Coinbase adds more markets for Visa cryptocurrency debit card

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Crypto debit
After picking up steam in the U.K., Coinbase’s Visa card is expanding to new markets, including Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands.

The card supports bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin payments in Visa’s merchant network in these countries. Coinbase did not disclose adoption but reports it had distributed well more than the initial 1,000 cards designed for the U.K. deployment, reports CNBC.

Coinbase competes with Wirex to issue crypto debit cards in the U.K., a favored market for both companies given the country’s usual fast uptake of new financial and payment technology.

Bloomberg News

Airborne Uber
Uber’s diversification beyond ride-sharing into deeper financial services, payments and merchant products is taking to the skies with a drone delivery service for food that should debut later this summer in San Diego.

Uber Elevate will likely partner with McDonald’s and will also start by delivering orders to designated areas, reports Engadget, adding couriers will then hand-deliver to the destination. Uber will also need FAA approval for an airborne delivery service, according to Engadget.

Uber Eats is already partnered with McDonald’s and other quick serve chains such as Starbucks. Amazon, Worldpay and JD.com are also experimenting with drone delivery.

Payments pitch
Alipay is trying to pair its strategy of attracting merchants to serve Chinese travelers with the trend toward embedding payment technology in sports retail as a way to grow its market in Europe.

The UEFA European Football league is using Alipay to boost the presence of European football clubs in China. The platform will have content and a way to apply and pay for tickets to the EURO 2020 football event.

The football league and Alipay are building on an existing partnership in which Alipay is the UEFA’s “fintech partner” and global payment partner through 2026 for regular league events.

A new market
Ripple will launch in Brazil to improve its ability to support cross-border payments in and out of the country.

The blockchain company has signed about a dozen Brazilian-based financial institutions as partners and hopes to use its presence in Brazil to extend its reach deeper into Latin America.

Ripple and other distributed ledger companies streamline cross-border payments by eliminating intermediaries such as correspondent banks.

Green light
U.K. regulators have cleared PayPal’s acquisition of iZettle nearly ten months after the deal closed.

The Competition and Markets Authority was concerned about the impact of the $6.6 billion acquisition on small businesses. It gave a provisional OK in April, though it continued its investigation, eventually finding other companies such as Worldpay and Barclaycard would provide enough choice for small businesses.

PayPal hopes iZettle will help it compete with Square, which is also expanding in Europe.

From the Web

Square Hires Ex-Google Director as First Member of New Crypto Team
CoinDesk | Wed June 12, 2019 – Payments company Square has hired former Google director Steve Lee as the first member of its new crypto team. A Square Twitter account teased the news without specifying what Lee’s role at the company would be.

Grab eyes Singapore banking licence
The Straits Times | Thu June 13, 2019 – Ride-hailing firm Grab is said to be exploring a move into banking, as Singapore regulators consider allowing online-only banks. Grab is said to be close to hiring a consultancy to advise it on its banking potential, and is gearing up to apply for a digital-only bank licence if the regulator opens up the sector.

Citigroup sees Asian firms like Ant Financial setting the pace
The Business Times | Thu June 13, 2019 – For Citigroup Inc, the future of finance might be happening already in Asia. The New York-based bank is seeking to use technology popularized in Asia – such as mobile payments and credit pre-approvals – as a road map for its own digital efforts around the world, said consumer banking chief Stephen Bird.

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John Adams

John Adams

John Adams is executive editor of PaymentsSource.


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