As Square evolves its business, it shows other fintech companies what can be done when they think outside traditional payment solutions. So, what does the news last week about the company’s intent to apply for an industrial bank charter forecast for other payment facilitators?
Juniper Research has recognized two payment facilitators for their contributions to the industry in its 2017 Future Digital Awards for Commerce & Fintech. The annual awards recognize companies “at the forefront of new developments” in their categories, the research firm said.
As the payment facilitator model evolves, the card networks are increasingly embracing it as a driver of merchant acceptance globally. A recent rule change from Visa further affirms that PFs are in a solid position.
Much of the conversation surrounding the release of the Reserve Bank of India’s annual report last week focused on the return of demonetized currency to the system – a confirmation, in the eyes of critics, that the policy of demonetization did not work as intended.
Square ended speculation by confirming its banking intentions this week. Chinese mobile wallet provider and payment facilitator Alipay continues its rapid expansion, adding to its stream of expansion and partnership announcements this week. And Mastercard introduced a program for merchants and other businesses looking for help going digital.
As the business world has taken note of Vantiv’s Worldpay acquisition, much of the narrative has focused on the size and scope of the deal. The acquisition creates a nearly $29 billion company and allows Vantiv to diversify its client base globally.
But what does all this mean to payment facilitators?
Leading payment facilitator PayPal announced last week that it plans to acquire Swift Financial, which provides working capital to businesses through both loans and advances on future revenue.
As we’ve noted previously, many small businesses are turning to payment facilitators for their capital needs. And PFs are seeing this business as one opportunity to expand the ways they serve their merchant clients’ business needs, in an integrated environment that includes payment processing.
China has become a popular example of the potential for digital transactions to overtake cash, as its citizens’ mobile payments usage has increased exponentially in just the last few years. The use of QR codes is quickly displacing cash use across its cities.
But according to recent media reports from the region, not everyone there is necessarily happy with the disappearance of cash or the pervasiveness of mobile payments.
Chinese e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba has agreed to form a joint venture with Marriott International. The venture combines Marriott’s expertise in hospitality with Alibaba’s in digital retail. Alibaba will manage Marriott’s storefront on its travel services platform.
Consumers will be able to use Alipay at Marriott locations. And in true payment facilitator fashion, the agreement promises to use technology platforms to provide Chinese tourists with an integrated travel experience.