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April 8, 2016updated 05 Sep 2016 11:30am

Money 2020: Verifone, Western Union, Amazon & Alipay steal the FS and payments headlines

List: Strategies revealed at the major event.

By James Nunns

In Copenhagen a major payments and financial services conference has been going on called Money 20/20.

With over 10,000 attendees, 1,000 CEO’s, and over 500 speakers from 3,000 plus companies across 75 countries, the event can’t be described as small.

The event was used by numerous companies to reveal payments and FS plans. CBR highlights some of the major stories.


1. Verifone Carbon

Verifone, a payments and commerce solutions provider unveiled its latest Point of Sale solution called Carbon.

Verifone Carbon features dual-high resolution screens that allow merchants to run register and business apps from the tablet screen while customers pay and interact with a separate screen that can offer a personalised shopping experience.

The idea behind the POS system is to provide an omni-channel shopping experience that aims to let customers get the same feeling and offers that they get online in-store.

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The system comes with Verifone’s Commerce Platform, which is an open, cloud-based platform that allows businesses to customise applications and services.


2. Western Union launches B2B platform

Western Union Business Solutions, a business segment of the Western Union company, launched WU EDGE, a digital platform that is designed to enable small and medium sized enterprises to trade internationally.

WU EDGE, according to the company, will enable businesses across the world to easily engage in global trade, help them to grow, invest and deliver the jobs of the future.

The platform unifies accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR) with Electronic Invoice Presentment and Payment.
In addition to this it offers actionable insights to help businesses to navigate foreign exchange risks and opportunities resulting from international payments.

WU EDGE allows users to make payments in more than 130 currencies in over 200 countries and territories.


3. Alipay expands into Europe

Alipay, which is operated by Alibaba’s Ant Financial Services Group, used the Money202 conference to reveal its official expansion into the European market.

The company says that this expansion will make it easier for Chinese tourists to interact with Western merchants. It is hoping to tap into the market of 117 million Chinese tourists that travelled abroad in 2014 and spent around $165 billion.

Currently Alipay has 450 million active users in its home market, with more than 200 financial partners. This equates to more than 50% of the market share in online payment and 80% in mobile.

To strengthen the move, Alipay is launching a Local Services Platform within its app that will use geolocation technology to provide users with detailed descriptions and reviews of shops and restaurants that are nearby.


4. Amazon eyes fintech acquisitions

On the area of strategic moves, Amazon executive Patrick Gauthier told CNBC that the e-commerce company is contemplating acquisitions in the payments space.

This is apparently driven by the falling valuations of fintech companies.

Gauthier said: "We created this business unit a year ago, now I’m starting to look at opportunities outside. After a number of years where fintech has been a little bit ahead of itself in terms of valuations things have come back to earth."

The potential move from Amazon comes as a PwC report revealed that the level of innovation in the payments industry from fintechs is starting to fall.

No specifics were revealed by Amazon as to what companies it is looking to buy.

In addition to this potential move, Amazon launched a global program that is designed to help e-commerce platform providers and developers to extend the use of Amazon Payments to their merchant customers.


5. UK firms dominate FinTech 50

The FinTech 50 2016 list revealed that the UK is well on top when it comes to fintech companies that are set to become big names in the world of finance.

Out of 50 start-ups named, the majority (29) came from London, with a further two coming from the UK.

The list was revealed at Money2020, giving the start-ups good exposure to an audience which it is likely to want to appeal to in regards to future business and partnerships.

The start-ups were selected by a panel of over 30 industry experts who started with a list of 1,200 companies.

"London FinTechs feature in just over half the list – in part due to the UK’s favourable regulatory environment as well as access to funding and talent. But London’s status is also being very energetically challenged by FinTech communities in capitals such as Amsterdam, Berlin and Stockholm," said The FinTech 50.

The list, which is in its fourth year, aims to place an emphasis on those businesses that can demonstrate long-term potential.

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