Your Friday fix for global fintech and payments news
Seismic shifts have graced the payments industry this week – from N26 leaving the UK following Brexit, to Mastercard entering the Chinese market and contactless payments predicted to hit $6 trillion by 2024. 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.
- Blaming Brexit, N26 quits the UK
- Contactless payment transactions to reach $6 trillion 2024
- Mastercard granted entry to Chinese payments market
The German mobile bank, N26, has this week announced plans to “quit the UK”, citing Brexit as the reason why it is no longer viable to operate in the country. More specifically, concern over whether its European banking license would cover the company’s operations in the UK following Brexit prompted its decision to exit the UK market. The challenger bank announced it will close all UK customer accounts by 15 April; until then all UK customer accounts will run as normal. Thoomas Grosse, Chief Banking Officer of N26, stated that: “While we fully respect the decision [Brexit] that has been taken, it means that N26 will in due course be unable to service our customers in the UK and will have to leave the market.”
Recent data forecasts have found that global contactless payment transactions will grow to close to $6 trillion by 2024. The contactless payments market reached a record high of $2 trillion in 2020, and is expected to grow at a rate of a trillion dollars a year. This increase in transactions is large in part due to the significant growth in OEM Pay and greater merchant acceptance at the point of sale, particularly in the US which has also experienced a significant spike in its contactless card rollout.
In a landmark story this week, Mastercard has received an in-principal approval from the People’s Bank of China to begin setting up a domestic bank card clearing institution in China. With a payments market worth an estimated $27 trillion, China is a country that Mastercard has been eager to enter for some time. Ajay Banga, President and CEO of Mastercard, said that: “China is a vital market for us and we have reiterated our unwavering commitment to helping drive a safer, more inclusive and seamless payments ecosystem for Chinese consumers and businesses.” Could this move from the People’s Bank open the floodgates for other Western payments businesses and providers to enter the country? Only time will tell.