Treasury probes the fight for the ‘write’ to access your payments – Finance – Networking – Security – Software- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The federal government has opened the door to relaxing merchant and buy-now pay-later access to everyday people’s bank accounts, confirming the highly controversial move is now in scope under an examination of the second tranche of open banking and Consumer Data Right.
Announced by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Thursday, the second inquiry will be headed by King Wood and Mallesons partner Scott Farrell and look at whether the CDR should be “expanded beyond its current “read” access to include “write” access to enable customers to apply for and manage products (including, for Open Banking, by initiating payments).”
The move to scope out who gets access to payment initiation requests – which are essentially an authority to electronically pull money from people’s bank accounts – is certain to trigger a fresh turf war between banks, payment schemes and the ballooning fintech sector over how money flows.
Much of the debate around ‘write access’ to date has been dominated by parts of the fintech sector pushing hard for legal air cover to change core customer data and to authorise payments from consumers.
Currently restricted to banks and authorised deposit taking institutions (ADI’s), the fintech sector, parts of the buy-now pay-later market, some neobanks and digital payment services want ‘write’ access liberalised to stimulate competition and innovation.
A central argument from many fintechs is that incumbent banks seek to smother competition and new entrants by foisting onerous compliance and regulatory requirements on start-ups and challengers, thus inhibiting competition.
Banks certainly have form for dragging out reforms.
The glacial pace of innovation over the last decade has prompted the Reserve Bank of Australia to repeatedly intervene in the payments market to force banks to innovate.
The most notable intervention has been the creation of the New Payments Platform to enable real-time payments and data modernisation.
But as the NPP takes shape and garners transaction volume, there are still widespread financial industry concerns over elements of the fintech sector and what controls are needed over their access to peoples’ money.
A key concern is around the heavy presence of unsecured lending and credit broking products and businesses and whether spivs now being frozen out by consumer and financial law reforms (like responsible lending requirements) are phoenixing themselves under the fintech halo.
In an excoriating submission to the current Senate fintech inquiry, the Consumer Law Centre and the Financial Law Centre filed a joint submission containing damning evidence of how screen scraping technology is used by lending market fintechs to fleece customers by signing them up to products without their consent.
The two legal advocacy groups have called for screen scraping to be banned outright to prevent consumer harm, a move many fintechs claim would make them unviable.
That submission is just one of more than a hundred made to the fintech and regtech inquiry that will soon hear evidence.
Much of the same evidence from those stakeholders is also likely to flow into the second probe of the Consumer Data Right run out of Treasury that will have a far more direct influence over regulatory and payment market changes when it kicks off.
Importantly, the second CDR probe will also rope in an examination of access to the New Payments Platform (NPP) which has already been developing a capability for the initiation of payment requests as part of its ongoing evolution.
A cohort of fintechs has been mounting a campaign for the NPP to lower the bar on security and compliance requirements to provide them with easier and cheaper access to the platform, demands regulators, banks security and part of law enforcement are decidedly cool on.
According to the Treasurer a key part of the new probe will be to investigate how the CDR can be “leveraged with other frameworks to enhance security, efficiency and the consumer experience including the New Payments Platform.”
The probe also wants to know whether the CDR can be “further used to overcome behavioural and regulatory barriers to allow consumers to conveniently and efficiently switch between products and providers.”
The NPP on Thursday issued a statement setting out the work it was doing on write access and stressed the need for strong authorisation and consent controls.
“Central to this capability is the account holder’s authorisation (or consent) for payments to be initiated from their bank account which is recorded in a digital payment arrangement or a ‘mandate’ that enables future payments to be processed by the account holder’s bank,” the NPP said.
“This functionality increases the visibility and control that account holders have over these various payment arrangements, resolving significant pain points with these kinds of payment arrangements today.’
Political support for the push to liberalise ‘write access’ for payments is far from assured, with Labor going decidedly cool on the very construct of the CDR during the last election campaign.
It is understood a particular concern that remains is whether open banking, and potentially other sectors, will start discriminatory pricing (sometimes called risk-based pricing) against consumers that have encountered financial difficulty and have spotty credit histories.
 The big fear is that pricing and risk algorithms will substantially jack-up prices and costs for consumers who are already struggling across products like insurance, loans and other credit based services, further pushing vulnerable consumers towards credit sharps.
Treasury said the second review into the CDR will report back to the government by September 2020 with an issues paper to be released soon.

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FICO Survey: Real-time Payments Platforms Have Increased Fraud Losses for 4 out of 5 APAC Banks- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The proliferation of real-time payments platforms, including person-to-person (P2P) transfers and mobile payment platforms across Asia Pacific, has increased fraud losses for the majority of banks. Silicon Valley analytics firm FICO recently conducted a survey with banks in the region and found that 4 out of 5 (78 percent) have seen their fraud losses increase.
Further to this, almost a quarter (22 percent) say that fraud will rise significantly in the next 12 months, with an additional 58 percent saying they expect a moderate rise in fraud.
“While the convenience of real-time payments is great news for customers, increasingly, banks have zero time to clear a transaction or payment. AI can’t slow down the clock, but it can help create systems that are radically quicker to recognize a transaction that smells likely to be fraudulent,” said Dan McConaghy, president of FICO in Asia Pacific. “Banks will need to move beyond passwords and OTPs and add biometrics, device telemetry and customer behavior analytics to keep up with the changing payments landscape.”
When asked which identity and authentication strategies they used, the majority of APAC banks have a strategy of multifactor authentication (84 percent).  They increasingly use a wide range of authentication methods including: biometrics (64 percent), normal passwords (62 percent) and in last place behavioral authentication (38 percent). Interestingly, nearly half of the respondents (46 percent) are currently only using 1 or 2 of these strategies, potentially leaving them more exposed to attack vectors such as identity theft, account takeovers, cyberattacks.
“Why try to crack a safe when you can walk in the front door?” explained McConaghy. “Criminals are trying to fool banks into thinking they are new customers or stealing account access by tricking people into making security mistakes or giving away sensitive information. When they are successful, criminals are making use of real-time payments to move funds quickly through a maze of global accounts.”
The survey bore this out with 40 percent of banks in FICO’s survey naming social engineering as the number one fraud concern when it comes to real-time payments. Account takeovers were ranked second, with false accounts and money mules also rated as problems.
New forms of biometric, multifactor and behavioral technologies allow banks to stop payments being made, even if an account appears to be using the correct but stolen password or entering the right, but intercepted, one-time-password.
“Beyond this type of account take over, we also have authorized push payment fraud, such as when a customer is tricked into paying what they think is a legitimate invoice like a fake school bill or payment to a tradesperson,” said McConaghy. “This type of social engineering is harder to stop but better KYC, link analysis to find money mule accounts and behavioral analytics to flag new accounts for a regular payee, are all examples of how to tackle it.”
Further to stopping fraud in real-time payment platforms, crimes such as drug trafficking, human smuggling, tax evasion and terrorism finance are also attracted to the irrevocable nature of instant payments. The lack of visibility between jurisdictions has seen regulators encouraging banks to move quickly in this cross-border payments space to ensure payments are compliant and secure.
In terms of mitigating this criminal behavior, more than 90 percent of APAC banks surveyed thought that convergence between their fraud and compliance functions would be helpful in defending transactions on real-time payments platforms.
“We estimate that there is about an 80 percent overlap in software functionality between legacy fraud and anti-money laundering systems,” added McConaghy “To tackle fraud and money laundering schemes that exploit real-time money movement you need to leverage all the available technologies, automate as much as you can and introduce models that can identify outlier transactions and customer behavior so your teams can spend their time investigating the riskiest of the red flags.”
FICO surveyed 45 executives from financial institutions across the region at its annual FICO Asia Pacific Fraud Forum.

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Bengaluru, Delhi and Hyderabad lead digital merchant payments in 2019: Report- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Bengaluru, Delhi and Hyderabad ranked as the top three cities in terms of peer-to-merchant digital payments in the country and cumulatively accounted for over 40 per cent of such transactions in 2019, a report by Razorpay has said. According to the Razorpay report, digital transactions are estimated to have grown by 338 per cent from 2018 to 2019.
Bengaluru accounted for 23.31 per cent of the peer-to-mechant transactions, while Delhi contributed 10.44 per cent and Hyderabad 7.61 per cent of such transactions in 2019, as per the fourth edition of ‘The Era of Rising Fintech’ report. Karnataka saw the highest adoption of digital payments (26.64 per cent), followed by Maharashtra (15.92 per cent) and Delhi NCR (13.01 per cent), it added.
Interestingly, the usage of cards declined to 46 per cent in 2019 from 56 per cent in 2018, and and netbanking to 11 per cent from 23 per cent in 2018. UPI, on the other hand, grew to 38 per cent in 2019 from 17 per cent in the previous year. Among UPI, Google Pay contributed 59 per cent, PhonePe contributed 26 per cent, followed by Paytm (7 per cent) and BHIM (6 per cent) in digital transactions in 2019. Amazon Pay was the most preferred wallet among consumers (33 per cent), followed by Ola Money (17 per cent) in 2019.
Owing to the growth of UPI, share of wallets continue to decline despite the increase in the number of transactions, the report said. The top three sectors in digital payment adoption for 2019 were food and beverage (26 per cent), financial services (12.5 per cent) and Transportation (8 per cent), the report said.
“The year 2019 was buzzing for the fintech sector with adoption of new digital payment modes and bringing the digital currency to the mainstream. And the last six months saw a tremendous shift in the consumption patterns of businesses and consumer preferences of digital payments,” Harshil Mathur, CEO and co-founder of Razorpay, said.

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Twitter planning Bitcoin payments as tips on its platform – Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Twitter planning Bitcoin payments as tips on o. Twitter is considering a feature that would allow users to tip one another – in Bitcoins though. The Information reports that the micro-blogging platform is working on implementing a new payment feature to let people send money to each other.
It is not yet clear whether the Twitter tipping feature would integrate with Jack Dorsey’s other company, Square, which is a financial services, merchant services aggregator, and mobile payment company based in San Francisco.
Dorsey has made absolutely no secret of his love of Bitcoin over the years.
NewsBTC has reported on the Twitter CEO opining that Bitcoin will one day be the currency of the internet and his company Square integrating cryptocurrency payments.
“Dorsey has been a major investor in the Bitcoin micropayments solution Lightning Network,” said the report.
Dorsey will move to Africa for three-six months this year to “define the future”.
“Sad to be leaving the continent for now. Africa will define the future (especially the bitcoin one!). Not sure where yet, but I’ll be living here for 3-6 months mid-2020. Grateful I was able to experience a small part,” said the Twitter CEO.
Dorsey has also hired Bitcoin developers for his payments company.
He is an advocate of digital currency bitcoin but he also says it is “not functional as a currency”.

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Top 5 Trends for Digital Payments in 2020- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

By Kaushik Roy, VP& Country Head – South Asia, ACI Worldwide
Technology has always been a keystone to the evolution of the banking and financial services sector, as it continuously revolutionized the way the financial services were conceptualized, regulated, disseminated, and consumed. However, the last few years witnessed technology emerging from the backroom and taking center-stage alongside financial services. The convergence gave birth to the ‘FinTech’ movement, and digital payments have been one of its primary drivers.
Over the years, the emerging FinTechs have evolved from disruptive threats to enabling partners, offering technological innovations and newer opportunities that expand well beyond the realm of traditional financial services. As we continue our ‘Digital India’ journey in 2020,it is imperative to build stronger infrastructure, innovate continuously, and develop a policy framework that fuels the acceptance and adoption of digital payments.Technology will continue to influence financial services enterprises’ focus on customer-centricity and impact the initiatives pertaining to trust, privacy, and security. All, while enabling game-changing insights from the core currency: the data.
Here are the five key technology trends that we expect to shape the digital payments landscape in 2020.
The Hyper-Connected World
As technologies like5G roll out, lightning-fast connectivity will become more commonplace – though not ubiquitous. Businesses outside the traditional retail systemwill be able to take advantage of this by selling services and products to customers, near instantly,from anywhere.From an India perspective, the framework for 5G is underway, andis expected tohelp businesses investing in AI, data and 5G to run simultaneous processes and transactions all at once. Furthermore, the internet of things (IoT) could become a dominate force in micro-payments by transforming connected devices into payment channels.
Indian Banking Will Experience Significant Disruption with Consolidations
Two major factors – UPI and banking consolidation – have begun to remarkably impact the Indian banking this year and would continue well into the year 2020. Come April 1st, we will witness the birth of mammoth banking entities, with mergers of three public sector banks – Union Bank of India, Andhra Bank, and Corporation Bank. Earlier this year, State Bank of India merged its five associate banks and Bharatiya Mahila Bank. Bank of Baroda later joined the fray by merging Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank with itself. With the advent of these mega banking entities, the rise in dominance of NBFCs among retail and small business credit, the explosion of digital payment methods led by UPI, and the pressure to continuously optimize operations, Indian banks would need to significantly invest in building digital capabilities to sustain and develop core differentiators.
To pave way for growth in 2020, Indian banks would need to optimize and upgrade their core technologies to adopt the concepts of open banking. Banks would continue to leverage open APIs to create horizontal stack with fintech partners for customer interface, product & services, and infrastructure to cater to the burgeoning digital payments demand.BCG suggests that by FY22-25 UPI will account for 59% of the market share for payments in the country, up from 17% this year. The quantum of opportunity can be gauged by the fact that only 10% of the UPI transactions in FY19 were accounted for by banks. The rest were initiated by consumer-facing fintech apps.
The Digital Disruption of POS – The Impact of eCommerce
The state of merchant POS is an interesting story in India. Industry pundits suggest that while there are about 80-odd million MSME merchants, only about 5 million POS machines are in operation. Though the POS ecosystem in the country seems to have doubled over the last five years – to about 4 million in FY19, and the Reserve Bank of India expects the number to cross 5 million by the end of 2021, the penetration of traditional POS remains weak in terms of availability and viability. Moreover, according to reports, the POS share may dip from 20% of the current payments market to about 14% in FY22-25. Banks are also witnessing a sharp decline in the usage of cards at conventional POS terminals and ATMs.
Interestingly, digital payments in India seem to grow at a CAGR of 12.7% as per KPMG and may jump to Rs.4,055 trillion in FY24 with a five-year CAGR of 20% according to CRISIL Research. POS is undoubtedly experiencing disruption with digital payments. The year 2020 will see an explosion of the digital POS ecosystem in the country, especially among the MSME segment. Many industry experts from large private and public sector banks in the countrybelieve in FY19, more than 70% of POS registrations came from online-only merchants. Digital POS (based on NFC, RFID and QR code) will continue to grow phenomenally. In fact, with e-Commerce, digital POS may also impact the Cash-on-Delivery model and replace it with digital transactions. What may be even more interesting is that while there seems to be a decline of debit card issuance and usage, the contactless method of digital POS may result in an increased acceptance of cards (credit, debit and PPI) across smaller centres in the country.
Regulators Will Turn Digital
Indian banking and financial regulatory bodies and industry enablers are increasingly adopting a wide range of AI, data gathering and analytical tools to create transparency and safety frameworks. We can already see this happening with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) having formed a new unit to strengthen its own frameworks in the face of emerging disruptivetrends like cryptocurrency, blockchain and AI. This will help businesses and banks to monitor overall systemic activity and predict potential challenges – and avertthem before they become a threat.
Cybersecurity and RPA Will Focus Primarily on Fraud Prevention & Detection
As digital payments go mainstream, financial institutions are straining hard to continuously reduce their exposure to financial crimes and be compliant to evolving regulations. Customer data breaches, lack of professional cybersecurity talent, deployment of security automation and its integration with current systems will continue to plague banks and financial services firms. The rise of ‘digital’ in the financial sector will see more calls for robust cyber protection, which will be heavily influenced by cybersecurity innovations. Enhancing cybersecurity and fraud mitigation is poised to be one of the most crucial trends in 2020.
Moreover, Robotic Process Automations will continue to impact migration activities, data security & governance, and compliance management, especially in the wake of the recent and ensuing PSU bank consolidations. The prime application of RPA in the coming year will be in the field of data governance and fraud detection & management. Banks and payment players would like to drive intelligent automation with RPAs by incorporating AI, ML, and adaptive analytics to enable risk managers to create real-time fraud detection systems that will reacting and adapting to new fraud signals, driving fast decision-making and responses to emerging fraud threats. RPAs-led intelligent automation in the field of financial fraud will gain grounds in helping banks and digital payments firms to earn consumer trust.

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Payments giant Stripe debuts a credit card in its latest step into the financing fray – gpgmail


Last week, when the popular payments startup Stripe made some waves with its first move into money lending through the launch of Stripe Capital, we reported that the company was also soon going to be launching a credit card. Now, that news is official. Today, the company is doubling down on financing with the launch of corporate cards for business customers.

Announced officially today to coincide with the company’s developer event Stripe Sessions, the Stripe Corporate Card — as the product is officially called — is a Visa that will be open to businesses that are incorporated in the US, although they can operate elsewhere.

Notably, users are expected to pay their balance in full each month, so for now there is no interest rate, or fee, to use the card, with Stripe making its money by way of the interchange fee that comes with every transaction using the card.

“We’re not freezing cards based on late or no payments,” Cristina Cordova, the business lead overseeing the launch, said in an interview. “A pretty common reason for non-payment is that a person switched bank accounts and forgot to update the information. But we think we’ll have fewer problems because we have banking information for accepting revenue, by way of our payments business.”

The move is another major step ahead for Stripe as it continues to diversify its business and bring on more financial products to become a one-stop shop for e-commerce and other companies for all the transactions they might need to make in the course of their lives. It is a little ironic that it’s taken years for credit cards to get added into the mix, considering Stripe’s earliest homepages and marketing efforts were built around the design of a credit card (a reference to taking payments online, not issuing credit, of course).

In any case, the list of products now offered by Stripe is long — longer, you might say, than it takes to incorporate a Stripe service into a developer workflow. In addition to its API-based flagship payments product — which is available as a direct service or, via Stripe Connect, for third parties via marketplaces and other platforms — it offers billing and invoicing, in-person payment services (via Terminal), business analytics, fraud prevention on transactions (Radar), company incorporation (Atlas), and a range of content around business strategy.

Some of these Stripe products are free to use, and some come at a price: the main point for offering them together is to build more engagement and loyalty from customers to keep them from migrating to other services. In that regard, credit cards are a cornerstone of how businesses operate, to handle day-to-day expenses in a more accountable way, and this is an area that is already well-served by others, including startups like Brex but also a plethora of challenger and traditional banks. So as much as anything else, this is a clear move to help stave off competition.

At the same time, it underscores how Stripe is leveraging the huge amount of data that it has amassed about its users and payments on the platform: it’s not just about enabling single services, but about using the byproducts of those services — data — to put fuel into new products.

Today, to underscore its global ambitions in that regard, Stripe is adding some expansions to several of its existing products. For example, it will now allow businesses to make payouts in local currencies in 45 countries (an important detail, for example, for marketplaces and network-based companies like ridesharing businesses).

The credit card product will follow a model similar to that of Stripe Capital. As with the lending product, there is a single bank issuing the credit and the card. Amber Feng, head of financial infrastructure for Stripe, confirmed to me that it is actually the same bank that’s providing the cash behind Stripe Capital. Stripe is still declining to name the bank itself, but hints that we may hear more about it soon, which leads me to wonder what news might be coming next.

(Funding perhaps would make sense? The company has raised a whopping $785 million to date and has a valuation of $22.5 billion at the moment. Given that Stripe has made indications that a public listing is not on the cards soon, that might imply, with the launch of these new financing products, that more capital might be raised soon.)

Also similar to Stripe Capital, the underwriting of the card is based on Stripe data. That is to say, business users are verified and approved based on turnover (revenues) as measured by the Stripe payments platform itself; and in cases where applicants are “pre-revenue”, they can be evaluated based on other data sources. For example, if they have used Stripe Atlas to incorporate their businesses, the paperwork supplied for that is used by Stripe to vet the customer’s suitability for a credit card.  

Notably, the cards will be delivered in the spirit of instant gratification: if you are applying and get approved, you can download a virtual card within minutes to your Apple Wallet as you await the physical card to arrive in the post.

Stripe is big on data in its own business, and it’s bringing some of that into this product with spending controls that can be set by person and by category; real-time expense reporting by way of texts; rewards of 2% back on spending in the business’s most-used categories; and integration with financial software like Quickbooks and Expensify.


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India’s mobile payments firm MobiKwik reaches rare key profit milestone – gpgmail


Indian mobile payments firm MobiKwik has reached a milestone very few of its local rivals can even contemplate: not burning money. The 10-year-old Gurgaon-headquartered firm said Tuesday it is now generating a profit excluding interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.

“We have been in an ecosystem where we have seen a lot of high-growth and several regulatory changes in the payments domain. But what we realized was that payments alone is likely not going to be a very profitable business,” Bipin Singh, co-founder and CEO of MobiKwik, told gpgmail in an interview.

To get to the path of profitability, MobiKwik has made a number of significant changes to its business in recent years. It stopped participating in the race of getting more and more users and fight with the likes of Paytm, which has raised more than $2 billion to date.

Paytm remains unprofitable and an analysis of its financial performance shows that this is not going to change anytime soon. Google, which also offers a payments service in India, has no shortage of cash either.

Upasana Taku, co-founder and COO of MobiKwik, recalled an offsite meeting where someone asked her why Kotak and ICICI banks, both of which have about 15 million to 20 million customers, are profitable but wallet apps with tens of millions of users are not. MobiKwik, which employs 400 people, has 110 million users, she said.

In last two and a half years, MobiKwik has cut down on cashback it bandies out to users — a practice followed by nearly every company offering a payments solution in India — and focused on building financial services on top of its wallet app to retain customers and find additional revenue sources.

The company continues to focus on its mobile wallet and payments processing businesses that account for about 65% of its revenue, but its growing suite of financial services such as providing credits and insurance to customers is already bringing rest of the revenue, she said.

That’s not surprising. Fewer than 50 million credit cards are in circulation in India currently, and for people with limited income, getting a loan remains a major challenge.

“Even the population that has access to smartphones and cheap internet data can’t get a credit card in India. We found it a good match for the growth of our payments app. We started serving these users who have the discipline to repay money and have certain kind of income,” the couple said, who are now also donning the role of angel investors.

MobiKwik works with banks and other lenders to finance loans worth Rs 5,000 ($69) to Rs 100,000 ($1380). In the 18 months the service has been live, MobiKwik has offered 800,000 loans and disbursed $100 million. Its health insurance starts at as little as $1.3 a month.

MobiKwik expects its revenue to hit $66 million in the financial year that ends in March next year, up from $28 million a year earlier. The company, which expects to turn fully profitable in the next two years, plans to go public soon afterwards.

MobiKwik competes with a number of players, many of which are increasingly adding financial services such as loans to their platforms. Because these digital platforms are able to process loans without the need of salespeople and support staff, it becomes feasible for banks to chase customers with weak financial power.

India’s overall retail credit demand is expected to grow 60% to $771 billion over the next four years, according to the Digital Lenders Association of India.


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India’s BharatPe raises $50M to help merchants accept digital payments and secure working capital – gpgmail


BharatPe, a New Delhi-based firm that is enabling hundreds of thousands of merchants to start accepting digital payments for the first time each month and also giving them access to working capital, has raised $50 million as it looks to scale its business in the nation.

The Series B round for the one-year old startup was led by San Francisco-headquartered VC firm Ribbit Capital and London-based Steadview Capital, both of which have previously invested in a number of financial services in India.

Existing investors Sequoia Capital, Beenext Capital, and Insight Partners also participated in the round, pushing BharatPe’s all-time raise to $65 million. The new round valued the startup at $225 million, Ashneer Grover, cofounder and CEO of BharatPe, told gpgmail in an interview.

BharatPe operates an eponymous service to help offline merchants accept digital payments. Even as India has already emerged as the second largest internet market with over 500 million users, much of country remains offline. Among those outside of the reach of the internet are merchants running small businesses such as roadside tea stalls.

Salman Khan with BharatPe Team

BharatPe team with actor Salman Khan, who is the firm’s brand ambassador.

To make these merchants comfortable in accepting digital payments, BharatPe relies on QR codes built as part of government-backed UPI payments infrastructure. “We get them to put up a QR code in their shops, and any customer that uses a UPI-powered payments app — which is now supported by nearly every payments app in India — can pay these show owners digitally,” said Grover.

Through BharatPe, these merchants also get access to a simplified dashboard on their phones to track who owes them money and get periodic reminders.

BharatPe has amassed over 1.5 million merchants on its platform. It processes over 21 million transactions a month worth more than $83 million, Grover said.

BharatPe also allows merchants to secure short-term loans. New merchants can secure about $500 for a period of three months from BharatPe. As merchants spend more time on BharatPe, the firm expands the amount to about $2000.

The lending business is crucial to BharatPe. Payments app make little to no money through making transactions on their platforms. Those processing UPI payments can not even charge a small commission to merchants. “There is no money to be made in doing payments in India,” Grover said. But payment services can charge small interest on loans.

Grover said BharatPe aims to use the fund to add about 3.5 million merchants in the next 12 months. The firm has more than 2000 sales people who are adding 400,000 new merchants to BharatPe each month, he said.

Rest of the money will go into financing the loans on the platform and building new solutions. Later today, BharatPe will launch a new service to connect suppliers and merchants through BharatPe so that their accounts are in sync.


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The Federal Reserve announces plans for a real-time payments system that will be available to all banks – gpgmail


The Federal Reserve Bank announced today that it is developing a new service called FedNow that will allow all banks in the United States to offer 24/7 real-time payment services every day of the week. FedNow is expected to be available by 2023 or 2024 and will initially support transfers of up to $25,000.

FedNow will make managing budgets easier for many people and small businesses, but it also puts the Fed at loggerheads with big banks since a federal real-time payments system would compete with the one being developed by the Clearing House, which is owned by some of the world’s largest banks, including Capital One, Citibank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Deutsche Bank.

The Federal Reserve’s board of governors voted 4-1 to approve the proposal for FedNow on August 2, with its of vice chair for supervision, Randal Quarles, casting the dissenting vote.

While Venmo, Zelle and other apps already allow users to transfer money instantly to one another, the Federal Reserve Bank described services like those as a “closed loop” because both parties need to be on the same platform in order to transfer money and they can only be linked to accounts from certain banks. On the other hand, FedNow will be a universal infrastructure, enabling all banks, including smaller ones, to provide real-time payments.

Furthermore, the traditional retail payment methods used for transferring funds not only creates frustrating delays, but can “result in a build-up of financial obligations between banks which, as faster payment usage grows, could present risks to the financial system, especially in times of stress,” the Federal Reserve Board said.

In a FAQ, the Federal Reserve Board explained that “there is a broad consensus within the U.S. payment community and among other stakeholders” that real-time payment services can have a “significant and positive impact on individuals and businesses throughout the country and on the broader U.S. economy.”

For example, real-time payments mean people living on tight budgets will have to rely less on costly check-cashing services and high-interest loans and will incur less overdraft and late fees. Small businesses will also benefit because they can avoid short-term loans with high-interest rates.

The proposal has gained the support of Google’s head of payments, Caesar Sengupta, and Democratic lawmakers including U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Chris Van Hollen and Representatives Ayanna Pressley and Jesús García.

In a statement, Warren, who is campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination, said “I’m glad the Fed has finally taken action to ensure that people living paycheck-to-paycheck don’t have to wait up to five days for a check to clear so that they can pay their rent, cover child care, or pick up groceries.  Today’s Fed action will also help small businesses by making payments from customers available more quickly. I look forward to working with the Fed to ensure a swift and smooth implementation of this system.”

Comments about FedNow will be accepted for 90 days after the proposal is published in the Federal Register.




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Truecaller pushes software fix after covertly signing up Indians to its payments service – gpgmail


Truecaller, an app that helps users screen robocalls, has rolled out an update to its app in India, its largest market, after a previous software release covertly signed up an unspecified number of users to its payments service.

A number of users in India began to complain late Monday that Truecaller, which has amassed over 100 million daily users in the country, had registered them to its payments service without their consent. In a statement to gpgmail, Truecaller said a bug in the previous software update caused the issue.

“We have discovered a bug in the latest update of Truecaller that affected the payments feature, which automatically triggered a registration post updating to the version. This was a bug and we have discontinued this version of the app so no other users will be affected,” a Truecaller spokesperson said in a statement.

“We’re sorry about this version not passing our quality standards. We’ve taken quick steps to fix the issue, and already rolled out a fix in a new version. For the users already affected, the new version with the fix will be available shortly, however, in the meanwhile they can choose to manually deregister through the overflow menu in the app.”

Truecaller introduced payments service in its app in India two years ago. The company, like several others such as Google and Samsung, relies on Indian government-backed UPI payments infrastructure for this feature. Under the current law, signing up a user to a payments service without their consent is frowned upon.

As of February this year, every tenth Truecaller user in India had signed up to Truecaller Pay.


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