Payments round-up: 23 January 2018
Singapore, Italy, the US – a payments round-up calling on three continents. Features DBS Bank, Xero, WeChat Pay and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Singapore’s DBS Bank and Xero have expanded their partnership with a real-time digital solution for SMEs. The bank says with this API-driven banking service, payments can be initiated on Xero and approved through its corporate internet banking platform, DBS Ideal. The idea is to remove the “tedious paper-intensive process that take up the bulk of SME owners’ time”.
It will be made available to existing DBS-Xero customers in Singapore at no cost. The bank also plans to introduce this solution to SMEs in Hong Kong by the end of the year. On a different note, in the Banking Technology Awards 2017, DBS won “Best Use of IT in Retail Banking” with its video teller machine.
On the other side of the world, WeChat Pay is to launch in Italy. Chinese consumers will be able to purchase both online and in store through the app due to the partnership signed between the Italian company Digital Retex and Docomo Digital, the European subsidiary of digital payment provider NTT Docomo.
Merchants can have either a dedicated POS or add WeChat Pay to the till systems, while customers will need a smartphone and a WeChat account connected to their bank account to pay via the scan of a QR code. The firms also cite data released by Istat-Confturismo, that last year Italy registered 3.79 million Chinese visitors, an increase of more than 5% compared to the previous year.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofA Merrill) has launched an enhanced virtual card capability that uses APIs to enable commercial purchasing clients to connect directly to the bank’s virtual card system.
The bank says this solution, known as BofA Merrill Virtual Payables, also can create single-use account numbers in real time. Clients can initiate payments via batch file delivery from its accounts payable/enterprise resource planning system or via the user interface. BofA Merrill adds that While Virtual Payables is offered globally, these specific enhancements are currently available for the North America market only.