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Tracking fintech, banking & financial services innovations since 1994
PayPal, Venmo, and American Express have partnered up this week in a move that will help deal with the awkwardness of group expenses.
The group is launchingAmexSend and Split, a tool that enables eligible American Express cardholders to split purchases with and send money to Venmo and PayPal users directly from the Amex app.
The send feature enables cardholders to send money via Amex to their friends on PayPal or Venmo. Users can make transfers in real time using their spend balance within the app or by paying with their Amex credit card balance.
With the split purchases feature, cardholders can select any pending or posted purchases to split with other PayPal or Venmo customers. Customers will receive payment as a statement credit on their Amex card.
The general terms of the money transfer and purchase splitting capabilities aren’t too compelling. Since all parties to the transaction need to be existing PayPal or Venmo users, there is not much incentive for them to conduct their P2P money transfer activities in the Amex app.
The one outstanding benefit to the new co-branded launch, however, is that when users send money and split purchases within the Amex app they can do so using their available credit. While they can also do this within PayPal and Venmo, there may be extra friction involved for the user to add their card details.
PayPal, one of the fintech originals, has had its fair share of news headlines in the past year. The fintech has been busy with its acquisition of rewards platform Honey, bringing QR code payment technology back into style, launching a buy-now, pay-later (BNPL) offering, and helping its users embrace cryptocurrency.
So where will PayPal run with these in 2021?
The company recently made its intentions a bit more clear during its third quarter earnings call this week, and TechCrunch tuned in to dig up some analysis about the company’s plans for next year. Here are some of the takeaways.
Digital wallet redesign
PayPal has always been an alternative banking solution, but has lacked some of the tools to help it effectively compete with its traditional FI counterparts. The company plans to redesign its digital wallet by enhancing the direct deposit experience, offering billpay tools, providing check cashing capabilities, and integrating budgeting tools.
Combined, these elements will help PayPal offer a challenger banking experience. All the while, PayPal will benefit from having an established user base. As of the second quarter of this year, the company counted 346 million active accounts. Chime, one of the most popular challenger banks in the U.S., blanches in comparison with eight million active accounts.
The digital wallet redesign is expected to roll out in the first quarter of next year.
Last November, PayPal purchased online shopping rewards platform Honey for $4 billion. Since then, PayPal has left Honey relatively untouched.
This week, however, PayPal has made it clear it plans to integrate Honey into its existing apps to create a more holistic shopping experience. Users can use Honey’s Wish List tool to create a shopping list, sign up for price tracking notifications, and receive deals and rewards that are built into the PayPal checkout experience.
Merchants will receive shopper data based on their interaction with Honey and its tools. The data, which can help merchants drive sales, will be anonymized.
PayPal teased its plans to offer support for cryptocurrencies earlier this year and announced a partnership late last month that will help users buy and sell cryptocurrencies.
Starting in the first half of next year, PayPal users in the U.S. will be able to transact using Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum at PayPal’s 28 million merchant clients. The company also plans to roll out the capabilities within its Venmo app and to international markets in that same time frame.
In August, PayPal announced its own BNPL competitive service. Dubbed Pay in 4, the short-term payments installment product allows U.S. customers to pay for their purchase over the course of a six week period. The company has also launched a similar offering in the U.K. and France.
Starting next year, PayPal plans to integrate Pay in 4 into its apps.
PayPal-owned Venmo is expanding in a variety of areas. As mentioned above, the P2P payments app is adding support for cryptocurrencies next year.
Additionally, the company is building its business profiles, which it originally launched in July of this year; adding more financial tools; providing better shopping capabilities; and overhauling its checkout experience.
The buy now, pay later (BNPL) trend has been accelerating since the beginning of this year, and today PayPalannounced plans to get in on the action.
The payments giant is releasing Pay in 4, a short-term payments installment product for U.S. customers. When consumers opt to use Pay in 4, merchants receive payment upfront, and the buyer pays for the purchase over the course of a six week period. PayPal takes on the credit risk.
Consumers can use Pay in 4 for transactions between $30 and $600. Purchases do not incur interest and buyers can set up automatic repayments. Additionally, there are no fees for the buyer or the merchant.
“In today’s challenging retail and economic environment, merchants are looking for trusted ways to help drive average order values and conversion, without taking on additional costs. At the same time, consumers are looking for more flexible and responsible ways to pay, especially online,” said Doug Bland, SVP of Global Credit at PayPal. “With Pay in 4, we’re building on our history as the originator in the buy now, pay later space, coupled with PayPal’s trust and ubiquity, to enable a responsible and flexible way for consumers to shop while providing merchants with a tool that helps drive sales, loyalty and customer choice.”
Today’s release is the newest in PayPal’s line of Pay Later tools. The company’s other financing options include PayPal Credit, a line of credit with built-in promotional offers, Easy Payments, a BNPL service available in the U.S. and U.K. PayPal also offers Pay Later tools across the globe in Germany, France, Australia, Canada, Spain, and the Netherlands.
After the BNPL trend began burgeoning earlier this year, PayPal has joined the likes of Affirm, Sezzle, Klarna, and even Goldman Sachs, as well as a handful of others in offering BNPL options to online shoppers. The popularity of these services is attributed to an uptick in unemployment brought on by COVID-19. Not only are consumers making less money, some have maxed out their credit cards and are seeking alternative ways to keep afloat.
Pay in 4 will be available in the 4th quarter of this year.
Remember when the mobile payments game was first getting started? The industry was rallying around NFC as the technology of choice for mobile payments. BLE was a close second, and QR codes were generally the last choice.
That was in 2012 and now it appears that 2020 is throwing us yet another curve ball– QR Codes are back in style in the U.S. That’s because PayPal has partnered with InComm to launch its PayPal and Venmo QR codes technology at pharmacy chain CVS.
This move will implement low-touch mobile payments at CVS’ 8,200 brick-and-mortar stores across the U.S., offering shoppers a secure payment experience without needing to touch a keypad or sign a receipt.
PayPal users can pay using stored debit or credit cards, bank accounts, their PayPal balance, or PayPal Credit. Venmo users can also pay using their stored debit or credit cards and bank account, but will additionally be able to tap into their Venmo balance or Venmo Rewards.
“In the midst of COVID-19, we have seen an incredible acceleration of digital payments and touch-free payments,” said PayPal EVP and CPO Mark Britto. “Companies of all types and sizes are looking for ways to maintain the safety of their customers and employees, especially through touch-free experiences like curbside pickup and enhanced online shopping. QR codes complement these and provide retailers an additional payment method that furthers this touch-free mission and continues the growth of digital payments for all partners in the ecosystem. The essential nature of pharmacies makes CVS Pharmacy the perfect initial partner for PayPal and Venmo QR Codes – and we’re proud to help their customers stay safe while purchasing what they need.”
This week’s deal also marks a multi-year agreement between PayPal and InComm. The partnership enables InComm to distribute PayPal QR Code technology to its network of retailers, allowing them to integrate the QR code payment technology into their POS terminals.
PayPal has been touting its touch-free payment technology amidst the COVID-19 pandemic (see below). And given the payment giant’s previous traction and existing user base, the company will certainly come out on top as a winner in the post-pandemic economy.
Elsewhere across the globe, QR code payments have already seen success. Ant Group’s Alipay uses QR codes for in-store payments and had over a 50% adoption rate at the end of 2018.
IDology on the challenge of faster, safer, easier cybersecurity – When it comes to using digital services, consumers are increasingly concerned about fraud, but still tend to underestimate the severity of cybercrime more broadly. Consumers are also more likely to abandon online account set-up than they have been in recent years. And while they rate security above both ease-of-use and speed when it comes to the onboarding experience, any friction in the security process can be costly.
These are some of the takeaways from the just-released report from real-time identity verification company IDology. The company’s Third Annual Consumer Digital Identity Survey takes a look at consumer attitudes toward cybersecurity, the willingness of consumers to work with companies that have suffered a cyberattack or data breach, and the ability of consumers – and fintech innovators – to balance between security and seamlessness.
“So while consumers overwhelmingly demand security,” the report noted, “there’s only so much friction they are willing to endure to receive it.”
Other insights from the survey, conducted between February 25 and March 7 of this year and including 1,499 online respondents, underscored the fact that consumers increasingly see their mobile devices as both a “component” of their identity as well as a tool for facilitating digital interactions. The report concluded that identity verification “can serve as a strategic differentiator” for organizations competing in the digital environment.
Interestingly, PayPal emphasized the capacity of cryptocurrencies to play a positive role in improving financial services for underserved communities. “Of particular interest for us is how these technologies and crypto-assets can be utilized to achieve greater financial inclusion and help reduce/eliminate some of the pain points that exist today in financial services,” the letter read.
Here is the latest news from our Finovate alums.
Salt Edgepartners with Irish fintech OnlineApplication to help the company improve its mortgage application process.
Educational Systems Federal Credit Union to deploy digital banking technology from Finastra.
Revolutlaunches Open Banking features for its customers in France.
Open banking platform Tinkacquires credit decision solution provider Instantor.
Data security specialist ALTRlaunchesStackable Margins program in bid to broaden its channel community and add new partners.
Sitehands reports that its current President and Chief Operating Officer Chris Corrado will become the company’s next Chief Executive Officer.
Lendionamed one of the 2020 Best Places to Work in New York by Work and Fortune. The company also announced a strategic partnership with Web.com.
Altamaha Bank of Georgia partners with Ondot Systems to bring the company’s card management app to its debit cardholders.
Orion Advisor Solutionsmerges with investment management company Brinker Capital.
Fenergowins the Breadth of Functionality category at the xCelent Awards 2020.
Finance and Commerce profiles automated account switching specialist, ClickSWITCH.
Stockhead featuresIdentitii in its look at Australian fintechs that are embracing collaboration rather than disruption.
Biometric Update looks atIlluma Labs and how credit unions are adopting its voice biometric authentication technology.
Google Cloud has unveiled its latest data center and announced that PayPal will be among the first to move key components of its payments infrastructure to Google’s cloud region. The news is the latest example of a partnership between the two technology giants that extends back at least as far as 2017, when PayPal became an authorized payment method for Android Pay (which later became Google Pay).
The new cloud region, Google’s 22nd globally, will be based in Salt Lake City and is designed to provide customers in the western U.S. with better, more reliable cloud services.
“When it comes to processing a financial transaction, security and speed count,” PayPal VP for Employee Technology & Experiences and Data Centers Dan Torunian said. He added that Google Cloud will provide PayPal with the “security, quality, and velocity” it needs, particularly when it comes to managing seasonal payment transaction volume surges and keeping regional expansion costs low.
In fact, PayPal reportedly chose Salt Lake City in part for low-latency access to its own data center, which will make it easier for PayPal to commit additional resources to the cloud over time. The partnership will also allow PayPal to establish a migration pattern that can be used to convert more on-premises infrastructure to the Google Cloud – at the Salt Lake City data center or to any other Google Cloud platform region.
More than 300 million consumers and merchants in 200 markets use PayPal’s payments technology for financial services and commerce. The San Jose, California-headquartered company began the year forging a strategic partnership with UnionPay International that will boost its merchant and consumer business in the Chinese market. PayPal reported adding more than 37 million net new active accounts last year, processing “nearly $200 billion” in total payment volume in the fourth quarter alone.
It is hard to imagine having a better start to your week than Plaid had seven days ago when the innovative fintech (and Finovate alum) announced that it had agreed to be acquired by Visa for $5.3 billion.
But the €90 million ($100 million) raised by Swedish open banking platform Tink on Monday is nothing to sneeze at. In fact, the funding, which is the company’s largest to date, is a reminder that investment interest in (and funding for) companies dedicated to developing the infrastructure that connects consumers, banks, and the financial technologies is very much in abundance.
“Our aim is to become the preferred pan-European provider of digital banking services and to offer the technology needed for banks, fintechs, and startups to leverage the opportunities of open banking and enable them to successfully develop financial services in the future,” Tink co-founder and CEO Daniel Kjellén said in a statement.
The London-based money transfer firm, founded in 2012, promoted its COO Richard Ambrose to CEO back in August, as Azimo founder Michael Kent took what TechCrunch referred to as a lateral move to become executive chairman. Today, Fintech Futures, Finovate’s sister publication, reports that the company has appointed Dora Ziambra to the post of Chief Operating Officer. Azimo also promoted its head of finance Tatiana Okhotina to the post of Chief Financial Officer.
“We’re fortunate to have the depth of talent to fill these top roles internally,” Ambrose said in a statement. “We’re lucky too that Azimo will continue to benefit from the experience and leadership of these two outstanding women.”
Here’s our weekly roundup of the latest news from our Finovate alumni:
Union Bank to leverage technology from FIS for core banking.
Italy-based CREDEM leveragingWorldline’s Payment and Liquidity Hub software CRISTAL to process Target2 payments
POS software Vend partners with Klarna to offer retailers more flexible payment options.
U.K. food retailer The Co-operative to deployACI Worldwide’s fraud management solution, ReD Shield.
A partnership between TransferGo and Currencycloud will enable the money transfer company to enter 14 new markets.
YellowDogforges reseller agreement with Annex Pro.
Bankable cozies up with Plaid to allow its bank customers to connect with their users’ bank accounts.
Ohpenappoints former Tesla marketing leader Corinne Aaron as new head of marketing.
Segmint to acquire WAND’s Product and Service Taxonomy division.
CuneXuscelebrates 2019 success with a 40% year-over-year increase in consumer reach.
Three Key Lessons We Learned from Plaid – Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that Visa is acquiring Plaid for a deal that’s worth $5.3 billion. The fact that they were so widely used at such an early stage is a testament to the quality of their code, but there are also a few key lessons to take away from their success.
ITSCREDIT’s Joao Pinto on the Digital Lending Opportunity – ITSCREDIT is a spinoff from ITSECTOR and is a fairly new player in the digital lending space. In this interview, Pinto talks to us about the digital lending opportunity, how his company fits into the current state of this fintech subsector, and what we can expect to see next.
Kasasa Enhances its Take-Back Loan – Community bank marketing expert Kasasaannounced a partnership with Carleton today in which Kasasa will integrate Carleton’s insurance and debt protection calculations into its Kasasa Loan.
Plinqit Brings Rewards-Powered Financial Literacy to First Community Bank – One day in the distant future, children will be educated in basic financial literacy as readily as they are taught algebra. Until then, solutions like Plinqit from HT Mobile Apps will be valuable tools for credit unions and community banks looking for novel ways to engage and educate their members and customers.
Credit, Data, and Cryptocurrencies: Graychain Rebrands as Credmark – The company that is bringing credit data clarity to the cryptocurrency industry is entering 2020 with a new name.
Tradeshift Lands $240 Million as it Inches Toward Profitability – The San Francisco-based company will use the investment to boost expansion efforts and gear toward a “direct path to profitability in the near future.”
Backbase-as-a-Service Helps Banks Leverage the Cloud to Innovate and Scale – The solution makes the company’s broad portfolio of digital banking offerings available to FIs looking to accelerate their ability to develop and offer new technologies to customers.
Also on Finovate.com
Visa to Acquire Plaid in $5.3 Billion Deal – “Today marks an important milestone for our company and for fintech,” company co-founder and CEO Zach Perret wrote on the Plaid blog earlier today. “What started with two founders building in a cramped conference room has become an incredible network that enables millions of consumers to interact with over 2,500 digital finance products.”
Not Another 2020 Trends Prediction Post (Seriously, It’s Not!) – We’re taking a look at the trends you can expect to see on stage next month at FinovateEurope. To keep things simple this year, we assessed the themes at a very high level and broke them down into three categories: the big, the little, and the trends in-between.
Singapore’s Digital Banking License Space Race Accelerates – Is there anyone out there who is NOT trying to secure a digital banking license in Singapore? The Monetary Authority of Singapore announced last week that has received 21 applications for digital bank licenses.
MogoSpend Offers Credit, Cashback, and Help Reducing Your Carbon Footprint – The new digital spending account from Canadian fintech Mogo does more than help Canadians get control of their finances. The solution also offers cardholders generous cashback rewards and a way to make a positive impact on the environment by reducing their carbon footprint.
Getsafe Expands its Insurtech to the U.K. – If your insurance company is offering you drone insurance, you know it’s not your grandmother’s insurance agency. Germany-based insurtech Getsafe does just that– and the company announced today it is expanding its home contents insurance offering (though, sadly, not its drone insurance offering) to users in the U.K.
Raisin’s New Acquisition Gives Company Access to the U.S. Market – European deposit marketplace Raisin announced today it acquired New York-based Choice Financial Solutions.
French Fintech Lydia Locks in $45 Million – TechCrunch reported this morning that French mobile payment app Lydia has raised $45 million (€40 million) in a round led by Tencent.
Visa’s Tap to Phone Brings Contactless Payments to mPOS – With Visa’sTap to Phone app arriving pre-installed on the new, enterprise grade smartphone from Samsung, a broad range of merchants will have access to yet another way to accept payments from customers.
INTL FCStone Acquires International Bank Transfer Firm – Headquartered in Germany, GIROXX offers international bank transfers and currency hedging. INTL FCStone plans to leverage this technology to expand its current client base to small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Join us next month in Berlin, Germany for FinovateEurope 2020. Our three-day fintech conference will begin on February 11 and run through February 13.
The event features both our signature, seven-minute, live technology demonstrations, as well as keynote addresses, roundtables, and case studies on many of the most critical issues in fintech. Check out our conference agenda and stay tuned for more about our speakers and demoing companies.
Here’s our weekly look at fintech around the world.
Central and Eastern Europe
Austrian mobile payments firm Bluecode raises $13.4 million (€12 million) from European Private Venture Capitalists.
German fintech Solaris Bank announces plans to offer custodial services to cryptocurrency investors.
Ukraine’s mobile-only bank Monobank to expand to the U.K. in 2020.
Middle East and Northern Africa
IBMbrings its fraud prevention technology to Qatar International Islamic Bank.
PYMNTS looks at the opportunities PSD2 may offer Turkish banks.
Egypt-based fintech Dayra wins $15,000 grant from Y Combinator’s Startup School, the first MENA-based startup to do so.
Central and Southern Asia
Business Recorder interviews Syed Mohsin Ahmed, CEO of Pakistan Microfinance Network.
Fintech Singapore lists India’s top fintech influencers for 2020.
Makers India highlights five women who are driving fintech innovation in India.
Latin America and the Caribbean
Born2Invest examines the impact of mobile money on Argentina’s banking industry.
Brazilian fintech Cora raises $10 million in funding to help provide financial services to SMEs.
Rebel, a startup that helps provide credit to middle-class Brazilians, rakes in $10 million in equity funding.
With closing of a 70% stake in China’s GoPay, PayPal is the first non-Chinese firm licensed to offer payment services in the country.
FIS’ global ecommerce platform, Worldpay, partners with Japanese issuer and acquirer JCB.
Who are the top contenders in Singapore’s digital banking race? Fintech Singapore reviews the field.
Micro-investing startup Trove picks up an investment from Nigerian asset management company, ARM.
Kontomatik’s Konstantin Rabin looks at South Africa’s position as an “unlikely fintech leader.”
Julaya, a startup based in Ivory Coast that specializes in digitizing financial services for small businesses, raises $550,000 in funding..
As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.
Payments titan PayPal is shelling out $4 billion today in a transaction to purchase Honey, an online shopping and rewards platform. The deal is PayPal’s 20th acquisition and closely follows the California-based company’s arrangement with GoPay last month that gives it a 70% ownership in the China-based company.
PayPal, which offers solutions for both end consumers and merchants, will leverage Honey to create a better experience for the end customer while giving its merchant clients a boost through increased sales and customer engagement.
Honey brings with it a network of 30,000 online retailers and 17 million monthly active users. PayPal will be able to engage with these shoppers while they are still at the beginning of their online purchasing experience. Leveraging access PayPal’s 275+ million active customers and network of 24 million merchant accounts, Honey will be able to scale up its user base considerably.
Calling today’s purchase as one of the “most transformative” in the company’s history, PayPal President and CEO Dan Schulman went on to praise Honey for its ability to improve the online shopping experience. “The combination of Honey’s complementary consumer products with our platform will significantly enhance our ability to drive engagement and play a more meaningful role in the daily lives of our consumers,” Schulman said. “As a partner of choice for our merchants, this is another way that we can help them build and strengthen their customer relationships, provide personalized offers, and drive incremental sales.”
Logistically, Honey will stay intact, maintaining its headquarters in Los Angeles. The company’s co-founders George Ruan and Ryan Hudson will continue to lead the Honey team, reporting to PayPal’s Senior Vice President John Kunze.
PayPal showcased its Instant Account Creation feature at FinovateFall 2012. The company has a market capitalization of $120 billion.