Welcome to The Axis, your late look at payments news from around the world. Coverage includes the launch of Wirecard and Ctrip’s multi-currency Visa cards for customers in China. In addition, U.K. fashion retailer Missguided is offering a pay later option through Klarna, and Nordic payments company Nets A/S and merchant payment service provider Concardis Payment Group said they have completed their merger.
Digital financial technology company Wirecard and online travel agency Ctrip are rolling out multi-currency Visa cards to Ctrip customers in China, Wirecard said in an announcement. The card will support currencies from Australia, Japan and the U.S., among other countries, and will let customers travel without the need to hold large amounts of cash or exchange money. “As a traveler, it is essential that you are able to pay in a way that is convenient, secure and widely accepted," Ctrip VP Zhengmao Hu said in the announcement. "And it is for this reason that we are confident that our solution with Wirecard will be a welcome innovation for the millions of Chinese tourists who enjoy international travel." The move comes as China National Tourism Administration statistics showed that travelers from China made roughly 131 million international trips last year.
In the U.K., fashion retailer Missguided is offering a pay later option through Klarna, according to an announcement. With the service, Missguided customers can opt to pay for their selections up to 30 days following delivery. According to the announcement, the service is “offered completely interest- and fee-free to the shopper.” Klarna UK General Manager Luke Griffiths said that shoppers are turned off by checkout processes that contain many pages and forms. But in the announcement, Griffiths noted, “Pay later lets Missguided’s customers pay for their items seamlessly and try on the latest fashion before parting with a penny, giving them more time to focus on the things they love.”
And in Denmark and Germany, Nordic payments company Nets A/S and merchant payment service provider Concardis Payment Group said on Monday (Jan. 7) that they have completed their merger. With the deal, the combined group will be headed up by Nets A/S CEO Bo Nilsson, and Concardis Group CEO Robert Hoffmann will report to Nilsson. In the announcement, Nilsson said that "by combining our market-leading positions as payment champions in the Nordics and the DACH region [Germany, Austria, Switzerland] we will be able to accelerate our European expansion and be a driving force behind the ongoing consolidation in the European payments industry."