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Japan experienced worst economic recession in Q2 since the World War II, leaving the new prime minister daunting challenges, September 8, the Japanese economy fell into the worst recession in the second quarter since World War II. The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the country’s companies more than expected, accentuating the new prime minister’s arduous task of avoiding a deteriorated economic recession. According to the revised data released by the Cabinet Office of Japan on Tuesday, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) for the second quarter shrunk by an annual rate of 28.1 percent, worse than the initial estimate of 27.8 percent and the largest economic contraction since the World War II.

Users of Vietnam’s e-payment service MoMo reach 20 million, September 8, Vietnam’s e-payment service MoMo recently announced that the number of its users has reached 20 million since the service was available in 2010. The number of users of this service mainly increased rapidly from 2015 to 2020, while the number of users was only 10 million at the beginning of 2019. Users of the service have increased several times over the past year.

Thailand’s mobile banking transactions expected to increase by about 60 percent YoY this year, says survey, September 8, Kasikorn Research Center, a private research institute of the KBank, recently stated that the number of Thailand’s mobile banking transactions is expected to increase by 57.5 percent to 61 percent YoY this year, reaching 7.758 billion to 7.9275 billion; the transaction volume is expected to increase by 18.4 percent to 21.7 percent, reaching THB 28.9104 trillion to THB 29.7072 trillion. In addition, the number of e-currency transactions will increase by 1.2 percent to 3.7 percent, reaching 1.9901 billion to 2.038 billion, and the transaction volume will increase by 1.5 percent to 3.2 percent, reaching THB 286.3 billion to THB 291.1 billion.

Binance plans to issue cryptocurrency debit card in Russia, September 7, the cryptocurrency exchange Binance stated that it plans to launch its cryptocurrency debit card Binance Card in Russia, but has not yet set a specific date. The card allows users to use cryptocurrency stored in an e-wallet to make payments. It is learned that Binance Card can be used to buy goods in 60 million stores in 200 different regions around the world.

Visa: Owing to Covid-19, 38 percent of Russians tries online shopping for the first time, September 8, according to a Visa’s study on the impact of the Covid-19 on Russian consumer behavior, 38 percent of Russians tried online shopping the first time due to the pandemic; 31 percent of people make payments via smartphone; 41 percent of cardholders started to use contactless payments. In addition, one-third of entrepreneurs have begun to use e-payments to provide services.

More than 100 banks have tapped into FPS, September 8, according to the data, more than 100 banks have tapped into the Faster Payment System (FPS) that is launched by the Central Bank of Russia. With this system, Russians can not only transfer money through phone numbers but also use QR codes to make payments. It is known that if the monthly transfer amount does not exceed RUB 100,000, no handling fee will be charged.

CBA will lift efforts explaining tap and go fees to merchants: Comyn, September 7, Commonwealth Bank chief executive Matt Comyn admitted progress has been slow getting merchant customers to understand potential cost savings from switching payments between competing networks. CBA has written to 50,000 business customers, and made 3500 calls, in the past month in an attempt to explain the benefits of “least-cost routing”, which allows merchants to decide to send a “tap and go” payment with a debit card in a store to the Eftpos network. Eftpos can be cheaper than networks run by Visa and Mastercard, especially for larger transactions. The government and Reserve Bank of Australia are promoting least-cost routing to save businesses recovering during the pandemic crisis from unnecessary payment fees.

Mastercard and Asian Development Bank build multi-stakeholder alliance to digitalize supply chains for wholesalers, September 8, Mastercard and its partners N-Frnds, SGeBIZ and Finastra have formed an alliance with the support of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to create technology solutions to drive greater digital efficiency across the retail supply chain in Asia and increase wholesalers’ access to credit. The alliance creates a new digital pathway to credit for wholesalers for better cash flow management and inventory investments.

Fintech startup Jiko obtains license through acquisition of Mid-Central National Bank, September 7, recently, the fintech startup Jiko announced it has completed its acquisition of Mid-Central National Bank. The deal has been approved by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. After obtaining a bank license through this acquisition, Jiko will officially launch account services. After the users’ deposit is deposited into his personal Jiko account, the deposit will be transferred to US short-term Treasury bonds. When the user pays with the Jiko card or withdraws at ATMs, the platform will help the user sell the equivalent amount of national debt to complete payments.

UK’s Tandem Bank to retire paid Cashback Credit Card, September 7, Tandem Bank has decided to shut down its GBP 5.99/month paid Cashback Credit Card and Journey credit card services later this year. The bank wrote to its credit card members that it will be closing both its Cashback card and its Journey credit card on November 2 this year. Tandem will reportedly focus on fixed savings accounts offering and help customers fund their green home investments.

UK digital bank Ziglu launches P2P payments for Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, September 8, London-based challenger bank Ziglu said that it has been licensed as an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) by the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority. After receiving the permit, the fintech start-up immediately launched peer-to-peer (P2P) payments for both crypto and fiat currencies. Ziglu founder and chief executive officer Mark Hipperson said the EMI license allows the firm to issue electronic money (e-money) and to provide payment services. The digital bank now supports the British pound and four other crypto assets – bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), ethereum (ETH) and litecoin ( LTC). This means users of the Ziglu app can now make payments peer-to-peer over the network, or to other banks within the UK, using the supported coins.

French payments giant Worldline may offer concessions to EU’s antitrust regulator in Ingenico acquisition, September 8, French payments company Worldline’s USD 8.6 billion bid for its competitor Ingenico may require concessions to gain European Union antitrust regulator approval, people familiar with the matter said. The Commission, which is due to decide on the deal by September 16. Worldline has until Wednesday to offer concessions to the European Commission, unless it can allay the concerns of EU antitrust regulator, the sources said.

Huawei partners TPAY Mobile to drive app monetisation for developers in the Middle East, September 7, Huawei has partnered with TPAY Mobile, a digital payment enabler in the Middle East and Africa (MEA), to allow developers from the MEA region to monetise their apps on the Huawei Mobile Services (HMS). Huawei and TPAY Mobile have been working closely as part of their ongoing commitment to support developers. This partnership will allow local and global developers to monetise their apps and services through HMS’ In-App-Purchases (IAP) kit.

Mastercard, QDB partner to accelerate innovation among Qatar fintech community, September 7, Mastercard has partnered with Qatar Development Bank (QDB) to support the development of the fintech industry through the Qatar Fintech Hub (QFTH). Mastercard noted that it would work closely with the fintech community in Qatar through the QFTH to accelerate innovation and drive the adoption of digital payments in the country. Through this partnership, QTFH start-ups and partners will also gain access to Mastercard's technology, expertise, products, and services, equipping them with the tools they need to navigate their growth.

KYC/AML and Sanctions fines reach USD 5.6 billion mid-year for global financial institutions, September 8, the leading provider of digital transformation and client lifecycle management (CLM) solution, Fenergo, released its mid-year report on global financial institution fines. The data shows by the end of July 2020, the penalties for non-compliance with KYC, AML, and sanction regulations have totalled USD 5.6 billion. The APAC regulators, including the Chinese mainland, China’s Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and Pakistan, issued fines of USD 4 billion in total.

China’s forex reserves reached USD 3.1646 trillion at August end, September 7, according to data released by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange on September 7, as of the end of August 2020, China’s foreign exchange reserves had amounted to USD 3.1646 billion, an increase of USD10.2 billion or 0.3 percent from the figure at the end of July. The scale of the country’s foreign exchange reserves has increased for five months in a row.

Kazakhstan’s central bank maintains benchmark rate at 9 percent, September 7, the central bank of Kazakhstan announced on September 7 to maintain the benchmark rate unchanged at 9 percent. The central bank said this decision takes into account the balance of short-term and medium-term inflation risks. The current level of the benchmark rate will keep the inflation condition under control and ensure the slow decline of the inflation rate in the medium term in the country.

SMBC’s cross-border payment system starts clearing in China, September 7, the cross-border payment system of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) has begun to support clearing in China. It is reported that as early as 2011, SMBC and the Bank of China signed the Memorandum of Cooperation on Renminbi Business to conduct comprehensive cooperation in the fields of renminbi capital business and cross-border renminbi clearing business at home and abroad. In addition to SMBC, large banks such as Mizuho Bank and MUFG Bank, and local banks such as Chiba Bank and Joyo Bank have also joined the Cross-border Interbank Payment System.

ShopeePay captures 26 percent of Indonesian e-wallet market, ranking first, September 8, according to a recent survey of the consulting firm MarkPlus, ShopeePay, the digital wallet service of Shopee, the e-commerce platform, has outperformed its rivals in the last three months. ShopeePay occupies 26 percent of the Indonesian e-wallet market. Other e-wallets are OVO (24 percent), GoPay (23 percent), Dana (19 percent) and LinkAja (8 percent). In addition, the survey also shows that consumers spend more on ShopeePay on average. People spend IDR 149,000 per transaction on average with ShopeePay, while they spend IDR 134,000 on OVO, DANA and LinkAja and IDR 109,000 on GoPay.

Bank Saint Petersburg launches new Mastercard, September 7, Bank Saint Petersburg launched a new Mastercard for customers. The card is free from service charges, and customers can withdraw money at any bank’s ATMs in Russia for free. In addition, cardholders can also get cashback and other benefits when using this card to make payments.

GhIPSS, Zenith roll out GH Dual Card to boost electronic payment, September 7, the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) has powered the Zenith Bank (Ghana) Limited to roll out the Eazypay GH Dual Card to boost electronic transactions. The GH Dual Card which combines the e-zwich and Gh-Link functions will serve as a 3D secure authentication that provides additional security for payments made with the Gh-link option. Customers using the card are entitled to a default daily limit of GHS 5,000 on all local ATMs while POS/WEB services offer a daily transaction limit of GHS 3,000.

STC Pay launches virtual payment card for digital wallet, September 7, digital wallet company STC Pay, a subsidiary of Saudi Telecom Company (STC), has launched its first virtual payment card for its digital wallet. The launch of new cards is part of the company’s plan to bolster its financial offerings and payment methods for retailers and consumers across Saudi Arabia, and beyond. The company claims that the card will allow its customers to take control of their finances quickly and safely.

Wordline wraps up GoPay acquisition, September 7, Worldline has completed the acquisition of a 53 percent stake in Eastern European payments services provider GoPay. According to the terms of the agreement, Worldline is entitled to buy the remaining stakes in GoPay in 2022. As part of the acquisition, with its double-digit revenue growth track record and solid profitability, GoPay is expected to contribute to reinforce the financial profile of Worldline’s Merchant Services division.

Centrapay secures investment from Coca-Cola Amatil, September 7, Amatil X, the corporate venturing platform of Coca-Cola Amatil, has acquired a minority stake in payments platform Centrapay. The bottler of The Coca-Cola Company has invested an undisclosed amount in Centrapay in the seed funding round. Centrapay specializes in digital assets and merchant payment acceptance. Its platform helps merchants connect directly with customers. Centrapay is set to focus on enabling merchants to accept contactless fiat, Epay gift cards, and vouchers, in addition to digital assets.

KYC/AML and Sanctions fines reach USD 5.6 billion mid-year for global financial institutions, September 8, the leading provider of digital transformation and client lifecycle management (CLM) solution, Fenergo, released its mid-year report on global financial institution fines. The data shows by the end of July 2020, the penalties for non-compliance with KYC, AML, and sanction regulations have totalled USD 5.6 billion. The APAC regulators, including the Chinese mainland, China’s Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and Pakistan, issued fines of USD 4 billion in total.