Welcome to The Axis, your late look at payments news from around the world. Coverage includes Ingenico’s tie-up with European payments firm Trustly for merchant payments. In addition, honestbeeis opening a cashless supermarket in Singapore, and Accenture is teaming up with Digital Ventures Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of a bank in Thailand, for a blockchain system that enables companies to buy and sell goods.
Ingenico is teaming up with European payments firm Trustly in an effort that lets customers make merchant payments using their bank accounts, the companies said in an announcement. Merchants can receive a bank transfer along with real-time confirmation after a European consumer completes the checkout process. The service also has a refund functionality that aims to cut chargeback rates by helping customers get fast refunds. Ingenico VP Commercial Affairs Nick Tubb noted in a press release that the deal “means we can significantly improve our merchant proposition, particularly in geographies where online banking is the preferred payment method, such as Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Poland and Germany.”
In Singapore, honestbee is opening a new 60,000-square-foot cashless Habitat by honestbee supermarket with a checkout system that enables consumers to pay using their smartphones, The Straits Times reported. To check out, shoppers put their grocery cart into an automated system that scans and bags their items. To pick up their items, customers scan a QR code and a robot delivers their selections. Shoppers who are seeking to purchase only a few items can use the company’s app to scan and pay for their purchases. Habitat by honestbee Vice President and Managing Director Pauline Png told the paper, “By automating the checkout process, it frees them up from things like queueing ... and they have an extra five or 10 minutes to maybe eat or get a coffee.”
And, also in Asia, Accenture and Siam Commercial Bank subsidiary Digital Ventures Co. Ltd rolled out a blockchain system that helps companies buy and sell goods, among other use cases, according to reports. It was built on R3’s Corda open-source platform by business conglomerate SCG through agile methodology, design thinking and principles from DevOps. Divyesh Vithlani, who leads the financial services practice of Accenture in the ASEAN region, said, “the most exciting part of the blockchain solution is that the outcome is so tangible: the efficiency improvement, the cost reduction and the convenience that all stakeholders have experienced with this platform.”