Visa Inc. (VS), the dominant payment card network, delivers the goods (a/k/a profits) over any other payment card network, but MasterCard (MC) continues to deliver solid results as well. During the first quarter of this year (Q1/14), net income (after tax) among the world’s two top payment card networks rose 21.2% to $2468 million, according to CardData. VS Q1/14 net income rose 25.8% to $1598 million, compared to $1407 million in the prior quarter and $1270 million in the year-ago quarter.
Seamless teams with The PCMS Group to expand in the US and UK. PCMS is a key point of sales provider for top tier retailers in the US and the UK. The Seamless mobile payment solution SEQR has since the launch in Sweden in 2012, been exported to three international markets: Romania, Finland and Belgium. Through the SEQR app, the user simply scans or taps a QR-code/NFC at check-out and approves the purchase by entering a PIN code. Seamless handles more than 3.1 billion transactions annually through 525,000 active sales outlets in 30 countries.
Fintech Innovation LabLeading-edge mobility, data analytics and credit risk solutions were among the six technology innovations demonstrated for top financial services, venture capital and technology executives at the fourth annual FinTech Innovation Lab Demo Day in New York. The Lab is a 12-week mentoring program created by Accenture (ACN) and the Partnership Fund for New York City and supported by more than a dozen of the world’s leading financial institutions to promote financial services technology (“fintech”) innovation and high tech job growth in New York City. This year’s entrepreneurs were chosen by chief technology officers from 15 participating financial institutions. The companies included Enigma, Kasisto, LMRKTS, pymetrics, RevolutionCredit and Standard Treasury. The group has spent the last 12 weeks receiving high level mentoring, product and business development advice and exposure to senior financial industry, technology and venture capital executives. The 18 previous alumni companies have raised a total of more than $76 million in financing after participating in the program since 2010.
RewardsNOW loyalty programs for financial institutions announced Data Center (DCI) has partnered to provide loyalty and merchant funded rewards program services to its financial institution clients. DCI provides core processing software and related technologies for hundreds of community banks nationwide. RewardsNOW will provide DCI’s community bank clients with a fully comprehensive, enterprise-wide loyalty program consisting of a customized program website and access to RewardsNOW’s merchant funded rewards platform, including its local merchant funded shopping program, Shop Main Street; a merchant discount coupon program; and an integrated mobile application.
Higher One financial services and data analytics to more than 1,900 colleges and universities nationally, announces the addition of the Chinese yuan to its international payments service, which is powered by Higher One’s partnership with Western Union Business Solutions. The yuan follows the recent additions of Korean won, added earlier this year and the Indian rupee, added last year. According to Open Doors® 2013 “Fast Facts,” students using the yuan, the won and the rupee represent more than 50% of international students in the U.S. “a constituency Higher One now serves through its international payments services. Higher One and Western Union Business Solutions are providing a streamlined solution to more international students than ever and at an exchange rate that is more competitive than what traditional banks offer.
Payment Alliance International (PAI) , a leader in retail ATM solutions, and OnPoint Community Credit Union announced they have entered into an agreement to brand ATMs at all 72 Rite Aid pharmacies in the state of Oregon. PAI will own and operate the ATMs which will be outfitted with OnPoint Community Credit Union’s branding. OnPoint members will benefit from surcharge-free access to cash at Oregon Rite Aid pharmacies beginning July 2014.
PayByPhone has been selected by Florida International University (FIU) to provide a cashless parking service at FIU’s campus parking lots. The same convenient mobile payment option that has been available on the streets of Miami and has proven to be a success for the users will be rolled out to FIU’s 4,500 parking spaces in the coming weeks. The PayByPhone smartphone app and dial-in service offer drivers a convenient alternative to paying with cash at a parking meter and includes the option to receive a text message reminder before their parking expires, enabling them to extend their parking time from wherever they are.
Standard Chartered Bank Thailand has announced a partnership with Advanced mPAY Co.Ltd. to expand its Straight2Bank Wallet platform to corporate clients and to enable the Bank’s corporate clients to effortlessly collect payments, fees or contributions from mPay wallet users or via mPAYSTATIONs through a real-time connectivity. Straight2Bank Wallet will significantly lower operating costs and risks associated with managing cash, shorten the debt collection period and ultimately help to boost efficiency in working capital management for Standard Chartered’s corporate clients. A payments feature, which will allow the Bank’s corporate clients to directly make electronic payments to individuals’ mobile wallets, is slated to be integrated in the near future.
MoneyGram International celebrated a grant to the Agastya International Foundation through the MoneyGram Foundation at an event at Raje Shivaji School in Dharavi, Mumbai. Agastya International Foundation’s mission of “a creative India” is achieved by sparking creativity among millions of disadvantaged children and their teachers. The Mobile Science Labs aid in making learning fun and awakening intellectual curiosity. Each lab funded by the MoneyGram Foundation will travel to 30 schools in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Bihar, teaching children using hands-on science models in physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics. The MoneyGram Foundation, launched in 2012, was established with the mission to help children around the world gain access to educational facilities and learning resources.
WorldRemit online money transfer service now offers instant bank deposits to BDO (Banco de Oro) and Metrobank accounts. The new service means that funds sent via WorldRemit to customers of either bank will be available immediately. WorldRemit’s business model is focused on offering a more efficient, affordable and transparent alternative to traditional money transfer operators. Several additional receiving options include cash pickup, home delivery, payments to mobile wallets and airtime top-up. An estimated US$25bn was sent to the Philippines in the form of remittances in 2013, according to research by the World Bank. The figure has grown 250% since 2003 when migrants sent around US$10bn to the country.