And we are back! Even if the end of the year is getting closer – which means that the time for 2019 industry predictions is also near – the fintech world is moving faster and faster. There are new partnerships, developments and key takeaways from Sibos and Money 2020 Las Vegas still being debated by the industry.

So without further ado, lets take a glance at the most recent industry announcements.

Want to pay on the spot? Check Out with Me

Tired of long queues? Does the on-the-spot checkout idea sound appealing to you? Do you currently live in the US? Then watch the video below:

Walmart is testing a new program dubbed “Check Out With Me” in the Lawn & Garden Centers of over 350 stores across the country. The company is positioning associates in the busiest areas of the stores, including garden centers, electronics or action alleys, to deliver “a more convenient shopping experience that saves our customers time”, according to their official press release.

Upgrades or new features that make the checkout process less time-consuming for customers are more and more important to retailers,  in the light of increased competition from Amazon, which has some aces up its own sleeve, as we have seen already.

Western Union, Amazon and cross-border transactions

And speaking of Amazon: the company also sees huge potential in a cross-border transactions boost and, as a result, is joining forces with Western Union. The objective is to launch a new payment option that enables international customers to pay in person, in local currency where available, for their online purchases. As part of the agreement, Amazon is focused on providing international customers with access to millions of products.

According to Forrester Research forecasts, cross-border shopping will represent 20% of eCommerce until 2022, while sales are expected to reach USD 630 billion in value. The main factors driving consumers towards online shopping from overseas retailers are choice, quality and cost.

Mastercard, India and local data storage

The Indian market has definitely not lost the spotlight and still ranks as one of the most interesting fintech markets to watch. Lets briefly check the most recent facts, which stand as proof that this is not a simply subjective statement.

To provide some context on the local data storage topic, in April this year, the Reserve Bank of India asked all payment system operators in the country to store data about their customers in India until end of October this year, to ensure that such details remain secure in case of privacy breaches. This data localization directive has stirred intensive debates and changes in global companies’ expansion strategies.

Mastercard is one of the latest companies which have confirmed compliance for local data storage requirements. However, the card issuer has also expressed its opinion that the guidelines related to data localization “will make digital payments expensive and inefficient for the business to ensure safety, security and analytics to Indian banks and merchants”, as The Banking Finance Post indicates.

Most recently, Mastercard has taken a step further by submitting a complaint with the US government over the use of nationalism by the government in India to promote a domestic payments network there. In a written statement, Mastercard told the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) that the Indian prime minister “associated the use of RuPay cards with nationalism, claiming it serves as kind of national service.”

Last but not least, what is the latest ingenious plan put together by small Indian traders to fight the sales competition coming from Amazon? To submit fake product orders in bulk, in the hope that the eCommerce company will blacklist an entire town:

“If you can’t beat them, join them,” goes a proverb. But Ulhasnagar traders seem to like the third option of “blocking you off completely from competition” , as a recent article posted by reports.

Has India got your attention now? It has certainly had ours for quite some time.

A new European mobile payment scheme

Its name is Settle and it has been developed by Auka, a Norway-based mobile payments platform.

The Settle scheme is structured as follows: Auka, the mother company, owns and runs the technology and has all the necessary licenses to operate it. “A Single Purpose Vehicle (SPV) is set up in every country to enable the day-to-day operations of the scheme, and also creating brand awareness around Settle domestically. Settle partners, on the other hand, are responsible for onboarding consumers and merchants to the scheme”. More details can be found here.

Research findings of the week and further reading

Do you believe in a future where banks will be irrelevant as a result of new competition and digitalization or, even worse, face a growing risk of failure?

If your answer is yes, then you are on the same page with research and advisory company Garner and their latest research findings according to which in 12 years time, 80% of financial firms will either go out of business or be rendered unimportant , changing customer behaviour and technology advancements.

However, if your answer is no, I encourage you to read one of Chris Skinner’s recent blog posts.

Until next week.

Adriana Screpnic, Content Marketing Specialist, G2A PAY

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