The world of mobile payments news this week started out in the one region of the world that doesn’t often make much news when it comes to what U.S. companies are doing in mobile commerce: Cuba.
And everyone wanted in. Which brought about news from some of the biggest players in mobile payments, like Xoom, PayPal and Western Union. Beyond that, there was also plenty of news (and stats) that broke from the mobile pay bigwigs, like Apple, Google and Alibaba.
So, to continue the week of mobile payments momentum, PYMNTS has gathered up the top seven stats to keep your mobile pay appetite full — at least for today.
$2 Billion | The Amount Of Remittances Sent From The US To Cuba On An Annual Basis
President Barack Obama wasn’t alone on his historic trip to Cuba this week; he also brought execs from major companies to stand by his side, including PayPal CEO Dan Schulman.
And, in remarks about his trip, Schulman pointed to the easing of financial restrictions to help pave the way for growth of SMBs in Cuba, and global (and mobile) payments platforms, he said, can open up international markets.
The remittance flows can be advantageous to several countries, Schulman explained, who noted that $2 billion is sent from the United States to Cuba on an annual basis. That amounts to 3 percent of Cuba’s gross domestic product. Schulman noted in his post that platforms such as Xoom can help improve the process, alongside low fees. One key advantage of money transfer services using platforms such as Xoom is that long wait times can be gradually cast aside.
43 | The Number Of Countries Xoom Customers Can Soon Send Money To
And Cuba will likely make number 43 — or close to it.
In Schulman’s remarks about Cuba, he also shared that Xoom would soon be coming to Cuba in order to make remittances between the two nations faster and cheaper. He expects the service to be live by the end of the year.
“Xoom will help make it easier, faster and more affordable for Cubans to gain access to funds. Introducing these money transfer services will not only foster financial inclusion but they can have a positive impact on the day-to-day quality of life — eliminating long lines and fostering greater choice in this community,” Schulman wrote.
“With services like Xoom, PayPal can also offer a whole new world of possibilities to Cuban Americans, who have very little choice today when they want to send money back home to their loved ones. With Xoom and the power of the Internet, Cuban Americans save on high fees, which means more money going back to their families.”
$462 Billion | Alibaba’s Transaction Volume (3 Billion RMB) As Of March 21
And it can thank mobile commerce for taking it to that next level. After all, in each recent quarter, mobile typically accounts for 63 percent of all GMV. In Alibaba’s last quarterly report, mobile GMV in Alibaba’s Chinese marketplaces hit a total of $101 billion, an increase of 99 percent compared to the same quarter the year prior.
That figure shows how Alibaba has managed to continually boost its GMV significantly each year, which included doubling the rate since 2013. And, according to Executive Vice Chairman Joe Tsai, who spoke on Monday (March 21) at the event, Alibaba had achieved “unprecedented scale.” Just to put that into context, Alibaba’s transaction dollar value across all of its online platforms has placed it as the sixth-largest provincial economy in the country, according to Tsai.
200+ | How Many Countries Western Union Is In, Which Will Soon Include Cuba
Western Union announced its plans to launch remittance services from across the world into Cuba closely following the U.S. regulatory and policy changes that now allow Cubans and non-Cubans to move money to the island nation.
The company said it plans to activate services by the end of the second quarter of 2016 using a phased approach, which will allow remittances to be sent into Cuba within minutes using Western Union’s cross-border payments platform.
“As we have found in other parts of the world, expanding remittances will provide a vital opportunity to improve the standard of living for Cuban people, contribute to savings and eventually investment towards small businesses,” said Odilon Almeida, Western Union’s president of the Americas and European Union.
100 | Number Of Send-And-Request Money Transactions Per Minute Since PayPal Launched Its New App
Based on user feedback, it looks like PayPal’s recent app redesign is paying off.
The payment company said that, in just a few weeks since it introduced the redesigned PayPal app to 145 global markets, it has seen a 12 percent jump in the number of new users that have downloaded the app compared to the week before the launch.
PayPal confirmed that it saw 15 unique users per second log into its app the week after the redesign was made available and that one-third more Order Ahead transactions have also been made on the app post-launch.
“We also brought you a more personalized send-and-request money experience, and we can see you are taking advantage of the easier access to your contacts, transparency and ease of use. There have been 100 send-and-request money transactions per minute since we launched the new PayPal app,” wrote Joanna Lambert, PayPal’s VP of global consumer product and engineering.
70 Percent | The Market Share UnionPay Has Of The Bank Card Companies In China
A Chinese tech giant, Huawei Technologies, has been taking steps to push its mobile payment service even further into that country, which means that the field is getting a bit more crowded for Apple Pay — right where the largest smartphone market in the world resides.
The company will be linking up with China UnionPay, the Chinese state-run bank card processing firm, and the collaboration works to offer a new payments service called Huawei Pay. UnionPay, which has a monopoly on bank card companies, and at about a 70 percent share, is trailed by Tencent Holdings, which has a 19 percent share of the mobile payments industry.
Huawei was the biggest player in the Chinese smartphone market, with a 15 percent share at the end of 2015. Apple nipped at those heels, at 14.6 percent.
8 | Number Of Banks Listed On Android Pay’s First UK Launch List
While that number will, of course, keep growing after yesterday’s (March 23) announcement, that number is not likely to include Barclays.
Android Pay will support MasterCard and Visa credit and debit cards issued by Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, M&S Bank, MBNA and Nationwide Building Society. More banks are expected to be added within the next few weeks.
But Android Pay won’t be getting support from one big bank: Barclays.
“At this stage, we are not planning on participating in Android Pay in the U.K.,” a Barclays spokesperson told TechRadar.
Barclays said it’s focusing its mobile payments efforts on its Barclaycard Android app that launched into the U.K. market in January, which also enables NFC contactless mobile payments. But that doesn’t mean Barclays won’t eventually support Apple Pay; the bank has come out and said it will but hasn’t officially said when that will be.