Paysafe to Acquire Merchants’ Choice Payment Solutions for USD 470 mln

Paysafe Group has announced plans to acquire Merchants’ Choice Payment Solutions (MCPS), a US-based payment processor.

MCPS is a data-focused full service payment processor for merchants and high-volume Independent Sales Organisations (“ISOs”) in North America. The company provides payments services to approximately 60,000 merchants in 50 states and processes over USD 14 billion in sales volume annually.

This acquisition will help Paysafe to get a foothold in North America. The company will add MCPS’s point-of-sale (POS) infrastructure to its Paysafe Processing division increasing its ability to process POS, online and order ahead payments.
MCPS reported revenue of $446 million and earnings before tax of USD 18.4 million in the year ended 31 December 2016. At that date, MCPS had gross assets with a value of USD 90.4 million.

Paysafe is a global provider of payment solutions. Merchants can, through their websites, use their services and gateway platforms, and innovative prepaid products and solutions, to simplify how they accept credit and debit card, direct-from-bank, and alternative and local payments.

Source: The Paypers

Vodafone Albania Brings Down Curtain on M-Pesa

Vodafone Albania is reportedly in the throes of closing down its M-Pesa mobile money service – a move which could affect as many as 250,000 customers in the country.

A notice sent by the operator to its M-Pesa users revealed the service will cease operations on 14 July. Customers will have until 29 July to withdraw any funds lodged with the service from any Vodafone Albania retail store, with the operator waiving transaction charges, RTK Livereported.

While the news service noted Vodafone Albania is yet to offer an official statement regarding the move, it said the information provided to M-Pesa users in the country cited an internal decision for the shutdown.

Such a move is not without precedent. In May 2016 Vodafone’s South African unit Vodacom announced it was discontinuing M-Pesa after a review concluded it was unlikely to achieve a critical mass of users in the country. It was reported at the time the operator had signed up 76,000 users.

The same rationale may apply to Vodafone Albania. The reported number of M-Pesa users in the country represent a fraction of the 2.3 million subscribers GSMA Intelligence reports the operator had at end-Q1 2017.

Vodafone launched M-Pesa in Albania in 2015 as part of a broader strategy to expand availability of the service in Central and Eastern Europe.

Source: MobileWorldLive

 

Ant Financial Cooperates With Fuzhou To Develop Cashless Society

Ant Financial, the financial arm of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has clinched an agreement with Fuzhou to develop a cashless society.

Fuzhou will be the third Chinese to develop a cashless shopping environment together with Ant Financial following Hangzhou and Wuhan. This cashless development will be supported by an alliance which has been formed between Ant Financial and over 20 institutions including Fuzhou Municipal Bureau of Commerce and State Grid Fujian Electric Power Company.

The campaign is expected to help over 90% of merchants and businesses in the city to operate cashless by the end of this year.

Currently, 95% of the taxi fleet, 85% of supermarkets and convenience stores and 80% of restaurants accept mobile payments and customers between 20 and 40 years old make up 80% of all these users.

In the partnership, Ant Financials, through its Alipay payment service, will aid the city in a few areas of development, namely transport, commercial and government services. These developments will set up the infrastructure which allows residents in Fuzhou to shop and travel simply with a smart phone.

According to RFi Group’s data on payments, Alipay is among the top 3 most important payment methods in China, with 74% of the banking population having used it in the last 12 months.

Safaricom Looks to PhotoID to Curb M-Pesa Fraud

Safaricom is set to give merchants access to photo identification technology in a bid to reduce fraud on its m-Pesa platform, Business Daily reported.

According to the newspaper, Safaricom is already distributing pre-programmed smartphones to m-Pesa agents to verify the identity of customers. These handsets have software built-in to enable verification against images taken when the SIM card was purchased and other nationally held data.

Vendors with the devices will also be required to take images of all new registrants, which will then be stored in a database for verification of future transactions. This is in addition to current procedures, which include recording the new user’s name, ID card number and postal address.

M-Pesa is Kenya’s dominant mobile payment service and become a blueprint for similar services across developing markets. However, its wide usage also made the platform and its users a target for criminals.

In addition to well-documented hacking attempts against the company, there are regular reports in the Kenyan media of scams targeted at users to extort money using the platform.

Announcing the new photo ID scheme, Safaricom corporate affairs director Stephen Chege told the publication the new system of registration would eliminate the use of stolen personal ID to commit fraud.

Source: Mobile World Live

Stripe Enables Merchants To Accept Alipay and WeChat Pay

Silicon Valley payments company Stripe has partnered with digital payment providers Alipay and WeChat Pay to enable merchants using its platform globally to accept payments from hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers.

Starting Sunday, the partnerships allows online merchants using Stripe to integrate the ability for Chinese users to pay with Alipay and WeChat Pay on their websites, the company said.

Stripe hopes the integration will help boost its revenues by allowing clients to tap China’s vast consumer market, where credit cards account for only a fraction of online spending, the company said.

See the full article here.