Wirecard expands services for its European merchants to appeal to Chinese tourists and more payments industry acquisitions have been completed, in this week’s roundup of payments news.
A blog post in the Washington Post this week spotlighted Sweden’s increasingly cashless society. It cited a forthcoming survey saying that two-thirds of retailers there plan to eliminate cash payments by 2030.
The post noted some of the factors that make the environment in Sweden conducive to making the switch, including a relatively small population and trust in the banking system.
It also called attention to the role of companies like payment facilitator iZettle and their ability to provide technology that enables electronic payments for a wide variety of people, from merchants to panhandlers.
Munich-based payments processor Wirecard announced that it is expanding value-added services for Alipay and WeChat Pay customers. Together with partners Storymaker and Premier Tax Free, the company said it is providing integrated marketing and payments services for European merchants to help improve their appeal for Chinese tourists.
Premier Tax Free will help integrate VAT (value-added tax) refunds for Chinese consumers at the point of sale, and Storymaker will help with digital discount campaigns, the company said.
Wirecard also operates as a payment facilitator.
Two previously announced acquisitions were completed this past week. PayPal said in a blog post that it has completed its acquisition of Swift Financial. Swift enables PayPal to expand its business financing capabilities.
And bank and payment technology provider Klarna has completed its previously announced acquisition of payments company BillPay, the company announced last week. Klarna said the combination of companies strengthens its position as an e-commerce provider. Serving more than 5,000 merchants, BillPay provides invoice, direct debit and installment payments for online retailers.
According to an article in The Straits Times, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) has approached ride-hailing companies Uber and Grab to enable automatic filing of tax returns with the agency. Unlike that of taxicab drivers, who primarily operate in cash there, the article said, the income of Uber and Grab drivers is automatically tracked in their apps.
“To simplify tax filing and ease compliance for our taxpayers, IRAS continually seeks ways to explore initiatives with third parties and platform providers to automate the transmission of income information directly into our tax systems,” an agency spokesperson told the newspaper.