Money Transfer Industry Update - Royal Bank of Canada, Apple Pay Cash, and WorldRemit

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Royal Bank of Canada Courts Blockchain But Isn’t Ready to Commit

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), the country’s biggest bank, recently launched a trial of blockchain for the monitoring of cross-border payments to and from the US.  RBC refers to the new technology as a “shadow ledger,” because it underlies the bank’s existing payments system instead of replacing it.  Executive Vice President Martin Wildberger stated, "We wanted to set it up as a shadow ledger so that we can demonstrate our leadership in exploiting that technology while at the same time recognizing that the technology is still early in its adoption phase."  RBC believes that blockchain could transform the entire money transfer industry someday, but it first needs time to mature and overcome “many hurdles” to widespread adoption.

Signs Point North for Apple Pay Cash

Apple Pay Cash, the peer-to-peer payment feature accessed through iMessage, may soon be heading north.  Earlier this month, Apple filed a trademark application with the Government  of Canada for “computer software used to process mobile payments,” to facilitate contactless payments, and to transmit and verify credit/debit card information. 

Apple Pay Cash, which competes with popular money transfer apps like Venmo and Square Cash, only recently became available in the US with the release of IOS 11.  Americans can now use it to send money to each other’s Wallet, an IOS app that provides central storage for tickets, loyalty cards, credit/debit cards, boarding passes, and more.

Impressive Growth for International Money Transfer Provider WorldRemit

 

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WorldRemit, a leading money transfer service headquartered in London, took a big leap forward in 2016.  Its revenue increased to £41.1 million, a 50 percent gain compared to the previous year (£26.8 million), and it achieved a positive cash flow for the very first time.  The number of transactions processed by WorldRemit also shot up, from 3.5 million to 5.4 million. 

The company expects even more growth in 2017 as it expands business in the US.  Last year, the majority of WorldRemit’s revenue came from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (about £23 million), and the US accounted for just 17 percent.  According to CEO and founder Ismail Ahmed “With almost all state licenses secured, the US is now our fastest growing send country and is expected to become our largest send market in the next two years." 

A Name Change for Tesco’s Mobile Payments App

The UK’s number one supermarket chain just changed the name of its proprietary mobile payment app from Tesco PayQwiq to Tesco Pay+.  The newly branded app, which has been available in certain stores for the past few years, lets customers pay for up to £250 of merchandise per visit, store virtual receipts, track spending, and collect Clubcard points.  Additional features are anticipated as part of the rebranding effort. 

Despite dating back almost a hundred years, when it was founded in London by Jack Cohen as a group of market stalls, Tesco can still keep up with the younger competition and the latest technology.  As measured by profits, it’s currently the third largest retailer in the world.


Marisa Fasciano
Content Specialist
Marisa is a communications consultant based in New York with a background in social research, diversity education, and nonprofit development.  She has lived and traveled abroad extensively… Read more

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