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Industry roundup: 6 August 2020

NatWest brings Apple Pay to business credit cards

NatWest has announced that it is bringing Apple Pay to its business credit card customers. This is designed to provide a more secure and private way to pay that helps customers avoid handing their payment card to someone else or exchanging cash, using theiPhone to protect every transaction. The bank had previously enabled Apple Pay for business current account debit cards.

NatWest and its subsidiaries including Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank have integrated Apple Pay across a range of Mastercard credit and charge cards for its business and commercial banking customer base, complementing the existing range of payment options for SMEs.

Customers simply hold their iPhone or Apple Watch near a payment terminal to make a contactless payment. Every Apple Pay purchase is secure because it is authenticated with Face ID, Touch ID, or device passcode, as well as a one-time unique dynamic security code. Apple Pay is accepted in grocery stores, pharmacies, taxis, restaurants, coffee shops, retail stores, and many more places.

Customers can also use Apple Pay on iPhone, iPad, and Mac to make faster and more convenient purchases in apps or on the web in Safari without having to create accounts or repeatedly type in shipping and billing information. Once a customer adds a card to iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac, they can start using Apple Pay on that device right away. Customers will continue to receive all of the rewards and benefits offered by NatWest Group cards.


Mastercard Trade Solution picked up by BRD

Romania's BRD - Groupe Société Générale has become the first European bank to offer the Mastercard Trade solution to its business customers. The Mastercard Trade Solution powered by Octet Europe is designed to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) grow their business by managing any business transaction in a safe, real-time and more efficient way. The solution facilitates domestic and cross-border trade by enabling a trusted value chain, secure payments, management of cash flows and simplifying back office functions.

The Mastercard Trade Solution is directly accessible and encompasses Octet Europe’s cloud-based B2B trade platform, which thoroughly reviews each company in its network. Specifically, all members transacting on the Octet platform are extensively verified via anti-money laundering (AML), know your customer (KYC), counter terrorism financing (CTF) and economic trade sanctions (ETS) processes to reduce the risk for all parties in the network. In certain cases, Octet verifies the existence of export licenses in accordance with the legislation of that country.

One additional challenge for small businesses’ is access to finance. To overcome this, the trade solution enables SMEs to use their Mastercard cards as tools to manage their cash flows and pay any suppliers to grow their business, while enjoying card benefits and reward points. Mastercard Trade Solution and Octet Europe are able to leverage Mastercard for payment services. In practical terms, this means that buyers have the choice to pay by card even if the supplier doesn’t process card payments; meanwhile sellers can accept payments to their bank accounts regardless of how the buyer chooses to pay. 

The tool also helps small business owners manage and simplifying multiple tasks by enabling them to track, validate and authorise every step of a business transaction and settle B2B purchases using cards (debit or credit) with full visibility of all supporting trade documentation.


EU imposes first ever sanctions against cyber-attacks

The European Council has decided to impose restrictive measures against six individuals and three entities responsible for or involved in various cyber-attacks. These include the attempted cyber-attack against the OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) and those publicly known as 'WannaCry', 'NotPetya', and 'Operation Cloud Hopper'.

The sanctions imposed include a travel ban and an asset freeze. In addition, EU persons and entities are forbidden from making funds available to those listed. Sanctions are one of the options available in the EU’s cyber diplomacy toolbox to prevent, deter and respond to malicious cyber activities directed against the EU or its member states, and today is the first time the EU has used this tool. The legal framework for targeted restrictive measures against cyber-attacks was adopted in May 2019 and recently renewed.

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