The payments industry is a compelling space, but it’s a time consuming one as well. You might not have time to keep track of every major story and trend or every funny and fascinating tidbit that we cover on everyone’s favorite payments site.
With that in mind, we bring you What’s In And What’s Out: a weekly look at the best stories from the PYMNTS.com EMEA newsletter, and a bit of light reading before you take off for the weekend.
Make sure to understand What’s In so you avoid being part of What’s Out!
French Tobacco Shops Smoke Bank Competitors
What's In: Taking a stroll in Paris and stopping by the local tobacco shop to order a pack of cigarettes ... and a new bank account.
What's Out: Buying a stock of lottery tickets along with your pack of cigarettes at the local smoke shop. You're hoping one day you'll cash in the big win that will help pay off your debt thanks to current account fees.
What Happened: This week a former French banker announced he's created a small company that will allow customers to apply for a credit card and open up a bank account at local tobacco shops in France.
Hugues Le Bret, co-founder, raised $3.9 million from 50 entrepreneurs and hopes to launch the business by October this year. The company set high goals and expects to have at least 100,000 customers by the first 18 months of operation.
Le Bret even claimed the new bank accounts would have no commission fees and would be much cheaper to maintain than the high street bank accounts in the country.
Barclays Is A Sell Out?
What's In: Your comments, interactions and images from Twitter and Facebook being picked up by Barclays bank, and having the data sold to government agencies and members of parliament.
What's Out: Privacy, apparently.
What Happened: The lyrics, "I always feel like somebody's watching me," may resonate in your thoughts each time you interact on Twitter starting this autumn.
This week Barclays announced it may be extracting information from customer interactions it has with consumers on social media or via mobile devices. Data receivers will use the information to create reports on consumer behavior and how people spend on certain products and services.
Barclays also reported it could hold images of customers, as well as customer voice recordings.
Safaricom Introduces New M-PESA For SMBs
What's In: Kenyan consumers paying Mama Mboga for their sukuma through M-PESA transfers.
What's Out: Paying Mama Mboga for your sukuma with torn up bank notes. Do the words "cashless project" mean anything to you, people?
What Happened: Wait. Pay mama who for what?
PYMNTS.com breaks it down for those living outside of Kenya. Mama Mboga is native lingo for the grocery sales woman, and sukuma is a collard green in East Africa. What does this have to do with payments?
Safaricom launched a new M-PESA program that targets SMBs, dubbed "Lipan na M-PESA."
The new service will act as a business tool, and will allow firms to distribute salaries and receive payments with the new M-PESA platform. Additionally, Lipa na M-PESA will facilitate other payment transactions, namely utility payments, promotional payouts, dividend payments and transportation payments.
The company revealed an ambitious goal of recruiting more than 100,000 small and medium sized businesses by April 2014.
Mama Mboga will be one happy lady come next spring.
Arab eCommerce Says "Sayonara" To PayPal
What's In: Arabic consumers paying for online goods using their PayP—, sorry, PayFort account.
What's Out: Arabic consumers paying for online goods using their PayPal account - or worse, directly with a credit card.
What Happened: Move over PayPal, PayFort has arrived in Dubai.
PayFort is the new payment platform created for the Arabic speaking community. The newbie is challenging its international competitor, PayPal, as it seeks to dominate online retailers and consumers.
The eCommerce marketplace is seeing impressive growth in the Middle East region. As online shopping continues to climb, both retailers and consumers are vigilant on finding options to make safe payments.