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Weekly top reads

Industry news top reads 5 May - 11 May 2017

12 May 2017

Below are our top reads from the last seven days of industry news*. Every Friday we'll publish our picks from industry developments, stories and announcements right here so you can keep up to date with what's happening in payments here and overseas.

If you'd like to have our top reads emailed to you every Friday, let us know by emailing

Top reads 

UK streamlines payments to boost competition
British payments regulators have recommended the payments system be streamlined to increase competition in the banking sector. They say the sector currently favours the ‘Big Four’ and unfairly forces new banks to pay to use existing payments systems. A group created by the Payment Systems Regulator and the Bank of England recommended the three retail payment systems be consolidated under one roof. This will help cut costs as new banks will only have to make one application to use all three systems.

Australian budget boosting fintech
The latest Australian budget is a boost for the fintech community with initiatives such as open financial data reforms, an expanded regulatory sandbox, digital currency tax cuts and reduced barriers for banking licences. FinTech Australia CEO Danielle Szetho said it’s “a huge step forward when it comes to growing a globally competitive Australian fintech industry, that will also deliver greater choice and improved financial outcomes for consumers.”

Renewed real-time gross settlement service for UK
The blueprint for the Bank of England’s updated real-time gross settlement (RTGS) plans to interface with blockchain and integrate APIs. The renewed service is designed to deal with cyberattacks, enable interfaces with new technologies and support the evolution of regulatory and monetary policy tools. The blueprint also includes plans to finalise its framework to expand RTGS eligibility to non-bank payment service providers.

Banking on APIs for the future
A new report shows Asia-pacific, European and North American banks view API development as a major priority over the next two years. Out of those surveyed, 67% of respondents said developing APIs for real-time payments functions was a high priority. The author of the report said that for banks to stand out in an increasingly competitive market, they should view APIs as a way to offer services beyond payments.

Chinese mobile payment leaders heading to North America
Alipay and WeChat Pay are expanding into North America, having partnered with American payment platforms. Alipay is teaming up with First Data Corp, a global payment technology solutions company, and WeChat Pay is partnering with Citcon, a Silicon Valley-based mobile payment platform. These arrangements are aimed at the more than four million Chinese consumers who visit North America annually. While both Alipay and WeChat Pay dominate the $5.5 trillion marketplace in China, both companies are looking to expand internationally.

Kids get app allowance
There is a new way to give kids pocket money in the US: through an app. Startup Current offers a Visa debit card that allows teenagers to shop in stores or online using their own bank account which is funded by an allowance from their parents. The mobile app helps parents set expectations and guidelines for their child by allowing parents to set chores, track spending and encourage saving. Parents can also block the card from being used at businesses not appropriate for kids.


*These articles cover a range of topics from broad payments industry news here and overseas. They do not represent the views of Payments NZ and are not endorsements.

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