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The Embassy of People’s Republic of China in Nepal temporarily adjusted way to pay for consular documents, July 10, according to the latest notice from the Standard Chartered Bank (Nepal), which was previously provided the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Nepal with the cash collection service for consular documents, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and adjustments to the bank’s business, the bank will no longer send staff to collect cash at the Embassy, effective on July 13, 2020. It is learned that the Embassy has introduced the online payment service of the “UnionPay” app in early 2020. Chinese applicants can download the “UnionPay” app to make payments, and Nepalese applicants can download the Qpay Nepal APP to make payments.

Chinese banks prepare contingency plans over threat of U.S. sanctions, July 10, Chinese state lenders are revamping contingency plans in anticipation of U.S. legislation that could penalise banks for serving officials who implement the new national security law for Hong Kong, sources at five state financial institutions said. In worst-case scenarios under consideration by the Bank of China and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the lenders are looking at the possibility of being cut off from U.S. dollars or losing access to U.S. dollar settlements, two sources said. The U.S. House and Senate has passed a bill that calls for sanctions on Chinese officials and others who help violate Hong Kong’s autonomy and on financial institutions that do business with them. The bill has been submitted to the White House and has yet to be signed into law by President Donald Trump.

NBK: If necessary, measures will be taken to maintain exchange rate of tenge, July 10, according to Aliya Moldabekova, Deputy Governor of the the National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK), the central bank will continue to implement a floating exchange rate policy. The tenge exchange rate formation mechanism must take into account changes in market conditions and internal and external basic factors. At the same time, taking into account Tenge’s ability to withstand external risk shocks, as well as foreign exchange market pressure and speculation, the central bank has the right to take measures to suppress exchange rate fluctuations when financial stability is threatened or the market deteriorates sharply.

73 major tasks in 2020 for implementing Framework Agreement on Cooperation Between Guangdong and Macao, July 10, the website of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the People’s Government of Guangdong Province published major tasks in 2020 for implementing the Framework Agreement on Cooperation Between Guangdong and Macao to deploy 73 specific measures in 8 major areas for the Guangdong-Macao cooperation this year. In particular, cooperation in the financial service industry is expected to achieve more breakthroughs, such as actively bring reform and innovation to foreign exchange management, gradually expanding the scale and scope of cross-border use of the renminbi, providing convenience for Macao residents to use mobile e-payment tools to make payments in renminbi in Guangdong, and promoting the interoperability of mobile payment tools in Guangdong and Macao.

Banco Santander and Ripple jointly developed One Pay FX, July 10, Banco Santander has partnered with the blockchain startup Ripple to faster transaction speed on request by customers. Banco Santander and Ripple jointly developed One Pay FX and built it into a borderless blockchain-based payment channel, said Ed Metzger, CTO of One Pay FX, a blockchain payment app.

Number and value of tax payments made through GCash in H1 2020 increased by 200 percent YoY, July 10, the Philippines-based e-payment service company GCash announced on July 8 that the number and the value of tax payments made through the company’s e-payment platform in the first half of 2020 (from January to June) saw a year-on-year increase of 200 percent. The number of tax payments increased by 90 percent YoY from 118,731 to 225,222 and the value of tax payments increased from PHP 265.19 million to PHP 574.89 million.

South Korea credit card companies refuse to introduce Apple Pay as only laying of relevant infrastructure costs each of them KRW 30 billion, June 10, there have been rumors saying that Apple Pay may expand into South Korea, but South Korea’s major credit card companies made it clear that it was virtually impossible to introduce the service because of the huge expense burden. It is learned that in order to introduce Apple Pay that requires the use of NFC terminals, every credit card company needs to bear at least KRW 30 billion for only the laying of relevant infrastructure. In addition, Apple also requires those companies to pay half of their partner stores’ handling fees. Apple’s arrogant attitude will only arouse protests from those credit card companies.

Silkbank, Visa partner to further e-commerce drive, July 9, Silkbank has partnered with Visa to utilise the ‘Visa Consumer Authentication Service’ (VCAS). Visa’s Country Manager Pakistan and Afghanistan Kamil Khan, said: “We are delighted that our partners have chosen Visa Consumer Authentication Service, which enables Silkbank to offer smarter authentication decisions and deliver the secure and seamless payment experiences consumers seek. This is an important step forward in both Visa and Silkbank’s efforts to drive digital commerce in Pakistan”.

Sberbank launches SberPay, July 9, Sberbank has launched SberPay, a payment service, and now the bank’s cardholders can use the service to make payments through the Sberbank Online app.

Russia’s Promsotsbank provides Alipay and WeChat Pay for its corporate customers, July 10, Russia’s Promsotsbank announced its cooperation with the payment system Sendy to provide Alipay and WeChat Pay services for its corporate customers. Now corporate customers of the bank can use the two services to accept and make payments.

Swiss finance disruptor YAPEAL chooses Marqeta to power new digital wallet, June 9, digital fintech start-up YAPEAL has launched a new, innovative digital wallet, powered by Marqeta’s modern card issuing platform. Utilising Marqeta’s instant card issuing capabilities, the digital wallet will offer a range of personal finance features, including the ability to issue a debit card that can connect to mobile payment apps, starting with Google Pay, and Apple Pay and Samsung Pay coming soon.

Accrualify partners with Visa for new corporate card, July 9, Accrualify is launching a new corporate card in partnership with Visa. The intent of the card is to boost options for spend control for corporate finance teams. The card will allow companies to set spending limits, use frequency, etc. It will enable real-time spend tracking, enhanced fraud controls, and others.

FinTech company SoFi files an application for a national bank charter with OCC, July 10, an email from an internal employee showed that SoFi, a US fintech company, has formally filed an application for a national bank charter with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). In 2017, SoFi initiated an application for an industrial bank license but eventually gave up for various reasons. The attitude change of the US upper banking regulators seems to herald more opportunities for fintech platforms to provide more efficient and cheaper digital banking services.

Mobile payment service PayBy ties up with uPay to extend its reach, July 9, Abu Dhabi-based FinTech PayBy is partnering with uPay to expand its reach to more than 850 uPay self-serve kiosks across the UAE. With PayBy integrated into uPay systems, users can top up their digital wallets on the kiosk machines and use PayBy for e-commerce transactions, cashless payments and peer-to-peer transfers.

Malaysian local financial institution first introduces cross-border UnionPay QR code payment service, July 9, Bank of China (Malaysia) announced on July 9 that it has become the first local financial institution in Malaysia to launch the cross-border UnionPay QR code payment service. It is reported that after the launch of this service by the Bank of China (Malaysia) and UnionPay International, UnionPay cardholders of the bank can use the overseas version of the Bank of China mobile banking to make fast code-scanning payments in 34 worldwide countries, including China (including Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan) and Malaysia.

Mexico central bank says economic recovery uncertain, July 9, the economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic is on shaky footing, even as Mexico reopens up for business, according to minutes of the policy meeting released by Mexico’s central bank on Thursday. “Although the reopening of certain economic sectors and regions in May and June will foster a slight recovery of economic activity, the impact of Covid-19 pandemic has been considerable and uncertainty persists,” the Bank of Mexico’s minutes of the policy meeting said.

South Korea may introduce anti-money laundering bill to prevent illegal crypto transactions, July 10, the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea will hold a seminar entitled “How to Improve the Transparency of Cryptocurrency Transactions” on July 10. Issues related to preventing money laundering and establishing a system to regulate crypto trading will be discussed in the seminar. It is said that a special bill has been passed in the plenary session of the National Assembly in South Korea, and the bill aims to introduce a digital asset business reporting system, including customer identification and the establishment of anti-money laundering obligations. If the government approves the law, the new anti-money laundering bill may be introduced as early as March 2021 and prevent crypto transactions related to the illegal dark webs.

EU to grant temporary market access for UK derivatives clearers, July 10, the London Stock Exchange and other derivatives clearing houses in Britain will be granted temporary access to the European Union from January 2021, the bloc’s executive European Commission said on Thursday. This decision is being taken to address the possible risks to financial stability related to the specific area of derivatives clearing. It did not specify the period it would cover.

QFPay parters with Shopify to help enterprises expand cross-border “blue ocean”, July 9, recently, QFPay announced a cooperation with the e-commerce company Shopify to provide online cash register service for Shopify. Hong Kong’s local online payments, including the Hong Kong version of the “UnionPay” app, WeChat HK, AlipayHK, the Faster Payment System (FPS), and others will be introduced first and global payment services will be introduced further in the future. Through the cooperation with Shopify, merchants who have completed the registration with Shopify through QFPay and successfully opened their stores can receive one month’s monthly fees as the bonus.

MIC: JKOPAY used most frequently; purchasing power of Apple Pay users highest, July 9, Taiwan’s Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC) conducted a survey on mobile payments for Taiwan consumers in the first half of 2020 and found that among the 10 most commonly used mobile payments by Taiwanese, on average, consumption times of JKOPAY users is significantly higher than that of other users, and the consumption attributes tend to be small-value and multiple times. Apple Pay users have the highest purchasing power, and the ratio of the single consumption amount to more than TWD1,000 to the average consumption amount is significantly higher than other users. The MIC survey also said that LINE Pay is still the most commonly used mobile payment for users of all ages, but the runner-up position is fiercely competitive. Users aged 18 to 25 favor Apple Pay, users aged 26 to 45 choose JKOPAY as their second most commonly used payment, and users aged 46 to 65 choose PX Pay.

Korean Welcome Saving Bank launches QR code mobile payment service, June 10, Korean Welcome Saving Bank launched Welcome Digital Bank, an app that supports QR code mobile payment service, thus it has become the first one among savings banks to launch the service. Users can now use the service in convenience stores, coffee shops, and other places and enjoy the same benefits as debit cards provide.

Mastercard to launch True Name cards in the European market, June 9, Mastercard announced that it would be making the True Name card available in the European market in 2020. True Name aims to enhance individuals’ shopping experience by allowing them to display their preferred Name on their cards. The card was launched in the US in 2019 and now is expected to be launched in as many countries as possible by the end of the year.

Rapyd launches integrated payments solution for Mexico, July 9, Rapyd, a California-based fintech, has launched a “full-stack” integrated payment solution for the Mexican market, allowing local and multinational companies to accept payments and disburse funds both locally and worldwide through a single API integration. Rapyd, working in partnership with several Mexican payments firms, including Banregio, RedEfectiva, Cacao Paycard and others, said the new solution allows companies to accept various local payment methods - including cash, bank transfers and cards - through a single connection.

FASTA and Mastercard join forces to launch FASTACard – South Africa’s first virtual credit card, June 10, FASTA, a digital lending fintech, has partnered with Mastercard to launch FASTACard, South Africa’s first virtual Mastercard credit card. This virtual card will help to meet the demand of today’s cash-strapped consumers who are increasingly seeking ‘no contact’ digital payment solutions in the wake of the pandemic. Through the collaboration with Mastercard, FASTA is offering its customers access to credit via a secure virtual card, enabling them to pay for a wide range of goods, services, as well as bills.

Samsung Pay gains support for TransferWise UK debit cards, June 9, Samsung Pay now officially supports TransferWise debit cards in the UK. The South Korean tech giant’s digital wallet will now accept TransferWise debit Mastercard and debit Mastercard for Business. They can then use these cards to make purchases or send payments through Samsung’s mobile payments service.

Saudi Payments inks network alliance agreement with Discover, June 9, Saudi Payments, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), has signed a network alliance agreement with Discover Financial Services. The agreement will enable cardholders of Discover, Diners Club and Pulse to use their card on the Saudi payments network (mada). Likewise, Saudi banks can issue cards that will be accepted on Discover Global Network for international payments and withdrawing cash outside the country.