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All BBVA cards will be made of recycled materials by 2023

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BBVA will be offering recycled cards in all countries where it operates prior to the end of 2021.

By 2023, the bank will no longer issue other types of cards, in line with its commitment to the responsible consumption of recycled materials, and recycling. In 2021, the financial institution will provide up to 7.3 million of these cards to its customers as part of a progressive process by segments and countries.

BBVA was the first bank in Europe to launch a card made of recycled polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, which comes from waste products from various industries like packaging, printing, the automotive industry and windows. It is committed to continue improving this product until 100 percent of the card is made of recycled materials. The bank currently has 90 million cards in circulation and its goal is for all cards it issues to be made of recycled materials by 2023.

At the same time, with the issuing of 7.3 million recycled cards in 2021, BBVA hopes to boost the circular economy —based on the four Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle and recover— to avoid issuing 23.2 tons of new plastic on the market. In the manufacturing process alone, this will reduce CO2 emissions by 51.1 tons per year.
Recycled PVC and the card manufacturing process

After studying various materials, BBVA has opted to manufacture its cards with recycled PVC, which is the most sustainable option. It lasts as long as normal PVC. For this reason, the use of other alternative environmentally friendly materials was ruled out, as they do not last as long. Apart from requiring additional effort in the recycling process, they would also mean increasing the number of cards issued.

Similarly, recycled PVC can be used together with standard PVC. It is important to point out that the bank is not using new resources to produce this material. Instead, it is fomenting the recycling of plastic (new use for waste that already exists), avoiding the generation of new waste.

Bank cards

Recycled cards are manufactured in several layers of different materials, with 86 percent polyvinyl chloride (PVC) made from other plastics. This percentage is currently the highest level of recycling in the global financial sector, but the commitment is to reach 100 percent recycled materials as of May 2021. In addition, as part of the framework of BBVA’s relations with its suppliers, the bank will open an internal line of R+D to develop sustainable solutions with them.

Technology will be fundamental in the development of new plastic materials or recycling techniques. Just two years ago, card providers were not able to use recycled plastic. Now, with economies of scale, these kinds of technologies will become more and more competitive.

Progressive introduction of recycled cards throughout 2021

There will be a transition period in order to manufacture cards with the desired level of 100 percent from recycled materials. The first cards will be issued with 86 percent recycled materials. The reason for this is that the new material must be sized, and this involves a process that will conclude at the end of 2021.

Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Peru, the U.S. and Argentina already have recycled cards in varying degrees. Their introduction in Colombia is expected after the summer, and the process will be gradually completed in the rest of the countries. As the cards are renewed, they will be replaced with these recycled cards.

It is important to note that BBVA launched a new family of pioneering cards in Spain in October 2020, Aqua. Made of recycled plastic, they do not have the card number or expiration date printed on the card, and the card verification value (CVV) is dynamic. This reinforces the security of both the digital and physical versions of the cards.

Recycling of old cards

On the other hand, BBVA now offers its customers in Spain the possibility of recycling their old cards, by turning in their old cards in their branches. In fact, the bank recently announced the recycling of 90,000 customer credit and debit cards in just three months. The initiative has made it possible to reuse 450 kilograms of plastic waste, which means reusing 90 percent of the raw materials from the cards to produce new products. On average, BBVA issues approximately 950,000 cards per quarter in Spain —3.8 million cards per year— either due to expiration, theft, loss or new issues.

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Source: https://www.finextra.com/pressarticle/87353/all-bbva-cards-will-be-made-of-recycled-materials-by-2023?utm_medium=rssfinextra&utm_source=finextrafeed

Payments

Bank of Ireland makes it easier for asylum seekers to open bank accounts

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Bank of Ireland has made it easier for international protection applicants to access everyday banking services by accepting alternative State-issued documentation as proof of identity and address when opening current accounts.

The Bank has also launched a new website hub offering practical guidance and support to asylum seekers and refugees on account opening.

Asylum seekers may not have the traditional documentation that most banks – including Bank of Ireland – require to set up a bank account. They may also have more limited knowledge of the local banking system and the options available to them.

The Bank has today launched a dedicated website hub for asylum seekers with summary information provided in 19 languages*. The hub explains the types of bank account available, the documentation that is required to open one, and how to apply. Additional translation support is available from a volunteer panel of Bank of Ireland staff comprising speakers of more than 30 languages, including members of the Bank’s Multicultural and Accessibility employee networks.

Bank of Ireland has also tailored its current account opening requirements to accept substitute State-issued documentation such as a Temporary Residence Certificate (TRC), ‘Stamp 4’ Irish Residency Permits and/or the Irish-government-issued Refugee Travel Document.

Francesca McDonagh, Bank of Ireland Group Chief Executive said: “Financial inclusion is by no means the only challenge facing asylum seekers but it’s a hugely significant one. Members of my family fled Egypt and sought asylum in the UK, so I’m particularly proud that Bank of Ireland has shown leadership on this issue. A bank account is so essential nowadays that most of us probably take it for granted. Without a bank account asylum seekers are denied a safe place to hold their money, not to mention access to a range of other services. This makes it harder for them to start building a new life here.”

“At Bank of Ireland, we are committed to improving the financial wellbeing of all our customers. At the heart of financial wellbeing is financial inclusion and that means access to basic banking products for all. The requirements for identification and verification are an important part of how banks help to combat money laundering and other illegal activity. However, we’re very aware that this can also present unnecessary barriers to opening accounts, and that is why we are making these important changes.”

Nick Henderson, Chief Executive of the Irish Refugee Council, said: “We strongly welcome Bank of Ireland’s significant progress on this issue. This new policy is a considerable step forward. A bank account is a basic necessity and essential for someone building their new life and independence in Ireland. We particularly welcome the clear recognition of the Temporary Residence Certificate as proof of identity. We hope that other banks and institutions follow Bank of Ireland’s lead and this becomes normal and basic practice.”

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Source: https://www.finextra.com/pressarticle/87630/bank-of-ireland-makes-it-easier-for-asylum-seekers-to-open-bank-accounts?utm_medium=rssfinextra&utm_source=finextrafeed

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Payments

Banking app FinTron leverages LendingClub Bank services

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FinTron Invest (“FinTron”) – a new FinTech company, built by the mobile generation, for the mobile generation – announced today a new partnership with LendingClub Bank, National Association, Member FDIC, America’s leading digital marketplace bank.

This partnership allows FinTron to offer its customers low-cost mobile banking services, including FDIC-insured checking accounts that earn interest, free ATM withdrawals worldwide, and online check deposits – all through the FinTron app.

The FinTron app is a digital banking, investing, and learning platform that provides the mobile generation with the tools they need to build wealth and become smarter about their personal finances.

The FinTron app offers:

Extensive Financial Educational Platform

Daily digestible financial articles
Simulated stock trading game
Lessons and quizzes

Checking Account and FinTron Debit Card

Free ATM withdrawals worldwide
Interest-bearing checking account
Mobile check deposit
Automated savings features
FDIC-insured accounts up to $250,000

Individual Cash Brokerage Accounts Through FinTron Invest

600+ stocks & ETFs, featuring fractional share ownership
Automated investment features
Risk tolerance assessments
Expanded real-time and historical securities data at your fingertips
SIPC-insured accounts up to $500,000 (including up to $250,000 for cash claims)

LendingClub Bank is a leading digital bank that provides a national brand’s product depth and the technology of a FinTech Bank upholds a commitment to provide a full complement of products and services that not only meet the growing banking needs of its customers but are also simple and convenient.

“We wanted to create a streamlined banking and investing experience for the Mobile-First generation to help combat their fears around personal finance, and we are excited to partner with LendingClub Bank,” said FinTron’s 25-year-old CEO and Founder, Wilder Rumpf.

Rumpf continued, “LendingClub Bank’s extensive experience working with forward-thinking fintech companies, and its mission of streamlining mobile banking to its customers, attracted us to the Bank. LendingClub Bank is an essential component to our seamlessly integrated mobile banking experience, rounding out our all-in-one investing, banking, and budgeting platform. Our partnership with the LendingClub Bank team energizes us about what the future holds for our customers looking to build financial security.”

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Source: https://www.finextra.com/pressarticle/87629/banking-app-fintron-leverages-lendingclub-bank-services?utm_medium=rssfinextra&utm_source=finextrafeed

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Payments

PayPal expands Google Cloud relationship

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PayPal is expanding its partnership with Google Cloud, which will provide the payments giant with both infrastructure and analytics capabilities to help it process transactional data at massive scale.

PayPal, which has a hybrid cloud strategy, is moving more of its core infrastructure and workloads to Google.

One key reason for this shift is the surge in digital commerce and user traffic triggered by the global pandemic, which led to a 24% spike in PayPal’s total active customer accounts, now totalling 392 million.

Google Cloud says it enabled PayPal to add capacity to its infrastructure in just hours, a process that would have otherwise taken months to complete.

In addition, with the bulk of its online transactional data residing in its SAP S/4HANA database, PayPal was able to use SAP’s Financial Products Subledger, delivered at massive scale on Google Cloud, to quickly process transactions at high volume, as well as to analyse purchasing trends at volume with low latency.

Wes Hummel, VP, site reliability and cloud engineering, PayPal, says: “We can only develop fast, build fast, and deploy fast if we have infrastructure that’s as nimble as we are. By leveraging the power of the cloud, our teams can focus on providing the best products, capabilities and services to our customers.”

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Source: https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/38048/paypal-expands-google-cloud-relationship?utm_medium=rssfinextra&utm_source=finextrafeed

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Blockchain

Central Bank of Bahrain and JPMorgan to work on digital currency settlement pilot

The Central Bank of Bahrain expects that its digital currency collaboration with JPMorgan and Bank ABC could extend to a CBDC.

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The government of Bahrain, the third-richest Arab country, is working with American investment bank JPMorgan Chase on a digital currency settlement pilot.

The Central Bank of Bahrain officially announced Tuesday that the bank is now collaborating with JPMorgan and the Arab Banking Corporation BSC, or Bank ABC, in a pilot scheme to introduce an instant cross-border payment solution based on digital currency technology.

Aiming to cut settlement processing time, the new digital currency pilot will involve transferring funds from and to Bahrain in U.S. dollars for payments from buyers and suppliers. The central bank emphasized that it could move forward with the project to extend the collaboration to a central bank digital currency.

“Through this pilot with JPMorgan and Bank ABC, we aspire to address the inefficiencies and pain-points which exist today in the traditional cross-border payments arena,” CBB Governor Rasheed Al-Maraj said.

Ali Moosa, JPMorgan’s vice chair of wholesale payments, noted that the new collaboration involves the company’s digital currency-focused division known as Onyx. Piloted in 2017, the product was originally referred to as Interbank Information Network and was rebranded as Liink in October 2020.

“JPMorgan Onyx has been setup with the mandate to lead the buildout of next generation clearing and settlement infrastructures and we are delighted to partner with a leading central bank and regulator like the CBB to lead the buildout of a next generation payment and settlement infrastructure,” the executive noted.

JPMorgan has been aggressively promoting its blockchain technology expertise to collaborate with global jurisdictions on cross-border payments. In late April, JPMorgan partnered with Singapore’s largest bank, DBS, and state investment company Temasek to launch a new blockchain venture focused on global payments and interbank transactions. The bank previously provided its Liink technology to an Indian government-backed bank to reduce transaction costs and improve cross-border payments.

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Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/central-bank-of-bahrain-and-jpmorgan-to-work-on-digital-currency-settlement-pilot

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