PFS Deal to Provide Moneymailme Users with Prepaid Cards

Users of Moneymailme will have the option of using physical and virtual prepaid cards to make purchases with the funds in their e-wallets. The new feature, announced June 28 at the Money 20/20 Europe conference, is the result of a partnership between the London-based social money transfer provider Moneymailme and Prepaid Financial Services, a U.K.-based payments technology provider.

Moneymailme, which facilitates micropayments, file sharing and chatting, is an app enabling users to send and receive money in more than 130 countries using their mobile phones. Moneymailme prepaid cards will have several currency e-wallets linked to them so when cardholders make a transaction, the money will be debited from the matching currency wallet instead of a typical base currency card. The cards will be available next month and users can order cards from the Moneymailme website, according to the company.

“The Moneymailme proposition will completely change the way social payments are made; the innovative approach and outstanding technology platform has enabled Moneymailme to lead the way,” said Lee Britton, PFS commercial director. “The launch of Moneymailme with PFS is an important step in enabling social payments to meet the needs and wants of customers globally.”

Social Payments Hold Promise, Problems

Payments through social media have a bright future, but they still have room to improve. Nearly half of 18-25-year-olds polled believe cash will be obsolete within 20 years, according to Moneymailme research, and an American Express study released in May found that Generation Z, consumers age 16 through 22, prefer interacting via online chat technology, such as WhatsApp.

The statistics bode well, not just for Moneymailme, but others in the payments arena. For example, Facebook Messenger platform updates announced last September enabled users to make payments using Messenger threads without having to leave the app. Furthermore, companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram have launched capabilities on Facebook Messenger that enable international P2P payments. And, WeChat, the China-based social messaging and mobile wallet platform is planning to expand its presence in the U.S. and Europe.

However, many payments providers use their own proprietary systems that don’t provide enough immediacy and “frictionless transaction flow that social network users expect in this medium,” according to a blog by Drew Sullivan, founder and president, PaymentExecutive.com.

“Payments providers still have a way to go to simplify the process and deliver the transparent experience that social network users expect,” he wrote. “But the industry has accepted that faster payments are here to stay and that is a good thing for businesses and consumers alike.”

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Image Credits: Shutterstock/Jaaak

P2P Is Gaining Steam, but Security Concerns Remain

Consumers prefer to use P2P payments for retail purchases, paying back relatives and friends, and settling bills—but not so much for contributing to group gifts or paying housing costs, according to a new report from NerdWallet. It also found that that while only 35 percent of U.S. consumers use such P2P products as Venmo, PayPal and Square Cash, 63 percent are interested in the payment technology.

NerdWallet based its findings on a survey of 2,000 U.S. adults conducted in May and June. The survey report arrives at a busy time for P2P. Apple, for instance, has enlisted Green Dot to help the tech giant in its bid to unseat Venmo and other established players in the increasingly crowded P2P space. And more banks and credit unions are joining the Zelle Network, a peer-to-peer payments platform in the U.S.

The NerdWallet report found that:

  • Of the 35 percent of consumers who use P2P services, 56 percent of them link their credit cards to P2P accounts.
  • 65 percent of Americans think paying with a P2P payment app is secure, while 35 percent do not.
  • 60 percent would feel less obligated to pay someone back if they requested payment via a P2P app than if they were using another form of payment

When it comes to using P2P services, 59 percent of surveyed consumers are willing to use them to pay for retail purchases. That compares with 55 percent who said the same thing about paying back friends or family members, and paying bills; and 43 percent who said they would use P2P to give a “cash” gift directly to a recipient, and 39 percent who would use P2P to loan money to other people. By contrast, only 32 percent would use P2P to pay rent or house payments, and only 30 percent would use P2P to contribute to a group gift.

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Investment Roundup: Visa Buys Stake in Klarna; Revolut, Tango Land Financing

Investors continue to show strong interest in fintech-based payments services providers, as Visa acquires an equity share in fast-growing Swedish e-commerce specialist Klarna, and startups Revolut and Tango Card land significant financing rounds.

Visa Inc. is buying a stake in Swedish payments provider Klarna, and the two companies intend to develop a strategic partnership to accelerate online and mobile commerce across Europe. The size of the deal was not disclosed.

Klarna serves 60 million consumers and 70,000 retailers. Earlier this month, the company secured a full banking license from the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority. The license enables Klarna to broaden its product portfolio for customers and merchants, according to the company.

London-based travel card specialist Revolut is close to landing a £50 million (US$65 million) funding round that will value the company at £300 million (US$390 million), according to a report from Sky News. The round will be led by Index Ventures, which acquired an interest in Revolut last year, the report said. Silicon Valley investor Ribbit Capital is also said to be taking part in the round. Founded just two years ago, Revolut offers a prepaid international currency card, which can be loaded with funds via bank account transfer through an app. The company reportedly is on track to have 1 million customers by the end of 2017.

Finally, Seattle-based Tango Card, a provider of digital rewards and incentives to 2,000 corporate enterprise customers, has secured a $10 million investment facility from Silicon Valley’s Western Technology Investment. Tango said it plans to use the funds to invest in its core rewards delivery platform, develop new products and accelerate expansion outside the U.S..

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Image Credits: chutrop

Six Key Themes from Money20/20 Europe

By Paul Butterworth, Trustonic

After a frantic few days in Copenhagen for Money20/20 Europe, I’m finally back at my desk. The flight home gave me a bit of time to digest the discussions and presentations and, amid the melee and company announcements, a few themes stand out.

  1. Let’s get wallets out of the way first. The majority of industry folk now admit that wallets are not where we wanted or expected them to be. Adoption of the “Pays“ is happening, but it’s painfully slow. Take me as an example, I have Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay on my devices but, more often than not, tap my contactless card. And I’m a self-confessed payments geek.

The crawling pace of adoption is bringing discussions on “value“ to the fore again (I know, I know …). Many (including me in previous lives) have been banging the value-added services drum for years, but now is the time where it can actually make a difference. The ‘Pays’ are out there, user experience is getting more seamless, more banks are signing up—they just need a reason for consumers to use them and payments on their own are not a sufficient driver. Rewards, in-app and online payments, offers, transaction notifications; these are the things that will change consumers’ habits and we’re about to see a lot more of them offered.

  1. Lots of discussions on our stand related to secure biometrics and strong authentication. With PSD2 and 3D Secure 2.0 looming, the fintech industry is scrambling to understand how authentication will work, if it is possible on time and how a consistent user experience can be locked down. On-device biometrics will likely form a part of the strong user authentication method for service authorization and/or access to apps and services, but how this will shake out remains to be seen. Hardware security on devices will be essential, though, to protect users’ identities, data and services and we’ll be working closely with the key players to share the benefits of trusted execution environment device security.
  2. Talk of invisible payments was also everywhere. Retailers are still talking about the idea of own-brand wallets. They are in a position to take control of the in-store buying experience and push the act of paying into the background. If they can identify their customers earlier on—as they enter the store for example, rather than at the checkout—they can personalize offers, deliver a more engaging experience and even remove the payment process altogether. All through an app. The ‘Pays’ would also like to be enablers here, but how they do this is still to be seen.

Spend is often higher when payment is taken out of focus, stores would need less checkout infrastructure and customer engagement and loyalty would be greater. Fewer overheads, more revenues. Security and privacy—both for the consumer and for the store—obviously need to be considered from the off, but with fraud management in the cloud and app/hardware security on devices, this could become a reality very soon.

  1. For the first time, next gen mPOS and PIN on glass are being seriously explored. But how do we get there? We have one eye on the new PCI standards that are set to come out at the end of the year. Hopefully these will bring some clarity. Beyond that, TEE technology in smartphones is already able to secure the display and enable secure PIN entry, perfect use cases for using smartphones as m-POS devices. Very soon we could be tapping our smartphones or cards on another smartphone to initiate a contactless payment before securely entering our PIN into the merchant’s device. It will require some consumer education to bring trust, but it opens up a huge range of opportunities for small-scale retailers.
  2. The Chinese giants are coming to Europe. Some of the most interesting conversations were around players like AliPay and WeChat Pay launching in Europe. It’s going to be really interesting to see how much adoption they can generate. The QR code payment method will not be familiar for many, but the combination of secure biometrics may see people look past this. To my earlier point, if they manage to offer VAS quicker than the ‘Pays’, we may have an interesting land grab for m-payments supremacy on our hands.
  3. Finally, as always, the machines are coming. Artificial intelligence seems to have become the new buzz technology. There are different opinions on the best use case though. For me, the most interesting ones are back-end fraud management and the live analysis of customer/purchase data to tailor offers and loyalty. Many projects look set to integrate AI in some way in the coming years, we just need to make sure it is up to standard to deliver a seamless and secure customer experience.

In all, it was another extremely busy show that is establishing itself as the premier FinTech event in Europe. But what were your key takeaways?

That’s all from me. Skål!

Paul Butterworth is strategic marketing director at Trustonic, a provider of security hardware and software for mobile payments. Join the discussion on @trustonic or @pabutterworth.

In Viewpoints, payments professionals share their perspectives on the industry. Paybefore presents many points of view to offer readers new insights and information. The opinions expressed in Viewpoints are not necessarily those of Paybefore. 

People on the Move: Jean Douchey, i2c Inc.

Payments processor i2c Inc. has appointed Jean Douchey as senior vice president of operations. In the role, Douchey will oversee global operations, including contact centers, fraud, disputes and third-party partner relationships. She will report directly to i2c CEO Amir Wain.

Douchey has more than 25 years of experience running operations, most recently at First Data Corp., where she was vice president of global service delivery and managed multiple large contact centers in North America and three international locations. She also has experience leading client services, portfolio conversions, implementations and plastic manufacturing operations for large credit, debit and government clients, and has managed client relationships in the debit and credit spaces.