Welcome to The Axis, your late look at payments news from around the world. Coverage includes WorldRemit’s partnership with Safaricom for money transfers to mobile money accounts in Kenya. In addition, Bambora is working with Payworks to introduce Bambora Connect, and Hong Kong-based The Bank of East Asia (BEA) has unveiled its i-Payment Hub.
Bambora is teaming up with Payworks to bring Bambora Connect to the global small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) market, the companies said in an announcement. The new integrated point-of-sale (POS) solution will let merchants process card transactions in various currencies, such as the Euro and the British Pound, using card terminals like the Ingenico Link 2500 and Lane 5000. In the announcement, Johan Tjärnberg, Bambora’s CEO and Ingenico’s retail business unit EVP, said that “the POS Software market is growing at a rapid pace on a global scale and we see plenty of opportunity to collaborate beyond the SME space as well.”
WorldRemit is bringing instant cross-border money transfers to M-PESA mobile money accounts in Kenya, through a partnership with Safaricom, CIO East Africa reported. The partnership comes as the Central Bank of Kenya has reported inward remittances of $1.95 billion in the Kenyan economy, and as M-PESA has seen a rise in the volume of money transfers via WorldRemit users. Sharon Karuga Kinyanjui, head of East and Central Africa at WorldRemit, remarked that the tie-up comes “as both companies recognize the impressive growth in international remittances to M-PESA accounts and WorldRemit’s leading position in sending to mobile money.”
Juniper Research predicts that mobile merchant transactions conducted by unbanked individuals will rise from 1.8 billion per annum this year to 3.8 billion per annum by 2023, the firm said in a press release. In addition, the study predicts that the unbanked population’s spending on merchant payments will increase from $9.7 billion in 2018 to $22 billion by 2023. The study also said that Kenya and India will serve as “core incubator markets for merchant services.” Safaricom’s Lipa Na M-PESA service, for example, counts 100,000 merchants on its platform.
Hong Kong’s BEA has introduced a consolidated payments platform for merchants, dubbed the i-Payment Hub, the bank said in an announcement. Payments can be made through credit cards, as well as services like WeChat Pay and Alipay. Vincent Hui, the bank’s general manager and head of its personal banking division, said that mobile payments are ubiquitous and “BEA’s i-Payment Hub helps merchants process both physical and online transactions, and manage these transactions more effectively.”