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 /  News  /  Weekly News Digest 6 Sept 2019

Weekly News Digest 6 September 2019

Bank sign
Weekly News Digest 13 September 2019
UK banks' PPI hit | Stripe doubles down on lending | Netherlands instant payments launch | Aus neobanks are go | UK regulator considers industry data
Weekly News Digest 6 September 2019
Pay-by-hand at Whole Foods | facial payments in China | changes at the ECB | UK challenger bank growth
Credit cards
Weekly News Digest 30 August 2019
US credit cards market reaches $900bn | Buy Now Pay Later market booms | China plans state-backed cryptocurrency | India's banking robots | QR code disruption
Goldman Sachs office
Weekly News Digest 23 August 2019
Goldman issuing | Volcker reform | low-rate dominoes | ANZ challenges | DBS plans credit card for India
US credit cards
Weekly News Digest 16 August 2019
US consumer credit delinquency grows | Venmo boosts instant payments | NatWest trials voice banking | TransferWise launches in Australia and New Zealand
Weekly News Digest 9 August 2019
Mastercard buys Nets' RTP | Heidelpay to KKR | Klarna soars while GreenSky dips | Apple Card launches | European bankers chafe at ECB rate
Fork in the road
Weekly News Digest 2 August 2019
BofA exits First Data JV | Citi at crossroads | Mastercard soars | European banks' 2Q | Indian cashless MSCs
Federal Reserve 2
Weekly News Digest 26 July 2019
Competition in US real-time payments | Deutsche Bank losses | Nationwide hikes overdaft charges | RuPay launch to boost credit cards in India?
Wall Street image
Weekly News Digest 19 July 2019
Consumer banking drives profits | Big Tech in payments | WhatsApp ready to join India's crowded payments market? | Challenger banks in Australia
Shopping bags
Weekly News Digest 12 July 2019
Revolving credit reaches YTD high in US | Volcker Rule 2.0 | Britain eyes future of payments | Australia bank capital buffers | Push mobile payments in Japan
Weekly News Digest 5 July 2019
POS-financing draws global schemes | Spanish banks prepare domestic card | Australian Open Banking era begins
Beacon light
Weekly News Digest 28 June 2019
Regulators scrutinise Libra white paper | Bank of England mulls liquidity for fintechs | Citi trims perks on credit cards

US consumers may soon be able to literally wave goodbye to their money as they spend, with Amazon reportedly testing a system that uses an individual's hand for authentication. Amazon's goal is to roll out the payment system at its Whole Foods chain of supermarkets. It is now approaching five years since Apple Pay's high profile launch in America but use of mobile payments remains low in the country despite continued investment from some of the world's richest companies. Amazon's move is unlikely to turn the tide in itself but it is yet another sign that the tech industry is determined to change the way people pay and sooner or later they will surely strike gold.

In China, where mobile payments are booming, Alipay and Tencent are betting on facial recognition technology for payment authentication. Shoppers can now leave their mobile phone at home and simply scan their face at the checkout instead. The software, popularised by China's 'social credit' system and now being rolled out by payment firms, remains contentious due to its original purpose. Consumers themselves, however, seem less worried about security implications than being made to feel 'ugly' by the process. Alipay has responded by promising to introduce beauty filters into their cameras which have already been rolled out to 100 cities in China. Alipay plans to spend a further $420 million on the technology in the next three years, while Tencent unveiled a new facial payment machine dubbed the 'Frog Pro' in August.

The ECB meets next week to discuss monetary policy with a further rate cut widely forecast. However, a deeper discussion on the effectiveness of rate cuts and the side effects of negative rates is expected to take place. With banks struggling in this environment and reports of cash-hoarding emerging, the belief that an alternative approach is needed is gaining ground. The catalyst for this may be the ascension of Christine Lagarde to the ECB presidency. Lagarde, who will replace Mario Draghi at the helm has hinted that she favours a change in policy and has committed to a broad review of strategy.

With many of Europe's big banks struggling, there should be ample opportunities for challenger banks. According to research by Accenture, digital-only banks are indeed expanding rapidly with UK-based digital banks adding five million customers across Europe in the first half of 2019. Despite this growth though, profitability seems no closer for most of them as they are losing on average £9 per customer despite having much lower operating costs than the traditional banks. "Part of the problem may lie in the type of customers digital banks are currently attracting" commented David Hickey of Verisk Financial Research. "Customers typically open accounts with digital banks simply to save on transaction fees. They maintain their primary account at and continue to borrow from traditional banks. Until digital banks can offer attractive yet profitable products, they will struggle to make money".

To end, links to some more stories of interest from this week...

The Weekly News Digest from Verisk Financial Research highlights significant developments that have recently occurred in payment cards, digital payments, acquiring, processing, retail banking and consumer credit. Our writers and researchers frame these items in contexts such as historical, sectoral and regional trends, adding a layer of value that is often missing from the rolling news cycle.

About Verisk Financial Research

The market-leading online, interactive database and data dashboards covering the global cards and payments industry in detail, plus a range of data-packed country and regional reports. Leveraging Lafferty Research data going back to 2010 - and forecasts up to 2020 - our unique datasets cover 72 countries around the world and feature more than 250 metrics per market.

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