2022: Top five payments stories
Capping off 2022, FinTech Futures takes a look back at some of the year’s top developments in the payments sphere.
Payments make the world go round and, this year, fintechs and incumbents alike have innovated in the space to make them more frictionless, effortless and integrated than ever before.
Here are five of the top payments developments across 2022.
Visa to invest $1bn in Africa to boost digital transformation
Visa pledged to invest $1 billion in Africa by 2027 to help boost the continent’s digital transformation and strengthen its payment ecosystem “through new innovations and technologies”.
The announcement was made by Visa chairman and CEO Alfred Kelly, Jr. at the US-Africa Business Forum, alongside the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington DC.
Expanding its investment, Visa said, will enable “greater access” to digital payments, which will further help in the development of financial services for individuals and businesses in the region.
Visa added that an estimated 500 million people in Africa have no access to formal financial services, less than half of the adult population have made or received digital payments in Africa, and over 40 million merchants do not accept digital payments.
Thailand and Vietnam launch QR code cross-border payments link
Southeast Asian nations Thailand and Vietnam partnered to launch a joint cross-border payments service that will enable Thai tourists to make payments in Vietnam via QR code and vice versa.
The payments link between the two nations is designed to “enhance consumption and tourism”, as well as encourage the use of each country’s domestic currency by providing a “convenient, faster, more affordable and safer” payment method.
The international payment initiative has been in the works since 2020 and utilises Vietnam’s card network NAPAS and Thailand’s electronic payments network NITMX.
Vietnamese customers can now scan ThaiQR codes in Thailand, with Thai tourists able to scan VietQR codes to pay for goods and services at payment acceptance units in Vietnam.
Apple Pay edges out Mastercard with more than $6tn in ATV
Apple Pay – the tech giant’s mobile payment service – surpassed Mastercard in terms of annual transactions, processing more than $6 trillion worth of transaction volume.
TradingPlatforms reported that only Visa now stands in the way of Apple Pay reaching the top spot globally.
Earlier this year, Apple launched its new ‘Tap to Pay’ feature, which leverages near-field contact (NFC) technology to allow merchants to accept Apple Pay, contactless card payments and digital wallet payments on an iPhone with no additional hardware needed.
In May, Apple faced ire from the European Commission after it notified the firm over its anti-competitive decision to limit mobile wallet app developers’ access to its contactless payments hardware and software.
NPP Australia rolls out new digital payments solution, PayTo
New Payments Platform (NPP) Australia launched PayTo, a digital solution that allows merchants and businesses to initiate real-time payments from their customers’ bank accounts.
NPP Australia — an infrastructure company that enables customers of different banks to make and receive real-time payments — says it has been working with the financial services industry to develop the PayTo service.
The firm said PayTo is a “foundational capability” that will enable a broad range of use cases and provide a “springboard for future innovation”.
PayTo has been built to replace traditional direct debits, enhance recurring or subscription payments, improve payroll and accounts payable functions, have in-app and e-commerce utility, support faster employee payment times and enhance QR code payment options.
NatWest partners paytechs to offer new payment option via Variable Recurring Payments
NatWest Group signed agreements with payment providers TrueLayer, GoCardless and Crezco to offer a new payment option via its Variable Recurring Payments (VRP) Application Programming Interface (API).
The “industry first” deal will enable payment providers to give businesses another way to manage customer payments, via the Faster Payments service, meaning transactions can be conducted near instantaneously.
VRPs are the next phase of open banking, mandated by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), and were scheduled to be introduced in 2022.
VRP APIs allow third-party providers (TPP) to initiate a series of payments at variable intervals, enabling the adoption of faster, more efficient and more secure payments.
VRP has “huge potential” for both consumers and businesses, said NatWest Group head of bank of APIs, Daniel Globerson.