Welcome to The Axis, your late look at payments news from around the world. Coverage includes the debut of Hong Kong’s MeReal Biometrics Keyper smart fingerprint card. Ireland’s FinTech Umba has notched funding from two venture capital firms, Malaysia’s Maybank has implemented a SWIFT global payments innovation (gpi) service, and Wing (Cambodia) Limited Specialized Bank has teamed with Western Union to offer mobile digital international money transfers.
MeReal Biometrics, a biometric card maker based in Hong Kong, has debuted its Keyper smart fingerprint card, according to reports. The card offers multiple forms of communication ranging from contact to sound waves and contactless. In addition, programs that run digital currency vaults, credit cards and wallets can be moved to the company’s card. At the same time, it was reported that the card only needs to be charged once every quarter and that its charging time is now 1.5 hours. The card also has a “tamper resistant chip” per reports, which allows for data to be securely exchanged between the card and software or an external device.
In payments news from Ireland, Umba has notched funding from two venture capital firms as it seeks to facilitate loans to emerging markets, the Irish Times reported. The FinTech secured a new investment from Frontline Ventures along with ACT Venture Capital. The firm has 170,000 clients in Africa who can tap into the company’s smartphone app but may not have access to banking facilities. Tiernan Kennedy, the company’s co-founder, told the outlet, “Traditional banking doesn’t work in developing markets for a number of reasons. In Kenya, poor transport options, low average incomes and no bank in close proximity are all contributory factors to less than 40 per cent of the population having bank accounts.”
And in Malaysia, Maybank is reportedly the first local bank to implement a service that would let clients have more convenient and secure remittances through a SWIFT global payments innovation (gpi) offering, The Star Online reported. The service is said to offering cost transparency as well as deliver trackable and fast payments. Maybank, which is the biggest bank in the country in terms of assets, is part of a league of 160 bank groups in 200 nations that offer “this new standard in global payments” per the report. At the same time, it was reported that customers will benefit from reduced crediting times — particularly corporates that regularly handle a large amount of remittances.
In Cambodia, a mobile banking services provider Wing (Cambodia) Limited Specialized Bank has teamed up with Western Union to offer mobile digital international money transfers, the Khmer Times reported. Through the offering, 1 million users of Wing App in the country will have the ability to make money transfers to over 200 countries. Wing CEO Jojo Malolos said per the report, “…we are delighted to take our collaboration to the next level, enabling migrants, the unbanked, the underbanked and foreign workers to conveniently transfer money in real-time, 24/7, to their families and dependents back home and globally.”