Financial applications have been making inroads in banking services — as far-flung as Asia and the U.S., in uses that embrace corporate activities and consumer lending.
In South Korea, Woori Bank said this past week that it has debuted an online platform geared toward FinTech startup entrepreneurs and engineers who develop digital services, according to The Korea Times. The bank said its application programming interface (API) can help engineers integrate the bank’s programs into their own offerings. These FinTech service offerings can span money transfers and cross-border transactions through the WiBee Bank platform.
“We will further share our tech resources with engineers and programmers, and make their future innovative services available via our WiBee Bank platform,” a Woori Bank spokesman told the site, which noted that the Financial Services Commission said financial holding companies should make digital interfaces available for banks and startup companies to boost digital payments.
Visa Via Installments
Elsewhere, Visa said it is offering — through a pilot program — merchants and issuers the ability to allow customers to finance purchases through installment plans. The installment plans will be offered at checkout, and would allow consumers to divide plans into equal payments over a set amount of time, while leveraging existing Visa payment accounts. The pilot involves the participation of CyberSource, which will support global payments. Among the roster of other firms in the program are PayU in Romania, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank in United Arab Emirates and Russia Standard Bank. The merchant integration takes place through the API, and the program will be available to clients and partners in January 2020, available through Visa Next.
In an interview with Karen Webster, Visa’s Sam Shrauger, SVP of Digital Products, said that “our goal was to give cardholders access to a great new way to pay, through a feature that is part of something they already have in their wallet: Their credit and debit cards.”
PYMNTS reported that Visa’s role, as the network, is to enable the connections in the merchants’ point of sale (POS). In commentary detailing the mechanics of the installment plans, it was reported that when the customer gets to either a traditional SoftPOS or an online POS checkout, and presents a Visa card, the customer is offered a choice of installment options for which they qualify.
BIS Calls For International Collaboration
Separately, and beyond the confines of individual company initiatives, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has called for collaboration among FinTech firms through a hub approach.
As reported by BankingTech, the organization said a hub would help identify and address trends affecting central banking, and foster innovation within central banking. The hub centers would be set up in Hong Kong and Basel, Switzerland, where BIS has existing facilities. There will be a third hub established in Singapore, according to reports. The host banks will be the Swiss National Bank, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.