Here are the week’s main news stories in the world of small business and digital payments:
European mobile payment systems to collaborate on contactless payments
Seven European mobile payment systems are joining forces to better develop cross-border contactless payments. The move is seen as an attempt to create a regional standard for smartphone payments that does not require Apple, Google, Visa or Mastercard. Mark Wraa-Hansen, CEO of Denmark's MobilePay system, says the European Mobile Payment System Association combines 25 million registered users, about one million merchant acceptance points and more than 350 partner banks. Wraa-Hansen said the association will focus on making it possible to use any of the seven mobile payment systems seamlessly across Belgium, Germany, Austria, Portugal, Switzerland and four Nordic nations.
SMEs invited to plan ahead through export competition
The Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) professional membership body has launched its ‘Open to Export Competition’ to encourage businesses to take ownership of their international strategies. The UK government aims to grow exports as a percentage of GDP from 30 per cent to 35 per cent and encourages SMEs to look further afield at global markets – especially emerging markets – as a way to mitigate risk and increase global sales. The competition asks SMEs to create a coherent ‘Export Action Plan’ using an online planning tool on OpentoExport.com. SMEs can then enter their completed plan into the competition for the opportunity to win international trade support.
TSB, Square partner for SME business payments
High-street bank TSB and payments provider Square have announced a partnership to make card payments more accessible for TSB’s business banking customers. The collaboration will equip TSB’s small-business owners with fast, affordable and easy access to credit and debit card processing and free Square point-of-sale software to help them start, run and grow their businesses. The bank’s business banking customers will get a free Square Reader for in-person payments, and will benefit from free processing on their first £1,000 worth of sales using Square. Square’s technology will enable TSB’s SME customers that process payments with Square to track performance with real-time analytics, and set up and manage inventory, as well as send digital receipts and issue refunds, for free.
Worldline extends PayPal contract for mobile payments in Latin America
European payments company Worldline has extended its contract with PayPal to facilitate mobile payments in Latin America. The three-year contract will allow Worldline to continue making mobile payments easier in Brazil and Mexico. PayPal and Worldline have been working together since 2006. This was when Worldline supported PayPal with one of the first industrial solutions available in the mobile payments space. Since then, mobile payments have continued to grow in Latin America, exceeding global trends in customer behaviour.
Impersonation phishing attacks hit SMEs
Research by security vendor CybSafe has found that 43 per cent of the 250 SME IT decision-makers surveyed have experienced a phishing attempt through impersonation of staff and, of those, two-thirds suffered a successful attack. Businesses in CybSafe’s survey admitted to taking minimal action to correct this: 47 per cent claimed to already have a cybersecurity training and awareness programme in place. Respondents saw email phishing as a much greater threat than phone phishing. Pitted against nine other potential threats, email phishing was perceived to be the second-most pressing threat (37 per cent), with phone phishing the least (8.8 per cent).
Alibaba customers to get additional payment method in Europe
Online banking payments company Trustly has partnered with industrial goods marketplace Alibaba through Ingenico to provide an additional payment method for Alibaba’s European buyers in 16 markets. During the initial stage, Alibaba will launch Trustly’s bank payments in the UK, Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. Trustly’s fast, simple and secure online transactions fulfil growing demand from European businesses to pay directly from their bank account, as opposed to using credit.