The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the web:
Tuesday was one of the most dramatic election days in U.S. history, given the contentious presidential battle, the pandemic, economic crisis and months of protests. The election count was still in progress as of Wednesday morning, with neither presidential candidate reaching 270 Electoral College votes, the Senate counts incomplete and the Democrats retaining control of the House of Representatives.
A group of several hundred U.S. companies called The Civic Alliance put out a call for fairness and calm during the election. The alliance includes Ripple, Amazon, Deloitte, Modernist Financial, payment startup Payability, PayPal, and companies in general retail and other industries.
There have been concerns about violence tied to the election, with retailers across the country boarding up windows as a preemptive measure, including brands such as Tiffany, Saks Fifth Avenue, CVS, Target and Macy’s — though as of late Tuesday there were no outbreaks of violence and no credible threats. Several banks and credit unions also boarded up or closed branches.
While most stores pledged to stay open if possible, the anxiety over potential unrest is another hurdle to recovery for businesses that have been hit by months of closures and uneven business flows due to the pandemic and economic crisis.
Lack of oversight
The European Securities and Markets Authority has slammed German regulators for not doing enough to prevent the meltdown of payment processor Wirecard.
The authority cited “deficiencies, inefficiencies and legal and procedural inmediments” among the two bodies responsible, BaFin and The Financial Reporting Enforcement Panel, reports Finextra. There was also reportedly not enough independence of these regulators from issuers and an inappropriate level of attention to Wirecard’s business and whistleblower reports.
German regulators are in the midst of updating practices in the wake of Wirecard’s collapse, which has seen the company sell off several of its units after an accounting scandal.
Short on cash
The Monetary Authority of Singapore plans to stop issuing S$1,000 notes (about $750 USD), contending the large bills are a money laundering and terrorism risk.
The MAS says the move is in line with other nations that have cut back on large denomination notes over security fears, reports the Straits Times, which added the U.S. has stopped issuing notes greater than $100 50 years ago, and the EU stopped issuing 500 Euro notes, which were nicknamed the “Bin Laden” note, in 2016.
Singapore isn’t in a rush, since the ruling won’t go into effect until 2021 and the S$1,000 notes in circulation will still be accepted as legal tender. Singapore, which has an active fintech industry, also wants to encourage greater use of digital payments.
Brexit under the hood
The Financial Conduct Authority has made technical changes designed to accommodate open banking compliance after the U.K. leaves the European Union, potentially leaving fintechs with extra work.
The FCA says U.K.-based third parties need to use an alternative to the eIDAS certificates that third parties are required to use for identification under PSD2. The EU will revoke these certificates after the Brexit separation on Dec. 31.
The FCA’s move means third parties can still provide open banking in the U.K., but will have to locate and use a new certificate.
From the web
Explainer: What’s next for Ant after China suspends $37 billion listing?
REUTERS | Wednesday, November 4, 2020
China’s suspension of Ant Group’s $37 billion listing just days ahead of its stock market debut has thrown the company and its investors into a tailspin and it faces a scramble to try and satisfy financial regulators, analysts say.
Big-tech’s stablecoins may hurt privacy and innovation: ECB
REUTERS | Wednesday, November 4, 2020
A stablecoin managed by a big tech company, like Facebook’s proposed libra, would raise concerns about data protection and even choke financial innovation, European Central Bank board member Fabio Panetta said on Wednesday.
Crypto wallet app ZenGo to launch debit card
TECHCRUNCH | Tuesday, November 3, 2020
ZenGo, a mobile app to manage your cryptocurrencies, is about to launch a Visa debit card in the U.S. This isn’t the first crypto-powered debit card — Coinbase announced a U.S. expansion for its debit card just last week. But ZenGo is a non-custodial wallet, which means that you’re in control of your crypto assets.
More from PaymentsSource
As Trump and Biden battle it out, the fintech agenda remains in flux
As the presidential voting count waged deep into the night on Tuesday, the fate of fintech, financial services and payments regulation hung in the balance.
Congressional election, act one: Fintechs will have to wait awhile for clarity on policy
Control of Congress was still in play late Tuesday, as the Democrats retained control of the House of Representatives while neither party gained the necessary seats to control the Senate.
The private sector needs to step up for stimulus payments
It is a frustrating reality during a time of national crisis that emergency payment options for vulnerable populations remain such a complex and inefficient landscape, says Flourish Ventures’ Sarah Morgenstern.
Bluefin to expand encryption reach with $25 million funding boost
Atlanta-based Bluefin, which pioneered turnkey systems for point-to-point encryption (P2PE) for payment card data at the point of sale several years ago, has won $25 million in funding to develop new services and expand its reach.
Visa-backed Brazilian card-issuing platform Conductor raises $150 million
São Paulo, Brazil-based payments fintech Conductor Technology has raised $150 million in a private equity round led by Viking Global Investors.
ATM coating targets COVID-19 and other ‘nasty things’
A new feature on ATMs and interactive teller machines is intended to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
China stops Jack Ma’s $35 billion Ant IPO from going ahead
China put the brakes on Ant Group Co.’s $35 billion share sale in Shanghai and Hong Kong, derailing the world’s biggest initial public offering.
Dems and the GOP like fintech, but the 2020 outcome still requires an adjustment
Everywhere we look it seems like the world is in chaos, 5% of California is burning, a global health pandemic has become political and we are seeing racial divisions widen the already cracked foundation of our country. And yet, among the chaos — fintech has the wind at its back. Regardless of who wins the election, the power of fintech is here to stay.
A blue wave would put the federal government out front in fintech regs
States have led the way on fintech rules, but a Democratic-led government would take a stronger role, says DailyPay’s Matthew Kopko.
PCI wants compliance to be customizable in 2021
In a major break from the Payment Card Industry security standards playbook, merchants and service providers using newer technologies would have the opportunity to rewrite network operation and testing procedures when achieving compliance.
PayPal’s pandemic winning streak continues; Venmo reaches $44 billion in volume
Reflecting the rapid transition to digital payments, PayPal has reported its strongest growth in total payment volume and revenue in its history, coupled with strong growth for Venmo, its P2P app.