The World Retail Banking Report 2019 by Capgemini and Efma builds a case for new, inventive banking models that bridge the divide between banks and "BigTech players." Banks must collaborate with startups to remain relevant in the evolving financial ecosystem, researchers found. Sankar Krishnan, Capgemini executive vice president and author of The Power of Mobile Banking, noted that the evolving financial services environment requires high scalability, high security and high throughput monitoring to predict losses and errors before they happen.
It's beginning to look like retailers will be ringing up record sales gains for the year-end holiday season. A record 189.6 million Americans went shopping at brick and mortar as well as online stores from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, a 14 percent increase over the same period last year, according to data just released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. Shoppers spent an average $361.90 on holiday items over the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend, a 16 percent increase over 2018. Most of that money ($257.33, or 71 percent) was spent specifically on gifts, the NRF said.
Todito Cash, a payment processor and service provider headquartered in Monterrey, Mexico, disclosed it has eliminated transaction fees for its digital wallet, ToditoCash. ToditoCash users can deposit or retrieve cash, pay bills, top-up mobile phones and purchase goods and services via the mobile app without paying additional fees, company representatives stated. Payments analysts expect the move to accelerate mobile wallet adoption in Mexico, which remains a cash-based economy, according to recent reports and commentary. Medium blogger Guillermo Antonio Araiza Torres attributes Mexico's slow digital wallet adoption to lack of traditional financial services and what he described as an informal economy.
Problems continue at Allied Wallet, an online bankcard processor and multicurrency gateway. The company has been the subject of several investigations involving the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice for alleged fraudulent activities. CEO Andy Khawaja and company officers Mohammad Diab and Amy Rountree, settled with the FTC in May 2019 after admitting to defrauding customers and were assessed penalties of $110 million, $320,429.82 and $1 million, respectively.
Most recently, the DOJ unsealed an indictment against the company, alleging it used its proprietary gateway, digital wallet and merchant services in ways that violate AML guidelines. According to the indictment, Khawaja concealed more than $3.5 million in campaign contributions between March 2016 and January 2017 by covertly directing funds to political committees involved with the 2016 presidential election.
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