What's New in Payments

India to relax mobile wallet KYC rules

‘Low KYC’ norm to help mobile wallets retain their customers — Economic Times — “In a move set to bring relief to scores of mobile wallet firms such as Paytm, PhonePe, Amazon Pay and their several million users, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will allow wallet service providers to continue operating their millions of non-compliant know-your-customer (KYC) accounts which earlier faced cancellation… An estimated over 200m mobile wallets ran the risk of being cancelled by the regulators, once the deadline to upgrade their non-compliant accounts to ‘full KYC’ accounts expires on February 29.” 


What's New in Payments

Federal Reserve sets out its digital currency position

The digitalization of payments and currency: Some issues for consideration — The Federal Reserve — “Given the dollar’s important role, it is essential that we remain on the frontier of research and policy development regarding CBDC [Central Bank Digital Currency]. Like other central banks, we are conducting research and experimentation related to distributed ledger technologies and their potential use case for digital currencies, including the potential for a CBDC. We are collaborating with other central banks as we advance our understanding of central bank digital currencies.” 


What's New in Payments

Israeli banks balk at Apple Pay fees

Turbulent entry into the payments market: Apple Pay requires high commission in Israel — Calcalist (translation) — “Apple representatives have begun a round of meetings with banks and credit companies to formulate agreements to begin Apple Pay’s operations in the country… Some players were surprised to find that Apple requires a fairly high fee estimated at 0.15% to 0.25% of any transaction made through Apple Pay… ‘It is disproportionate, and constitutes an exploitation of its status and power,’ says a source close to the talks between the parties.” 


What's New in Payments

Visa to introduce variable interchange rates in the US

Visa is planning the biggest changes to swipe fees in a decade — Bloomberg — “The company’s interchange rates — fees charged every time a consumer uses a card — will go up or down depending on the merchant and the way a consumer pays for their purchases, according to a document Visa sent to banks that outlines the changes. Higher rates are looming for transactions on e-commerce sites, while retailers in certain services categories, such as real estate and education, will see fees decline.” 


What's New in Payments

Royal Australian Mint to phase out silver coins?

Royal Australian Mint expects lowly silver coins to be phased out amid rise of contactless payments — ABC Radio Melbourne — “Royal Australian Mint chief executive Ross MacDiarmid said demand for coinage had dropped by about 55% in the last five years, and most of that had been for silver coins… Rising inflation, coupled with the growth of online and contactless payments, are rendering the lowly silvers obsolete… Much like the old 1 and 2c coins, phased out in the 1990s, Mr MacDiarmid expected the mint to eventually stop producing 5 and 10c coins.” 


What's New in Payments

Worldline to acquire Ingenico for €7.8bn

Worldline to acquire Ingenico — Worldline — “This transaction would combine two premier companies to create the world’s number four player in payment services with circa 20,000 employees in approximately 50 countries… Upon closing, the new combined group would offer best-in-class payment services to nearly 1m merchants and 1,200 financial institutions.” 


What's New in Payments

IBM patents self-aware cryptocurrency token

IBM awarded patent for ‘self-aware token’ — Coindesk — “The patent outlines a ledger-based payments system that could make it easier for individual users, businesses and governments to track and trace transactions made using a cryptocurrency. Dubbed the ‘self-aware token’, it is designed to record all transaction data when not being used on a payments platform IBM patented in 2012. When the token rejoins the platform ecosystem at a later stage, it automatically uploads data from any ‘off-line transactions’.” 


What's New in Payments

Cambodia to launch blockchain-based national QR payments platform

NBC’s digital payments to go live in next few months — The Phnom Penh Post — “The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) will launch a blockchain-based, peer-to-peer payment and money transfer platform in the next few months… Bakong, essentially a quasi-form of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), was launched on a trial basis in July and will be operational within the present fiscal quarter… Bakong will help set a national standard for QR code usage, which will be integrated with Asean equivalents.”