The Top 10 Payments News Stories in February, 2015 1

Payments news stories remained firmly in the spotlight in February. There were various payments news reports highlighting record investments in the fintech sector, coupled with continued developments with contactless payments. The European stage is clearly being primed for Apple Pay, and hot on the heels of this is the Samsung offering, LoopPay. Interestingly there were several competing payments news reports around bank branches – some banks reducing their footprint while others are actively looking for opportunities to improve the level of service and functions available at their branch network. Finally cyber security continued to alarm in February with numerous payments news stories highlighting the growing threat and risks in the digital world.

Following are my top 10 Payments News stories (in no particular order!) for February 2015:

1. Payments News: Fintech Investments

There were numerous reports of IT investments in the financial sector:

  • Celent forecast an encouraging increase in total bank IT spending – across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific – to $196.7 billion in 2015
  • London technology firms attracted $795.2 million from US investors last year – more than double the previous record figure from 2012
  • Finextra reports a global increase, $6.8 billion, in fintech funding in 2014
  • Toronto sets itself up as a fintech hub at the MaRs Discovery District
  • JP Morgan and Financial Solutions Lab announce a $3 million competition for technology folks to address consumer financial challenges
  • Deutsche Bank signs a 10 year multi billion dollar agreement to outsource parts of its US banking IT function to Hewlett Packard (HP)
  • Moving Mainstream, a European Alternative Finance Benchmarking Report by Cambridge University describes last years 144% growth in the European alternative finance market

2. Payments News: SWIFT

UK Payments Council selects SWIFT as the provider of the country’s SEPA IBAN only platform

3. Payments News: PWC CEO Survey

The PWC Annual CEO Survey reveals the top 10 concerns include over-regulation, availability of skillsets,  geo-political uncertainty, increasing tax burden and cyber threats

4. Payments News: Contactless Payments

Contactless payments remain the flavour of the day with:

5. Payments News: Bank Branches

Various bank branch related stories were featured:

  • With JP Morgan reporting the planned closure of 300 bank branches by the end of 2016 (Source: Finextra)
  • Meanwhile TSB issued a policy document Why branches matter in a digital age outlining its plans to grow its branch network
  • The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) shared details of their report highlighting the continued strength of branch banking even though online and mobile banking are grabbing all of the headlines
  • Idea Bank launches their new concept bank branch — incorporating a work space for corporates, coffee and space for business meetings
  • Banco Santanders Ana Botin reaffirms the banks belief in the bank branch network coupled with a $3 billion global IT budget (Source: FT)
  • BBVA reported that digital disruption has the potential to eliminate up to half of the world banks! (Source: Finextra)
  • Barclays

6. Payments News: Cyber Security

Cyber security continued to hit the headlines in February with:

  • Target reporting that the data breaches had cost $162m in 2013-14 – (Source: TechCrunch)
  • Europol shut down the botnet that infected 3.2 million computers
  • Russian ‘megahacker’ Vladimir Drinkman is extradited to the US, for his role in allegedly stealing 160 million credit card details, and appears in New Jersey court
  • Alarmingly Kaspersky Labs reported how a cybergang may have stole up to $1 billion
  • MasterCard announced plans to invest more than $20 million in cyber security and protection
  • Gemalto 2014 Breach Level Index reveals data breaches increased by 49% in 2014

7. Payments News: Twitter Payments

Barclays will enable Pingit payments via Twitter starting 10th March, 2015

8. Payments News: Digital Currencies

‘National’ Banks start to consider exploring / issuing digital currencies@

9. Payments News: HCE – Host Card Emulation

Visa and MasterCard will adopt Host Card Emulation (HCE) for NFC based mobile payments

10. Payments News: Bank Recruitment

JP Morgan are actively seeking individuals that “care about disruption and have opinions on the future of banking”


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There you have my top payments news stories – do you agree, have I missed something important….? If so, please let me know below…

One comment on “The Top 10 Payments News Stories in February, 2015

  1. Pingback: 2015: The Major Payments News Stories with an Epic Twist

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