30 October 2014

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A significant proportion of North Americans - 40% - have used their smartphones to make payments at merchant locations, up from just 16% two years ago, according to an Accenture survey.

BBVA Compass has opened up its technology platform to Dwolla, enabling customers to make real-time payments through the Iowa startup's payments network.

British digital banking startup Atom Bank is bidding to raise £20 million from private investors ahead of a planned launch next year, Sky News is reporting.

Rwanda has joined the Better Than Cash Alliance to help accelerate the adoption of electronic payments in the country as part of a commitment to achieve 80% financial inclusion by 2017.

China is finally preparing to put an end to China UnionPay's monopoly on clearing bank card transactions in a move that could open up a huge market to Visa and MasterCard.

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has played down the value of payments to the social network, saying that it will partner with card firms and PayPal rather than try to build its own system.

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MCX, the mobile payments joint venture set up by a coalition of some of the largest retailers in the US, has confirmed that members using the system will be contractually obliged to exclude alternative platforms provided by the likes of Apple and the telco-backed Softcard consortium. Meanwhile, the group has confirmed that pilot participant email addresses have been stolen by hackers.

Former Google Wallet boss Osama Bedier is bidding to take advantage of the "once in a lifetime" opportunity presented by America's move to EMV chip cards with a new take on the point-of-sale terminal.

The Financial Conduct Authority is to investigate ways in which the technology underpinning bitcoin can be used elsewhere in the formal financial services industry.

Financial institutions the world over are raising their innovation spend significantly in a desperate attempt to fend off the threat to the established hegemony from technology companies, telcos, and emerging startups, according to fresh data from Efma.

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