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Visa's third-quarter set of results reported growth in cross-border volume up by 36 percent. Payments volume was up by a tenth for the period. There is "no evidence of consumers feeling a pinch", commented chief financial officer Vasant Prabhu. "The numbers have been steady for nine months, and spending is stable almost everywhere in the world and quite strong". Mastercard's latest earnings also beat expectations, with volume on cross-border usage up by 44 percent over the same quarter in 2021 and switched transactions up by nine percent.
American Express, which differs from the two biggest schemes in also being a bank, followed JPMorgan Chase in putting aside a larger-than-expected loan-loss provision. Amex cardmember spending was up over a fifth for the quarter just ended, with a 24 percent revenue bump supported by enthusiastic usage among customers in their 20s and 30s. Meanwhile, Discover's results saw a 19 percent year-on-year rise in credit-card loans, with the company's chief executive singling out strong credit metrics and a robust net interest margin in the quarterly performance.
PayPal solution Venmo announced on Wednesday that its presence at the Amazon checkout, flagged a year ago, has now begun to become a reality, with the option planned to be in place for all 90 million of its users by Black Friday. One clear marker of PayPal's final detachment from erstwhile corporate parent eBay is the fact that it is able to enter into such deals. Amazon for its part has been steadily expanding its payment-choices array. Venmo, incidentally, is itself an Amazon customer: it runs on the company's Cloud-services platform.
Rather than PayPal, eBay now uses Adyen for its processing needs: the Amsterdam-headquartered fintech, which also serves Spotify, Uber and Levi's, is now planning to leverage its banking licences in both Europe and the United States to offer white-label loans and current accounts for small businesses. Last year, notes Forbes, Adyen handled $516 billion of transactions, "compared with Block (formerly Square)'s $168 billion processed, Stripe's $640 billion and PayPal's whopping $1.25 trillion".
Across the Atlantic, commercial uptake of instant payments has varied significantly by market, with the executive arm of the European Union now setting out to make it mandatory for banks' instant-payments facilities to be made readily accessible for customers. On Wednesday, EU Commissioner Mairead McGuinness told a press conference in Brussels that "instant payments will become universal" and that the reforms, currently at the drafting stage, will cap fees. "If fees are charged at all", she said, "they will not be allowed to exceed fees for non-instant transfers".
Just over a tenth of euro-denominated credit transfers moved through Europe's instant-payments infrastructure at the end of 2021: with commercial drivers having failed to deliver mass usage, legislators now seem determined to pursue the regulatory path that was used to kickstart Open Banking.
The Open-Banking approach to account information, switching tools and competitive reform is now a key priority for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which this week announced plans to finalise a data-sharing rule in 2024 once a legally required stakeholder canvas is complete. The White House is fully behind the move, following July's executive order on competition which tasked the CFPB with rulemaking around the use of account data for switching to a new bank.
"While not explicitly an Open Banking or Open Finance rule, the rule will move us closer to it", said bureau director Rohit Chopra, whose team has been carefully weighing the impacts on privacy and cybersecurity to find the optimal balance of outcomes.
Other stories of interest this week...
India: Post-Covid shopping gives credit cards 70 percent boost
Japan: JCB tests in-store CBDC payments
UK: Regulator warns over Big Tech interest in finance
UK: Tymit bags £23m round despite BNPL industry struggles
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