WEEKLY ROUNDUP - 19.03.2021

Your Friday fix for global fintech and payments news

This week’s Friday fix takes a look at the effects the pandemic has had on the industry – from ATMs to consumers’ relationships with cash.  We’re also looking at Compass Plus customer, Quipu, launching wearable payments in Ecuador.

Our weekly round-up brings you a dose of some of the biggest news announcements from the past seven days so you can keep an eye on all that’s shaping our world this week.

  • As cash use falls, banks look to ATM pooling
  • Quipu introduces Garmin Pay and Fitbit Pay to Ecuador
  • How Covid-19 changed the UK's relationship with cash


As cash use falls, banks look to ATM pooling

With the use of cash in decline, banks around the world are considering pooling, or sharing, their ATMs in an effort to save money, according to RBR.

With Europe, Finland and Sweden seeing success in ATM pooling over the last 40 years, some large banks in the Netherlands and Belgium are now starting to follow in the same direction. In other parts of the world, Australia, Indonesia and Japan made the move towards ATM pooling in recent years and it is growing in Portugal and Switzerland.

"As banks face continued cost pressures and reduced profitability in the ATM channel, ATM pooling and sharing will allow them to maintain widespread cash services for the future in an efficient and cost-effective way," said Rowan Berridge, Research Lead at RBR.


Quipu introduces Garmin Pay and Fitbit Pay to Ecuador

Banco ProCredit Ecuador has become the first bank in the country to offer payments through Garmin and Fitbit watches. With support from Quipu, the project went live within two months and enables Banco ProCredit customers to add their Mastercard payment card to their wearable in order to make payments for goods and services.

Eugenio Marengo, Global Head of Processing Centre at Quipu said: “We are pleased to support Banco ProCredit Ecuador in becoming the first bank in the country to offer these payment options. With Garmin and Fitbit increasing in popularity in the country, facilitating these payments methods was a logical step for the bank.”

Quipu have run their processing services on Compass Plus software since 2004 and delivers processing services, as well as personalisation facilities, to 30 financial institutions across 11 time zones.


How Covid-19 changed the UK's relationship with cash

This week has been the year anniversary of the first COVID-19 lockdown in the UK and, according to UK ATM cash machine network LINK, ATM transactions have fallen 43% in that time. In line with that, cash withdrawals have fallen by 36% or £37 billion within the last 12 months.

Speaking on the use of cash and alternative payments, Graham Mott, Director of Strategy at LINK said: “The research also shows that some people are much more comfortable using contactless payments and shopping online. However, we know that over five million adults that continue to rely on cash. For them ATMs and post offices are vital. It’s conceivable that while some people may only use an ATM very rarely, there are still millions of transactions a week and we need to protect the people who use cash and can’t yet go digital.”