Fintech Responds to COVID-19; UPI Growth Slows in India: News Roundup

PaymentFacilitator’s News Roundup is a curated mix of the past week’s news and articles from around the web, including company announcements, global payments news, and other coverage and analysis of topics relevant to payment facilitators.

COVID-19 Impact

COVID-19 is driving a need for fintech companies to reprioritize. Fintech has been a hot space for investor interest in recent years, but general uncertainty is having an impact. Globally, deals are falling after achieving record levels over the past couple of years, signaling a possible shift away from the focus on aggressive growth. So where does the space go from here? From CB Insights.

Or is funding continuing to flow in Southeast Asia? In a somewhat contradictory view, IBS Intelligence reports that the amount of funding that flowed into Indian fintech during January-March was up 40% despite a decrease in number of deals. The numbers were similar across Southeast Asia. Analysts suggest that an interest in companies that are increasing access to digital financial services may account for the positive numbers. From IBS Intelligence.  

UPI payment growth slows in India. For the first time after almost a year of ongoing growth, the Indian government-backed unified payments interface (UPI) has seen a decline in transactions. The payment method fell to 1.25 billion transactions in March after hitting 1.33 billion in February. The slowdown can be attributed to a lack of activity as the country locks down to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. From Inc42.

Driving Digital

Another central bank has decided to tip the scales in favor of digital payments. This time it’s in Ethiopia, where a new directive from the National Bank of Ethiopia has laid out a framework for regulating the electronic payments space. The ability to obtain a license to offer digital payments will not be limited to financial institutions. From

Funding News

Phos gets funds. A U.K.-based fintech startup, Phos, has announced €1.3 million in new funding. The company enables merchants to accept payments directly on their phones through its POS software. With this round, the company’s total fundraising so far is €2.5 million. Phos works with acquiring partners to distribute its product, calling merchant end customers “notoriously difficult to reach in a cost-effective way.” From TechCrunch.

Industry News

BlueSnap: Nacha Announces BlueSnap as a Preferred Partner for Digital Commerce and Business-to-Business Payments

Tipalti: Tipalti to Waive Platform Fees for COVID-19 Relief Payments

Monetary Authority of Singapore: MAS Launches S$125 Million Package for Financial Institutions and FinTech Firms to Strengthen Long-Term Capabilities

Mastercard: Mastercard Commits $250 Million To Support Small Business’ Financial Security

RunSignup: RunSignup Announces RaceDay Experience for Virtual Events

PayMyTuition: PayMyTuition Develops Innovative Digital Tuition Payment Solution for Canadian Students Due to COVID-19

Blackbaud: Blackbaud Outlines Initial Actions to Strengthen Financial Position Amid COVID-19

Mastercard: Mastercard Enables Higher Contactless Payments Across Canada

ACI Worldwide: COVID-19 Crisis Highlights Need for Real-Time and New Digital Payments Services Around the World, New ACI Worldwide Research Reveals

Wirecard: Wirecard Collaborates with Leading Hungarian E-commerce Agency UNAS

Mastercard: Mastercard Partners with Industry to Increase Contactless Payment Limit Across Australia

Mindbody: Mindbody Launches Virtual Wellness Platform

Grab: Grab Singapore Announces Additional Measures to Support Partners and Customers During Circuit Breaker Period

Deluxe: Deluxe Enters into Health Care Payments Claims Transactions Through New Venture with ECHO Health

Visa: Visa Foundation Commits $210 Million to Support Small and Micro Businesses and Immediate COVID-19 Emergency Relief

PayU: PayU Launches a Number of Innovative Initiatives to Support Businesses Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic