FinTech Daily: Facebook Messenger allows to send Money With Transferwise; Alibaba’s Ant Financial ex
Facebook Messenger Now Lets You Send Money With Transferwise
International money transfer service TransferWise Ltd. has announced an integration with Facebook Inc.'s Messenger that will let people set up foreign exchange transactions over the chat service. London-based TransferWise launched the technology as a bot - a piece of automation software that understands natural language - baked within Messenger. The bot, which is free to use and doesn't affect prices or rates offered, will talk users through the process of arranging an international money transfer with TransferWise. In launching a bot on Facebook, TransferWise joins a growing lists of foreign exchange and payment companies experimenting with sending money over messaging apps, which many people think will gradually replace standalone mobile applications as the primary e-commerce platform. Azimo Ltd., a foreign exchange transfer service that is a rival to TransferWise, announced an integration with Facebook Messenger in August. PayPal Holdings Inc., Stripe Inc., Visa Inc., Mastercard Inc. and American Express Co. already have payment bots on Facebook Messenger, as does the China-based Alipay.com Co Ltd.
Alibaba’s Ant Financial expands to Korea with $200M investment in Kakao Pay
Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial is making yet another M&A deal. Ant Financial, which manages payments service Alipay and Alibaba's digital banking business, will invest the capital into Kakao Pay, a soon-to-launch Kakao fintech division. The deal will see Ant Financial begin to offer its financial services through Kakao Pay in Korea, and help expand its business from online payments into offline, banking and financing services. Kakao Talk has 48 million users - it is installed on over 95 percent of smartphones in Korea - and it has long offered mobile payments through its platform. Last month, the company's board made the decision to split its financial services into a new company which, beyond housing Kakao Pay - which allows over-counter payments, peer-to-peer transactions, bill payment, web banking and more - will move to offer financial services such as loans and financing. Ant Financial is already well entrenched and experienced in China, so the alliance makes strategic sense for both parties.
Visa opens London innovation centre
Visa has opened its largest innovation centre to date in London, with the aim of hosting partners and clients from across Europe to collaborate on new ways to pay. The 1,000+ square meter space features live demonstrations including c, virtual reality and biometrics. The new centre in London joins a global network of innovation centers and studios located in technology hotspots, including Berlin, Dubai, Miami, San Francisco, Singapore, Sao Paulo and Tel Aviv. The launch of the Centre comes as Visa rolls out its new developer Platform across Europe, presenting merchants, financial institutions, technology companies and startups with a menu of APIs, SDKs, and documentation from which to build applications. At the official opening, Visa also highlighted the expansion of its tokenised payment service for secure payments on mobile phones across Europe. The technology is already supporting mobile payment schemes in 27 countries worldwide, including in France, Ireland, Poland, Switzerland and the UK, with more than 1,300 financial institution partners.