Latest Payments News: Ireland Moves Towards Mandating Cash Acceptance At Certain Retailers‍, and more

Kat Pilkington


January 29, 2024

Catch up on six of the stories our payments compliance analysts have covered lately, and stay up-to-date on the latest news.

Ireland Moves Towards Mandating Cash Acceptance At Certain Retailers

Irish finance minister Michael McGrath has introduced a new bill on access to cash following a meeting of the Cabinet.

If the bill passes, then supermarkets, pharmacies and convenience stores will be required to accept physical cash, while other merchants will be exempted.

The bill would also require banks to comply with regional criteria on ATM provision. This would be based on a minimum number of ATMs per 100,000 people and within a 10km radius.

"In the absence of a legislative intervention, it is likely that over time we would see more and more ATMs removed from communities across the country, and I do not want to see this happen," said McGrath.

"We must recognise the important role that cash continues to play in all our lives, and this is a role I am determined to protect.”

India’s Razorpay Cuts UPI Refund Time From Six Days To Two Minutes

Indian payments firm Razorpay has launched a new Instant Refunds feature across its point of sale (POS) sale devices for failed UPI transactions.

When using the feature, consumers can receive refunds for failed UPI transactions within two minutes — a significant reduction from the industry benchmark of five to six business days.

Razorpay said the feature is necessary to address the issue of delayed transactions made via POS devices, where funds are debited from the consumer’s account but not received by the merchant.

Consumers often hesitate to retry the payment or try an alternative method, ultimately abandoning their purchase.

Razorpay this happens with between 5 and 15 percent of UPI transactions, and in 30 to 40 percent of cases where the consumer does not want to repeat the transaction, the sale is lost.

Using an automated process on Razorpay POS, the merchant can attempt to retake the payment three times five seconds apart, and if it still fails, the payment is refunded to the consumer.

Visa Completes $1bn Acquisition Of Pismo Card-Issuing Platform

Visa has announced that it has completed its acquisition of Pismo, a global cloud-native issuer processing and core banking platform, for $1bn in cash.

The acquisition will provide clients with core banking and issuer processing capabilities across credit, debit, prepaid and commercial cards via cloud native APIs.

Pismo’s platform will also enable Visa to provide support and connectivity for emerging payment schemes and instant payment networks, such as Pix in Brazil, for financial institution (FI) clients.

“The combination of Visa and Pismo will enable our clients to launch innovative payments and banking products within a single cloud-native platform regardless of network, geography, or currency,” said Ricardo Josua, co-founder and CEO of Pismo.

Based in São Paulo, Brazil, Pismo has operations in Latin America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

BaFin Increases Focus On Operational Resilience In 2024

Germany’s financial regulator, BaFin, has said in a new report that mitigating IT risks will be one of its key focuses in 2024, as the agency warns of disruption due to cyber-attacks.

BaFin has pointed out that in some sectors in Germany, a small number of specialised IT service providers serve a large proportion of banks and insurers, and this concentration poses risks.

“Companies in the financial sector must be resilient to both financial and operational risks,” said BaFin chief Mark Branson at a press briefing to mark the publication of the report. 

According to Branson, who previously headed Switzerland’s financial regulator, many institutions in the financial industry are currently reporting strong to very strong profits. 

But he warned that these profits should not only benefit shareholders.

“Institutions shouldn’t underestimate risk provisioning needs, and, more than ever, companies should be investing in their operational security and stability,” he said.

Worldline Expands Paytech Partnership With Google Cloud

Worldline has announced an expansion of its partnership with Google Cloud in an effort to improve the speed, security, cost and strategic positioning of its paytech infrastructure.

Under the expanded partnership, Worldline will serve as one of Google’s key payment providers in Europe and across multiple jurisdictions.

Worldline aims to provide Google customers with more advanced payment options, support for more payment networks, improved cross-border conversion and a more streamlined customer experience.

“The strategic partnership between Google and Worldline will ultimately create a powerful ecosystem of improved product offerings delivering added value to merchants and banks,” Worldline said.

“By combining their expertise and their specialised knowledge and resources, Google and Worldline will be able to deliver improved payment experiences and accelerate time-to-market.”

Instant Payments A 'Must-Have' For US Banks, Says New Volante Survey

Volante Technologies has published its third annual report on payment modernisation among mid-tier banks in the US, finding high enthusiasm for instant payments.

Based on interviews with 70 senior executives at mid-tier banks, Volante found that 78 percent of respondents say that instant payments are a “must-have” for their organisation.

Following the launch of FedNow in July 2023, most mid-tier banks have firm FedNow plans, with a 50 percent year-over-year uptick in respondents who say they plan to connect within a year or sooner.

Similarly, more than a quarter of those planning to connect to RTP from The Clearing House expect to do so within a year, and connecting to either FedNow or RTP is the top modernisation priority across all asset tiers.

Replacing legacy wire processing systems ranked second in modernisation priority, likely due to the March 2025 deadline for financial institutions in the US to adopt ISO 20022.

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