ISSUE NO. 59 – OCTOBER 2018
AliPay, Amazon Pay, Line and Yahoo Japan Vie to be Japan’s Cashless Transaction Leader
QR code technology is becoming the preferred method to boost Japan’s cashless transactions to 40% by 2025. The May 2018 issue of E-Linx first reported Yahoo Japan’s new QR code based digital wallet, and this month it was revealed that they will be partnering with Paytm, India’s largest payment service backed by AliPay, to bring smartphone app PayPay to Japan’s consumers. Yahoo! Wallet will be discontinued. Other new entrants to Japan’s cashless market include Line, Japan’s native social network with 164 million users each month in its four biggest markets (Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia) and US$3.3 billion in payments year-to-date. Line announced its own QR code reader for small and medium businesses to allow consumers to pay with Line Pay. Last month Amazon Pay announced their entry into the Japan payments market with their own smartphone app and QR code payment program.
Japan is becoming one of the most innovative locations for payments technology development as the competition to capture online-to-offline commerce and transactions from small and medium businesses heats up. The world’s largest companies, such as Alipay, Amazon and Walmart are entering the marketplace because Japan’s preference for cash transactions combined with their tech savvy population provides opportunities for higher market penetration and growth. To counter these efforts, CardLinx members Sumitomo Mitsui Card Company, DNP, JCB and others are joining forces with Fidel to create a national card-linking platform in Japan. Find out more as Fidel’s CEO Dev Subrata reveals the results of the beta testing at the CardLinx Asia Forum in Tokyo on December 4th. Register now.
CardLinx West Forum Focuses on AI Implementation
The CardLinx West Forum on Tuesday, October 15th in Seattle demonstrated the expansion of the card-linking ecosystem across a variety of industries. Steve Sirich lead the keynote presentations with Microsoft’s approach to integrating artificial intelligence into their products to improve accessibility and productivity at work and at home. The diversity of card-linking platforms was on display with presentations by myGini, Excentus and Empyr. GasBuddy and Total Wine presented the retailer perspective. Mike Hintze, data privacy expert discussed the impact of new and pending regulations affecting e-commerce. The following day some attendees visited Microsoft’s Envisioning Center to see near future technologies and CardLinx members attended work group sessions moderated by Dan Currell.
Apple CEO Warns of Surveillance by the Data Industrial Complex and Calls for Federal Privacy Laws
At the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners in Brussels, Apple CEO Tim Cook argued that digital privacy is a fundamental human right and for countries to enact laws to protect these rights in light of the growing data industrial complex. Cook equated identifiable online data as a form of digital surveillance. The data industrial complex is the use of everyday consumer data by companies, organizations and rogue countries to defraud consumers, spread misinformation and erode societal norms with military precision. Cook also praised the latest GDPR rules passed by the European Union to protect the digital privacy rights of individuals and encouraged the U.S. to follow its lead by enacting federal digital privacy laws.
CardLinx has been monitoring the spread of digital privacy laws globally and Apple’s influential voice adds to a growing chorus of support for government oversight including in the United States. Apple’s business model lends itself to this position on data privacy but its advocacy of federal privacy laws instead of a self-regulatory model is a new development. In light of the momentum towards regulation, CardLinx formed the Consumer Data Transparency Task Force chaired by board member Microsoft. This task force was created to explore a potential framework for data privacy in the card-linking and O2O industries. Details on the conclusion of the task force will be announced in a future E-Linx newsletter.
Verrency Grows Internationally with Strategic Partnerships and Plug and Play Accelerator Programs
In October, Verrency announced new partnerships with DriveWealth, Basiq and Pulse iD as well as its entry into Plug and Play’s prestigious Fintech Program in Germany, in addition to their participation in Plug and Play’s accelerator programs in Silicon Valley and Singapore. DriveWealth, a digital brokerage solution, will use Verrency’s platform to deliver its fractional share investment platform to more consumers. Shoppers who have a debit or credit card will have the opportunity to invest in companies from which they purchase goods and services. For example, a shopper who buy shoes from the Nike store, can elect to round up or put a percentage of the purchase price towards buying Nike shares, or a fraction of a Nike share. Basiq and Pulse iD will apply Verrency’s integration platform to easily distribute their financial data aggregation and geolocation services to global financial institutions.
Verrency’s multi-faceted growth is an example of their nimble management and opportunities in the card-linking marketplace. Founded in 2016, Verrency focuses on enabling major financial institutions to use their own payment technologies and networks to rapidly and inexpensively deliver significant innovations to their customers. Through strategic partnerships with compatible companies and participation in accelerator programs to reach their geographic expansion targets, Verrency has shown that collaboration in the card-linking and O2O ecosystem will create more growth opportunities and greater innovation. While on the Microsoft campus during the CardLinx West Forum, CardLinx members read this African proverb on the wall: If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far; go together.
Cardlytics Expands into Asia
CardLinx member Cardlytics, a purchase intelligence platform for financial institutions, announced its plans to expand into Asia during the first quarter of 2019. Cardlytics will opening an office in the city of Vizag, the financial capital of India’s sunrise state of Andhra Pradesh. Vizag is a growing hotspot for fintech innovation and this global expansion follows Cardlytics’ successful launch of its U.K. operations in 2013. Cardlytics plans to hire approximately 80 full-time employees in Vizag by the end of 2020, allowing for research and development around the clock.
Since their IPO at the start of 2018 Cardlytics has had a busy year onboarding additional large financial institutions onto their platform and now expanding into Asia. CardLinx also welcomed our first India-based member this year, Jet Privilege, a travel loyalty program that is expanding into other industries and shopping sectors. The Asia region has the most CardLinx members outside of the United States. CardLinx anticipates continued growth in the number of Asia-based members based in 2019.