Striking Out in Uncharted Territory: PF Day Preview

Being a pioneer can be a bit isolating.

The unique approaches payment facilitators have taken to their markets often mean that they have challenges – and solutions – only other PFs are likely to understand.

Being a pioneer can be a bit isolating. The unique approaches payment facilitators have taken to their markets often mean that they have challenges – and solutions – only other PFs are likely to understand.

With Space to Grow, Parking Vendors Looking for Scale

Parkmobile CEO Jon Ziglar envisions a world where we all leave our homes knowing the exact spot where we’ll park when we get to our destination.

U.S. cities are nowhere near reaching that parking utopia, meaning that there is plenty of room for Parkmobile and companies like it to grow.

Parkmobile CEO Jon Ziglar envisions a world where we all leave our homes knowing the exact spot where we’ll park when we get to our destination. U.S. cities are nowhere near reaching that parking utopia, meaning that there is plenty of room for Parkmobile and companies like it to grow.

Compliance from the PF Point of View: PF Day Preview

When a technology company decides to take on payments, it often seems like a natural next step. Who wouldn’t want to extend their services by enabling clients to accept payments?

Then reality sinks in. Adding the technical capability to move money is one thing. Opening the door to the complex web of federal and state regulation and card brand rules is another.

When a technology company decides to take on payments, it often seems like a natural next step. Who wouldn’t want to extend their services by enabling clients to accept payments? Then reality sinks in. Adding the technical capability to move money is one thing. Opening the door to the complex web of federal and state regulation and card brand rules is another.

Paytm Uses QR Codes to Connect Online, Offline

Paytm is expanding its use of QR codes to drive commerce at small retailers across India.

Earlier this week, the company announced it was opening up a channel for its small, local partner merchants. The program will enable them to sell products from its online Paytm Mall to customers who come into their stores.

Paytm is expanding its use of QR codes to drive commerce at small retailers across India. Earlier this week, the company announced it was opening up a channel for its small, local partner merchants. The program will enable them to sell products from its online Paytm Mall to customers who come into their stores.

PF Day Comes Just Once a Year

Once a year, payment facilitators – and those thinking about being PFs – get to huddle with peers to learn more about mastering this fast-moving space.

This year, that event is on May 11 in Las Vegas. Payment Facilitator Day: A Closer Look is a full day of content by, for, and about PFs presented by PaymentFacilitator.com at the Electronic Transactions Association’s TRANSACT, the organization’s signature industry conference.

Attendees will have the chance to hear from and network with leaders in the space, including Adyen and Square.

Once a year, payment facilitators – and those thinking about being PFs – get to huddle with peers to learn more about mastering this fast-moving space. This year, that event is on May 11 in Las Vegas. Payment Facilitator Day: A Closer Look is a full day of content by, for, and about PFs presented by PaymentFacilitator.com at the Electronic Transactions Association’s TRANSACT. Attendees will have the chance to hear from and network with leaders in the space, including Adyen and Square.

Grab-Kudo Agreement Extends Uber Rival’s Push into Payments, Drive for Financial Inclusion

Grab, a ride-hailing platform that is often referred to as Southeast Asia’s answer to Uber, is extending its payments platform through its acquisition of e-commerce platform Kudo.

The acquisition complements Grab’s existing network across Indonesia’s major cities, the company said. Kudo’s unique structure, with 400,000 agents in 500 towns across Indonesia, will extend Grab into smaller towns and rural areas as well.

The company said it is looking at ways to grow its community of riders and drivers, as well as expand Kudo’s financial services, using this combined distribution network.

Grab, a ride-hailing platform that is often referred to as Southeast Asia’s answer to Uber, is extending its payments platform through its acquisition of e-commerce platform Kudo. The acquisition complements Grab’s existing network across Indonesia’s major cities, the company said. Kudo’s unique structure, with 400,000 agents in 500 towns across Indonesia, will extend Grab into smaller towns and rural areas as well. The company said it is looking at ways to grow its community of riders and drivers, as well as expand Kudo’s financial services, using this combined distribution network.

Square Makes Its Move into U.K.

Square announced this week that it has launched its business in the U.K. But does its timing mean that it’s already shut out of a competitive market?

Rick Oglesby doesn’t think so. Oglesby is principal of AZ Payments Group and a partner of Double Diamond Group, and he’s bullish on Square’s prospects.

Square announced this week that it has launched its business in the U.K. But does its timing mean that it’s already shut out of a competitive market? Rick Oglesby doesn’t think so. Oglesby is principal of AZ Payments Group and a partner of Double Diamond Group, and he’s bullish on Square’s prospects.

Brexit Begins: Should Payments Businesses Shy Away from the UK?

Nine months after its historic vote to leave the European Union, Britain made the breakup official this week. What follows this event is up to two years of negotiations regarding how newly single Britain will interact with the rest of the world.

With the process officially begun, has anything changed for businesses interested in doing business in the U.K.?

Nine months after its historic vote to leave the European Union, Britain made the breakup official this week. What follows this event is up to two years of negotiations regarding how newly single Britain will interact with the rest of the world. With the process officially begun, has anything changed for businesses interested in doing business in the U.K.?

Is Frictionless Onboarding Too Risky?

With frictionless underwriting, it’s easy to sign up for merchant accounts in seconds. If that’s the case, what’s to keep bad actors from signing up for multiple accounts, with multiple service providers?

In the latest in our series of industry perspectives on frictionless onboarding, we talk to Danny Klein, the COO of cyber risk intelligence provider EverCompliant, about how risk has evolved along with the practice.

With frictionless underwriting, it’s easy to sign up for merchant accounts in seconds. If that’s the case, what’s to keep bad actors from signing up for multiple accounts, with multiple service providers? In the latest in our series of industry perspectives on frictionless onboarding, we talk to Danny Klein, the COO of cyber risk intelligence provider EverCompliant, about how risk has evolved along with the practice.

India’s Rapid Digitalization Means More Inclusion – and More Risk

We continue our series on frictionless underwriting this week with a closer look at India’s rapidly changing environment and what it means for onboarding and monitoring merchants.

With the advent of rapid digitalization in India, the race has been on for payments providers to board many merchants quickly.

Companies have responded to the government’s aggressive moves toward a digital economy by announcing a slew of new initiatives intended to bring small merchants into the fold.

With the advent of rapid digitalization in India, the race has been on for payments providers to board many merchants quickly. Companies have responded to the government’s aggressive moves toward a digital economy by announcing a slew of new initiatives intended to bring small merchants into the fold.

CFPB Dealt Setbacks in Two Important Cases

Last Friday, the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota dismissed the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s case against Intercept.

In that case, the agency had alleged that Intercept, a payments processor, had ignored obvious fraud warning signs about its merchants, which it referred to as “red flags.”

The court decided that the CFPB did not adequately back up its allegations about what Intercept should have known.

Last Friday, the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota dismissed the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s case against Intercept. The court decided that the CFPB did not adequately back up its allegations about what Intercept should have known.

Find Kids’ Activities, and Now Book Them with Cubspot

Wondering what to do with your kids this summer? You could Google “summer camp” and your location, and then take your chances with what you find. Or you could try Cubspot.

The marketplace with the cute name provides parents with an easier way to find camps, lessons and enrichment activities in their area. It made its debut just last year.

Wondering what to do with your kids this summer? You could Google “summer camp” and your location, and then take your chances with what you find. Or you could try Cubspot. The marketplace with the cute name provides parents with an easier way to find camps, lessons and enrichment activities in their area. It made its debut just last year.

Q&A: The Risks and Benefits of Frictionless Underwriting

The advent of frictionless underwriting turned the payments world on its head. The ability to onboard merchants quickly with a minimum of fuss has enabled small merchants to accept payments more easily, clearing the way for many more to enter the market.

But the practice does have its downside. Lowering barriers to entry into the payments system lowers them for everyone, not just the good guys. With that in mind, PaymentFacilitator.com is beginning a series on the perils and the benefits of frictionless underwriting.

The advent of frictionless underwriting turned the payments world on its head. The ability to onboard merchants quickly with a minimum of fuss has enabled small merchants to accept payments more easily, clearing the way for many more to enter the market. But the practice does have its downside. Lowering barriers to entry into the payments system lowers them for everyone, not just the good guys. With that in mind, PaymentFacilitator.com is beginning a series on the perils and the benefits of frictionless underwriting.

Taming the Virtual Card Tangle in B2B Payments

In consumer payments, enabling the acceptance of electronic payments often makes the process easier.

When it comes to corporate payments to suppliers, however, digitizing the payment is only the beginning.

In consumer payments, enabling the acceptance of electronic payments often makes the process easier. When it comes to corporate payments to suppliers, however, digitizing the payment is only the beginning.

MINDBODY Makes Wellness Easy for Consumers, Businesses

Among fintech companies, there is often a common thread. Many began with the needs of a vertical in mind. Then they create a solution from the ground up that meets those needs.

Usually, however, the people who develop software for these companies are already programmers.

Not so with Mindbody, the software company that caters to health, beauty and wellness businesses.

Among fintech companies, there is often a common thread. Many began with the needs of a vertical in mind. Then they create a solution from the ground up that meets those needs. Usually, however, the people who develop software for these companies are already programmers. Not so with Mindbody, the software company that caters to health, beauty and wellness businesses.

Women “Central” to Mastercard’s Goal of Advancing Financial Inclusion

Access to formal financial services is among the factors contributing to success for women business owners globally.

This is according to the first edition of the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs, which the company released on Tuesday. The index looked at the relative success of women entrepreneurs across the globe. It then compared conditions that either support or hinder it in different markets.

Access to formal financial services is among the factors contributing to success for women business owners globally. This is according to the first edition of the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs, which the company released on Tuesday. The index looked at the relative success of women entrepreneurs across the globe. It then compared conditions that either support or hinder it in different markets.

Mastercard Joins with Unilever to Empower Small Merchants

Mastercard and Unilever announced a partnership on Wednesday through which they plan to expand access to resources for small and micro businesses in emerging markets.

The partnership will combine Unilever’s distribution network with Mastercard’s payments technology and expertise.

Mastercard and Unilever announced a partnership on Wednesday through which they plan to expand access to resources for small and micro businesses in emerging markets. The partnership will combine Unilever’s distribution network with Mastercard’s payments technology and expertise.

Visa on PFs: “It’s a Great Responsibility”

For an established company to grow, it needs to find new paths.

Sometimes, those paths lead somewhere unexpected.

Visa’s payment facilitator program is just such a route. For Visa, the program began simply as a way to expand acceptance of its cards. But it has evolved into much more.

For an established company to grow, it needs to find new paths. Sometimes, those paths lead somewhere unexpected. Visa’s payment facilitator program is just such a route. For Visa, the program began simply as a way to expand acceptance of its cards. But it has evolved into much more.

Paysafe, Square Expand Mobile Ordering for Local Businesses

Ordering ahead with your mobile phone isn’t just for pizza anymore.

Mobile ordering is often associated with pizza delivery and big fast casual chains. But increasingly, platforms are enabling smaller, local businesses to get in the game.

London-based payment facilitator Paysafe is rolling out a new mobile ordering app called GOLO. The app will enable customers to order not only from local restaurants, but other businesses as well. They can then either pick up their order or have it delivered.

Ordering ahead with your mobile phone isn’t just for pizza anymore. Mobile ordering is often associated with pizza delivery and big fast casual chains. But increasingly, platforms are enabling smaller, local businesses to get in the game.

After Demonetization, India Seeking a New Normal

The payments news from India just keeps coming.

As the government continues its push toward a cashless society, its policies are getting mixed reviews. But companies continue to shore up their digital payment offerings, hoping to capitalize on the climate there.

The payments news from India just keeps coming. As the government continues its push toward a cashless society, its policies are getting mixed reviews. But companies continue to shore up their digital payment offerings, hoping to capitalize on the climate there.

ETA Launches Committee for PFs, Acknowledging Tremendous Market Growth Potential

The Electronic Transactions Association is launching a new committee, pointing to the growing importance of PFs within today’s payments industry. Members of ETA’s Payment Facilitator Committee will address challenges and issues having to do with compliance, business and technology in the PF space.
The Electronic Transactions Association is launching a new committee, pointing to the growing importance of PFs within today’s payments industry.</p><p>Members of ETA’s Payment Facilitator Committee will address challenges and issues having to do with compliance, business and technology in the PF space.

PayPal to Acquire TIO Networks, Citing Shared Interest in “Democratizing Money”

Leading payment facilitator PayPal announced on Tuesday that it plans to acquire TIO Networks. TIO is a Vancouver-based bill payment processor.

The companies cite their interest in providing services to the underserved as a key philosophical fit. And with this acquisition, PayPal gains an expanded offering for its consumer base.

Leading payment facilitator PayPal announced on Tuesday that it plans to acquire TIO Networks. TIO is a Vancouver-based bill payment processor. The companies cite their interest in providing services to the underserved as a key philosophical fit. And with this acquisition, PayPal gains an expanded offering for its consumer base.

Drive to Expand Financial Inclusion Continues in Africa, India

Payments technology companies are continuing the drive to expand financial services into underserved populations. By enabling micro and small businesses to accept non-cash payments, they say, they are improving operational efficiencies for these businesses and avoiding the need for proprietors to carry large sums of cash.

On Tuesday, Mastercard announced that it plans to provide at least 150,000 Kenyan merchants with access to its Masterpass QR mobile person-to-merchant payment solution, beginning this month.

Payments technology companies are continuing the drive to expand financial services into underserved populations. By enabling micro and small businesses to accept non-cash payments, they say, they are improving operational efficiencies for these businesses and avoiding the need for proprietors to carry large sums of cash.

Pressure on CFPB Intensifies: What’s Next for the Agency?

A three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit dealt a setback to the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last week when it denied motions to intervene in a lawsuit on behalf of the agency. After the same panel ruled the agency's structure unconstitutional, the CFPB asked the entire court to rehear the case. But opponents of the CFPB aren’t waiting for that ruling to continue their assault.
A three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit dealt a setback to the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last week when it denied motions to intervene in a lawsuit on behalf of the agency. After the same panel ruled the agency's structure unconstitutional, the CFPB asked the entire court to rehear the case. But opponents of the CFPB aren’t waiting for that ruling to continue their assault.

Proposed Cybersecurity Rule Hints at Priority for Regulators

Companies and organizations ranging from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to banking technology provider Fiserv have submitted comments on a proposed rule from three federal agencies regarding enhanced cyber risk management standards. The advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) is directed at financial institutions and their service providers. The agencies said that they are considering enhanced standards to mitigate against the impact of technology failures and cyberattacks on one of those entities.

While any resulting rule is unlikely to apply to payment facilitators at this point, that doesn’t mean they should ignore it.

Companies and organizations ranging from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to banking technology provider Fiserv have submitted comments on a proposed rule from three federal agencies regarding enhanced cyber risk management standards. The advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) is directed at financial institutions and their service providers. The agencies said that they are considering enhanced standards to mitigate against the impact of technology failures and cyberattacks on one of those entities. While any resulting rule is unlikely to apply to payment facilitators at this point, that doesn’t mean they should ignore it.

FLYR Hoping Installment Payments Will Make Fliers Out of More People

Travel tech company FLYR thinks you shouldn’t have to pay a significant upfront sum for your travel booking, so it’s offering another option: installment payments.

Through client partners such as travel sites, airlines and online travel agents, FLYR offers consumers the ability to spread out the expense of their travel with no interest and no credit check, through a product they call TripPay.

Travel tech company FLYR thinks you shouldn’t have to pay a significant upfront sum for your travel booking, so it’s offering another option: installment payments. Through client partners such as travel sites, airlines and online travel agents, FLYR offers consumers the ability to spread out the expense of their travel with no interest and no credit check, through a product they call TripPay.

Thailand’s PromptPay Arrives, with Plans to Displace Cash

Thailand took a step toward a digital economy this past week with its release of PromptPay, which enables consumers to send and receive payments using mobile phone numbers or national identification numbers rather than bank account numbers.

PromptPay is part of the Thai government’s effort to develop a national electronic payments infrastructure, which is intended to reduce cash usage and to make the payments system more efficient and transparent, as well as to provide e-commerce opportunities for small to medium businesses.

Thailand took a step toward a digital economy this past week with its release of PromptPay, which enables consumers to send and receive payments using mobile phone numbers or national identification numbers rather than bank account numbers.

Worldwide Focus on Fintech Regulation Signals Opportunity for PFs

In the U.S., regulators, businesspeople and other groups are in the midst of a debate about how financial technology firms should be regulated. The OCC’s proposed special purpose national bank charter for fintech companies is one example; a white paper outlining policy objectives around the fintech sector issued by the Obama administration at the end of its term is another.

But the U.S. is hardly the only place where the deliberation over just how to oversee this rising sector is taking place. Financial technology is on the minds of governments worldwide, which signals real opportunity for payment facilitators.

In the U.S., regulators, businesspeople and other groups are in the midst of a debate about how financial technology firms should be regulated. The OCC’s proposed special purpose national bank charter for fintech companies is one example; a white paper outlining policy objectives around the fintech sector issued by the Obama administration at the end of its term is another. But the U.S. is hardly the only place where the deliberation over just how to oversee this rising sector is taking place. Financial technology is on the minds of governments worldwide, which signals real opportunity for payment facilitators.

Western Union Settlement a Reminder for PFs: AML Responsibility Doesn’t End at Onboarding

In the announcement last week that Western Union had agreed to pay $586 million as part of a settlement with the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission to resolve investigations into anti-money laundering and consumer fraud violations, authorities described the settlement as the “largest forfeiture ever imposed on a money services business.”

What should payment facilitators take away from this settlement?

In the announcement last week that Western Union had agreed to pay $586 million as part of a settlement with the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission to resolve investigations into anti-money laundering and consumer fraud violations, authorities described the settlement as the “largest forfeiture ever imposed on a money services business.” What should payment facilitators take away from this settlement?

Rental Marketplace RadPad Settling into New Digs

After a troubled year, online rental marketplace RadPad is moving in with LandlordStation.

After acquiring RadPad, the company unites both ends of the rental market – renters and landlords – under one roof. LandlordStation CEO Copley Broer says he expects this will be a differentiator in a market boasting many players who handle individual pieces of it well.

After a troubled year, online rental marketplace RadPad is moving in with LandlordStation. After acquiring RadPad, the company unites both ends of the rental market – renters and landlords – under one roof. LandlordStation CEO Copley Broer says he expects this will be a differentiator in a market boasting many players who handle individual pieces of it well.

Plans to Scrap Obamacare Don’t Worry PF Softheon

As President Obama leaves office and Donald Trump prepares to take the reins, a Republican Congress has declared repealing Obamacare to be one of its top priorities. But what that will entail and what the resulting healthcare system will look like is anyone’s guess at this point.

With so much uncertainty in the health care market, you might expect Eugene Sayan, the CEO of PF Softheon, whose platforms are used by insurers and health plan exchanges to market products to and accept payments from consumers, to be worried. You would be wrong.

As President Obama leaves office and Donald Trump prepares to take the reins, a Republican Congress has declared repealing Obamacare to be one of its top priorities. But what that will entail and what the resulting healthcare system will look like is anyone’s guess at this point. With so much uncertainty in the health care market, you might expect Eugene Sayan, the CEO of PF Softheon, to be worried. You would be wrong.

2017: The Year of Deregulation?

The president-elect spoke on the campaign trail about dismantling regulations, including the Dodd-Frank Act. So far, many of his appointees have been businessmen with anti-regulatory tendencies. The Republican Party has majorities in both the House and the Senate. Does this political climate mean payment facilitators should say good-bye to their compliance teams? Not so fast.
The president-elect spoke on the campaign trail about dismantling regulations, including the Dodd-Frank Act. So far, many of his appointees have been businessmen with anti-regulatory tendencies. The Republican Party has majorities in both the House and the Senate. Does this political climate mean payment facilitators should say good-bye to their compliance teams? Not so fast.

Mastercard Continues March to 40 Million with UBA Partnership

United Bank of Africa has launched its first merchant app in Nigeria, with the goal of connecting 100,000 micromerchants to the larger economy during 2017. The app will include Masterpass QR, a mobile payment method from Mastercard.

UBA will work with additional partners to aid in rolling out the program. Innovectives, a Nigerian financial technology provider and payment facilitator, will support the program with technical development and value-added services.

United Bank of Africa has launched its first merchant app in Nigeria, with the goal of connecting 100,000 micromerchants to the larger economy during 2017. The app will include Masterpass QR, a mobile payment method from Mastercard. UBA will work with additional partners to aid in rolling out the program. Innovectives, a Nigerian financial technology provider and payment facilitator, will support the program with technical development and value-added services.

Paylasso Rounds Up Recurring Corporate Payments Using Virtual Cards

Dealing with all the places your credit card number has gone to pay for various subscriptions can become a bit unwieldy even for the average consumer.

Multiply that effect by the number of a company’s employees – for whom software and tools are increasingly cloud- and subscription-based – and you can begin to see how demanding the recurring billing model has become for many companies.

Dealing with all the places your credit card number has gone to pay for various subscriptions can become a bit unwieldy even for the average consumer. Multiply that effect by the number of a company’s employees – for whom software and tools are increasingly cloud- and subscription-based – and you can begin to see how demanding the recurring billing model has become for many companies.

Money Transmitters Could Benefit from OCC Charter

Earlier this month, the OCC announced it would be accepting applications from financial technology companies for a new special purpose national bank charter.

The news is an acknowledgement that fintech firms are a rising segment of the economy and increasingly relied upon by consumers for financial services. But obtaining the charter will be costly and come with its own strict set of requirements. So what types of companies are likely to benefit from obtaining such a charter?

Earlier this month, the OCC announced it would be accepting applications from financial technology companies for a new special purpose national bank charter. The news is an acknowledgement that fintech firms are a rising segment of the economy and increasingly relied upon by consumers for financial services. But obtaining the charter will be costly and come with its own strict set of requirements. So what types of companies are likely to benefit from obtaining such a charter?

First Look at the OCC Special Purpose Charter: Good or Bad for Fintech Companies?

On Friday, the OCC announced it will begin accepting applications for special purpose national bank charters from financial technology firms. Reception of this news has been generally positive, with industry organizations such as the Electronic Transactions Association and American Bankers Association issuing statements in support of such a charter.

But the early take on the news from industry insiders indicates that it is a mixed bag for individual companies. Applying for the charter may be either a smart move or a bad idea, depending on who you are and why you want it.

On Friday, the OCC announced it will begin accepting applications for special purpose national bank charters from financial technology firms. Reception of this news has been generally positive, with industry organizations such as the Electronic Transactions Association and American Bankers Association issuing statements in support of such a charter. But the early take on the news from industry insiders indicates that it is a mixed bag for individual companies. Applying for the charter may be either a smart move or a bad idea, depending on who you are and why you want it.

MemberPlanet Simplifies Life for Membership Organizations

Typically, growing businesses are advised to develop expansion plans and stick to them. But sometimes you have to go where your customers lead you.

Being open to new verticals is one of the ways MemberPlanet has evolved from one college student with an idea for dramatically improving the financial management of his fraternal organization to a company that serves more than 13,000 nonprofits, faith-based organizations, alumni organizations, parent-teacher associations, and even the U.S. Air Force.

Typically, growing businesses are advised to develop expansion plans and stick to them. But sometimes you have to go where your customers lead you.

It’s Facebook Official: Social Media Giant Receives Payments License for Europe

Facebook has received a license from the Central Bank of Ireland to serve as an electronic money institution in Europe.

The broad nature of Facebook’s existing user base – globally, the company has an average of 1.18 billion daily active users – may give it an advantage over any competitors looking to establish alternative payment schemes in Europe. But the fact that it is a social network first and a payment entity much later means the company needs to be very careful.

Facebook has received a license from the Central Bank of Ireland to serve as an electronic money institution in Europe.

Why Stripe Has Nearly Doubled Its Valuation

The news on Friday (Nov. 25) that Stripe had raised $150 million of new funding on a company valuation of $9 billion has been seen by many as a validation that this is a company at the top of the fintech game.
The news on Friday (Nov. 25) that Stripe had raised $150 million of new funding on a company valuation of $9 billion has been seen by many as a validation that this is a company at the top of the fintech game.

PayPal Integrates Voice Commands in Time for Holiday Group Shopping

PayPal recently predicted that more than 17 million P2P transactions will occur during the month of December, as consumers – particularly millennials – pool money for gifts and use P2P payment apps to collect payment from each other.

According to the company’s Holiday Money Habits Study, an online survey of 1,000 American consumers released this week, half of millennials planned to go in on gifts together this holiday season compared to two-fifths of consumers in general.

PayPal recently predicted that more than 17 million P2P transactions will occur during the month of December, as consumers – particularly millennials – pool money for gifts and use P2P payment apps to collect payment from each other.

Shopify Adds Outsourced Fulfillment Services from Shyp

Shyp announced this week that it is providing fulfillment services to merchant customers of leading PF and e-commerce platform Shopify. PFs like Shopify are continually looking for ways to add value for their customers. Shopify sees its relationships with partners such as Shyp as a significant way to provide that value to its sellers.
Shyp announced this week that it is providing fulfillment services to merchant customers of leading PF and e-commerce platform Shopify. PFs like Shopify are continually looking for ways to add value for their customers. Shopify sees its relationships with partners such as Shyp as a significant way to provide that value to its sellers.

Adyen Enables Access to 300 Million Chinese Shoppers

Dutch payment facilitator Adyen has added WeChat Pay to the roster of local payment options available to its merchants. WeChat Pay is the payments feature within the popular Chinese WeChat messaging app.
Dutch payment facilitator Adyen has added WeChat Pay to the roster of local payment options available to its merchants. WeChat Pay is the payments feature within the popular Chinese WeChat messaging app.

GoOpti Expanding its Reach, Getting More Riders Where They Need to Go

Getting to the airport is not necessarily an easy thing to do. Driving yourself isn’t always practical, nor is it always pleasant after a long flight. Public transportation and shuttles can be difficult to schedule; you have to work with available times, and pick-up and drop-off points may not always be nearby.

GoOpti is looking to change all that, in an expanding number of locations across Europe.

Getting to the airport is not necessarily an easy thing to do. Driving yourself isn’t always practical, nor is it always pleasant after a long flight. Public transportation and shuttles can be difficult to schedule; you have to work with available times, and pick-up and drop-off points may not always be nearby. GoOpti is looking to change all that, in an expanding number of locations across Europe.

Financial Inclusion: Huge Opportunity for Payment Facilitators?

For many micro and small merchants in developing countries, the ability to accept electronic payments is out of reach. Spotty electricity and internet access prevent reliable connectivity to payments infrastructure. The merchants’ low profit margins make buying equipment and paying service providers difficult. And in many cases, their customers prefer to pay in cash.

Yet a recent study commissioned by Visa argues that reliance on cash excludes individuals in the developing world from the wider economy. It says that access to affordable digital services has the potential to help lift individuals and families out of poverty.

For many micro and small merchants in developing countries, the ability to accept electronic payments is out of reach. Spotty electricity and internet access prevent reliable connectivity to payments infrastructure. The merchants’ low profit margins make buying equipment and paying service providers difficult. And in many cases, their customers prefer to pay in cash. Yet a recent study commissioned by Visa argues that reliance on cash excludes individuals in the developing world from the wider economy. It says that access to affordable digital services has the potential to help lift individuals and families out of poverty.

Podcast: WePay’s Aberman on Partner-Driven Expansion

This week’s podcast continues our conversation with WePay Chief Strategy Officer Rich Aberman. Aberman discussed how WePay’s business model as a “partner-driven business” impacts its approach to geographic expansion.
This week’s podcast continues our conversation with WePay Chief Strategy Officer Rich Aberman. Aberman discussed how WePay’s business model as a “partner-driven business” impacts its approach to geographic expansion.

4 Things PFs Need to Know About Anti-Money Laundering

Government regulations laid out by the Bank Secrecy Act and the USA PATRIOT Act require businesses to follow certain practices to avoid facilitating criminal activity, even inadvertently. Together, these regulations form the backbone of anti-money laundering efforts in the U.S.

These government regulations are supported by card brand rules that provide direction on payment facilitators’ specific roles and responsibilities. This is an area that can be daunting to many new and even seasoned payment facilitators.

Dr. Heather Mark, Ph.D., director of compliance for ProPay, shared four critical AML practices the payment facilitators she meets do not always fully understand.

Dr. Heather Mark, Ph.D., director of compliance for ProPay, shares four critical AML practices the payment facilitators she meets do not always fully understand.

Podcast: WePay CSO on How ISVs are Changing Commerce

In this week’s podcast, we talk to WePay’s co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Rich Aberman. He shares his perspective on the trends that are impacting ISVs, and the ways ISVs are actually creating trends in commerce.
In this week’s podcast, we talk to WePay’s co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Rich Aberman. He shares his perspective on the trends that are impacting ISVs, and the ways ISVs are actually creating trends in commerce.

DocuSign Sees “Practically Limitless” Opportunity in Payments

Coming to agreement and collecting signatures is often just the first step for many businesses such as property management services, insurance agencies and contractors. The next step is getting paid.

Seeing a massive opportunity to add value for its more than 250,000 business clients, DocuSign is beta testing an integrated payment capability it hopes to officially launch next year.

Coming to agreement and collecting signatures is often just the first step for many businesses such as property management services, insurance agencies and contractors. The next step is getting paid. Seeing a massive opportunity to add value for its more than 250,000 business clients, DocuSign is beta testing an integrated payment capability it hopes to officially launch next year.

Machine Learning Powers Stripe’s New Fraud Prevention Tool

As card transaction volume grows, so does the level of fraud associated with those transactions.

In fact, growth in fraud is outpacing the growth in electronic transaction volume, according to new research from The Nilson Report. The publication said in a press release that global card fraud losses grew by 20.6% to total $21.84 billion last year, while transaction volume grew by 7.3%.

With statistics as grim as this, a smart approach to fraud detection is on many payment facilitators’ minds.

As card transaction volume grows, so does the level of fraud associated with those transactions. In fact, growth in fraud is outpacing the growth in electronic transaction volume, according to new research from The Nilson Report. The publication said in a press release that global card fraud losses grew by 20.6% to total $21.84 billion last year, while transaction volume grew by 7.3%.

Are APIs Vulnerable? Two Crucial Places PFs Should Focus Now to Help Mitigate Risk

In the payment facilitator world, APIs are everywhere you look. In many cases, they’re the mechanism that allows the system to work – enabling payments infrastructure to integrate with other functions in a way that solves businesses’ unique problems.

So not surprisingly, API security is a hot topic. Does the use of APIs leave merchants more vulnerable to fraud? What are the special security considerations?

Not surprisingly, API security is a hot topic. Does the use of APIs leave merchants more vulnerable to fraud? What are the special security considerations?

How High Could Payment Facilitator Market Go? New Research Ventures an Estimate

A new white paper that will be released by Double Diamond Group on Thursday (Oct. 20) argues that the payment facilitator market holds significant potential for independent software vendors looking to generate new revenue.

The big names operating as payment facilitators already have used the PF model to garner a significant chunk of payment processing volume. According to the paper, large companies such as PayPal. Stripe and Square already collectively process hundreds of billions of dollars a year in gross payment volume. This number has the potential to go much higher as other companies enter the market.

A new white paper that will be released by Double Diamond Group on Thursday (Oct. 20) argues that the payment facilitator market holds significant potential for independent software vendors looking to generate new revenue.

Healthcare PF InstaMed Connects Payers, Providers and Patients

Healthcare in the U.S. is a complicated mix of people and organizations both large and small. Patients navigate through small practices and large healthcare systems as well as individual and employer-provided insurance. Further adding to the complications are very specific regulations protecting patient data and the need to protect the patients’ payment information.

As a payment facilitator, InstaMed strives to connect those disparate parts through a single network. The company claims to connect more than two-thirds of the healthcare market and process tens of billions of dollars a year in healthcare payments.

Healthcare in the U.S. is a complicated mix of people and organizations both large and small. Patients navigate through small practices and large healthcare systems as well as individual and employer-provided insurance. Further adding to the complications are very specific regulations protecting patient data and the need to protect the patients’ payment information.

Podcast: Comprehensive Resources for PFs in New Guidelines from ETA

In this week’s PaymentFacilitator.com podcast, we talk to Jason Oxman, CEO of the Electronic Transactions Association. On Thursday (Oct. 20), the organization is releasing its new payment facilitator guidelines at its 2016 Strategic Leadership Forum in Palm Beach, Fla.

The document is intended to serve as a toolkit for best practices related to fraud detection and prevention, Oxman said.

In this week’s PaymentFacilitator.com podcast, we talk to Jason Oxman, CEO of the Electronic Transactions Association. On Thursday (Oct. 20), the organization is releasing its new payment facilitator guidelines at its 2016 Strategic Leadership Forum in Palm Beach, Fla.

Leading PF Shopify Turns Customer Service into Sales for Its Merchants Using Facebook Messenger

Part of the beauty of shopping in a brick-and-mortar store is the ability to speak with a person who can help you solve a specific problem or just help you find what you’re looking for. What if you could make that personal engagement happen for your merchants’ e-commerce customers as well? By integrating with Facebook Messenger, Shopify is doing just that.
Part of the beauty of shopping in a brick-and-mortar store is the ability to speak with a person who can help you solve a specific problem or just help you find what you’re looking for. What if you could make that personal engagement happen for your merchants’ e-commerce customers as well?

The Latest Fraud Panacea: 3D Secure 2.0! Well, We’ll See

The line between fraud prevention and bad customer experience continues to be a tightrope the payments industry has to walk. While the correct balance hasn’t yet been struck, industry watchers are bracing for another attempt when EMVCo releases 3DSecure 2.0 later this year.

EMVCo, a technical body overseen by its six member organizations – American Express, Discover, JCB, Mastercard, UnionPay, and Visa – is currently collecting industry feedback on a draft version of the revised specification, with the final version expected to be released this year. But will it be an improvement? And what should payment facilitators be watching for?

The line between fraud prevention and bad customer experience continues to be a tightrope the payments industry has to walk. While the correct balance hasn’t yet been struck, industry watchers are bracing for another attempt when EMVCo releases 3DSecure 2.0 later this year.

Podcast: Mastering Compliance for PFs

Innovation and compliance are two terms that are not often heard together. But as Heather Mark, director of compliance at ProPay explains, payment facilitators bring a unique perspective to bear on the traditional payments industry. This can sometimes make things interesting, even for seasoned compliance professionals.
Innovation and compliance are two terms that are not often heard together. But as Heather Mark, director of compliance at ProPay explains, payment facilitators bring a unique perspective to bear on the traditional payments industry.

Discouraged by Banks, Small Merchants Increasingly Turn to PFs for Capital

As small business lending continues its slow rebound from the recession, many small businesses are still experiencing frustration when they try to obtain funding to grow their businesses. In an analysis it conducted last year, the Wall Street Journal reported that small loans to businesses in 2014 remained down about 38% from their high in 2006.

In a move that builds on the payment facilitator model’s strengths in this challenging market, London-based Paysafe announced a relationship with lender IOU Financial last week. The agreement expands the global PF’s offerings beyond payment processing into an area it says will help it fuel the growth of North American small businesses.

As small business lending continues its slow rebound from the recession, many small businesses are still experiencing frustration when they try to obtain funding to grow their businesses.In a move that builds on the payment facilitator model’s strengths in this challenging market, London-based Paysafe announced a relationship with lender IOU Financial last week. The agreement expands the global PF’s offerings beyond payment processing into an area it says will help it fuel the growth of North American small businesses.

Despite PF Advantage on New Mastercard Merchant Fee, Some PFs Preach Caution

In the payments world, few things are as confusing or as controversial as network fees. The economics of a transaction routed over Visa or Mastercard rails could amount to a college-level course.

Rates for interchange, the amounts that the networks collect from retailers on behalf of card issuers, are often on merchants’ minds as they look for the most economical transaction routing options. But in recent years, the fees that the networks keep for themselves have generated plenty of ink.

In the payments world, few things are as confusing or as controversial as network fees. The economics of a transaction routed over Visa or Mastercard rails could amount to a college-level course.

Mastercard Launches “Selfie Pay” in Europe

Finally, a good use for selfies.

This week Mastercard announced that it is officially rolling out its biometric authentication technology, what it’s unofficially calling “Selfie Pay,” in Europe. Following on the heels of pilots in the Netherlands as well as the U.S. and Canada earlier this year, Mastercard is introducing the technology in 12 countries across Europe.

Finally, a good use for selfies. This week Mastercard announced that it is officially rolling out its biometric authentication technology, what it’s unofficially calling “Selfie Pay,” in Europe. Following on the heels of pilots in the Netherlands as well as the U.S. and Canada earlier this year, Mastercard is introducing the technology in 12 countries across Europe.

Mastercard Study: Consumers are Hungry for More Innovation. But in Europe, Not So Much.

While European consumers are happily embracing technology, they are a bit more cautious about their payment technology than their counterparts in developing areas. In other countries across the Middle East and Africa, the attitude is more “bring it on.” This is according to Mastercard’s Impact of Innovation Study, a survey of consumers across 23 countries that measured their attitudes about digitization and its impact on their lives.

The study looked at consumers’ readiness to adopt payment innovations, including mobile payments and beyond, and found interesting differences between the more and less developed markets. Despite their differences, however, consumers overall expressed positive feelings about the effect of digitization on their lives. This is good news for software-as-a-service companies thinking about becoming payment facilitators – they are likely to find receptive consumers willing to engage with technology.

While European consumers are happily embracing technology, they are a bit more cautious about their payment technology than their counterparts in developing areas. In other countries across the Middle East and Africa, the attitude is more “bring it on.”

Podcast: Square Finds Success Building on its Base

As Rick Oglesby argues in this week’s PaymentFacilitator.com podcast, Square is clearly evolving beyond its roots to a company that is able to grow along with its customers’ needs. The way it’s going about it offers some interesting perspectives for other PFs to consider.

Oglesby, principal of AZ Payments Group and a partner of Double Diamond Group, discusses why invoicing is a significant opportunity for Square, what gives the company “hooks” to help it keep customers for the long haul, and how Square benefits from a “test and learn” strategy.

As Rick Oglesby argues in this week’s PaymentFacilitator.com podcast, Square is clearly evolving beyond its roots to a company that is able to grow along with its customers’ needs. The way it’s going about it offers some interesting perspectives for other PFs to consider.

Is Square Changing Its Stripes? APIs Target Stripe and Braintree Approach to ISVs

In a wide-ranging presentation to investors and other audience members at the Jefferies 2016 West Coast Payments Conference on Tuesday (Sept. 27), Square CFO Sarah Friar commented on the company’s growth plans and future opportunities for expansion.

Her remarks make one thing clear: Square sees its reach as expanding far beyond accepting payments with a little white card reader. And it sees working with other software providers as one way to provide its products and services to more merchants.

In a wide-ranging presentation to investors and other audience members at the Jefferies 2016 West Coast Payments Conference on Tuesday (Sept. 27), Square CFO Sarah Friar commented on the company’s growth plans and future opportunities for expansion.

ETA Has PFs’ Backs, Supporting Bill to Ease Regulation for Fintech Startups

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) introduced a bill last week (Sept. 22) designed to help encourage financial technology innovation in the U.S.

We’ll be watching debate over this bill as it progresses, but we hope it opens up a dialogue about the best way to balance the need for regulatory oversight to protect consumers with the need to develop new products and services that meet rapidly changing demands.

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) introduced a bill last week (Sept. 22) designed to help encourage financial technology innovation in the U.S.

New CFPB Lawsuit Reminds PFs: Use Frictionless Underwriting for High-Risk Merchants at Your Peril

Last week (Sept.23), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a lawsuit against a credit repair company called Prime Marketing Holdings.

In a press release announcing the complaint, CFPB Director Richard Cordray said, “We are taking action against Prime Marketing Holdings for luring consumers with misleading claims about its ability to repair credit files and then charging illegal fees.” This case is a reminder to PFs that, when you’re dealing with merchants in high-risk categories, frictionless onboarding is not the way to go.

Last week (Sept.23), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a lawsuit against a credit repair company called Prime Marketing Holdings. This case is a reminder to PFs that, when you’re dealing with merchants in high-risk categories, frictionless onboarding is not the way to go.