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Tala Announces Strategic Investment From PayPal to Expand Global Reach

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Tala, the leading consumer lending app in emerging markets, announced today a strategic investment from PayPal. The two companies share a commitment to building financial health, enabling all people to gain access to the digital economy. PayPal’s investment will help Tala bring visibility and access to underserved populations in emerging markets across the globe.

More than two-thirds of the world’s adult population has no formal credit bureau record, making it difficult for traditional financial services to understand and reach these consumers. Tala’s app, which can be accessed by anyone with an Android smartphone in Tala’s markets, analyzes device and behavioral data to instantly underwrite these consumers and create a personalized loan offer. Taladisburses loans between $10 and $500 USD to a mobile wallet or via payment method of the customer’s choosing. More than 85% of Tala’s customers receive credit in less than 10 minutes.

“At PayPal, we believe that everyone should have access to transparent, convenient and secure financial services,” said Mark Britto, Senior Vice President and General Manager Of Global Credit, PayPal. “Tala shares our vision of reimagining financial services, especially for the unbanked and those underserved by the traditional financial system. Tala empowers these people through innovative mobile solutions to improve their overall financial health and we are proud to help them achieve this goal.”

“Tala is driven by the belief that all people deserve to be seen, understood and trusted by the global financial system, and our goal is to leverage data and technology to help them prove their potential,” said Shivani Siroya, Founder and CEO, Tala. “We are excited to add PayPal as an investor to further our mission to reach more underserved consumers and deliver the financial access, choice and control they deserve.”

The new investment builds on Tala’s Series C financing, announced in April and led by Revolution Growth.

Tala currently operates in Kenya, Tanzania, the Philippines, and Mexico, and has launched a pilot in India. The company has delivered more than $500 million USD in credit to millions of customers. Talahas more than 300 employees across offices in Santa Monica, Nairobi, Dar Es Salaam, Manila, Mexico City, and Bangalore.

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Banking/Financial Services

Wirecard International Holiday Shopping Report 2018

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Combination of digital and physical channels is key for consumers globally

The report reveals exclusive insights about omnichannel shopping behavior, mobile payments as the key tech trend for consumers globally and peak days like Black Friday

Key finding: The vast majority (82%) of consumers uses multiple sales channels during the purchasing process and prefers to shop online or mobile (68%)

Price, special offers and product quality are the main factors influencing the purchasing decision

Wirecard, the global innovation leader in digital financial technology, today presented the findings of the Wirecard International Holiday Shopping Report 2018. Over 3,000 consumers were surveyed about their shopping habits and preferences during the end of year holiday season and beyond. The results show a clear preference for digital shopping channels in combination with physical ones in order to benefit from fast availabilities online, compare prices and have a real experience in-store.

Markus Eichinger, Executive Vice President Group Strategy at Wirecard, said, “Today’s consumers are willing and able to shop around and compare offers before buying and are also open to trying new brands if they meet their needs. The Wirecard International Holiday Shopping Report 2018 clearly shows that merchants have to provide true shopping experiences via digital and physical channels in order to meet their customers wherever they decide to make a purchase, whether that be via an e-commerce site, a mobile app or in-store. We at Wirecard identified this trend early on and today drive forward and enable channel convergence within the framework of our digital commerce platform.”

Key findings:

Black Friday is the single most significant shopping “event” internationally
39% of respondents globally say they plan to shop on Black Friday. In Brazil, the percentage of Black Friday shoppers is the highest (67%), followed by U.K. (40%), Germany (40%) and the U.S. (38%). Hong Kong was the only country not to have Black Friday in first position, consumers here prefer to take advantage of Boxing Day sales (33%), which is very common in some Asian markets and South Africa.

The holiday shopping season is a popular time to try new shops and items
This is a popular time for consumers to try out new stores or websites with over three quarters (77%) of respondents globally saying they would be likely or very likely to do so. In all countries surveyed, respondents said they spent the most money on clothing and accessories (58%), electronics (56%) and toys and games (38%).

Consumers consider mobile payments the top shopping-related technology trend
Globally, consumers would most like to see mobile payment solutions implemented to improve their buying experience (46%). This was followed by virtual or augmented reality (26%) and artificial intelligence / machine learning (22%). In Brazil, shopping via voice recognition is highly regarded as well (30%).

The vast majority shops digital
Over two thirds (68%) of consumers globally expect to make their purchases during the holiday season digitally either via a desktop site, mobile app, or mobile site. Overall, 18% plan to shop in traditional stores, with 22% of U.S. respondents planning to shop in a physical outlet, but only 8% of German consumers intend to do so.

Consumers look for a true experience in-store
In all countries, the most important factor which would influence a consumer’s decision to shop in-store is price (59%), followed by quality of products (45%) and special offers or discounts (32%). The same three factors are the most influential when it comes to choosing to buy online. In the U.S., being able to see, test or try items before purchase was considered more important than in the other countries; in Brazil customer service on-site counts.

Omnichannel is key for consumers globally
An enormous 82% of consumers globally said they were either likely or very likely to combine various channels during the purchasing process – with Malaysia proving particularly fond of cross-channel shopping (96%), followed by Brazil (92%). The overall reason for using a range of channels was to compare prices with over half of consumers (51%) stating this as their top answer.

Merchants can profit from the Wirecard platform, which allows them to easily combine their distribution channels and meet the needs of today’s consumers. Wirecard offers a constantly expanding ecosystem of real-time value added services built around innovative digital payments.

For more information on the Wirecard International Holiday Shopping Survey, please click here.

The Wirecard International Holiday Shopping Report 2018 is based on the results of an independent survey carried out by Wirecard in October and November 2018. A total of 3,193 consumers over the age of 18 in select countries like Brazil, Germany, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, the U.K. and the U.S. provided answers. Further information about the survey findings can be found in the full report.

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Accounting News & Issues

Wealth Management Specialist St. James’s Place Joins Expatland’s Singapore E-Team

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Photo source: disruptordaily.com
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Wealth management specialist St. James’s Place has joined Expatland’s Global Network. The firm will provide wealth management advice to the Singapore E-Team’s clients.

St. James’s Place is a leading wealth management firm specialising in delivering face-to-face wealth management advice for individuals, companies and trustees. Founded in 1991, St. James’s Place was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1997 and is now a FTSE 100 company with over £100.6 billion of client funds under management.

The Expatland Global Network is made up of Expatland Teams (‘E -Teams). Operating at a city level, they have essential local knowledge and insight. They cut through complexity and drill down to the issues that are relevant to specific locations.

John Marcarian, founder of the Expatland Global Network, says; “Whether an expatriate is relocating to Singapore or repatriating, St James’s Place delivers comprehensive and specialist planning with expert wealth management advice. We are delighted to have St James’s Place onboard the Expatland Global Network.”

Boon Tan, Singapore’s E-Team leader, comments; “St James’s Place put their clients at the centre of everything they do and their values align perfectly with Expatland’s passion to make life easier for people on the move.”

St James’s Place, comments, “Being part of the Expatland Global Network allows us to contribute to supporting expats who are navigating challenges on their own. We are excited to be part of the Singapore E-Team and we are committed to helping expatriates manage their wealth in a way that reflects their personal circumstances.”

‘Expatland’ origins

Expatland began as a book, written in 2015 by John Marcarian, as a result of John’s personal expat journey. Its focus was to help expats plan their move overseas.

E-Teams around the globe

The Expatland book was just the start. To solve the problem of lack of support for would-be expats, John has launched the Expatland Global Network in 2018.

The Network is expanding rapidly. There are now E-Teams in Sydney, Melbourne, LA, Auckland, Londonand Singapore. With best-in-practice members recognising the importance of this service, many more will follow.

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Banking/Financial Services

Linxens and Smart Payment Association (SPA) Announce Cooperation

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Photo source: globalbankingandfinance.com
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The Smart Payment Association (SPA) and Linxens announce today that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation. Linxens, a world leader in the design and manufacture of Microconnectors for smartcards and RFID Antennas and Inlays, becomes a Market Forecasting Advisory Council Member of SPA, the trade body of the smart payment technology providers.

The SPA is engaged in extensive market monitoring and forecasting activities, using the data sets it collects to generate independently verified market statistics and reports; data that is provided as a free benefit to SPA members and Advisory Council members.

In an important step, the SPA has responded to wider audience demands for access to its proprietary data with the launch of two new Market Monitoring Advisory Councils. Making it possible for non-SPA member organizations, operating in the wider payment ecosystem, to participate in the payment market monitoring activities of the SPA and access the most up-to-date marketplace data available.

“The global payment value chain is evolving rapidly, with existing and emerging organizations addressing specialist verticals and payment applications. The SPA’s Advisory Councils make it possible for these companies to participate and cooperate in discrete areas of activity or interest, without having to commit to the extended range of initiatives and specializations undertaken by our full members,” explains Julien Drouet, President, SPA.

“We are very happy to welcome Linxens as an Advisory Council Member,” he concludes.

“In today’s digital world, new opportunities to augment smartcard security with on-card biometric sensors, and to extend identity and payment services to Internet of Things-enabled devices, requires ever deeper levels of collaboration between component manufacturers and the smartcard industry,” says Franck Germain, VP Marketing SCS at Linxens.

“As an Advisory Council member of SPA, we have a unique opportunity to work closely with Smart Card stakeholders, sharing market insights to support the development of innovative new connection technologies.”

Open to EMV technology vendors supplying cards and/or modules, Advisory Members joining the SPA Monitoring Advisory Council participate in the SPA’s Monitoring Working Group, contribute to its market monitoring and forecasting processes, and access quarterly global market monitoring reporting data as well as bi-annual market estimation reports. This includes granular data sets by geographic regions, technology (contactless, dual interface, DDA and non-DDA) and application (payment smart cards, ID/social cards with payment application chip, transport cards with payment application chip).

Open to organizations operating within the wider payment ecosystem, Advisory Members joining the SPA Forecasting Advisory Council will be able to engage with the SPA Working Group responsible for forecasting and provide input into the market forecast process. Advisory Members will also gain access to select quarterly global market monitoring report data, in addition to granular bi-annual data sets that form the SPA’s global market estimation reports.

The Market Monitoring Advisory Councils are the first to be launched under an innovative Advisory Council Program that has been initiated by the SPA in response to growing demand from today’s rapidly expanding payment community.

Organizations looking to apply for SPA Market Monitoring Advisory Council Member status can find more information on the SPA website, together with details on the annual fees.

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