China UnionPay International (UPI) has inked a cooperation deal with Beijing-based China International Travel Service (CITS) to offer special perks to China UnionPay cardholders traveling abroad. Under the CITS agreement cardholders who purchase the outbound travel products of CITS with a UnionPay card (with a card number starting with 62) and purchase with a UnionPay card at the designated destinations overseas during the trip can not only be exempted from the currency conversion fee equal to 1% to 2% of the transaction amount, but also receive a special reward valued up to 6% of the transaction amount.
Average credit card APRs are down .1% from the April figure to 15.01% after averaging a meager .04% change over the past year. This continues the downward momentum seen throughout the early months of 2014. This also follows a relatively lengthy period of APR stagnation since the holiday months.
The PULSE network remains the key driver of payments transaction volume for Discover Financial Services (DFS), growing 5% year-on-year (Y/Y) in the first quarter (Q1/2014) to $41.9 billion, representing 54% of Discover’s network total volume. Overall, DFS’ network volume is up 4% Y/Y to $77.38 billion. The most robust payments business for DFS is its Network Partners segment, up 6% Y/Y in Q1/2014, followed by the Proprietary segment, up 3%. However, DFS continues to struggle with its Diners Club international segment, which slipped down 2% Y/Y in Q1/2014.
Monitise Mobile Money announced a new partnership with First Gulf Bank to launch new mobile banking services to consumers in the Middle East.Abu Dhabi-based First Gulf Bank is one of the leading banks in the United Arab Emirates. Monitise will support the bank in increasing the variety of Mobile Money services it offers and strengthening its position as a digital banking leader through the provision of new innovations for its customers.Through the partnership with Monitise, FGB is looking to build its mobile ecosystem with cutting-edge services to make life easier for its customers.
GlobalCollect has opened a new office in Sao Paulo, Brazil, further consolidating the company’s leading position in the Latin-American eCommerce market.GlobalCollect has had a presence in Brazil for several years, and by establishing the Sao Paulo office, the company responds to strong demand for regional expertise from both Brazilian companies looking to expand internationally, as well as global merchants entering the rapidly growing Brazilian market. The Sao Paulo office is the fifth new GlobalCollect office to open in the last 12 months, following Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo and Brisbane, which all opened in the second half of 2013. GlobalCollect’s Argentina-based subsidiary Sub1 has its own software factory and is the region’s leading payments gateway, providing access to more than 50 local payment methods and more than12 local acquirers across the region. In 2013, Sub1 outperformed the overall Latin American eCommerce market, growing revenues by 46%.
Chase Paymentech today announced the launch of its Mobile Dashboard, an interactive reporting display that provides merchants using an Apple® iPad with a snapshot of their payment account activity no matter where they are. Merchants can stay connected and current with their business by viewing historical transactions, settlement and funding overviews, chargebacks and fees on a colorful, intuitive and interactive reporting tool as part of their Chase merchant account.
Prosper peer-to-peer lending raised $70 million in additional funding to fuel the company’s growth and expansion. David Golob from Francisco Partners will join the Prosper Marketplace Board of Directors. The funding round also includes investments from Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), one of the premier later-stage venture capital and growth equity firms, as well as Phenomen Ventures.Over the past 15 months, Prosper has focused on improving its efficiencies and products through the use of cutting-edge technologies. This has helped to attract new borrowers and lenders at a rapid pace, with loan originations growing over 400% since last year and up 30% from last month. At the end of April, Prosper had 35% share of the online consumer peer-to-peer lending market place.
mopay announced today a carrier billing partnership with Baidu Mobile Game, one of the largest mobile games distribution and promotion channels in China. Under this agreement, mopay will be the preferred carrier billing provider for mobile games, which are distributed by the Baidu Mobile Game platform. mopay has been chosen by Baidu Mobile Game to service the app store giant with carrier billing globally. Baidu Mobile Game will make use of mopay’s frictionless payment method.
MyBank Mandates has been set to launch for 27th October 2014. MyBank Mandates provide direct debit users with a simple way to agree online and in real time that their account can be debited. Merchants and public authorities across Europe will be able to replace paper mandates with this efficient new solution. Paper mandates are expensive and lead to higher rejection rates for the first collection. Moving to a real-time electronic process that involves the bank of the debtor reduces costs and the time required to collect funds. MyBank Mandates will also support mandates by consumers waiving their automatic “no-questions-asked” refund right. MyBank Mandates do not interfere with the statutory refund rights provided under consumer law. This will help bridge the gap between today’s situation, where no-refund direct debits still exist as niche products in several countries, and the introduction of a pan-European scheme foreseen in the coming years.
CardLinx announced the publication of an industry-wide protocol, the CardLinx Boar Standard, that provides a standard order format to digital publishers for an offer, coupon, or loyalty program linked to a payment card or payment credential. Until now, merchants were required to develop multiple orders for each card-linked offer because each order could only be delivered by a specific publisher. The Boar Standard has developed a common format for the industry which will enable a merchant or advertiser to place one order per offer and have that same card-linked offer published across multiple digital platforms including the web and mobile. As the number of publishers increases, merchants and advertisers will be able to increase the reach of their card-linked marketing campaigns by adopting this standard.
BYNDL Inc., an innovator of hardware and VMS-agnostic mobile marketing, payment and support services, has signed a strategic alliance with USA Technologies, a leader of wireless, cashless payment, telemetry and consumer engagement services for self-serve retail industries, that provides for the two companies to work together to incorporate BYNDL mobile marketing and payment services to USAT’s 6,000 plus customer base.
Wells Fargo & Company and American Express today launched the new Propel 365 and Propel World credit cards, which will be available for Wells Fargo customers and accepted on the American Express network. The new cards, issued by Wells Fargo, offer customers the ability to maximize everyday spending to earn rewards faster, enjoy rich and competitive offers, benefit from enhanced protections while shopping and traveling, and receive advance access to entertainment, merchant discounts and a dedicated concierge service.