Your Friday fix for global fintech and payments news
February has arrived and there’s no stopping the big stories breaking this week – from digital payments taking the lead to security under the spotlight in open banking. Our Weekly Round-up brings you a bite-sized digest of all the biggest announcements from the past seven days to keep you connected with all that’s shaping our world this week.
- Digital payments overtake cash in Russia
- European card payments growth slows to 2.7% as digital payments start to bite
- Canada puts security at top of open banking review
For the first time in history, digital payments in Russia have overtaken payments made with cash, according to analysis from Sberbank. As part of its SberData project, Sberbank identified that in the fourth quarter of 2019, 50.4% of total transactions were carried out using cashless methods, representing a 4.5% increase from the same period in 2018. The shift towards digital is not confined to the cities either, with 36 regions now surpassing the 50% mark for digital payments. The north westerly region of Murmansk holds the title for the most cashless transactions over the timeframe. Moscow and St Petersburg have some way still to go, coming at 30th and 19th place for their cashless spending behaviour. The success of the move towards cashless has been credited in part towards the 2014 introduction of Russia’s own national card, created by as a way to challenge the likes of Visa and MasterCard.
Account-to-account digital payments may be starting to replace card payments in some of the world’s most advanced payments markets such as Sweden, Norway and Iceland, according to new recent conducted by Digital and Card Payments Yearbooks. The research identified an increase of close to 300% in the number of UK banks offering digital wallets, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. Sweden’s SWISH service increased its transaction volume by 30%, reaching a record total revenue of 200 billion SEK. Speaking of the shift, James Wood, Managing Editor of the Digital and Card Payments Yearbooks, said: “Cards are now well established as the norm in payments, however, their dominance appears to be peaking – and the rapid growth in digital wallet and instant P2P systems, especially in the Nordics, is beginning to make its presence felt.”
The second phase of the Canadian government’s review of open banking is now underway, with security issues around sharing financial data with third parties at the top of the agenda. Set up by the Department of Finance Canada in 2018, the Advisory Committee was introduced as a way to assess the merits of allowing third party financial services providers access to banking data. The first phase of the consultation concluded that data-driven services could potentially help people to budget and gain access to more affordable banking options. The next part of the review follows a year-long consultation process which gave individuals and organisations the opportunity to share opinions around the potential benefits and challenges of introducing open banking. Alongside this, the government also invited suggestions of how individuals and organisations would ideally imagine its involvement within the open banking framework.