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B2B API Tracker: Channeling APIs For eCommerce Payments In LatAm

As originally published on PYMNTS. From China to Italy and from India to Colombia, companies around the world are investing in new B2B payments solutions. And they are doing so through open source APIs that drive efficiency, help cut down payments friction and reduce transaction times. In the February B2B API TrackerTM, PYMNTS takes a look at the latest news from around the B2B API world, including newly debuted solutions designed to make payments processing easier and faster in Asia, Europe and Latin America.  Around the B2B API World B2B APIs are becoming a global phenomenon, with companies worldwide working to eliminate common pain points that plague cross-border transactions. In China, UnionPay debuted a new API that will connect the Yiwu Market website to UnionPay International’s online B2B payments platform. With the new integration in place, companies around the globe can use UnionPay cards issued overseas to make purchases. Meanwhile, in India, Visa partnered with B2B payments provider PayMate as part of an effort to improve digital offerings for corporate clients in the country. Under the terms of the new partnership, the pair will work to provide small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and other customers with a B2B payment platform to assist them in automating otherwise manual payment processes. And further west, in Italy, UniCredit Banca debuted a new real-time, cross-border payments solution aligned with the European Union’s SEPA Instant Credit Transfer scheme (SCT Inst). The financial institution (FI) deployed the offering to facilitate real-time payments between Italy and Germany, with the first transaction completed in just 2.5 seconds. To catch up on the rest of the latest headlines from around the B2B API world, check out the Tracker’s News and Trends section. Channeling APIs for eCommerce in LatAm Meanwhile, in Latin America, a booming eCommerce sector is inviting its fair share of new challenges. Often, eCommerce merchants need to pay a host of parties once they receive payment from a customer, including suppliers, shippers and distributors. In an interview with PYMNTS, Kevin Fox, executive vice president at FinTech solution provider NovoPayment, said open-sourced APIs are a promising solution for players in the Latin American market that are struggling to cope with their payment workflows despite recent financial tech advancements. “Many financial institutions in Latin America have trouble innovating and advancing their digital agendas,” Fox said. “Many of them have [a] siloed infrastructure, legacy systems [or] their products are disparate. Combine all that and, as a result, they have a lot of inflexibility in offering digital solutions to the market.” To read the story, along with the latest B2B API headlines and trends, and for rankings of more than 40 top providers, download the Tracker. ...
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TRENDING: The Role Of APIs In Igniting LATAM B2B X-Border Payments

As originally published in PYMNTS. From China to Italy and from India to Colombia, companies around the world are investing in new B2B payments solutions. And they are doing so through open source APIs that drive efficiency, help cut down payments friction and reduce transaction times. In the February B2B API TrackerTM, PYMNTS takes a look at the latest news from around the B2B API world, including newly debuted solutions designed to make payments processing easier and faster in Asia, Europe and Latin America.  Around the B2B API World B2B APIs are becoming a global phenomenon, with companies worldwide working to eliminate common pain points that plague cross-border transactions. In China, UnionPay debuted a new API that will connect the Yiwu Market website to UnionPay International’s online B2B payments platform. With the new integration in place, companies around the globe can use UnionPay cards issued overseas to make purchases. Meanwhile, in India, Visa partnered with B2B payments provider PayMate as part of an effort to improve digital offerings for corporate clients in the country. Under the terms of the new partnership, the pair will work to provide small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and other customers with a B2B payment platform to assist them in automating otherwise manual payment processes. And further west, in Italy, UniCredit Banca debuted a new real-time, cross-border payments solution aligned with the European Union’s SEPA Instant Credit Transfer scheme (SCT Inst). The financial institution (FI) deployed the offering to facilitate real-time payments between Italy and Germany, with the first transaction completed in just 2.5 seconds. To catch up on the rest of the latest headlines from around the B2B API world, check out the Tracker’s News and Trends section. Channeling APIs for eCommerce in LatAm Meanwhile, in Latin America, a booming eCommerce sector is inviting its fair share of new challenges. Often, eCommerce merchants need to pay a host of parties once they receive payment from a customer, including suppliers, shippers and distributors. In an interview with PYMNTS, Kevin Fox, executive vice president at FinTech solution provider NovoPayment, said open-sourced APIs are a promising solution for players in the Latin American market that are struggling to cope with their payment workflows despite recent financial tech advancements. “Many financial institutions in Latin America have trouble innovating and advancing their digital agendas,” Fox said. “Many of them have [a] siloed infrastructure, legacy systems [or] their products are disparate. Combine all that and, as a result, they have a lot of inflexibility in offering digital solutions to the market.” To read the story, along with the latest B2B API headlines and trends, and for rankings of more than 40 top providers, download the Tracker. ...
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Bringing Direct Deposit To The Unbanked

As originally published in PYMNTS. “Expensive,” “time-consuming” and “slow.” All those time-tested descriptors for the paper check paint a problem that’s hard to dispel when employees simply do not have another way to accept their payroll payments. That’s a reality for more than 15 million unbanked Americans who don’t have bank accounts or the associated routing numbers to supply for direct deposit. For small businesses wanting to ditch the check, building a better, cheaper payroll system isn’t always quite as simple as asking employees for their direct deposit information. Organizations like nonprofit-owned payroll services provider WiseWage are hoping to ease that burden. The organization offers a portal to offerings that help small business owners provide direct deposit to any worker, regardless of his or her banking status or financial history. In a recent interview with PYMNTS, Adam Rust, managing director of WiseWage, discussed how companies can find the right solutions to lower payroll costs while still meeting unbanked workers’ payments and financial services needs. “At some point in time, the employers just decide they’re going to do direct deposit and they’re not going to keep writing checks every two weeks,” Rust said. “They’re just through with it. They want to get over to direct deposit, [but] they have workers that are saying, ‘But I don’t have an account; you have to give me a check.’” Finding the Right Disbursements Fit Bringing unbanked employees into the digital payments fold takes more than a one-size-fits-all approach. After all, they each have varying financial needs. WiseWage works to solve that problem by helping employees sign up for both payroll and debit card solutions. The company’s offerings include a payroll card and debit cards options, with the latter linked to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-insured, free or low-cost bank accounts. Rust believes payroll cards are a strong solution for larger companies, which can then use them quickly to extend direct deposit to a wide swath of workers. WiseWage works to provide interested companies with a sheet of these payroll cards, each printed with the routing and account number details needed to establish direct deposit. This helps companies set new hires up in the payroll system almost immediately, so long as they have those workers’ approval. For small companies, though, the initial work to begin offering a payroll card program can be burdensome, Rust explained. The most efficient solution for these groups is to instead direct employees to select and sign up for specific debit cards linked to a bank account. After completing the set-up process, workers can provide employers with card and account information and be added to direct deposit even before their cards arrive in the mail. “That’s a big virtue when you are in your payroll office and are an employer hoping to finish this sign-up process,” Rust said. “If you can get that information and plug it into your payroll software, it’s all in one step.” Companies can also post notices directing employees to WiseWage’s website, which features information and pre-populated forms to facilitate sign-up for the worker’s choice of card. In some cases, employees can even sign up via a mobile app. Filling Out Offerings WiseWage aims to offer a variety of debit card choices, each fitting a different niche for companies that decide debit cards are their best option. One popular card allows workers with recurring direct deposits to receive their full, earned wages two days early, as many times as they like, which Rust said can ease the strain for those living paycheck-to-paycheck. Other cards provide free credit reporting, budgeting tools or savings accounts, among other features. More recently, the company is seeing higher demand for cards from North Carolinian farming groups, populations which tend to rely on immigrant employees living and working under temporary legal status provided by the H-2A program. The workers are often unbanked, and they often seek features like comprehensive Spanish language offerings and remittance services with lower fees than those charged by MoneyGram, Western Union and other major players, Rust said. Meeting language needs is especially challenging. “There are really very few examples of accounts out there that are fully in Spanish,” he said. “There might be some marketing materials in Spanish, but once you get into the customer service on the web page, what’s in writing is in English. It became a, ‘We have to have this,’ for our organization.” But, across all the varying offered cards, there are some commonalities. Rust’s top concern for any card featured on WiseWage’s site is that it come with no overdraft fees — something that can result in punishing costs, leading consumers to decide that being banked is too expensive an endeavor. As such, each of the cards offered must come with no overdraft fees, no transaction fees and a no-credit offering, all to safeguard workers’ financial health, he said. Industry Uptake The organization’s direct deposit-enabling solutions have drawn interest from a variety of industries, including construction, personal nursing, vocational rehabilitation and restaurant, cafeteria and hospitality, Rust said. WiseWage’s very first customer was a disaster relief agency that wanted to be able to quickly hire workers — and enable them to use their money right away — during operations in response to a hurricane. No matter what industry they come from, Rust explained, the disbursement pain point for most employers is usually the same. “Their problem is about time — they want to get this direct deposit problem solved, and quickly,” he said. For paper checks, it seems time might finally be running out. ...
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40 Global Leaders Show Us Payments’ Future

As originally published on PYMNTS. A good forecast is a notoriously difficult thing to write – particularly if one is trying to write it about the payments and commerce ecosystem. Had we told the world a year ago today that Amazon was going to buy Whole Foods, that Walmart Pay would surpass Apple Pay as a consistently favored mobile payment method, that CES would essentially become a showdown between Alexa and Google Assistant, that Uber would take a major valuation haircut in its next funding round, that bitcoin was going to be worth around $20,000 by mid-December and that Elon Musk was less than 365 days from launching his car into outer space – it is unlikely we would have been hailed as visionaries. At best, we would have been called fabulists of the highest order, and at worst we would have been written off as madmen. Without especially magical tea leaves – or a very well-tuned crystal ball – the specific events in any given year in the life of payments and commerce are prone to beggaring the predictive powers of even the most sagacious. Such is the nature of a segment that has more or less become the nesting place for black swans over the last few years. But while we can’t tell you exactly what’s next in terms of specific events, what we can offer is very nearly as good and useful: a preview of the shape of things to come from the best, brightest and most informed people working in payments and commerce today. We turned to 40 executives in the space with a simple question: What’s next for 2018? Specifically, how do they see the next 365 days playing out in payments and commerce? If 2017 was the year of disruption, what will 2018 be? Simply stated, 2018 will be the year of the satisfied customer – because the players that fail to satisfy will also fail to have customers. Because – as the executives we spoke to nearly universally pointed out – there is no longer any fooling the average consumer about what is possible and what they can reasonably expect from providers. They know payments can be smooth, fast and invisible – because, as Cambridge Global Payments COO Mark Frey pointed out, they have been riding in Ubers and booking through Airbnb for over a decade. They know they shouldn’t have to choose between ordering from their favorite retailers online or going directly to the store – because, as DataTorrent CEO Guy Churchward noted, their real favorite retailers at this point are the ones that don’t offer them a choice, but instead offer one seamless experience that moves easily between digital and physical access points. And they know that securing their most vital data should not be dependent on remembering dozens of passwords to access dozens of sites, and then having to change those passwords every few months. As Diebold Nixdorf’s senior director of global software innovation, Douglas Hartung, pointed out, they should be able to expect that they can be the password. “The literal personalization of payments – that is, consumers conducting transactions via their own unique fingerprints, palms, retinas or faces – seems to have nearly reached a tipping point,” he said. “In 2018, they’re becoming an ubiquity that no organization can ignore.” In 2018, the customer knows what she wants, knows that the technology exists to give it her and is no longer willing to wait around – whether she is shopping for herself, completing supplier payments at work or trying to send money from Point A to Point B around the world. And that customer, according to the experts, is increasingly becoming every customer – because the advances are just that ubiquitous at this point. They want it fast, they want it secure, they want it invisible – and, most importantly they want it now. The winners in 2018? Well, our experts can give you a good idea of what they have to offer – and how they have to offer it to live up to an increasingly tall order. Happy reading. ...
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Visa: Innovation At The Core Drives LATAM B2B Transformation

As originally published in PYMNTS. Who said the future is in the cards? Whoever it was clearly had not heard of the term “financial inclusion.” In Latin America, among others, the future of payments is neither in the cards nor in the cash — but in the digital payments ecosystem. It’s just such a future that Visa and NovoPayment are working toward with their recent partnership. The companies announced in January that they would be collaborating to facilitate the implementation of payment solutions for business-to-business (B2B) transactions in Latin America and the Caribbean. Innovation has been slower to hit the B2B sector than in the consumer space. As a result, businesses now recognize that the technology they use to send flexible, faster payments is lacking at businesses and their value chains. Diego Rodriguez, regional head of Commercial Solutions, LAC, at Visa, explained that the key to creating this type of value is through APIs, which can be mixed and matched to enable new use cases, and also by packaging capabilities for easier consumption and faster collaborations with new partners. But that’s just the technology side. In order to maximize the value of that tech, there’s a need to work with partners who are closest to the customer to break down the barriers that often come with trying new things, Rodriguez said. That’s where Visa saw a niche for NovoPayment — a Latin American regional company with a core expertise in tech, tech enablement and selling solutions to companies. “Our role in the partnership,” said Anabel Perez, CEO of NovoPayment, “is to act as facilitator to enable faster and more efficient integrations so that business customers can see the impact of new B2B tech quickly.” The first B2B areas that the partnership aims to tackle are solutions for accounts payable and receivable, solutions for the business traveler, accelerating Visa’s bank clients’ go-to-market strategies and addressing urban mobility needs and the sharing economy. In a recent interview with Karen Webster, Rodriguez and Perez dug into the meat of their partnership: the destination, the journey along the way and the necessary philosophical shifts that will enable banks to come along for the ride. The Destination From a bird’s-eye view, the point of Visa’s innovation in general (and this partnership specifically) is to accelerate the adoption of selected technologies on behalf of clients. This, said Rodriguez, will deliver them new opportunities, clients and cashflows not available to them today. The practical impact for businesses is to increase formality and inclusion in the region, where most transactions are still conducted in cash — and that includes supply chain payments. This will also improve access to lines of credit, Rodriguez said. But perhaps most important of all is the efficiency and related benefits of no longer managing supplier payments and account reconciliations by hand — a process that Rodriguez said can eat up time and effort across more and more departments if organizations can’t keep it in check. Rodriguez said trust is at the core of the emerging ecosystem. The system holds together better when participants (Uber drivers, for example) are confident they’ll be paid for work at the time when that work is performed. Cash can’t do that. Technology can. Meanwhile, at the corporate level, the business is reaching levels of efficiency and scale that it didn’t — and couldn’t — have before. The Journey The new economies — sharing, gig, et cetera — have created a whole new set of needs, and FinTechs are more than happy to accommodate those needs entirely outside the formal banking system. For banks to stay in the game, said Rodriguez, they must innovate. Locking in new technologies is a must, he said. This will move the industry into a realm of faster, more flexible, payments, where more value is added on top of simple remittances. The industry has already focused on tech products for operational expenses (corporate cards and the like), so one of the first target areas to penetrate should be supplier payments. Part of the journey, Rodriguez said, is revising how one thinks of a supplier. Paying a driver or supplier doesn’t necessarily seem to run parallel to “receivables” on a balance sheet. Yet a ride to the airport or supermarket is, indeed, a receivable, and, if organizations can treat it as such, then they will open the door to true innovation. Rethinking receivables, said Rodriguez, requires a different set of solutions that enable efficient, real-time payments for services provided. Rodriguez said Visa and NovoPayment don’t plan to stop at the sharing economy. There’s the travel segment, for instance, where technology could help facilitate payments of the corporate traveler as well as the travel agencies themselves, which have suppliers around the world and reconciliation challenges to go with them. “The [sharing] economy is opening new doors,” said Rodriguez, “but we’re looking into other payment flows as well.” Philosophy The future lies in the ecosystem. New solutions are needed to accommodate new payment flows, such as those in the sharing economy, said Rodriguez. Those solutions must be automatic, electronic, real-time, seamless and completely transparent to the issuer, acquirer, merchant, account holder, delivery person and delivery company. Having learned this, Rodriguez said Visa has been creating a framework to enable financial services organizations of any size, from FinTechs to large corporate banks, to do more business — better, bigger and faster. With NovoPayment on board, Visa can begin taking that framework to market. “Banks are seeing that their customers are evolving. They must open their platforms to facilitate new ways of distributing financial and payments products,” said Perez. As for Visa, Rodriguez said the company’s role comes down to identifying and solving problems. “These changes are not only about looking for new payment flows,” he said. “It’s about innovating in the core. New technologies and solutions are allowing that: location confirmation services, Visa payment control services. They all complement and add to our current place in the industry.” ...
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2018 in Payments: Straight from the Experts

As originally published in Latio News. We are celebrating 100 editions! We would like to celebrate by bringing you data about what we know best: payments. We have gathered some viewpoints and predictions of key industry players, enjoy! “Payments in LAC in 2018 will see more cooperation between Fintech’s, banks and other traditional players working to transform existing technologies and services for greater digital agility, with the aim of capturing new revenue and transactional flows. In addition, there will be more attention to leveraging APIs to support real-time digital platforms with the ability to dynamically pull financial services and rapidly scale volumes with little human dependency or intervention. It will also be a year for new use cases, “quick wins” and proofs of concept that will lead to more informed, engaged and active partnerships.” Kevin Fox, EVP Sales – NovoPayment ...
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The Nilson Report, Fast Facts – Jan 2018

As originally published in the Nilson Report. Visa is working with NovoPayment to facilitate business-to-business transactions in Latin America and the Caribbean. The partners will focus on business travel, accounts payables and receiveables, and accelerating Visa bank clients go-to-market strategies. The first project is in Colombia, where they are working with a local bank to enable real-time payments for courier fleets that provide customers with the ability to procure goods from merchants through dynamically created and loaded Visa accounts. ...
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Visa Spreads B2B Payments Focus Through LatAm With NovoPayment

As originally published in PYMNTS.S Visa is expanding its B2B payments footprint throughout Latin America. The payments technology company announced Wednesday (Jan. 10) that it has struck a partnership with FinTech NovoPayment. Together, the companies will provide B2B payments services across Latin America and the Caribbean, with a focus on business travel payments, accounts payable and accounts receivable solutions, and Visa bank clients. Their collaboration kicks off in Colombia, where Visa, NovoPayment and a local bank are working together to facilitate real-time payments in the urban delivery and logistics market. They are working on a set of APIs, the companies said, that link fleets to eProcurement solutions using Visa accounts. Visa and NovoPayment also said they are working on another project to streamline B2B payments for the urban transportation sector, enabling drivers to use Visa accounts to accept payments and manage expenses. “Through our open collaboration strategy, we partner with FinTechs in the region to accelerate the adoption of new technological capabilities that complement our payment functionalities and those of our bank and merchant partners,” stated Allen Cueli, Visa’s vice president of product solutions and new enablers. “This is the first initiative resulting from a broader partnership with NovoPayment, focused on the deployment of a number of projects, including prepaid enablement, API integration as well as B2B solutions.” “We work to expand the use of electronic payments across the region, to improve people’s daily lives and help businesses increase sales and operate more efficiently,” added Diego Rodriguez, vice president of business solutions for Visa Latin America and the Caribbean. “These projects with NovoPayment allow us to extend our reach and presence in the region, through different business models, facilitating payments amongst businesses and creating frictionless business-to-business interactions.” The partnership with NovoPayment is part of Visa’s overall strategy in the B2B payments realm. Last year, the company launched the Visa Ready Program for Business Solutions, a collection of B2B payment and financial services for corporate clients. The company is also working with blockchain firm Chain to deploy Visa B2B Connect, a platform for financial institutions to make payments and settle funds for corporate customers. ...
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Visa Partners With NovoPayment

Visa (NYSE:V) has announced a partnership with NovoPayment, a leading enabler of digital financial and transactional services, to facilitate the implementation of payment solutions for Business to Business (B2B) transactions in Latin America and the Caribbean. The companies will work in three key B2B areas: solutions for the business traveler, solutions for accounts payables and receivables; and accelerating Visa’s bank clients go-to-market strategies. The first project under the new partnership has launched in Colombia, where Visa, NovoPayment and a local bank are enabling real-time payments in the urban delivery sector through a suite of APIs that provide courier fleets the ability to electronically procure goods from merchants on behalf of customers through dynamically created and loaded Visa accounts. This new model, integrated by NovoPayment’s platform, gives urban delivery businesses greater operational agility and scalability in a fast-growing and digitally-driven category. Another project advancing under this new partnership, aims at simplifying the payment of independent drivers in the expanding urban mobility and shared transportation sector. Under this model, drivers will use Visa accounts to efficiently receive payment for services rendered and to manage day-to-day expenses. Through the integration with Visa’s platforms and API’s, this partnership with NovoPayment offers Visa clients –  banks, merchants and acquirers – new payment functionalities and the ability to accelerate the adoption of electronic payments in the region. “Through our open collaboration strategy, we partner with fintechs in the region to accelerate the adoption of new technological capabilities that complement our payment functionalities and those of our bank and merchant partners,” said Allen Cueli, Vice President of Product Solutions and New Enablers. This is the first initiative resulting from a broader partnership with NovoPayment, focused on the deployment of a number of projects including prepaid enablement, API integration as well as B2B solutions,” he concluded. The partnership with NovoPayment aligns with Visa’s overall objective to move businesses and consumers from cash to digital forms of payment. For Visa, a culture that relies less on cash provides more convenience, more security and ease of use, which translates into faster growth and greater efficiency compared to cumbersome and expensive cash handling processes. “We work to expand the use of electronic payments across the region, to improve people’s daily lives and help businesses increase sales and operate more efficiently,” said Diego Rodriguez, Vice President Business Solutions Visa Latin America and the Caribbean. “These projects with NovoPayment allow us to extend our reach and presence in the region, through different business models, facilitating payments amongst businesses and creating frictionless business-to-business interactions,” he added. “Ultimately, by integrating our APIs and collaborating more closely, we are able to help others deliver better customer experiences and create new value chains free of traditional bottlenecks, while capturing new money and data flows,” said Anabel Perez, CEO of NovoPayment. “Our most recent project in Colombia is a great example of the kind of interoperability and structure required in today’s platform-driven businesses and a hint of what is possible in the future,” she added. The combined proficiencies of both companies, along with their reach, will accelerate the development and diversity of Latin America’s payments ecosystem.  ...
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