Rewire has recently partnered with a Philippines government authorised company to offer the needed infrastructure for OFWs, Overseas Filipino Workers, to pay their Social Security System.
Among other important financial services provided online include remittance, a European bank account and a debit card, and SSS payments through an app. Thus, Filipino customers can pay the SSS payment at 4pm or 4am and the outcome will be the same.
Read more here.
UK Fintech Modulr Reveals that its Dublin based Entity Is Now Licensed as EMI by Central Bank of Ireland
UK-based Modulr, a Payments as a Service API Platform for digital businesses, has revealed that its Dublin-based entity is now licensed as an electronic money institution (EMI) by the Central Bank of Ireland.
The Modulr team noted:
“This is an important step in enabling our European arm to provide efficient, scalable and reliable payment services to customers across the European Union.
As explained in a release, the European division of Modulr has been established to offer services to customers based in the European Union (EU). Modulr is focused on driving instant payments “expertise” into the Eurozone, in order to improve how wholesale and commercial payments are processed.
The Fintech firm provides payments infrastructure that’s used by established companies such as Sage, Revolut, Mode and Iwoca.
As stated in the announcement:
“Following strong business growth in the UK over the past four years, the newly granted EMI license will enable [Modulr] to offer [various] payments products, including its award-winning payments platform, through its powerful API to EU markets.”
Modulr also brings its expertise of real-time payments to SEPA Instant, which is the Euro’s instant payments scheme. As noted in the release, Modulr’s experience with Faster Payments will help it “unlock the potential” of the new scheme by offering convenient access for European software firms, merchants, and specialist banks.
The announcement also mentioned that the “true” potential of a digital API-based alternative to commercial payments will “rely upon an agile and efficient ‘behind the scenes’ payments process, which has historically been inaccessible and unaffordable to SMEs and enterprise alike.” As explained by the Modulr team, this information “comes from soon to be published research commissioned by Modulr, which reveals contemporary insight … into the hard cost of payment processes [and] the hidden impact on customer experience as well.”
Myles Stephenson, CEO at Modulr, stated:
“The opportunity for a digital alternative to commercial and wholesale transaction banking is significant as software businesses across multiple industry sectors are identifying the need to deliver new functionality and efficiencies to their customers by embedding payments in customer journeys. We plan to build a truly digital, frictionless payments infrastructure for software platform partners to provide new payment experiences to more than 500m people.”
Stephenson believes that his team has the experience and expertise in digital payments and API integration needed to offer key services to European businesses that are interested in streamlining how they make, receive and manage payments.
John Irwin, General Manager, Modulr Europe, remarked:
“Our digital platform and experience can transform the payments business. For too long, European payments have relied on the same technologies.”
Modulr has reportedly moved more than £40bn for clients such as Sage, Revolut, and Paxport through its platform which has “an uptime of 99.999%.”
Modulr offers this scale, reliability, and quality of service by investing in its own financial access and “achieving principal and direct access to critical payments.”
In September 2020, Modulr became the principal issuing member of Mastercard. The company had said that it would be offering more seamless digital payments solutions.
American Express and Coupa to Expand Partnership to Bring Virtual Card Payments to US Markets
According to a release, the American Express virtual Card payment option within Coupa Pay is now available globally, allowing companies to pay “smarter and simpler.”
Coupa (NASDAQ: COUP) and American Express had teamed up last year in order to provide better payment options. The release noted that they’re now ready to take their partnership to the “next level” as US-based customers now have the option to use American Express virtual Cards as a payment method with Coupa’s business-to-business (B2B) payments platform, called Coupa Pay.
As confirmed in the announcement, American Express virtual Cards are currently available in the UK and Australia. These payment options aim to effectively replace “outdated, complex, and inefficient payment processes” for businesses across the globe.
Customers are able to streamline how they pay their suppliers for all spend that’s directed or processed through the Coupa Business Spend Management (BSM) Platform.
The announcement further noted:
“As many companies continue to accommodate largely remote workforces for the foreseeable future, the expansion into the US continues to help meet the demand of customers who need a virtual way to pay suppliers and ensure their business continues to be operational.”
JR Robertson, vice president of Coupa Pay at Coupa, said that the pandemic has led to “widespread work from home policies,” which means that fragmented and manual business payment processes are not a legitimate alternative in a post COVID world.
“With Coupa Pay, Coupa and American Express are making it easier for our joint U.S. customers to thrive in this challenging environment by empowering them to pay using virtual Card technology.”
Trina Dutta, vice president and general manager of B2B Payments Automation, Global Commercial Services at American Express, remarked:
“By integrating American Express virtual Card capabilities into the unified buyer and supplier experience of Coupa’s … BSM platform, we’re addressing our customers’ need to digitize payments and thereby (potentially) becoming more essential to their operational needs.”
Triyono Gani, Head of Digital Finance Innovation at Indonesia’s Financial Services Authority, Compares Fintech with Traditional Banking
Triyono Gani, the head of digital finance innovation at Indonesia’s Financial Services Authority (OJK), notes that it may have taken a long time for people to understand one of Bill Gates’ quotes, “Banking is necessary, but banks are not.”
Gani points out that Gates actually said that back in 1994, and it might be a reality now or at least many more people might understand why he said that. But Gani acknowledges that it still might be difficult to imagine a world that functions normally without banking institutions.
He explains that Fintech offers several important banking services that are now trying to compete for market share with banks. He writes in an Op-Ed published by the Jakarta Post:
“Fintech is … regarded as a disruptor to banking. Some Fintech firms have succeeded in acquiring customers. Some banking customers have also migrated from banking to Fintech. Yet the capacity of Fintech to disrupt banking is limited. Fintech is an infant industry and needs considerable time to prove that its services are as good and secure as those of banks. Regulations limit the nominal value of transactions through Fintech platforms for security and customer protection reasons.”
Gani believes banks are in a position to fight back and they can also use their resources to try to “excel” in this “competition” by adopting innovations like Open Banking via APIs. He also points out that traditional service providers can establish their own digital banking platforms, which can directly compete with challenger banks.
Gani notes that traditional banking is a “rigid” business with many time-consuming procedures to follow. He thinks it might be challenging to create flexible or customized financial products for some banks because of complicated regulatory guidelines. However, these same services might be easier for Fintechs to offer because they’re more focused on services that improve the customer experience instead of core banking.
“Future apps may be able to handle everything seamlessly. All financial activities could be performed in a practical way. A ‘Financial supermarket’ might be the right way to refer to this kind of service. Individual customers and small businesses, even if they had several bank accounts, could easily navigate their accounts using one platform. They could perform simple liquidity management and portfolio optimization using this super app.”
As covered, emerging digital technology breakthroughs in AI and IoT are fundamentally changing consumers’ banking experience, according to a new report.
As reported recently, a Fintech industry professional recently revealed that he’s seeing rapid transformation in months (in the banking sector) which would take years before COVID.
Digital transformation in the banking sector is being driven by the need to reduce operational costs, and offer a better user experience, according to an August 2020 report.
As covered in March 2020, there’s still a long way to go before neobanks in Asia Pacific compete with traditional financial institutions, according to industry executives.
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