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Mobile and Emerging Payments


U.K. Competition Authority Raises a Concern about Mastercard/VocaLink Deal

The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is worried that Mastercard’s billion-dollar deal to acquire VocaLink could hinder competition, and the CMA is giving the two companies until Jan. 11 to address a concern or face an “in-depth investigation,” according to the authority.


Volkswagen Ups its Mobile Payments and Parking Game

The financial services arm of car manufacturer Volkswagen Group has bought parking payments firm PayByPhone, a deal that underscores the appeal of mobile payments and bolsters the automotive company’s presence in the parking transactions space.


For India’s Paytm, Growing up Means Launching a Digital Bank

India-based Paytm is growing up fast. The online commerce platform, which launched its mobile wallet in 2014, has received permission from the Reserve Bank of India to operate a digital bank. The move comes as digital transaction rates in India—where the country’s popular 500 (US$7) and 1,000 (US$15) rupee notes were recently taken out of circulation—have increased as much as 1,000 percent since early November.


China Serious about Fintech with $1.44 Billion Investment

China has made it loud and clear it intends to position itself as a global fintech leader. A group of state and privately held companies launched a $1.44 billion investment fund called the Asia FinTech Merger and Acquisition Fund of Funds (Asia FinTech FoF). The fund will focus on fintech mergers and acquisitions, and “nurture” initiatives in the fintech industry, according to a Dec. 28 announcement by Credit China FinTech Holdings Ltd., which led the investment.


Questions about Your Finances? Ask Varo Money’s Val

Varo Money announced it’s developing a chat bot for its mobile app. The San Francisco-based mobile-only banking startup, which is offering private-label banking services via The Bancorp, expects to launch “Val” early next year. “She” is part of a steady stream of chat bots that have been announced in 2016 by banks, merchants, tech companies and handset makers to improve customer loyalty, reduce costs and boost revenue, among other benefits.


The Future Looks Bright for Blockchain and B2B Payments

Tapping into two expanding markets, BNP Paribas said Dec. 21 it had completed its first cross-border B2B payments between corporate clients using blockchain, the technology that underlies bitcoin transactions. The move comes as other major financial institutions seek to invest in blockchain and there’s a rush of providers trying to displace checks in the corporate payments space, particularly for cross-border payments.


Wirecard Takes Boon. from POS to Online with Prepaid

Prepaid cards have long been a bridge to the point-of-sale for mobile wallets, but Wirecard is using prepaid as a bridge to online payments for its boon. mobile app, which already can be used to make payments at the POS. The payments provider, which has had a busy fourth quarter, announced that boon. app users will be able to make mobile online purchases with the virtual prepaid boon. Mastercard. Wirecard also said it will add features, including P2P payments and microcredit, though no timetable was given.


Vantiv Names Top Trends for Banks in 2017

Fraud and fintech partnerships; big data and blockchain—all are among the hottest topics in payments—and will continue to be major forces shaping the industry in 2017, according to a new report from Vantiv Inc. The first installment of the payment processor and technology solutions provider’s Trends to Watch in 2017—focused on financial institutions—tabbed those four areas as especially important points of emphasis for banks in the New Year.


Digital Payment Growth in India Brings Initial Headaches

While digital payments providers have enjoyed significant boosts in transaction volume—some as much as triple-digits—since the government banned two popular currency notes, the uptick in digital payments also has led to online traffic jams and fraud, according to several news outlets.


Mastercard, Visa Team on Tokenization

Mastercard and Visa have joined forces in a bid to help fast-track the adoption of tokenization for mobile and online payments—and, eventually, payments via connected devices within the Internet of Things (IoT). A new partnership between the rival networks enables tokenized Mastercard payment credentials to be provisioned into Visa Checkout, and, in turn, tokenized Visa credentials to be provisioned into Masterpass.

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