MasterCard launched the eID pilot program. In the pilot phase, the Nigerian Identity Management Commission (NIMC) will issue MasterCard-branded identity cards with electronic payments functionality to 13 million Nigerians. This initiative is the largest rollout of a biometric-based verification card with an electronic payment solution in the country and the broadest financial inclusion program in Africa. The eID card forms a key component of the Nigerian Identity Management System, deployed by NIMC as part of its mandate to create, maintain and operate the country’s first central National Identity Database and provide proof of identity to Nigerians 16 years and older. The eID card will provide millions of Nigerians with the security, convenience and reliability of electronic payments. NIMC is working with several government agencies to integrate and harmonize all identity databases including the Driver’s License, Voter Registration, Health Insurance, Tax, SIM and the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) into a single, shared services platform.
According to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, parents expect to spend an average of $529 (46%) of their back-to-school budgets on electronic devices, equipping kids with the latest technology as the new school year begins.
JCB continues to expand in Europe signing a Netherlands deal with EMS. The Netherlands is a strategically important country for JCBI as this is a major destination market for European JCB card members. JCBI has been doing business in Europe for 32 years.
Standard Chartered announced that it has expanded its African coverage of Straight2Bank Wallet, the Bank’s mobile wallet service platform, by launching mobile payment services in Nigeria and adding mobile collections capabilities in Kenya. The Bank launched mobile payment services in Kenya in September 2013.In Nigeria, the Bank has partnered with eTranzact International Plc. to provide mobile payment services through its Straight2Bank Mobile Wallet. This is in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) Financial Inclusion strategy to the unbanked and semi-banked population.The new mobile payment service enables clients such as development organisations, international organisations, non-bank financial institutions, agricultural companies and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies to make payments to both banked and unbanked individuals such as aid workers, trainers, policy holders, farmers and other beneficiaries.
The Payments Council (15 July 2014) announces the appointment of three new independent directors to its Board. Sarah Chambers, Christine Farnish CBE and Robert Lerwill bring a wide range of experience in consumer policy, financial services and regulation to the Board. They join Clare Spottiswoode CBE as one of the Board’s four independent directors. Sarah is an expert in regulation, competition and consumer policy. Christine has wide experience of financial services, public policy and regulation. Robert Lerwill is a chartered accountant. The Payments Council Board is made up of 15 voting directors, a voting independent chairman and an observer from the Bank of England. In addition to the independents, 11 directors are appointed by the industry to represent a cross section of the Payments Council membership.
Link ATM Network announced The Change Group International Plc joined its Scheme. ChangeGroup is launching a sterling and currency dispensing ATM this year, for which LINK will vastly broaden the market. LINK has a strong track record in innovation and welcomes ChangeGroup and its multicurrency ATMs into the LINK Scheme.
Optimal Payments has become the official sponsor of Crystal Palace Football Club for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. Optimal Payments will use the platform to raise the global awareness of its award-winning NETELLER service and Net+® Card stored-value offering which will be displayed on the front of the team’s shirts from the start of the 2014/15 English Premier League season. NETELLER will be the First Premier League sponsor within the online payments space and will provide the brand the right synergy to achieve NETELLER’S marketing and commercial objectives quickly and cost effectively. Specifically, it will support customer and merchant objectives delivering rapid multi-market brand awareness, big brand credibility and driving sign up and conversion rates in NETELLER’s key growth markets – including Asia; Africa and the America’s.
UPG plc acquired Accept Cards Limited and Accept Card Rentals Limited. The Accept Cards business does not provide card processing services direct – instead it works independently of acquirers, in partnership with merchants to match their specific card processing requirements to the acquirer best suited to their needs. The Accept Cards business has a significant number of excellent partnership relationships with membership organisations, professional practices and independent banks to provide a best in class service to their clients. UPG is one of the UK’s largest independent Payment Gateway and Payment Service Providers (PSP). The company serves merchants of all sizes directly and through the gateway services provided to a number of other independent PSP’s.
GlobalCollect payments service provider has signed a partnership agreement with QIWI plc payment services. As part of the deal, GlobalCollect has integrated QIWI into its portfolio of payment products. By adding QIWI to their payment mix, GlobalCollect merchants gain access to over 70 million consumers in Russia and the CIS. The company is already seeing strong demand across all industries, with gaming and digital media companies among the first to start accepting QIWI payments through GlobalCollect.
Seamless and The PCMS Group have signed a collaborative agreement to further strengthen SEQR’s presence in the UK and the US. The agreement between PCMS and Seamless is a key component for big retailers in the UK and the US waiting to activate SEQR. PCMS is a key point of sales provider for top tier retailers so this he agreement opens up PCMS large client base on both markets. THis partnership sees payment solutions for all devices across their many sales channels.
AIB Merchant Services became the first Irish merchant acquirer to add the Chinese card UnionPay to its list of available card schemes, which will provide Irish businesses and retailers the ability to accept transactions made using UnionPay debit and credit cards. Acceptance of the Chinese UnionPay card will enable Irish businesses to tap into the immense spending power of Chinese visitors to Ireland. Currently there are almost as many UnionPay cards globally in circulation as the two leading payment cards combined and UnionPay is projected to grow 51 per cent by 2017. AIBMS believes Irish merchants are poised to increase business from the Chinese tourist trade.
Monitise made a series of updates to its executive leadership team and Board of Directors.Former Visa Inc. payments executive Elizabeth Buse has been appointed co-Chief Executive of Monitise Group, effective immediately. Elizabeth also joins the Company’s Board of Directors.Elizabeth, an American national who was a member of the Monitise Board from July 2010 to October 2012, will head Monitise’s day-to-day operations, overseeing technology, product, sales and marketing while Alastair focuses on key relationships with partners and industry stakeholders, corporate development and major shareholders. Strategy will continue to be set by the executive leadership team in conjunction with the Board. Monitise’s growing ecosystem of partners and clients includes more than 350 banks, payment services companies such as Visa Inc., Visa Europe and MasterCard as well as Vocalink, FIS and IBM. In the mobile space, Monitise’s customers include Telefónica, Samsung, PCCW Mobile, Turkcell and BlackBerry. In the retail ecosystem they include brands such as Blackhawk Network Holdings with its network of more than 500 content providers operating in the US and 18 other countries, eBay, Turkey’s Bilyoner and Biletix, Venda, B&Q, Carphone Warehouse and Premier Inn. Elizabeth’s appointment comes after she stepped down from her role running international operations at Visa Inc. in March 2014 as Executive Vice President of Solutions. She joined Visa Inc. in 1998 and during her time there held roles including Group President of Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa, Global Head of Product, Executive Vice President of Product Development and Management and Executive Vice President of Emerging Markets & Technologies.