NCFAs innovation and funding ecosystem

Category Archives: Payments, Transfers, Rewards

Amazon Responds To Rumors That It Is Integrating Bitcoin Payments On Its Platform

Bitcoinist | Best Owie | Jul 27, 2021

amazon crypto rumour - Amazon Responds To Rumors That It Is Integrating Bitcoin Payments On Its PlatformAmazon has recently been the subject of discussion in relation to bitcoin and crypto. Rumors circulated as the weekend drew to a close that Amazon was planning on integrating bitcoin payments on its platform. The news made the rounds and the markets responded as coin prices shot up. Bitcoin price saw over 10% gains in the hours following news of the rumor breaking.

See:  How is Amazon disrupting the financial services sector?

Following this, Amazon has now come forward to respond to these rumors. A spokesperson for the company told CoinDesk that the company had no plans to integrate bitcoin payments on the platform. The email correspondence confirmed to CoinDesk that the company was although interested in the space. And the e-commerce giant planned to explore the possibilities of crypto on Amazon.

Rumors Of Amazon Integrating Bitcoin And A Native Token

News had broken out that Amazon was planning to release its own token which would be used on their platform. Alongside making bitcoin payments available to shoppers and users of their services. The reports which claimed an “insider” confirmed the rumors took the market by storm. Spreading quickly throughout the crypto space.

The “source” had claimed that the directive had come from the Amazon boss himself, Jeff Bezos. And that the internet giant was planning on rolling out these features by the end of the year. Adding that the company was not just looking at the pioneer cryptocurrency, bitcoin. But coins like Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Cardano were being scoped to be added to it. After which the company planned to bring about eight of the top cryptocurrencies in the crypto market into the fold.

It won’t take long because the plans are already there,  said the source. “And they have been working on them since 2019. This entire project is pretty much ready to roll.”

See:  Inside Jack Dorsey’s Next Big Bet on Bitcoin, DeFi

This ended with an addition that after the top coins were integrated, Amazon will roll out its native token. Presumably, a token that would be used on the e-commerce behemoth’s platforms to pay for goods and services.

Market Reacts As Bitcoin Rumors Are Dispelled

Bitcoin price showed tremendous movement following the rumors. Prices had swelled in the hours following the rumors of the integration. But following the Amazon spokesperson denying these rumors, the price of the digital asset has turned downwards.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Amazon Responds To Rumors That It Is Integrating Bitcoin Payments On Its Platform The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Visa to Acquire Currencycloud

Visa | Jennifer Scardino | Jul 22, 2021

currencycloud - Visa to Acquire CurrencycloudLONDON & SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jul. 22, 2021-- Visa (NYSE: V) today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Currencycloud, a global platform that enables banks and fintechs to provide innovative foreign exchange solutions for cross-border payments. The acquisition builds on an existing strategic partnership between the two companies and values Currencycloud at £700 million, inclusive of cash and retention incentives. The financial consideration will be reduced by the outstanding equity of Currencycloud that Visa already owns.

Currencycloud’s cloud-based platform offers a broad set of APIs enabling banks and financial services providers to offer currency exchange services, including real-time notifications on foreign exchange transactions, multi-currency wallets, and virtual account management. The Currencycloud platform supports nearly 500 banking and technology clients with reach in over 180 countries.

See:  MazumaGo raises seed capital and is listed as “Emerging Rocket”

Currencycloud will strengthen Visa’s existing foreign exchange capabilities by extending them to better serve financial institutions, fintechs and partners while enabling new use cases and payment flows. Currencycloud will accelerate the time-to-market and improve payment transparency for clients looking to offer flexible, digital-first, international payment services that provide better visibility and control to consumers and businesses around the world.

Cross-border payments have seen significant growth due to rising demand from businesses of all sizes to engage in international trade. A recent study revealed that 43% of all small businesses conducted international trade in 2020.1 The addition of Currencycloud’s capabilities to Visa’s network will widen access to innovative international payment products that help businesses meet their cross-border needs.

“The acquisition of Currencycloud is another example of Visa executing on our network of networks strategy to facilitate global money movement,” saidColleen Ostrowski, Visa’s Global Treasurer. “Consumers and businesses increasingly expect transparency, speed and simplicity when making or receiving international payments. With our acquisition of Currencycloud, we can support our clients and partners to further reduce the pain points of cross-border payments and develop great user experiences for their customers.”

See:  ‘Last year we saw about a 300% increase in transactions just using cryptocurrency’: Coinpayments CEO

“At Currencycloud, we’ve always strived to deliver a better tomorrow for all, from the smallest start-up to the global multi-nationals. Re-imagining how money flows around the global economy just got more exciting as we join Visa,” said Mike Laven, Chief Executive Officer, Currencycloud. “The combination of Currencycloud’s fintech expertise and Visa’s network will enable us to deliver greater customer value to the businesses moving money across borders.”

Currencycloud will continue their operations from their headquarters in London and will retain their current management team. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Visa to Acquire Currencycloud The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Bank of Canada (Aug 13 Deadline): Retail Payment Advisory Committee is Seeking New Members

Bank of Canada | Jul 22, 2021

Retail payment systems - Bank of Canada (Aug 13 Deadline): Retail Payment Advisory Committee is Seeking New Members

Retail Payment Advisory Committee

The Retail Payment Advisory Committee is seeking new members. Find out why, who is eligible and how to apply.

In 2020, the Bank of Canada established the Retail Payments Advisory Committee (RPAC) to solicit advice and expertise from industry members of the retail payments ecosystem. The Retail Payment Activities Act received Royal Assent on June 29, 2021, and the Bank of Canada is looking for new members for RPAC.

Read more about RPAC’s mandate and their past meetings.

Responsibilities

Members will attend approximately six meetings over a 12-month period, where they will be able to:

  • discuss supervisory topics
  • share best practices
  • raise organizational or industry concerns
  • provide potential solutions

See:  Bank of Canada to become new regulator of fintech companies doing payments processing

Eligibility

The Bank will choose RPAC members from a broad spectrum of the payments industry that represents different sizes, maturities and scopes. This will help the Bank gain advice and expertise from a representative selection of industry members. We invite payment service providers to submit an expression of interest to join RPAC for the upcoming term.

Deadline for submissions

Submissions will be accepted until August 13, 2021. The Bank will contact the entities selected for further information.

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Bank of Canada (Aug 13 Deadline): Retail Payment Advisory Committee is Seeking New Members The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Square launches small business banking

Reuters | Anna Irrera | Jul 20, 2021

Square small business banking - Square launches small business bankingJuly 20 (Reuters) - Square Inc (SQ.N), the company led by Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) CEO Jack Dorsey, is launching banking services for small businesses, as it continues to grow beyond payments processing.

Square Banking will offer small businesses savings and checking accounts, as well as its existing lending offering which has been renamed Square Loans, the San Francisco-based company said on Tuesday.

Square Checking will have no account minimums, overdraft fees, or recurring fees and saving accounts will offer a 0.5% annual percent yield on deposits.

See:  Square buys 3,319 more Bitcoin at an average price of $51,236 for another $170 million investment

Square hopes its new checking and savings accounts, which build upon its debit card offering, will be attractive to small businesses who have struggled to gain access to more mainstream banking services, said Christina Riechers, Square Banking's head of product.

"There is no monthly fee so we see this as having high potential to get folks into more formalized business banking," Riechers said in an interview.

Deposits collected from small businesses will be lent back through Square Loans, she said.

The new services come following the launch of the company's industrial bank, Square Financial Services, which began operations in March after completing the charter approval process with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Utah Department of Financial Institutions.

See:  Inside Jack Dorsey’s Next Big Bet on Bitcoin, DeFi

The industrial bank is part of efforts by Square to expand its revenue stream beyond facilitating card payments for small businesses.

The company's consumer business Cash App has been booming, with first quarter revenue excluding bitcoin investing up 139% year on year to $529 million.

While initially, only small business deposits will be brought under the Square Financial Services umbrella, over time the company will look to have the bank work across its range of products and services, a spokesman said.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Square launches small business banking The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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EasyFi CEO on Current Lending and Borrowing Issues and Comments on DeFi

Crowdfund Insider |

Are you ready defi - EasyFi CEO on Current Lending and Borrowing Issues and Comments on DeFiEasyFi is a universal layer-2 lending platform focused on improving the landscape of lending and borrowing digital assets. It is an open network infrastructure that facilitates peer-to-peer and cross-chain asset settlements. In a first-of-its-kind in the DeFi space, users’ creditworthiness is being appraised by EasyFi using a protocol called TrustScore.

Crowdfund Insider reached out to Ankitt Gaur, the founder and CEO of EasyFi, and discussed the current issues and bottlenecks in the lending and borrowing space. Gaur also shed light on the concerns of dApps built on Ethereum and how the future looks for layer-2 based alternatives. Furthermore, he detailed how he views the DeFi space to evolve in the next 5 years and how EasyFi is working towards embracing the changes.

Crowdfund Insider: Decentralized lending protocols have become widely-adopted with the introduction of highly popular flash loans and other widely-used DeFi products.  What future potential do you see for the DeFi space in the next five years?

Ankitt Gaur: In the DeFi space, five years is a very long time. So, even if DeFi turns mainstream and replaces traditional systems, it won’t be a surprise for me given its tremendous potential. Also, if the past 6 months are anything to go by, DeFi is looking at astronomical growth. And this growth is not only about the mass adoption, but also about the huge influx of DeFi applications and solutions.

See:  Open Finance data adoption varies by country (but one thing is certain)

To date, the majority of crypto users are interested in speculating, rather than underlying technology. The latter is what defines the true value of a project. So, in the coming years, I foresee huge investments made for user education. By this, users shall understand better the tech behind a DeFi solution and its use cases. So, I believe project fundamentals will drive the value of the currencies and not the trends.

Five years from now, I’d love to see DeFi solutions being the first option in certain financial verticals. Also, my best guess is that the major banks and financial institutions would have embraced DeFi solutions and make use of yields & liquidity generated by DeFi. The coexistence of traditional methods and DeFi sounds exciting to me. And this creates a window for regulations to come into action. Nothing groundbreaking, but I see it as bringing more security and credibility to space which is beneficial.

Crowdfund Insider: Ethereum based platforms are currently dominating the DeFi industry. Which protocols and platforms are the ones to watch closely at this time and why?

Ankitt Gaur: Despite Ethereum’s growing transaction fees and time, I believe Eth-based DeFi solutions shall continue to thrive in the near future. The proposed Eth 2.0 and its complete implementation is at least a couple of years away. Rightfully so, users and devs alike are looking out for alternatives to Ethereum.

See:  OpenSea best month ever, NFT Avatars trend continuation, and Web 3.0 tipping point

This is exactly where ventures like Polkadot, Optimistic Rollups, ZK Rollups, Arbitrum and Polygon (previously MATIC) are gaining traction. Being layer 2 blockchain networks, they provide a more user-friendly experience with regard to speed and transaction costs. The reason I am keen on scaling solutions that are not trying to replace Ethereum but to augment it. And I see this as a win-win situation for all.

The versatility and robustness of Ethereum, coupled with the low latency of these platforms is truly how the DeFi industry can evolve and grow. Currently, blockchain networks are working on interoperability which shall open the door for a plethora of DeFi solutions to complement one another. Moreover, this will improve the accessibility of financial products in the future. And we all know that ease of access is an important factor behind the adoption of DeFi solutions.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - EasyFi CEO on Current Lending and Borrowing Issues and Comments on DeFi The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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3 Key Takeaways: FATF’s Latest 12-Month Virtual Assets Review

Elliptic | David Carlisle | Jul 5, 2021

FATF - 3 Key Takeaways:  FATF’s Latest 12-Month Virtual Assets Review

Today the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global standard-setter for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT), released its second 12-month review on virtual assets (You can read our summary of its first report from July 2020 report here).

The FATF’s report provides an overview of progress that governments around the world, and virtual asset service providers (VASPs) in the private sector, are making in implementing the FATF’s guidance on virtual assets like Bitcoin.

See:  Analysis: Proposed FATF Guidance for Virtual Assets and VASPs

The report also features a landmark market metrics study of key trends in virtual asset transactions based on blockchain analytics. Elliptic was privileged to have contributed our data and analysis to the FATF’s study, along with several of our peers.

Here’s our summary of three key lessons from the FATF’s review, which is a must-read for anyone in the AML/CFT compliance space.

1. Blockchain analytics shows that changing the FATF standards to cover peer-to-peer transactions (P2P) is currently unnecessary. However, VASPs still need to be alert to risks associated with P2P transfers. 

A key question facing the FATF is whether it should fundamentally change its Standards to address specific features of virtual assets.

In particular, the FATF has asked whether its Standards, which place the focus of AML/CFT control measures on regulated intermediaries such as VASPs, need to be altered to account for the P2P nature of virtual assets. Because virtual assets allow counterparties to transact P2P without a regulated entity present, the FATF has suggested that it may need to amend its Standards to enable direct regulatory oversight of P2P activity in virtual assets.

In its new report, the FATF asks whether it should undertake such a fundamental revision of its Standards now. To assist in answering that question, the FATF commissioned a market metrics study to evaluate the scale of P2P activity in virtual assets, and to assess the associated risks.

See:  WEF Insight Report: Digital Assets, Distributed Ledger Technology, and the Future of Capital Markets

Elliptic contributed data to the study, as did six other blockchain analytics firms. The study examined five years’ worth of transactions in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tether - three of the largest virtual assets.

The FATF’s conclusion based on the study is clear and direct: there is not sufficient evidence at present to suggest that the FATF needs to revise its standards to address P2P transactions directly. 

First, there is no clear evidence that P2P transactions are becoming more important than before. VASPs continue to remain an essential part of virtual asset ecosystems, which suggests that placing regulation on intermediaries remains the optimal approach for now.

Second, there is no clear evidence that criminals are relying more heavily on P2P transactions than in the past. While blockchain analytics data used in the study suggests that fully-P2P transactions involve a slightly higher proportion of illicit activity than transactions involving VASPs, there is no indication that this is becoming more severe over time.

As Elliptic has demonstrated separately, even where criminals use intermediary unhosted wallets, they cash out their illicit Bitcoin proceeds through VASPs more than 80% of the time. Policy measures aimed at P2P transactions are therefore misplaced, since VASPs can ultimately file suspicious activity reports on funds they handle that have passed through intermediary wallets.

See:  ‘Last year we saw about a 300% increase in transactions just using cryptocurrency’: Coinpayments CEO

The FATF’s use of blockchain analytics to inform its decision-making on key matters of policy is also an important sign that policymakers are realizing the potential of blockchain data as a source of important information on virtual assets. While the FATF makes clear in its report that it could still revise its Standards in the future to directly cover P2P activity, its decision not to do so at present is a welcome and innovation-friendly one.

However, the FATF’s report does raise concerns about the use of unhosted wallets for illicit purposes that VASPs and FIs should take into account. The report highlights that the proceeds of ransomware are often moved through unhosted wallets, including privacy wallets, which Elliptic’s research has shown are growing rapidly in popularity with criminals.

According to the FATF, these risks are significant, and could become more severe over time, so “jurisdictions and the private sectors need to consider ways to identify and mitigate risks posed by P2P in advance.”

Continue to the full article --> here

Download the 46 page PDF --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - 3 Key Takeaways:  FATF’s Latest 12-Month Virtual Assets Review The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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How Western Union is fighting back against fintech startups

Techcrunch | Mary Ann Azevedo | Jun 28, 2021

cloud innovation - How Western Union is fighting back against fintech startupsThe saying goes that, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” That may or may not be true, but at least one “old dog” is working hard to disprove that saying.

Western Union has been operating in the cross-border payments space for nearly 150 years (yes, you read that right — 150 years) and today, globally, it serves almost 150 million customers — representing senders and receivers.

In recent years, a number of fintech startups have emerged to challenge Western Union in the massive space — from Wise (formerly TransferWise) to Remitly to WorldRemit. But the payments giant seems up for the challenge and has been investing heavily in its digital operations in an attempt to beat fintechs at their own game.

This year, the company recently projected that its digital money transfer revenues are on track to exceed $1 billion in 2021 after first-quarter revenue growth of 45% to a new quarterly high of $242 million.  Digital channels in 2020 made up 29% of transactions and 20% of revenue for the company’s consumer-to-consumer (C2C) business, up from 16% and 14%, respectively, in 2019.  Western Union also opened its platform to third-party financial institutions in a move it says is a “step toward creating an end-to-end payments processing hub.”

See:  Faster payments: a corporate treasury breakthrough

TechCrunch talked with Shelly Swanback, Western Union’s president of product and platform, about the company’s digital strategy and what’s next beyond payments for the company (hint: it involves banking products).

I know Western Union has touted the fact that it having such a strong physical presence in so many locations actually benefits the growth of its digital operations as well as an expansion into other offerings beyond payments. Can you elaborate on that?

We have the fortune of having a trusted brand that’s known globally and trusted for something that’s very near and dear to our customers. What we’re hearing from our customers is they would trust us to provide additional services. So one of the things that we’re beginning to put plans in place for, and beginning to do some market tests on, is building an ecosystem or building a marketplace if you will. It will all be catered around the 270 million migrants across the world and really connecting them to each other, connecting them to their families and connecting them to merchants who want to sell them goods or provide them services that are very culturally relevant to them, either where they happen to be living and working or providing them services back home to their families.

You recently announced a tie-up with Google Pay and some others. What is the significance of those partnerships?

We want to be able to offer our cross-border capabilities and platform in more of a co-branded or white-label fashion, so that we can reach those customers that might still prefer to just be a customer of a bank. As an example, we recently announced that Google Pay users can log in to their app and can do cross-border transfers.

See:  Fintech Fridays EP46: Making Business Borderless: International Payments and Partnerships

I think that’s an important part of our strategy — going after the direct relationship with customers and at the same time being able to offer our platform to others who already have a direct relationship with our customer. This is also part of our whole technology modernization right now of course. We’re very, very strong in the C2C segment, but the way we’re going about our technology modernization is one that provides us optionality to continue to expand in other segments — whether it be consumer to business or business to consumer, or even business to business.

Like many financial organizations and many existing global organizations, part of our massive technology modernization program is moving to the cloud. So we were well on our way from migrating many of our applications to an AWS Cloud Platform. We’re pretty excited about the progress that we’re making there.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - How Western Union is fighting back against fintech startups The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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