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Payments Update: stable digital currency; card merchants; instants

Recent developments include:

  1. Japanese banks are launching stable digital currencies:
    • Mizuho Bank is rolling out a proprietary digital currency, J Coin, in March, backed by 60 regional domestic banks which will be pegged to the yen at 1:1  
    • Other Japanese banks are experimenting with digital currency: Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group is also planning trials of its own MUFG Coin with around 100,000 account holders in Tokyo which will also be pegged to the yen at 1:1
    • Japan’s country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) is considering placing cryptocurrencies into a dedicated legal category called “crypto-assets” to prevent confusion with legal tender.
  2. Subscription/recurring payments commerce has expanded at 100%/year over each of the past five years according to Recurly. The seven strategies for success are:
    • Combat subscription fatigue by going the extra mile to ensure subscriber satisfaction
    • Gain a 360-degree view of subscribers, and deepen subscriber insights, by sharing data across systems
    • Boost flexibility in processing payments through custom gateway routing
    • Increase pricing and packaging options, and encourage adoption, through flexible billing terms
    • Recover more revenue and reduce involuntary churn with retry strategies powered by machine learning
    • Consider "hybrid" billing models to combat increasing competition
    • Reduce friction at checkout through improvements to the checkout process.
      • (See Recurly report, here)
  3. The number of merchant outlets accepting card payments worldwide grew by 13% throughout 2017 to reach 69.2 million at the end of 2018.
    • (Source: Global Payment Cards Data and Forecasts 2023 RBR)
  4. Huawei, the Chinese phone manufacturer, will partner with payments provider UnionPay International to roll out its own Huawei Pay service across the world. Russia will be the first country on the list for the expansion.
  5. Instant payments system in Hungary being tested and live in July 2019.  Reuters reports, the new system, which has been in development since 2017, domestic bank transfers worth up to HUF 10 million (USD 35,306) will be settled within five seconds, 24/7.
  6. Payment hubs are being promoted by TMS providers as a way to improve efficiency and reduce fraud, for example, Kyriba’s 15-minute Guide to Payment Hubs summarises the arguments:
    • Source & Copyright©2019 - Kyriba Inc.
  7. UK’s Faster Payments (set up in May 2008)  usage continues to grow at an astounding pace, in 12 months to November 2018:
    • Single Immediate Payments grew by 28%
    • Forward Dated Payments grew by 33%.
    • (While direct debits only grew by 3%).

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