Finland becomes the first country outside China to accept Alipay for all smartphone payments, PayPal announces Q4 earnings and NETS QR code payments drive push towards cashless in Singapore.

Here’s your weekly news roundup!

Finland becomes the first country outside China to enable Alipay users to make all payments from their smartphones. According to The Paypers, Alipay has also teamed up with Lähitaksi, one of Finland’s major taxi companies, and will be made available in 1,250 taxis later this month. Finnair, Finland’s proprietary airline, also became the first airline in the world to accept mobile payments via Alipay in 2017.

With these and other like-minded initiatives, Alipay aims to remove the language and currency barrier Chinese consumers often face when it comes to paying for purchases by enabling them to accept their preferred method of payment easily and securely when traveling abroad, according to the same article.

PayPal announces Q4 and year-end results for 2017. The global payments platform had an aggressive goal for last year – to graduate from an online checkout button to a real-time digital payments platform. And according to the press release, they did that and more.

As reported in the release, PayPal Q4 payment volume increased 29% (on a currency neutral basis) to $131 billion. This was up by 24% and represents the company’s third consecutive quarter of accelerating revenue growth. Other highlights include:

  • 7 million net new active accounts in Q4
  • 29 million new active accounts for 2017
  • 2017 total customer base of 227 million active accounts and 18 million merchants

NETS partnership with Singapore taxi service furthers push towards cashless.  Singapore digital payments provider NETS has joined forces with ComfortDelGro cab company to launch the Hawker Champion incentive program. Supporting Singapore’s Smart Nation vision and NETS’ already-existing Go Cashless campaign, the new program will offer a $10 NETS FlashPay card to drivers and staff for every hawker customer that downloads the NETSPay app, according to the press release.

The incentive program will target hawker centers (buildings that house numerous independent food vendors, known as hawkers) and the goal is for ComfortDelGro drivers to introduce NETS QR code payments to customers hailing rides to and from the establishment.

The NETS QR code functionality is also set to launch in a similar market segment with several Singapore supermarkets planning to offer NETS QR code payments this year. According to The Straits Times, the NETS QR code functionality has already been integrated at more than 600 stalls in hawker centers and school cafeterias, as well as 350 7-Eleven stores in Singapore since last September.

NACHA and Accenture combine forces to support API standardization across the US. According to the press release, this includes providing the payments industry with training materials, developer tools, articles, product blogs and code samples with a goal to encourage the developer community to collaborate on questions, support and ideas as they develop their solutions.

Ultimately, the desired outcome is API standardization across the entire payments ecosystem.  The release quotes NACHA Managing Director George Throckmorton regarding the initiative: “To foster adoption, drive innovation and simplify integration of the APIs we’ve identified, we felt it was critical to offer the payments ecosystem tools to educate, develop, test and provide feedback. By partnering with Accenture, we’re able to offer business and technical resources via a digitally enabled platform with all the tools needed for successful deployment of APIs.”