico City is a joint venture between Startupbootcamp and Finnovista and marks the first programme of its kind in Latin America. The involvement of both organisations endorses their commitment to innovate and disrupt financial services across Latin America. HSBC Mexico has joined the programme as a corporate partner and IGNIA as an investment partner for the startups in the programme.