In this week’s wrap of global payments developments, we have payment stats from Egypt that are more lack-of-payment stats, U.K. payments security testing, a Swedish payments spin-off and a new mobile bill pay push in Australia.

  • U.K., U.S. Payments Security Testing
    The two countries will run later this month to see “how its regulators would respond if their financial sectors suffered a major cyber-attack or broader IT problems,” according to a report from Reuters.
    The story quoted an unidentified spokesman for British government cyber-security body CERT-UK assuring residents of both countries that the testing won’t shut down financial systems.
    “There will be no testing of cash machines coming down, banks coming down or anything like that,” the spokesman said.
  • Electronic Payments In Egypt Barely Break Two Percent
    Egyptians are still very much in love with cash, according to new stats reported by Egypt’s Daily News.
    The story quoted Tarek Al-Husseini, Visa’s regional manager for North and West Africa, saying that “total individual payments in Egypt amount to approximately $163 billion, only two percent of which is paid electronically, with about one percent by checks and the rest in cash.”
    The Visa exec said that he projects electronic payments in Egypt will hit 20 percent “within five to seven years, as long as the Egyptian government offers support and launches programs and helps by paying the civil servants’ salaries using payroll cards.”
  • Sweden’s Seamless Payments Provider To Split Off Its Mobile-Transactions Unit.
    Investors seemed happy with the move announced Tuesday (Nov. 4) after Seamless Distribution AB said “it is bringing in a new investor to support the unit’s growth, letting the company focus on its two larger and profitable divisions,” according to a report from Bloomberg.

    “The SEQR app routes payments from smartphones and bank accounts, dodging traditional card-handling fees, with customers including McDonald’s Corp. restaurants in Sweden and grocer Axfood AB. SEQR introduced its service in the U.S. in June,” the story said. “Seamless’s other units provide technology for submitting remittance payments and handling top-ups for prepaid mobile-phone accounts.”

  • A New Mobile Bill Pay Effort In Australia
    An Australian bill pay firm, BPAY, has said that it has agreed to be the first service on Australia’s New Payments Platform (NPP).

    The app is called ICS, which stands for Initial Convenience Service. The firm said it will be launched in 2017—seems that vaporware is alive and well and living in Australia.

    “The ICS is the first service to use the NPP, which is being developed by NPP Australia Limited (NPPA) and its 12 Participant Financial Institutions and is the industry response to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s strategic objectives on payments innovation,” the company said.