Sale rumors boost NCR share price

https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/news/sale-rumors-boost-ncr-share-price/

NCR Corp. shares have added several percentage points in value since Monday, when Deal Reporter, citing unidentified insiders, said that private equity firm Warburg Pincus was in talks to buy the ATM-maker. Shares closed at $31.98 Tuesday afternoon, a 5.09% increase from $30.43 at the opening bell Monday.

Speculation has swirled about the possible sale of NCR in recent weeks, however, the company has kept mum about its plans. Asked during the company’s Q1 earnings call on May 7 about “strategic interest” in the company, president and CEO Mike Hayford offered an oblique reply, according to a transcript of the call published by Seeking Alpha:

I don’t think we’re going to try to get our words ahead of our actions and our results. I think our board is 100% behind us on what it is going to take and how we’re going to get there [i.e., value creation]. Our focus is executing on the products that can take care of our customers and executing the plan. I think our board understands that that execution will yield value to our shareholders at some point in the future and I think they are patient enough to stick with us on that.


Topics: ATMs, Mobile Banking, NFC, Technology Providers, Transaction Processing

Companies: NCR Corporation


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CheckFree founder Kight leads $2.5M Series B investment in FI Navigator

https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/news/checkfree-founder-kight-leads-25-million-series-b-investment-in-fi-navigator/

Former CheckFree Corp. founder and CEO Pete Kight led a $2.5 million Series B investment in Fi Navigator Corp., a web-based data and analytics platform for the banking industry, according to a release from the company.

The funding round was supported by Commerce Ventures, an early-stage investment firm that focuses on fintech companies. Several other prominent venture capital firms and private investors also participated in the funding round, officials said.

“Pete Kight inexorably altered the payments landscape through CheckFree, which remains one of fintech’s greatest success stories,” Steve Cotton, founder and CEO of Fi Navigator, said in the announcement. “Pete continues to advance innovation in fintech and possesses an uncommon ability to identify avenues of business model disruption.”

Fi Navigator said the funding comes at a time when the company is rapidly expanding its data and analytics offering, FIN Advisor and FIN Reporter, which serves financial institutions, vendors and consultants.

“FI Navigator dramatically advances industry analytics closer to automated consulting with instant, comprehensive assessments of any financial institution,” Kight said in the release. “That unique ability has the potential to transform the B2Bank sales and consulting models.”


Topics: Financial News, Mobile Banking, Technology Providers


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Marqeta raises $260M in Series E funds to expand payment card issuing platform

https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/news/marqeta-raises-260m-in-series-e-funds-to-expand-payment-card-issuing-platform/

Marqeta Corp. has raised $260 million in a Series E funding round led by Coatue Management. According to a press release, this latest round values the company at $2 billion.

The round was backed by several new investors, including Vitruvian Partners, Spark Capital, Lone Pine Capital and Geodesic. They join the firm’s existing investors Visa, Iconiq, Goldman Sachs, 83 North, Granite Ventures, CommerzVentures and CreditEase.

The firm said the new funding round will be used to expand its modern card issuing platform into new domestic and international markets.

“We are in the midst of a transformation in card issuing around the globe,” Marqeta founder and CEO Jason Gardner said in the announcement. “When today’s innovators are in need of modern payment solutions, they aren’t turning to banks as their primary issuers anymore and want a platform built for their needs.”

Oakland, California-based Marqeta, founded in 2010, uses open APIs to allow companies such as Square, DoorDash, Kabbage and Instacart to create customized payment cards for their customers. The firm has 300 employees worldwide and recently opened a London-based office for its expanding European business.


Topics: Card Brands, Financial News, Mobile/Digital Wallet


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Nuvei agrees to buy UK payments firm SafeCharge for $889M

https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/news/nuvei-agrees-to-buy-uk-payments-firm-safecharge-for-889m/

Nuvei Corp. has agreed to buy U.K.-based payments firm SafeCharge International Group Ltd. in a cash deal valued at $889 million (669 million British pounds), according to a regulatory filing.

SafeCharge shareholders will receive $5.55 a share in cash under the agreement. The purchase price represents a 25% premium based on the SafeCharge purchase price at the end of business yesterday.

“The price premium Nuvei is offering reflects SafeCharge’s leading position in the high-growth e-commerce market, the strength of its own technology platform, its diversified and stable customer base, and the significant experience in the payments industry of SafeCharge’s payments team,” SafeCharge chairman Roger Withers said in the filing.

SafeCharge CEO David Avgi said the agreement positions the combined companies well in their respective markets, noting that Nuvei is a strong competitor in the U.S. and Canadian payments business. Nuvei, based in Plano, Texas, was previously known as Pivotal Payments, but changed its name in late 2018. 

Nuvei Chairman and CEO Philip Fayer said the company is very excited about the acquisition, noting the agreement would create a leading payments firm with significant scale.

“Our businesses are highly complementary from multiple perspectives, including geography, technology, key verticals and customers,” he said. “We think the technology platform SafeCharge has developed is exceptional and will serve as the go–forward foundation from which we will continue to grow the combined businesses and provide best-in-class products and services to our customers and partners.”

The deal is expected to be completed by the third quarter.

The SafeCharge board has agreed with the terms of the agreement and plans to recommend that shareholders approve the deal, according to the filing.

 


Topics: Financial News, POS, Region: Americas, Region: EMEA, Regulatory Issues, Technology Providers


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Indian consumers' familiarity with e-payments propels higher retail sales

https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/news/indian-consumers-familiarity-with-e-payments-propels-higher-retail-sales/

Payments technology company Financial Software and Systems has published India Payment Trends 2018, a report that highlights consumer payment trends, as well as spending habits and patterns.

Highlights from the FSS report include:

  • October was the busiest month, with $73.2 million in transactions, 11% higher than the monthly average of $65.8 million.
  • On average, customers spent 8% more during the festive season.
  • Friday is the busiest time of the week, with 27% of total sales generated from 3–6 p.m.
  • VISA has the largest market share, accounting for 47% of total transaction volume and value.
  • Debit cards accounted for 74.5% of the total volume, while credit cards dominated in terms of value, at 58.2% of the total.
  • More than 90% of failed transactions are due to “do not honor” and customer-related issues; the average monthly rate of successful transactions stood at 88.9%.
  • An increase in adoption of digital payments and growing consumer familiarity with digital payments is a key factor propelling higher sales, FSS said.

Topics: Mobile Apps, Mobile Payments, Region: APAC

Companies: FSS


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Mastercard, Divido provide instant financing for Lastminute.com travel bookings

https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/news/mastercard-divido-provide-instant-financing-for-lastminutecom-travel-bookings/

Mastercard has entered an agreement with Divido and Lastminute.com to provide instant financing that will allow consumers to set up installment payments for trips and vacations at the point of purchase.

The Divido platform connects consumers to multiple lenders at the point of purchase — in person, online or via mobile device. The customer applies for financing during the checkout process, providing personal information and choosing a loan duration. This information is is sent to Fly Now, Pay Later via API. If the customer’s application is approved, the transaction is completed under the instant financing terms.

Divido CEO Christer Holloman said in the announcement that enabling choice through multiple lenders is a winner for consumers and, at the same time, gives retailers a competitive edge on big ticket items, boosting loyalty, average order size and conversion rates.

Divido provides white-label, point-of-purchase lending for retailers and companies, and works with more than 1,000 partners, including Mastercard, lastminute.com, BNP Paribas, BMW and others.


Topics: Card Brands, POS, Retail

Companies: MasterCard


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Mastercard, Samsung partner to develop secure digital identity beyond passwords

https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/news/mastercard-samsung-partner-to-develop-secure-digital-identity-beyond-passwords/

Mastercard has entered an agreement with mobile phone giant Samsung to explore ways to secure digital identity that do not rely heavily on passwords and personal information.

“Our digital and physical lives are merging and we need a digital identity solution that reflects this reality,” Ajay Bhalla, Mastercard president of cyber and intelligence, said in a press release. “Without control over how their data is used, people rely on outdated systems that can compromise their security.”

The company said that consumers soon will be able to use a digital identity method for their devices that works for both the physical and digital interactions. This method would be used for everything from accessing email to opening a bank account, shopping online or watching streaming video.

“At Samsung, we believe consumers should be in complete control of the privacy and security of their personal identity and we’re excited to work with Mastercard to bring the first digital identity solution to Samsung smartphones,” said Yongje Kim, executive vice president and head of service business office at Samsung Electronics mobile division.


Topics: Card Brands, Handsets / Devices, Mobile Banking, Mobile Payments, Security

Companies: Samsung, MasterCard


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Banks to invest $50M into blockchain tech

https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/news/banks-to-invest-50m-into-blockchain-tech/

Multiple banks are planning to invest $50 million to create a digital cash settlement system with blockchain technology. Although it is unclear how many banks are participating in the round, UBS, Banco Santander, Bank of New York Mellon Corp, State Street Corp, Deutsche Bank AG and others have been involved in this project, according to a report by Reuters.

The project involves a utility settlement coin, which would act as a digital cash instrument for banks to settle transactions. UBS Group AG and startup Clearmatics first proposed this project in 2015 to make settlement and clearing more efficient in financial markets.

The banks will invest in an entity called Fnality to run the project, according to the report. The project is set to launch in 2020, according to the Reuters report.


Topics: Bitcoin, Mobile Banking, Mobile Payments

Companies: UBS


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Slowing mobile device cycle, consumer demand drive subscription revenue models

https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/articles/slowing-mobile-device-cycle-consumer-demand-drive-subscription-revenue-models-2/

As the smartphone sales cycle continues to slow down and consumers increasingly demand control over where and when they watch and listen to their digital content, subscription payments have become an increasingly important payment model.

In everything from streaming video and on-demand movies and music to new sales models for food, fashion and even car sales, both payment providers and businesses are embracing subscriptions as a way to directly reach consumers and maintain a steady, reliable revenue stream that has a direct relationship in which the subscriber’s personal desires and habits provide a rich set of consumer preference information.

“The biggest drive for subscription revenue will come from the supply side, as it allows for more predictable revenue cycles,” James Moar, a senior analyst at Juniper Research, said via email. “This is particularly the case for industries like video games.”

He said that subscription models allow companies to develop more original content, which encourages customers to invest more time in the content, which creates a cycle that reinforces the subscriber relationship.

Apple, which has seen customers hold onto its core iPhone mobile devices for longer periods of time between upgrades, has made a major push into subscription-based content — including streaming video, music and other services — as a hedge against slowing device revenue.

“Subscriptions are a powerful driver of our services business,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said during the company’s second quarter conference call, according to a transcript of the presentation. “We reached a new high of over 390 million paid subscriptions at the end of March, an increase of over 30 million in the last quarter alone.”

The introduction of Apple’s new services was not announced until March, the final month of the fiscal quarter, so the impact of Apple’s expanded services business has yet to be fully realized. The company announced the launch of Apple News Plus,  a platform that offers a combination of 30 popular magazines, leading newspapers and digital content sites into a curated news app.

Apple made its long-awaited leap into the streaming video game with a new Apple TV app that provides a range of formats — including news, sports, documentaries, movies and original series — across multiple devices, including iPhone, iPad, smart televisions, Apple TV and other devices. As part of that effort, Apple is allowing users to pay à la carte for certain programming on demand, a tactic that the company hopes will drive additional distance between cord-cutters and cable providers.

Lastly, Apple is rolling out Apple Arcade, a subscription gaming service with more than 100 different titles for iPhone, iPad, desktop Mac computers and Apple TV. Apple has a massive base of gamers, estimated at approximately 1 billion in number, who purchase through the App Store. When Arcade launches in the fall, Apple could completely rewrite the subscription gaming and eSports business.

Karol Severin, senior analyst at Midia Research, told Mobile Payments Today that subscription payment models hold a number of “special powers” in an environment he refers to as “the attention economy,” in which companies are essentially competing for the limited — and in most cases already committed — hours of a busy and in-demand consumer who must juggle work, family and leisure, while also trying to find space in his or her schedule to watch television or play video games.

“Making a commitment in terms of a paid subscription is thus some of the most valuable types of billing relationship companies can achieve in the attention economy,” Severin said.

Earlier this week, Wirecard entered an agreement to provide payment services for  BluTV, the world’s top platform for Turkish content, with 4 million subscribers. The agreement calls for Wirecard to provide payment services for BluTV’s expansion across Europe.

The companies cited data from the Motion Picture Association of America showing that subscriptions to streaming services rose 27% last year to 613 million and recently surpassed the total number of paid cable subscriptions for the first time ever.

https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/articles/slowing-mobile-device-cycle-consumer-demand-drive-subscription-revenue-models-2/

Postmates to launch television ad campaign featuring Martha Stewart

https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/news/postmates-to-launch-television-ad-campaign-featuring-martha-stewart/

Postmates, the on-demand delivery firm, has announced that its first national television ad campaign will feature celebrity home improvement expert Martha Stewart, who will describe how the company can help improve life in the kitchen.

The campaign was developed by Mother Los Angeles, the recently announced creative agency of record for Postmates. The spots were directed by Andreas Nilsson.

“We are delighted to unveil the second phase of our new campaign we call ‘Postmate It,’ featuring Martha Stewart,” Eric Edge, Postmates senior vice president of marketing and communications, said in a press release. “This campaign is meant to show how Postmates fit into our customers’ everyday lives — in a humorous and memorable way.”

The campaign shows Stewart on television demonstrating various recipes in the kitchen while a viewer tries to keep up with the on-camera instructions. Stewart finally suggests that the struggling fan just “Postmate It.”

The campaign will launch during the summer, and and will feature out-of-home placements, social video and a number of radio spots in Postmates markets across the country.

San Francisco-based Postmates works with more than 500,000 restaurants, groceries and convenience stores in more than 3,500 cities in the U.S. and Mexico, the release said.

 


Topics: Mobile Apps, Mobile Marketing, Restaurants

Companies: Postmates


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Press Coffee Roasters roll out mobile ordering with SpeedETab, Epson

https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/news/press-coffee-roasters-roll-out-mobile-ordering-with-speedetab-epson/

Press Coffee Roasters, a Phoenix-based cafe chain, has implemented a mobile ordering system with SpeedETab Inc. and Epson America Inc. printers at its seven area locations, Epson officials said in a company release.

Press Coffee Roasters selected SpeedETab for its enterprise-class ordering, analytics and engagement tools, according to officials, in the release. Epson America is providing its TM-m30 mPOS printers to the coffee chain to provide receipts to customers.

“Until very recently, having your own mobile ordering application was reserved for enterprise brands that had the resources and capital to build a quality mobile experience,” Adam Garfield, chief executive of SpeedETab, said in the announcement. “We make it easy for SMB’s and mid-market brands to compete by giving them an out-of-the-box digital ordering solution that lets customers skip the line while personalizing the ordering and pickup experience.”

Press Coffee customers can reorder drinks by tapping a button. The ordering system automatically flashes and alerts staff with a beep. Approved orders are sent to the Epson printers for receipts and alert customers that an order is in process. Customer names and photos are sent to baristas to make sure they have the correct customer.

The app uses the Press Coffee brand and customers can add credit or debit cards as their method of payment, Garfield said via email. 

SpeedETab now provides mobile ordering at about 1,500 cafes and other locations around the U.S., including Barnes & Noble, Panther Coffee, Gregory’s Coffee and Toby’s Estate.

Officials at Press Coffee Roasters, which originally opened in 2008, said that many of their  technology decisions are driven by the customer experience. In the six months since implementation, thousands of customers are using the mobile ordering system and adoption rates are continuing to increase.

“Our goal with a mobile app was to give our customers another way to order and know they were still getting the same great Press drinks and food,” co-owner Jason Kyle said in the release. “We needed a reliable way to funnel mobile orders into our existing workflow so that baristas could streamline order-ahead tickets without interrupting service to in-store customers.”


Topics: In-App Payments, Mobile Apps, Mobile Payments, POS, Restaurants

Companies: Epson America Inc.


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Toast expands integrations with partner firms to enhance restaurant POS

https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/news/toast-expands-integrations-with-partner-firms-to-enhance-restaurant-pos-2/

Toast Inc. has announced that several companies will join its partner ecosystem, including Appfront, Como, Envysion, Homebase, PourMyBeer, Say2Eat and UT&I Solutions. This will bring to 70 the total number of partners whom Toast is now helping to enhance the restaurant guest experience and streamline in-house operations for restaurant customers of all sizes.

“At Toast we’re passionate about providing our restaurant community with access to an open ecosystem of leading technology applications that are certified to work with Toast point of sale,” Toast co-founder and president Aman Narang said in a company release.

Among the new partner firms, three specialize in enhancing the guest experience:

  • Appfront, a digital restaurant platform to enhance online ordering.
  • PourMyBeer, a self-pour beverage system that lets customers pour their own beer, wine, cocktails and other beverages.
  • Say2eat, a social media and messaging engagement tool that connects guests to restaurants.

The remaining companies focus on helping restaurants streamline operations:

  • Como provides data insights to help companies increase customer visits and spending.
  • Envysion helps restaurants with loss prevention, matching real-time video with transaction data.
  • Homebase offers scheduling software to help restaurants save time and money.
  • UT&I Solutions connects restaurants to accounting software such as Quickbooks and Microsoft Dynamics.

Topics: POS, Restaurants, Technology Providers

Companies: Toast, Inc.


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Modulr raises $17.8M in funding led by Frog Capital to expand payments platform

https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/news/modulr-raises-178-million-in-funding-led-by-frog-capital-to-expand-payments-platform/

Modulr, a payments-as-a-service platform for digital businesses, said it raised $17.8 million in funding led by Frog Capital.

Existing investor Blenheim Chalcot participated in the round and the new investment brings the total amount that Modulr has raised to date to $31.2 million (24.5 million pounds).

The company said the funding will be used to grow its existing teams of employees in London and Edinburgh, Scotland, which are two of the leading fintech hubs in the region. The company will use its recently opened Dublin office as a hub for additional expansion of its European business.

“We’re extremely pleased to have completed our latest funding round, led by Frog Capital, and to have found a like-minded investor to work closely with the leadership team and our existing lead investor, Blenheim Chalcot, to pursue the significant global opportunity for our business,” Miles Stephenson, chief executive at Modulr, said in a company release.

He said the company has processed more than $12.7 billion during the first two years of existence, since early 2017. The new investment will allow it to take the next step to become the leading digital alternative for payments in the wholesale and commercial payments arena.

The company in February reached an agreement with travel technology firm Paxport, to provide payments solutions for tour operators and online travel agencies. Modulr also entered an agreement with Sage to automate salary and supplier payments.


Topics: Mobile Payments, Region: EMEA, Technology Providers


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End of life for certain POS terminals and the looming risk to retailers

https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/blogs/end-of-life-for-certain-pos-terminals-and-the-looming-risk-to-retailers/

End of life for certain POS terminals and the looming risk to retailers

By Chris Kronenthal, president and CTO at FreedomPay

Retailers are used to having to change or update their payment systems over time, but a major change is coming up which means many of the current point-of-sale (POS) systems they are using will not just become obsolete, but could leave them at risk of liability for fraudulent transactions.

PCI compliant terminals are an important part of a retailer’s business and once the new V4 terminals come in to use in April next year, the V3 ones that are currently used by retailers will no longer be supported. It is a process the industry calls ‘sunsetting’, and retailers need to start looking at the alternative payment systems they can use now so their transition from one system to another can be seamless.

Doing nothing is a very dangerous option, as continuing to use an unsupported POS systems – i.e. without software updates to ensure compliance with legislation and the latest security protocols – they would end up footing the bill for any fraudulent transactions made through their terminals.

So, now is a very good time to look at the wide variety of payment system alternatives that are currently in the market. There are around 900 different payment terminals globally, and the one that was right for your business previously may no longer be appropriate. It really depends on how your business works.

Most retailers now have an online presence, which is essential to garner market share for their business as the buying habits of consumers change. Worldwide, 2.8 billion people are buying online, up 3.1% from last year according to data from We Are Social and the trend is set to continue.

Failing to access this market effectively means putting your company’s future at risk. There are many retailers that have failed because they didn’t follow the move online quickly enough —ToysRUs, Blockbuster, Eastman Kodak and the U.S. bookstore chain Borders to name but a few.

So, it is vital for retailers to consider their online presence, and also look at the various ways that people are able to pay for goods and services both online and offline. Customers are using everything from credit cards, debit cards and mobile wallets such as Apple Pay and are always keen to adopt new, easier and faster – but still ultra-secure – ways to pay.

While it may be tempting to think of upgrading your new POS system in isolation, you should also consider how your customers are interacting with you. Is your online presence strong enough, or could be made stronger? Also, would a more integrated payment system for both online and offline payments make more sense for your business?

Even in store, the number of ways customers look to pay is proliferating. For example, contactless seemed like an amazing innovation when it arrived back in 2007 and while it took some time for people to feel comfortable with it, contactless payments finally outstripped chip and PIN payments in the U.K. in June last year. But that is the tip of the iceberg. People are now using their smartphones, watches and facial recognition to pay for good and services, and these advances in technology show no sign of abating. If retailers want to keep their customers happy, and coming back, they need to consider these options going forward. They need to use a system that is future proof because it develops as the technology develops.

Cover photo: iStock


Topics: PCI Compliance, POS, Trends / Statistics


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JPMorgan buys healthcare payments specialist InstaMed

https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/news/jpmorgan-buys-healthcare-payments-specialist-instamed/

JPMorgan Chase & Co. entered an agreement to buy InstaMed, a technology firm specializing in healthcare payments.

The bank is reportedly paying more than $500 million for the company, however a spokesman said via email that he was not authorized to comment on the amount.

The InstaMed platform is used to help reduce paperwork, reduce the cost of collection and improve the consumer finance experience. JPMorgan Chase said the acquisition will expand its suite of payment services aimed at providers, payers and healthcare consumers.

“We’ve made significant investment in our wholesale payments business over the years and this acquisition will give us a unique advantage in one of the fastest growing sectors,” Takis Georgakopoulos, global head of wholesale payments at JPMorgan Chase.

Officials noted that the $3 trillion U.S. healthcare payments system is plagued with inefficiency, transaction friction and related issues that impact claims processing, payment collection and reconciliation.


Topics: Bill Payment, Financial News, Mobile Banking, Mobile Payments

Companies: JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A.


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Minna raises $6.2M to expand subscription management for European banks

https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/news/minna-raises-62-million-to-expand-subscription-management-for-european-banks/

Minna Technologies, a Swedish fintech that helps retail banks manage subscriptions, said it raised $6.2 million (5.6 million euros) from a series of investors led by Stockholm-based Zenith Group, along with Visa and existing investor Swedbank.

Minna officials said the funding will be used to expand its European expansion.

“As many European banks have started to embrace FinTech partnerships, we have seen a dramatic increase in the interest of our subscription management platform,” Joakim Sjoblom, founder and CEO of Minna. “Our current bank partnerships have proved that subscription management is well received by banking customers and that it is an essential part of digital banking.”

Minna officials said the funding will be used to help expand the size and geographical reach of the company. The firm also plans to open a new European office, but did not elaborate on the specific location.


 


Topics: Financial News, In-App Payments, Mobile Payments, Region: EMEA


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Amazon leads $575 million Series G round in Deliveroo

https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/news/amazon-leads-575-million-series-g-round-in-deliveroo/

Deliveroo, a U.K.-based delivery service with operations across Europe, announced a massive $575 million Series G funding round led by Amazon, along with existing investors T Rowe Price, Fidelity Management and Research Co. and Greenoaks.

Deliveroo said the funding round will be used to expand the engineering team at its London headquarters, grow the reach of its delivery business and develop new innovations, including its delivery-only super kitchens called Editions.

Lastly the company plans to develop more personalized experiences for customers, create a more flexible and well paid work environment for riders and boost support for partner restaurants.

“This new investment will help Deliveroo to grow and offer customers even more choice, tailored to their personal tastes, offer restaurants greater opportunities to grow and expand their businesses, and to create more flexible, well-paid work for riders,” Will Shu, founder and CEO at Deliveroo said in the announcement.

The company currently works with more than 80,000 restaurants in 500 cities and towns in 14 markets throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Since launching in 2013, the company has raised $1.53 billion.


Topics: Financial News, In-App Payments, Mobile Apps, Mobile Payments, Region: EMEA, Restaurants

Companies: Amazon


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Cardfree, LRS enter partnership on mobile ordering for restaurants

https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/news/cardfree-lrs-enter-partnership-on-mobile-ordering-for-restaurants/

LRS, a company that specializes in location services and guest engagement, said it entered an agreement with mobile commerce platform Cardfree, for a new service that allows restaurant guests to skip lines and order from tables using their smartphone.

VEN-U by LRS will allow restaurants and hospitality companies to provide options for in-app payments and loyalty programs, as well as support for multiple payment methods, including credit cards, digital wallets and gift cards, according to a company release. The platform will also be available by software development kit.

“Mobile ordering has changed customer expectations about not wasting time standing in lines,” Jon Squire, founder and CEO at Cardfree said. “It is a natural extension of our platform to expand remote ordering into on-premise ordering and payment.”

LRS President John Weber said its mobile kiosk app will “combine our precise location technology while enhancing the guest experience whether they are curbside for pickup or entering the venue to dine.”
 


Topics: In-App Payments, Mobile Apps, Mobile Payments, Restaurants


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Mastercard, Zivelo to test AI-based voice ordering at Sonic drive thru locations

https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/news/mastercard-zivelo-to-test-ai-based-voice-ordering-at-sonic-drive-thru-locations/

Mastercard has announced a partnership with Zivelo, a provider of self-service kiosk technology, to launch an AI-based system for mobile voice ordering from dynamic menus at quick service restaurants.

The voice ordering solution combines Mastercard Labs AI with Zivelo OakOS software, which is designed for public computers and rooted in the company’s expertise in self-service displays, according to a press release. The technology will be on display at the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago next week.

The self-service solution prompts customers to place their order at the voice-assisted drive thru; the menu display automatically updates during the process using proprietary AI-based technology developed by Mastercard Labs. Updates can be tailored to the specific customer or based on other factors, such as weather, time of day, seasonality or location. 

The companies will pilot the technology at Sonic Drive-In restaurants later this year, with additional pilots to be announced, according to the release.

“We see facets of our brand, our restaurants and AI technology converging in a way that makes for a special customer experience,” Jon Dorch, vice president of integrated customer engagement at Sonic, said in the announcement. “Sonic is known for a fun environment and a full menu with extensive customization options that allows guests to personalize every meal.”

He said the company expects AI to enable streamlining repeat orders, with personalized suggestions based on data and rewards that are truly relevant to customers.
 


Topics: Card Brands, Mobile Payments, Restaurants


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Cashless payment shows disparate impact in vending machines than in traditional retail

https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/articles/cashless-payment-shows-disparate-impact-in-vending-machines-than-in-traditional-retail/

If you’re worried about alienating cash customers by introducing cashless payment to an unattended merchandiser, think again. A recent study of 250,000 vending machines equipped with cashless readers found the technology not only boosted overall machine sales, but cash sales.

The USA Technologies study, performed in partnership with Michigan State University and presented during the recent National Automatic Merchandising Association show in Las Vegas, showed that cashless technology’s impact on both cash and cashless spending could hasten the introduction of cashless readers in vending machines.

While cashless payment has dominated retail purchasing for some time, customer acceptance has been slow in unattended retailing due to the need to retrofit machines with cashless readers and the reluctance of consumers to use credit cards for small ticket purchases. Currently, about a quarter of the nation’s 4.3 million to 4.5 million vending machines can accept cashless payments, according the study.

Manufacturers of cashless payment technology, such as USA Technologies Corp., have published studies over the past decade quantifying the improved performance of machines equipped with cashless readers. 

Study: Cashless doesn’t cannibalize cash

The most recent study found that contrary to some expectations, cashless acceptance not only does not cannibalize cash sales, but actually boosts them. In addition, cashless technology drove top line sales growth more for low-performing machines (generating less than $2,000 a year in sales) on a percentage basis than for higher-performing machines.

The M.S.U. study measured performance in 250,000 machines over an 18-month period following cashless deployment and found cashless sales increased by 131% in low-performing machines compared to 78% of all machines studied. Cash sales improved by an average of 97% in the low-performing machines during that period, compared to 17% for all the machines.

Machines generating less than $2,000 a year in sales had top line sales growth of 110% on average when equipped with cashless payment compared to an average 35% increase on the total population of machines equipped with cashless technology.

The number of transactions also increased in addition to sales volume. Total transactions increased by 26%, as well as 74% for credit card purchases and 13% for cash purchases. 

“It (cashless acceptance) makes sense to do on every machine that you can,” said Jim Turner, vice president of cashless deployment services at USA Technologies, who co-presented the research along with Michael McCall, Ph.D., the NAMA-endowed professor of hospitality business at Michigan State’s Eli Broad School of Business. “Cash is continuing to grow along with credit continuing to grow.” 

Why study said cashless improved cash sales

Cash sales benefited from the introduction of cashless payment acceptance due the improved attention vending machine operators give to machines equipped with new technology, Turner said. Machines with cashless readers are typically equipped with telemetry that enables credit and debit card authorization. The telemetry also supports remote data management, which enables more timely machine servicing, sales reporting and analysis, he said.

“Those machines are definitely benefiting from the (telemetry) connection,” Turner said. 

Another reason sales improve with cashless payment capability is that often, vending machine operators introduce more higher-priced products, under the assumption that there is less customer price resistance when paying by credit or debit card. While the intention here is to target the card-paying customer, the higher-priced product can also attract cash customers.

The study found that the technology’s positive impact on cash payment addressed the need retailers face to support cash customers. A backlash from cash customers is causing retailers nationwide to rethink their business models, as local and state legislatures have begun to debate the issue as it relates to financial inclusion.

Credit card sales increase more not only because there was less price resistance when using a card, but because it was easier for the customer to purchase more than one item from the machine than when they used cash, Turner said.

“When anybody is using a card, they will always spend more,” he said.

The study found there is a 37% increase in dollar spend when consumers pay with a card versus cash.

“The really important piece of it is new consumers,” Turner said.

Cashless acceptance continues to grow

Previous studies revealed that blue collar consumers, who were less inclined to pay with credit cards initially, are now using them more, Turner said.

In looking at cashless technology penetration for different types of locations, Turner said 90% of machines at colleges and universities now have cashless readers.

Mobile payment accounts for 5% to 7% of the payments, but is growing, Turner said.

“It’s over a billion-dollar opportunity for the industry,” he said, given the number of vending machines that don’t yet have cashless acceptance.

Cover photo: iStock

https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/articles/cashless-payment-shows-disparate-impact-in-vending-machines-than-in-traditional-retail/