• Euronet's Unit Ties Up With bpost to Ease Money Transfer
    Zacks

    Euronet's Unit Ties Up With bpost to Ease Money Transfer

    Euronet's (EEFT) Ria Money along with another fund transfer company collaborates with bpost to facilitate international money transfer.

  • Millennial's Pay-and-Go Trend to Push These 5 Stocks Higher
    Zacks

    Millennial's Pay-and-Go Trend to Push These 5 Stocks Higher

    Millennials are backing away from cash as innovations in the digital payments industry makes cashless transactions convenient and secure.

  • It’s a Big Day for the Loonie, with the Bank of Canada and Monetary Policy in Focus
    FX Empire

    It’s a Big Day for the Loonie, with the Bank of Canada and Monetary Policy in Focus

    The Bank of Canada and the Loonie are in focus, with economic data on the lighter side elsewhere…

  • Vodafone Abandons Facebook-Led Libra Cryptocurrency Project
    Bloomberg

    Vodafone Abandons Facebook-Led Libra Cryptocurrency Project

    (Bloomberg) -- Telecom giant Vodafone Group Plc left the Libra Association, becoming the latest company to exit the Facebook-led group trying to create a new global cryptocurrency.The Libra Association, which was finalized last October, once expected to have as many as 28 total members when the project was announced in June. It is now down to 20 following earlier departures from Visa Inc., Mastercard Inc. and others that had committed to the project but then left before the group signed an official charter.“Vodafone is no longer a member of the Libra Association,” Dante Disparte, head of policy and communication for the association, said in a statement. “Although the makeup of the Association members may change over time, the design of Libra’s governance and technology ensures the Libra payment system will remain resilient. The Association is continuing the work to achieve a safe, transparent, and consumer-friendly implementation of the Libra payment system.”The idea for Libra -- a global, digital currency intended to make cross-border money transfers as easy as sending a text message -- has faced opposition at every turn. Facebook, the world’s largest social network, first proposed the idea last June, along with a number of high-profile partners. Many of them are no longer involved, and Facebook has pledged to appease all U.S. regulators before launching the currency. It’s unclear how long that might take.Coindesk earlier reported news of Vodafone’s departure from the group.In a statement, U.K.-based Vodafone said it plans to focus on its own digital payments efforts instead. Vodafone partly owns Safaricom Plc, which operates the M-Pesa mobile-payments app in Kenya, where more people keep their money on their phones rather than in banks. The text message-based app is used by about 35 million people globally to spend, borrow and send money to friends and family.“We will continue to monitor the development of the Libra Association and do not rule out the possibility of future co-operation,” Vodafone spokesman Steve Shepperson-Smith said.\--With assistance from Jenny Surane and Scott Moritz.To contact the reporter on this story: Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at kwagner71@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Robin AjelloFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Jack Ma’s Booming Loan Business Threatens Visa, AmEx in China
    Bloomberg

    Jack Ma’s Booming Loan Business Threatens Visa, AmEx in China

    (Bloomberg) -- As Visa Inc., Mastercard Inc. and American Express Co. prepare to enter China for the first time, one of their biggest competitive threats will come from a company that doesn’t issue credit cards.Jack Ma’s Ant Financial, already the biggest player in China’s $27 trillion payments market, is leveraging its ubiquitous Alipay mobile app to mount a rapid expansion into consumer lending.Instead of issuing cards, Ant allows customers to borrow with a few taps on their smartphones. The loans are wildly popular among China’s army of mobile-savvy shoppers, who often lack formal credit histories but generate enough financial data via Alipay for Ant to make informed decisions on whether they’ll default. The company’s outstanding consumer loans may swell to nearly 2 trillion yuan ($290 billion) by 2021, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts, more than triple the level two years ago.“The consumer loans business has been growing at breakneck speed, but there are so many untapped users,” Huang Hao, president of Ant’s digital finance operations, said in a phone interview outlining the company’s strategy.Ant’s push into China’s 10 trillion yuan market for short-term consumer loans will make it an even more formidable challenger to U.S. card companies, which are counting on the world’s second-largest economy as a source of long-term growth.Many Chinese consumers and businesses are ditching credit cards as Ant and its main competitor Tencent Holdings Ltd. make app-based spending, borrowing and investing increasingly user-friendly. In a Nielsen survey of more than 3,000 Chinese people born after 1990, nearly 61% said they use online consumer credit while only 45.5% had a credit card.“For credit card companies coming to China, the biggest challenge is how to attract people,” said Zennon Kapron, managing director of Singapore-based consulting firm Kapronasia. “A lot of Chinese millennials are digital first, used to using Alipay as their first platform for payments, loans and wealth management.”The card giants appear to be moving forward with their China plans despite the headwinds. AmEx’s application to start a bank card clearing business has been accepted by the country’s central bank, while Mastercard has called China a “vital” market and Visa has said it’s working closely with regulators for a license.As part of its phase-one trade agreement with the U.S., China said it won’t take longer than 90 days to consider applications from providers of electronic-payments services. Regulators are opening the industry to foreign competition amid an unprecedented push to give international firms access to the country’s financial sector.Read more: Visa, Mastercard, AmEx Win Easier Access to China MarketIn response to questions from Bloomberg on the threat posed by Ant, Visa said it sees significant potential to support the growth and evolution of digital payments in China and is approaching the market with a long-term focus. Mastercard said it would continue to work with regulators to advance its application and is committed for the long haul. AmEx declined to comment.Ant, an affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. that’s widely expected to pursue an initial public offering in coming years, started its consumer-credit business in 2015. Its loans tend to be small: half the users of Ant’s Huabei (translation: “just spend”) service borrow less than $290 and usually pay it back within months.The Hangzhou-based company, which declined to disclose the value of its outstanding loans, keeps delinquencies in check by tapping into a trove of data amassed by Alipay and Alibaba.Many customers have been using the payments and e-commerce platforms for years -- handing over details from ID cards to addresses and spending habits. Once Ant extends a loan, it can track how the money is spent via Alipay. The result is a bad-debt ratio stands at about 1%, below the 1.24% national average for credit cards.Read more: China’s Gen Z, With Little Income, Gets Hooked on Easy CreditAnt keeps some of the loans on its own balance sheet, charging interest rates that range from about 5% to 18%, according to Huang. But most are passed on for a fee to banks and other financial institutions.“We’re set to continue to work with more banks and finance companies,” Huang said. “We are, at the end of the day, a platform.”The risk for Visa, Mastercard and AmEx is that a swathe of Chinese consumers and businesses will view credit cards as obsolete. About 60% of borrowers on Ant’s Huabei platform don’t have one, and many smaller merchants don’t accept cards because they find it’s cheaper and easier to use Alipay or Tencent’s WePay. The former, with more than 900 million users, is Alibaba’s preferred payments provider.“The competitive landscape is full of local players,” said Hang Qian, a partner at Oliver Wyman, a consultancy. “The key challenges are how to promote small merchants to accept credit cards and how to get e-wallet users to switch.”\--With assistance from Alfred Liu.To contact the reporter on this story: Lulu Yilun Chen in Hong Kong at ychen447@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Patterson at mpatterson10@bloomberg.net, Jodi SchneiderFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • 4 Business Services Stocks Set to Top Q4 Earnings Estimates
    Zacks

    4 Business Services Stocks Set to Top Q4 Earnings Estimates

    The Business Services sector benefits from economic strength and stability, and robust service activities in the fourth quarter.

  • What's in Store for Synchrony Financial (SYF) Q4 Earnings?
    Zacks

    What's in Store for Synchrony Financial (SYF) Q4 Earnings?

    Synchrony Financial's (SYF) fourth-quarter results are likely to reflect lower revenue generation.

  • Coronavirus Jitters Surface as the Focus Shifts to Employment Numbers and the GBP
    FX Empire

    Coronavirus Jitters Surface as the Focus Shifts to Employment Numbers and the GBP

    More stats due out of the UK could test the Pound further this afternoon. Earlier in the day, the BoJ held rates steady.

  • The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Microsoft, American Express, Fidelity National Information Services, Goldman Sachs and Southern
    Zacks

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Microsoft, American Express, Fidelity National Information Services, Goldman Sachs and Southern

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Microsoft, American Express, Fidelity National Information Services, Goldman Sachs and Southern

  • American Express (AXP) to Post Q4 Earnings: What's in Store?
    Zacks

    American Express (AXP) to Post Q4 Earnings: What's in Store?

    American Express' (AXP) Q4 earnings are likely to have benefited from strong billings growth and accretive effect of share buyback partly offset by increase in card service costs.

  • Global Payments (GPN) Soars to 52-Week High, Time to Cash Out?
    Zacks

    Global Payments (GPN) Soars to 52-Week High, Time to Cash Out?

    Global Payments (GPN) is at a 52-week high, but can investors hope for more gains in the future? We take a look at the company's fundamentals for clues.

  • Can Card Sales Aid Discover Financial's (DFS) Q4 Earnings?
    Zacks

    Can Card Sales Aid Discover Financial's (DFS) Q4 Earnings?

    Discover Financial's (DFS) fourth-quarter results are likely to reflect solid gains from card sales, which in turn, might have boosted its top line.

  • The PBoC Holds Loan Prime Rates Steady on a Quiet Day on the Economic Calendar
    FX Empire

    The PBoC Holds Loan Prime Rates Steady on a Quiet Day on the Economic Calendar

    The PBoC left LPRs steady this morning, with some time likely needed to asses the impact of recent cuts and the phase 1 agreement.

  • Global Payments (GPN) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know
    Zacks

    Global Payments (GPN) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

    In the latest trading session, Global Payments (GPN) closed at $198.55, marking a +1.33% move from the previous day.

  • US STOCKS-Wall Street hits new highs in strongest week since August
    Reuters

    US STOCKS-Wall Street hits new highs in strongest week since August

    Analysts expect earnings at S&P 500 companies to drop 0.8% in the fourth quarter, but forecast a 5.8% rise in the first quarter of 2020, according to Refinitiv IBES data. Billionaire David Tepper, who founded hedge fund Appaloosa Management, told CNBC that he remains bullish on U.S. equities. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.17% to end at 29,348.1 points, while the S&P 500 gained 0.39% to 3,329.62.

  • Top STock Analyst Reports for Microsoft, American Express & Others
    Zacks

    Top STock Analyst Reports for Microsoft, American Express & Others

    Top STock Analyst Reports for Microsoft, American Express & Others

  • US STOCKS-Wall Street strikes new high as housing data fuels optimism
    Reuters

    US STOCKS-Wall Street strikes new high as housing data fuels optimism

    Analysts expect earnings at S&P 500 companies to drop 0.8% in the fourth quarter, but forecast a 5.8% rise in the first quarter of 2020, according to Refinitiv IBES data. Billionaire David Tepper, who founded hedge fund Appaloosa Management, told CNBC that he remains bullish on U.S. equities. At 2:42 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.08% at 29,321 points, while the S&P 500 gained 0.22% to 3,323.95.

  • US STOCKS-Wall Street hits new high as data boosts growth outlook
    Reuters

    US STOCKS-Wall Street hits new high as data boosts growth outlook

    The S&P 500 gained 0.21% to 3,323.61 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.05% at 9,362.01. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.06-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq. The S&P index recorded 122 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 186 new highs and nine new lows.

  • 3 Reasons Growth Investors Will Love MasterCard (MA)
    Zacks

    3 Reasons Growth Investors Will Love MasterCard (MA)

    MasterCard (MA) possesses solid growth attributes, which could help it handily outperform the market.

  • American Express (AXP) Earnings Expected to Grow: What to Know Ahead of Next Week's Release
    Zacks

    American Express (AXP) Earnings Expected to Grow: What to Know Ahead of Next Week's Release

    American Express (AXP) possesses the right combination of the two key ingredients for a likely earnings beat in its upcoming report. Get prepared with the key expectations.

  • The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: AAPL, JNJ, PG and AXP
    Zacks

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: AAPL, JNJ, PG and AXP

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: AAPL, JNJ, PG and AXP

  • Has Mastercard (MA) Outpaced Other Business Services Stocks This Year?
    Zacks

    Has Mastercard (MA) Outpaced Other Business Services Stocks This Year?

    Is (MA) Outperforming Other Business Services Stocks This Year?

  • Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) to Launch ESG Data Service
    Zacks

    Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) to Launch ESG Data Service

    Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) plans to introduce a new data service to meet growing investor demand for ESG data.