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ACT Canada Driving Insights – October 2019

Welcome to the October 2019 edition of ACT News – Driving Insights. This complimentary service is provided by ACT Canada.  Please feel free to forward this to your colleagues.

In This Issue

Features ACT Canada Member MasterCard
Features ACT Canada Member MasterCard
Features ACT Canada Member MasterCard
Features ACT Canada Member Ingenico Group Canada
Features ACT Canada Member American Express
Features ACT Canada Member CIBC
Features ACT Canada Member Global Payments
Features ACT Canada Member Canadian Credit Union Association
Features ACT Canada Member MasterCard
Features ACT Canada Member G+D Mobile Security
Features ACT Canada Member MasterCard
Features ACT Canada Member Ethoca
Features ACT Canada Members American Express, Discover and MasterCard
Features ACT Canada Member G+D Mobile Security
Features ACT Canada Member Canadian Credit Union Association
Features ACT Canada Member CIBC

ACT Canada Partners

Payment Network Partner

Interac Corp. operates an economical, world-class debit payments system with broad-based acceptance, reliability, security, and efficiency. The organization is one of Canada’s leading payments brands and is chosen an average of 16 million times daily to pay and exchange money. For more than 30 years, Interac Corp. and its predecessors, Interac Association and Acxsys Corporation, have facilitated secure financial transactions through the development of innovative and convenient debit and money transfer solutions. A leader in the prevention and detection of fraud, the organization has one of the lowest rates of fraud globally.



Looking For good people?

There is a lot of movement in the market, so if you are looking for new employees, we are always aware of some great people. Please contact ACT Canada for more details -

looking to hire

Calendar of Events

ACT Canada Payments Community Meet Ups
Duke of Westminster, Toronto
Dec 10th, Jan 14th
Customer Expo
Indianapolis, IN, USA
Nov 11-13, 2019
ACT Canada Members receive a 20% discount


Cannes, France
Nov 26-28, 2019
ACT Canada Members attend for free

Money20/20 China

Hangzhou, China
Dec 4-6, 2019
ACT Canada Members receive a

$250 discount

Money20/20 Asia

Mar 24-26, 2020
ACT Canada Members receive a

$250 discount

Payments Canada SUMMIT

Montreal, QC, Canada
May 25-27, 2020
ACT Canada Members receive a 30% discount



Source: Forbes (10/16)


Governments around the world are allowing big tech companies to take over welfare systems, harming the poorest members of society with little accountability, the UN will warn this week. In a scathing report to be presented to the UN general assembly on Friday, Philip Alston, UN rapporteur on extreme poverty, draws on visits to the UK and US, as well as submissions from 34 countries to highlight the emergence of what he calls the ‘digital welfare state’.


"In these states, systems of social protection and assistance are increasingly driven by digital data and technologies that are used to automate, predict, identify, surveil, detect, target and punish," he writes.


"The process is commonly referred to as ‘digital transformation’, but this somewhat neutral term should not be permitted to conceal the revolutionary, politically-driven, character of many such innovations." Often, he says, this includes cutting overall welfare budgets, a narrowing of the beneficiary pool and the elimination of some services. Intrusive forms of conditionality are introduced, as are stronger sanctions regimes.


As for the tech industry, Alston describes it as 'virtually a human rights-free zone'. While the tech firms are swift enough to produce codes of ethics, these lack both coherence and accountability. Meanwhile, tech firms are increasingly running significant parts of the digital welfare state. In South Africa, for example, Net 1 subsidiary Cash Paymaster Services, MasterCard and Grindrod Bank are involved in the distribution of social grants; Indue and Visa have taken part in cashless debit card trials in Australia; and IBM is involved in Ontario’s Social Assistance Management System.


"A handful of powerful executives are replacing governments and legislators in determining the directions in which societies will move and the values and assumptions which will drive those developments," Alston writes.


"As humankind moves, perhaps inexorably, towards the digital welfare future it needs to alter course significantly and rapidly to avoid stumbling zombie-like into a digital welfare dystopia." Alston is no stranger to controversy - his reports into Donald Trump's tax cuts for the rich and the UK's austerity policy prompted fierce denials from the governments concerned. This report is likely to be no less controversial - but may have just as little effect.



Source: Sky News (10/10)


You may have heard - there's a European summit next week. I don't want to overstate the matter, but it's kind of a big deal. As one French minister put it recently, the "sovereignty of countries is at stake". So is the future of an ambitious dream - although many would call it a nightmare. The Libra Association Council will convene next week. As so often in these polarised times, there's precious little middle ground between the two camps. To make matters more complicated, a crucial player has just gone back on an agreement to take part. Will this be the day the whole project collapses? Or the moment it finally gathers momentum, even in the face of bitter opposition? I am talking, as you've no doubt guessed, about the Libra Association Council.


The body convened by Facebook to oversee its plan for a global cryptocurrency is holding its first meeting on 14 October in Geneva, Switzerland - and, while it's too early to call the summit "do or die", it's looking increasingly critical. Less than six months after it was announced, the initiative has run into difficulties, after payments firm PayPal pulled out of the 28-firm Association, becoming the first of the blue-chip finance and tech member companies to withdraw its support.


The way the news came out made it seem like the corporate version of a break-up. Late last Friday night, in the hours when news goes to die, PayPal released a brief statement saying it had decided to pull out "to continue to focus on advancing our existing mission". (Translation: "It's not you, it's me"). The Libra Association responded by saying that "change is hard," adding later, "We're better off knowing about this lack of commitment now, rather than later." (Translation: "You were never good enough for me, I'm happier alone.") Paypal pulled support for the currency. Of course, both sides insisted they'd stay friends, but no-one who knew the couple was truly surprised, because they'd seemed such an odd match in the first place.


With Libra, Facebook promised to get around banks and payment providers… and PayPal is a payments provider. So are MasterCard and Visa, who are also reported to be considering withdrawing, according to the Wall Street Journal, as is digital payment processor Stripe. The conflict between these companies and the aims of Libra is nothing new. What's brought this issue to a head is the hostile attitude of regulators and politicians. Donald Trump said he was "not a fan". The US Congress asked Facebook to "immediately cease implementation plans" in order to give regulators time to consider.


"Until now, digital technology has always been regulated retrospectively - this would be a sign that governments are prepared to act before an innovation even comes into being." Rowland Manthorpe.


France and Germany went one further, announcing last month that they would block Libra if it came into operation. One concern is that Libra might be used for anonymous money-laundering. Another opposite worry is that it would intrude too intensely on users' privacy.


Yet the fear for regulators and finance ministry is as much existential as technical. Simply put, they look at Libra and see a corporation taking the powers of the state. The French and German governments put it bluntly. In a joint statement released in September, the two countries declared that "no private entity can claim monetary power, which is inherent to the sovereignty of nations". It is almost as if Facebook had proposed to recruit a private army. Not every regulator is so hostile. Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, initially said he would approach Libra "with an open mind".


Mark Carney said his mind is open but the door is not when it came to the currency. But, he added, "not an open door" - and he has since laid out tough conditions for its acceptance, saying it would have to meet "the highest standards of resilience" before it was accepted as a currency in the UK. With opposition on this scale, it seems reasonable to doubt whether Libra will ever see the light of day. If that is the case, it will be a remarkable moment. Until now, digital technology has always been regulated retrospectively. This would be a sign that governments are prepared to act before an innovation even comes into being. Facebook branches into banking. That determination and foresight is welcome. Yet, amid the conflict and speculation, it's easy to forget why a currency such as Libra could be so beneficial, from lower fees to faster transactions. Set aside the problems caused by Facebook's involvement and a global digital currency begins to look attractive. Make it collectively owned - if not a truly decentralised way, like Bitcoin, then by governments across the world - and it looks like a financial revolution.


Yet, if anything, Facebook's struggles make that prospect seem further away than ever. If one of the richest, most powerful companies on earth can't make headway with a relatively conservative proposal, then who can? One possible candidate is governments themselves. Several are working on so-called "national cryptocurrencies", Switzerland and China. But although these efforts could bring about great operational efficiencies, they are unlikely to change the financial system - and if they did, the US would most likely step in to stop them.


Facebook were asked to stop plans for the currency by the US congress. Any currency that threatens the dominance of the dollar will be treated as a threat to the national interest of the US. That makes it very unlikely to happen. Perhaps the lesson here is not that it would be remarkable if Facebook was stopped from building Libra, but the reverse. The birth of the internet was an amazing moment when innovation could flourish without permission. The Libra summit next week will no doubt tell us differently, but it's hard not to feel that, for better and worse, that era is drawing to a close.



Source: CBC News (10/25)


Toronto's auditor general is pushing the city to beef up cybersecurity to avoid a 'devastating' data breach. Right now, around 4,700 terabytes worth of public data are housed in various city systems and computers. Toronto's auditor general is pushing the city to beef up cybersecurity to avoid a "devastating" data breach.


In a report heading to council's audit committee on Friday, Beverly Romeo-Beehler says the city needs to "strengthen" information technology and security controls, adding little has been done since she brought forward similar concerns three years ago. Right now, around 4,700 terabytes worth of public data are housed in various systems and computers at the city, her report notes.


"A single breach could have a devastating impact," Romeo-Beehler writes. Cybersecurity breaches — like ransomware or phishing attempts, where high-level employees are impersonated — have made headlines recently in other Canadian municipalities. Just this year, city staff in Saskatoon sent more than $1 million to a person who was using an email address to impersonate the chief financial officer for a construction company city officials were working with. The city of Ottawa's treasurer wound up in a similar situation and unknowingly transferred more than $100,000 to fraudsters after someone used a fake email account to impersonate the city manager, while Burlington officials fell victim to a "complex" $500,000 phishing scheme.


Cybersecurity expert Kevvie Fowler, the global incident response leader for Deloitte, said municipalities often have a lot of assets that are desirable to hackers, including personal information like residents' financial data, mortgage information, birth and death records, and social insurance numbers.


"It definitely makes them a target from a cybercrime standpoint," he added. Fowler said all cities, Toronto included, should ensure their systems have "basic hygiene" in place.


That can mean cyber awareness training for workers, or putting response plans in place in case there's a breach. In a report heading to council's audit committee on Friday, auditor general Beverly Romeo-Beehler says the city needs to 'strengthen' information technology and security controls. Alongside her new report, Romeo-Beehler provided a series of confidential recommendations to city officials, aimed at making changes to both the technical and culture side, along with looking at human behaviour when it comes to cybersecurity threats. She noted that none of her previous recommendations from 2016, which included vulnerability assessment and penetration testing, have been fully implemented. Mayor John Tory, speaking to reporters last week, stressed that the city is making an effort.


"This is a constant topic of concern to us, that we are working hard to ensure the data and systems maintained by the city are secure," he said. "If there's more to be done, it will be done. Because we can't afford to have people out there thinking the information that they share with us is at risk."


Source: MasterCard (10/24)


An approach for collecting, managing and using data with decency. Nine out of ten people say data privacy is important to them, according to a recent MasterCard-commissioned survey, yet only one-quarter say companies are doing a very good job handling individuals’ data. MasterCard today announced the launch of the Data Responsibility Imperative to advance a dialogue around how organizations can work together to close this gap, inviting others to join them in the effort. The initiative hinges on establishing a core set of principles guiding the ethical collection, management and use of data.


“In today’s fast-paced digital economy, we’re facing never-before-seen circumstances that test our ethics on a daily basis,” said JoAnn Stonier, chief data officer, MasterCard. “We need high data standards that allow us to face these situations head-on, knowing that our practices are sound, consistent and based on treating individuals and their data with decency. For MasterCard, this commitment starts at home, and we’re embedding these principles into how we do business – every day.”


The initiative is based on the premise that businesses have a responsibility to individuals, one another and society as a whole in how they manage their data. MasterCard is proposing six data responsibilities that will help deliver sustainable data programs designed to best navigate the challenges and opportunities of the digital economy—and how to make that digital economy work for everyone, everywhere. These principles are meant to complement—and not substitute—regulatory compliance.


The Six Data Responsibilities


  1. Security & Privacy: Companies must uphold best-in-class security and privacy practices
  2. Transparency & Control: Companies should clearly and simply explain how they collect, use, and share an individual’s data and give individuals the ability to control its use
  3. Accountability: Companies must keep consumer interests at the center of their data practices
  4. Integrity: Companies must be deliberate in how they use data in order to minimize biases, inaccuracies, and unintended consequences
  5. Innovation: Companies should be constantly innovating to ensure individuals benefit from the use of their data through better experiences, products and services
  6. Social Impact: Companies should use data to identify needs and opportunities to make a positive impact on society


According to the survey research, an organization committing to these principles would help drive trust with upwards of 90 percent of individuals. Consumers in India and Brazil are far more positive about the handling of personal data, and more than 50 percent of consumers say they would be more likely to use a company that’s transparent about how it uses data. With these findings, ‘corporate data responsibility’ could become the corporate social responsibility of the 21st century.


MasterCard commits to these principles, making sure personal data is leveraged only in ways that are ethical, compliant within the regulatory environment and enhance the consumer experience. Today at MasterCard, that includes:

  • Multiple layers of security, including tokenization and encryption, to protect information
  • Expanding the protections of the EU Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) globally, including the My Data portal so individuals everywhere will be able to see and manage what personal information MasterCard holds
  • Developing a world-class anonymization solution—data trust Trūata—that protects privacy while enabling analytics under the GDPR
  • Embedding the Data Responsibility principles into its product development process
  • Robust data transfer mechanisms, including Binding Corporate Rules for personal data transfers globally, and certifications under Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation systems—one of the few companies to achieve both
  • Providing controls over the use of data, including opt-outs for data being used for marketing, data analytics and web analytics using online forms
  • A comprehensive data for good program led by the Center for Inclusive Growth, helping to increase the data science capacity of the social and civic sectors through partnerships with organizations such as the Rockefeller Foundation


“At MasterCard, we believe that individuals own their personal data, have the right to control how it is shared and should benefit from the use of it,” said Dimi Dosis, president of Advisors, MasterCard. “And, it’s incumbent on us to protect that data. We’ve embedded this thinking into our product development, and it will inform everything we do moving forward. Innovation is critical to business success, but not at the expense of the individual.”


“Together, organizations have a tremendous opportunity to transform the way we think about responsible data practices and a sustainable data framework that drives universal benefit,” said Stefaan Verhulst, New York University GovLab’s co-founder and director of research and the head of its Data Collaboratives Initiative. “In particular, these principles embrace an opportunity that many other data frameworks do not: using data responsibly to produce insights into societal patterns and behaviors that can help solve real world problems.”


“MasterCard's Data Responsibility Imperative is a good model for companies that want to use data while honoring individual privacy rights,” said Jules Polonetsky, CEO of the Future of Privacy Forum. “Data is more than just a valuable business asset; principled, moral data practices are a corporate responsibility. In the long run, companies that build trust through principled uses of data – even when there is a short-term cost – will be best suited to thrive in a data-driven economy.” More information about the Data Responsibility Imperative will be made available shortly. To download the white paper, visit .


Survey Methodology: MasterCard commissioned a third-party online survey of 2,487 individuals and 830 business leaders across Brazil, Germany, India, Spain and the United States from July-August 2019 to better understand how data is viewed around the world.



Source: Ingenico Group Canada (10/10)


Ingenico Group is transforming how international ecommerce companies operate in China. By introducing a suite of payment methods that fully caters to the preferences of local consumers, Ingenico will enable online businesses to gain better access to one of the world’s most significant online markets.  As 82% of the local Chinese population are unique mobile users, Ingenico has partnered with leading mobile payment platforms, Alipay and WeChat Pay, as well as with local card scheme UnionPay.


Ingenico is one of the very first international payment service providers (PSP) to support all use cases for WeChat Pay, including the capability to integrate into WeChat Official Accounts and Mini-Programs. This is a crucial advantage that allows the 1.1 billion WeChat users to complete their purchase without leaving the WeChat environment. Additionally, Ingenico offers an upgraded Alipay integration to its customers, enabling these businesses to reach the vast majority of online consumers in China, while also allowing them to offer real-time payments, both on desktop and mobile devices. Furthermore, Ingenico supports UnionPay’s (UPI) SecurePay and ExpressPay solutions as part of a comprehensive payment solution designed to cater to a greater range of local payment preferences in China. Through Ingenico, merchants can offer Chinese Yuan (CNY) to consumers via these payment methods, which is critical for conversion and customer experience.


The new China is a huge opportunity for western businesses. It is the world’s largest and most dynamic ecommerce market and a pioneering force in digital and mobile culture. In total, it has an internet penetration rate of 57%, representing 25% of internet users worldwide. However, it is a more challenging market to operate in than many others, as the unique domestic ecommerce ecosystem often demands specific solutions tailored to local preferences.


"Our long-time presence and activity in China means that we are perfectly positioned to partner with merchants wanting to access the truly local consumer market. Our expertise here, combined with this new set of payment capabilities, will allow international merchants to reach Chinese consumers that were previously difficult to access. Our merchants will be able to offer all the relevant local Chinese payment methods in local currency denomination as part of their digital experience, which will help increase conversion.”



Source: PYMNTS (10/17)


American Express has announced the rollout of a new small business credit card product for Canadian clients. On Wednesday (Oct. 16), American Express Canada announced the launch of the American Express Business Edge Card designed to support spend management for SMBs in the country.


In addition to earning rewards points on business-targeted purchases like office supplies, the card provides choice in how small businesses redeem those points, including for business trips, employee gift cards or personal travel. The card integrates a suite of business expense management solutions as well as insurance coverage to protect against employee misuse of the card, car theft and other risks.


“We know a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for today’s small business owners,” stated Paul Roman, American Express Canada vice president and general manager, in a statement. “Every business is unique, and this card reflects that. With this launch, we’re backing business owners by offering them a card that supports their evolving cash flow needs while truly rewarding them for the way they do business every day.”


In July, American Express debuted another small business credit card in the U.S., its Blue Business Card. That tool similarly focuses on spend management and cash flow solutions, connecting business users to Amex’s Expanded Buying Power solution, which allows companies to make purchases beyond the card’s limit without penalty. At the end of their billing cycle, small businesses can pay the portion above their credit limit in full, and choose how to repay the remainder of that balance. In August, the company rolled out a corporate travel credit card for small businesses in Singapore through a collaboration with Singapore Airlines. That tool targets business travel and expense management services for SMB users, with integrated travel insurance, access to airport lounges and other business travel-related benefits.



Source: PYMNTS (10/25)


CIBC announced it now supports the opening of digital accounts for its business clients.


The FI said in a press release on Thursday (Oct. 24) that business clients can now use a mobile device or tablet to open a CIBC Business Operating Account, as well as customize their online CIBC SmartBanking for Business experience, a move the FI noted helps business owners save time by allowing them to open accounts via mobile, without having to visit a physical branch.


New clients do not have to scan and upload business documents, and existing CIBC business customers can automatically fill in application fields when they log in to their existing online banking accounts. Clients will have access to CIBC’s Business Onboarding Concierge to provide support. The mobile account opening offering supports a range of business structures, including companies owned by multiple owners, and enables access to business investment growth accounts as well as U.S. dollar accounts.


“CIBC has radically simplified the account opening experience, giving business owners valuable time back to focus on their customers and business objectives,” said CIBC Senior Vice President of Business Banking Andrew Turnbull in a statement. “By combining market-leading digital solutions with CIBC’s national network of relationship-based business advisory services, we have elevated our investment in support of a vibrant, entrepreneurial Canadian business community.”


New accounts support integration with a range of other CIBC business products, including payroll and accounting tools as part of CIBC’s SmartBanking for Business platform, as announced in May. That platform focuses on data integration capabilities, enabling business users to gain visibility into cash flow and predictions, manage invoices and receivables, and manage day-to-day banking activity from a single portal. In June, another financial institution, U.S.-based Heartland Financial, announced the launch of its own online account opening solution for business deposits, pointing to corporates’ and SMBs’ growing demand for digital banking functionality.



Source: Global Payments (10/18)


If you're looking for a new payment service provider or considering switching to a different one, it's important to ask critical questions about security to help you make the best decision for your business. The way a provider answers your questions will shed light on their approach to security and how they will protect sensitive cardholder data to mitigate your risk.


Question 1: How Do You Secure the Data?


Asking a payment provider how it secures the sensitive card and personal data it obtains helps you understand if it's handling and storing your customers' payment details safely and securely. At a minimum, your payment provider needs to be PCI compliant. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is an information security standard by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) for the proper handling and storing of cardholder data from credit card transactions. PCI-certified auditors, known as Qualified Security Assessors or QSAs, assess businesses to ensure compliance. There are different types of PCI certification (most payment providers are Level 1 in the context of PCI DSS) so ask about any audits and certification levels your payment provider holds. The card brands have listings of PCI compliant service providers that you can search.


Question 2: How Do You Authenticate Data?


This question probes your payments partner about how they handle security once data leaves your platform, cloud or system. Your partner must authenticate data — verify card data and/or PII is correct. Learning how they do that will help you feel confident your customers' data stays secure throughout the entire process. While you may not get to fully peek behind the curtain of a payment provider for security reasons, understanding their approach is helpful. Look for industry-standard protocols for securing APIs such as REST APIs that leverage OAuth (Open Authentication).


Question 3: How Do You Go Above and Beyond Compliance?


This question takes the first question one step further. Asking for details about how a payment provider approaches compliance from the foundational level and on a continuous basis will help you make sure their vision aligns with yours. EMV, GDPR and PCI are table stakes, so you'll want to know what your payment service provider does to go above and beyond these industry standards and regulations to protect data proactively, as well as how it addresses potential vulnerabilities that arise. The best approaches will demonstrate that the payment provider understands where risks are, employs proper security to those risks and has compliance as a natural result of that security investment.


Question 4: How Does Your Technology Facilitate a Seamless Customer Experience While Applying Maximum Security?


Providing minimal friction and maximum security is critical for today's businesses. This is especially the case now that consumers use multiple devices to interact and transact. You can provide a frictionless and secure experience for your customers, but it's not easy to retrofit security measures so think about security as part of the onboarding process of new technologies and solutions. Get more actionable advice on this topic in our blog, Payment Security: Can it be Frictionless and Secure?


These security questions for your payment provider will help you feel comfortable with your decision. It's an important one that impacts your customers' data and your business' ability to compete.



Source: PYMNTS (10/11)


Alipay revealed that it will be banning any transactions related to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Its announcement came the day after crypto exchange Binance tweeted that it is now accepting fiat currencies via Alipay, as well as via mobile messaging and payment app WeChat.


Alipay refuted that claim in a Twitter thread, writing “There’re several reports about @Alipay being used for bitcoin transactions. To reiterate, Alipay closely monitors over-the-counter transactions to identify irregular behavior, and ensure compliance with relevant regulations. If any transactions are identified as being related to bitcoin or other virtual currencies, @Alipay immediately stops the relevant payment services.” Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, known as CZ, later clarified that while the exchange is not working directly with WeChat or Alipay, users can still use them to carry out peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions, according to Cointelegraph. In the meantime, Binance is poised to debut in the United States, with the company opening account registration and accepting deposits starting on Sept. 18.


“During this initial registration phase, you will be able to sign up for a Binance.US account, and select the tier of verification required to achieve your desired withdrawal limits,” the company wrote in a blog post. “Once verified, you will be able to make deposits across the initial selection of digital assets. Shortly after registration opens, we will provide an update detailing when trading will go live for specific pairs.” In August, the company announced plans to launch its blockchain project, Venus, to develop localized stablecoins and digital assets pegged to fiat currencies across the globe.


“Binance is looking to create new alliances and partnerships with governments, corporations, technology companies, and other cryptocurrency companies and projects involved in the larger blockchain ecosystem, to empower developed and developing countries to spur new currencies,” the company stated at the time.


Source: Canadian Credit Union Association (10/2)


Following a lengthy and rather convoluted process that saw the launch, delay, suspension and then reframing of its original consultation on transborder data flows, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) announced last week that it has concluded “its guidelines for processing personal data across borders will remain unchanged under the current law.”


The decision is a welcome one for the credit union system and 86 other stakeholders and industry representatives that responded to the consultation and voiced concerns about the proposed shift in the OPC’s long-standing policy that transfers of personal information to service providers for processing purposes do not require an individual’s consent.


In making its announcement, the OPC reminded businesses that the guidelines for obtaining meaningful consent remain in force. They also stressed the legal requirement that businesses be transparent about their information handling processes and “advise customers that their personal information may be sent to another jurisdiction for processing and that while the information is in another jurisdiction it may be accessed by the courts, law enforcement and national security authorities.”


The OPC now intends to “focus its efforts on how a reformed law can best protect Canadians’ privacy rights when their information is transferred between organizations.” Under the mantle of the Digital Charter, Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada has proposed a number of amendments to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and as a result a materially reformed law is anticipated in the near future.


  • Canadian Credit Union Association is a Member of ACT Canada; please visit


Source: Forbes (10/16)


The amount of data generated daily is just mind-boggling. And as much as 90 percent of that data is defined as unstructured data. But what does that mean and what do you need to know about unstructured data? We delve into the details below.


Data that is defined as unstructured is growing at 55-65 percent each year. Unstructured data can’t be easily stored in a traditional column-row database or spreadsheet like a Microsoft Excel table. It’s therefore more difficult to analyse and not easily searchable, which is why it wasn’t useful for organizations until recent years. Today, however, we have unstructured data analytics tools powered by artificial intelligence (AI) that were created specifically to access the insights available from unstructured data.


Examples of Unstructured Data


Think about any kind of data that doesn’t have a recognizable structure and you have identified an example of unstructured data. Here are some of the most common examples of unstructured data:

  • Emails: Although emails include date, sender and recipient addresses and subject information, the text in the body of the mail doesn’t follow a format. Some refer to emails as semi-structured data.
  • Text files
  • Photos
  • Video files
  • Audio files
  • Webpages and blog posts
  • Social media sites
  • Presentations
  • Call center transcripts/recordings
  • Open-ended survey responses


Importance of Unstructured Data


Since the bulk of data generated today is unstructured data, it’s important that organizations find ways to manage and analyze it so that they can act on the data and make important business decisions. This helps organizations prosper in highly competitive environments. If this information is ignored, organizations aren’t using everything that’s available to them to be successful.


Unstructured Data Analytics Tools


While organizations have relied on structured data insights for years, it wasn’t until tools were developed to analyze structured data that the wealth of information unstructured data contains became accessible and usable to businesses in a meaningful way. Artificial intelligence algorithms now help extract meaning automatically from the volumes of unstructured data that is created daily. Businesses use big data tools and software such as Hadoop to process, mine, integrate, store, track, index and report business insights from raw unstructured data. Without these tools, it would be impossible for organizations to efficiently manage unstructured data.


One use case for unstructured data is customer analytics. When companies are able to integrate unstructured data from a variety of sources such as call center transcripts, online reviews of products, chatbot conversations and social media mentions, and use artificial intelligence to spot patterns in the information from these sources, they have the intel available to make swift decisions that can improve customer relationships.


Unstructured data can be a treasure trove of marketing intelligence. With the ability to quickly scan huge datasets and find patterns in customer behavior, decision-makers learn what products or services are most compelling for their target market. This has important applications for product development as well as figuring out what marketing initiatives are most worthwhile.


For organizations that are heavily regulated, compliance issues can be costly in time, money and reputation. With the insight provided by unstructured data when analyzing emails and chatbot conversations, for example, organizations could uncover regulatory issues earlier and before there is a significant negative business impact. This ability is made possible by natural language processing, sentiment analysis, pattern recognition, speech-to-text conversions through machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms.


To fully realize the potential of unstructured data, organizations need to knock down data silos in favor of a scalable data hub. By having the systems to store, analyze and report data from a variety of sources and share it with decision-makers in a business, organizations can finally uncover the enormous business value of unstructured data.


Source: MasterCard (10/28)


Program simplifies experience for fintechs worldwide; drives digital innovation, provides countless ways to transform lives and economies. MasterCard today launched MasterCard Accelerate, a global initiative that simplifies the way that MasterCard works with fintechs, giving them access to everything they need to grow quickly. Offering a simple, single entry-point to the company’s wide portfolio of specialized programs, MasterCard Accelerate gives start-ups and emerging brands support and assistance for every stage of their growth and transformation, from market entry to global expansion.


Accelerate will enable fintechs to be onboarded to MasterCard in a matter of weeks and provide a guided experience through everything the company can offer. Program participants are connected to relevant parts of the business, to integrate MasterCard's proprietary technology, leverage its insights and cybersecurity services, engage new customers, and reach new markets and segments. In addition, MasterCard's commitment to financial inclusion drives focused product development, helping co-create solutions that enable a more inclusive economy.


“MasterCard Accelerate is a single doorway to the countless ways MasterCard can help fintechs all over the world grow and scale sustainably,” said Michael Miebach, chief product & innovation officer, MasterCard. “Fintechs are contributing to the rapid digital transformation that makes lives more convenient, simpler, and rewarding. We’re the partner of choice for the top Fintech brands worldwide, and with Accelerate we invite the next generation of global entrepreneurs to join us.”


“And for our financial institution partners and customers, MasterCard Accelerate provides access to the next generation of innovators, with a portfolio of start-up partners and fintechs ready to co-create and collaborate on new experiences,” added Miebach. Accelerate is comprised of a range of award-winning programs that have helped participants all over the world access and benefit from MasterCard's ecosystem, customers and innovations:

  • MasterCard Fintech Express – Provides easy access to a customized set of rules, relevant resources and digital-first services designed to address the unique needs of fintechs and enable program launch and global expansion with speed.
  • MasterCard Engage – Connects fintechs to thousands of MasterCard technology partners, making it quicker and easier to work together.
  • MasterCard Start Path– Invites later-stage startups to participate in a 6-month program, providing opportunities to scale and secure strategic investments. More than 200 companies have participated in the Start Path’s program since its founding in 2014 and those companies have collectively gone on to raise $1.5B in capital.
  • MasterCard Developers – Provides APIs for everything, empowering engineers with the ability to access MasterCard payment, security and analytics services via simple, user-friendly documentation, SDKs and sample code for the top programming languages.
  • MasterCard Accelerate – supporting fintechs, scaling businesses:


MasterCard is taking a thoughtful approach to partnerships by identifying the brightest companies with the most promising technology. Together, we are solving challenges with digital innovation, commercial connections and strategic investments.


Bridging the divide in entrepreneurship


“At Brex, our mission is to help ambitious companies scale. We built our card issuing technology from the ground up to help entrepreneurs better navigate the financial and regulatory hurdles that exist today. We value MasterCard as a strategic partner in our ambition to create the best payments experience for all businesses.” – Henrique Dubugras, Co-Founder & CEO of Brex


Seamless money movement among businesses and people


“Payment products today have the unique opportunity to scale quicker than ever, and MasterCard as a global partner not only accelerates the process but also helps navigate key challenges that only experience and an existing global reach provides.” – Roy Sosa, Chief Executive Officer, Rêv.


“At TransferWise, we wanted to remove the financial barriers keeping people from managing their life across borders, so providing a multi-currency card for the world’s first global account was crucial to set us apart. MasterCard's platform was the perfect option to help solve our problem and has been integral to bringing the debit card to customers all over the world. They’ve continued to help us identify new use-cases, provide marketing guidance, and push TransferWise into a high-growth phase.” – Andrew Boyajian, Head of Banking for North America at TransferWise


Driving financial inclusion


“From MasterCard Send to the launch of our new fee-free debit card, MasterCard has been an incredible partner in Branch’s efforts to create financial technology that works for hourly workers. We look forward to continuing our partnership with MasterCard as we develop new solutions to help this demographic grow financially.” – Atif Siddiqi, CEO and founder of Branch.


“We are continuing to push the envelope on our digital strategy at Deserve, and MasterCard is making it even easier for our developers to create next-generation solutions with easy to use APIs. With MDES APIs we are able to make our onboarding frictionless while MasterCard card-link services helps us build real time engagement through instant gratification” –  Kalpesh Kapadia, CEO and Co-founder of Deserve.



Source: PYMNTS (10/25)


New Zealand is a country that can be easy to overlook when it comes to FinTech. But the story of how payments are evolving there can offer lessons for the rest of the globe, along with glimpses of how the relevant technology might play out in the 2020s. And that’s why PYMNTS recently caught up with Steve Wiggins, the chief executive of payment governance organization Payments NZ, and Serge van Dam, a venture capitalist focused on FinTech in that country, to get a better idea of what’s going on there – and why it matters to the rest of the FinTech world.


Open Banking


These are indeed exciting times for FinTech, payments and financial services in New Zealand. Open Banking stands as one recent example. Earlier this year, for instance, Payments NZ launched the first application programming interface (API) standards tied to account data and payment initiations. The move comes after a pilot launched last year involving several stakeholders in the industry, spanning Datacom, BNZ, Westpac and others. The overarching approach has been to bring API standards to bear so that financial firms can speed the time it takes to bring new products and services to market.


“Open Banking will create the infrastructure for innovation,” van Dam said. Thanks to such fuel, the FinTech sector in New Zealand has grown some 33 percent year over year, Wiggins told PYMNTS, with more growth certain to come. After all, as van Dam noted, even though New Zealand may be small – about 5 million people live there – the country has a developed consumer market made up of relatively highly educated people who speak English. All of those factors combine to make FinTech a robust proposition in that country.


“The smaller the network, the faster you can actually get to mass market – and to success, really,” said van Dam. Challenges abound, of course, just as they do in any market. For New Zealand FinTech, the problem is how to scale. In that case, size does tend to inhibit growth. “The inability to scale is one of the key competitive disadvantages,” Wiggins told PYMNTS.


Vital Collaboration


Other differences also stand out for the country’s FinTech scene – differences that seem likely to, at the least, produce case studies in the near future about the relationships being created in the FinTech and financial services world to create more innovation around products and services.


“We have incumbent banks that provide very good service, and are very profitable,” noted van Dam. And that translates into those legacy financial institutions (FIs) being able to launch a good deal of digital services. That also impacts partnerships between FinTech and those traditional FIs. As Van Dam explained it, there is more force in favor of FinTechs working closely with those established banks rather than against them – which is not always the case in other parts of the world.


“Instead of bringing disruption to the banks, (FinTechs) will disrupt with the banks,” he said. “That’s not true in other areas. Competing against the incumbents is much more of a factor in the U.S.” Wiggins agreed with that general view. “It’s a very collaborative industry,” he said of the FinTech and payments innovation space in New Zealand. For the foreseeable future, collaboration and Open Banking will be among the main factors that Payments NZ and other payments-oriented businesses and professionals will be working on in New Zealand, hoping that at least some of their innovations will find an audience outside the country. Other areas of focus include real-time transactions and seven-days-a-week settlement, Wiggins said, along with building a self-governing payments sector.


To get there, one issue that will have to be dealt with is crafting and maintaining consumer trust – in that respect, New Zealand is just like any other place where Open Banking, mobile payments and the like are taking on more steam. When asked to look ahead a year or so, van Dam struck a note of realism in describing what he thought might be some of the main developments at the start of the new decade. The push for Open Banking and data is very likely to lead to breaches “that could set the whole industry back [in terms of] consumer trust,” he said. “Probably the U.K. or the European market is the first place that will happen.” That might sound akin to a call of pessimism. But it’s also a reminder that in this new age of payments and Open Banking, companies must do even better to gain the trust of consumers. That’s a lesson payment experts are increasingly hammering home – even if those experts are located in a relatively small country in a relatively remote part of the world.


Source: G+D Mobile Security (10/9)


IT service provider Lufthansa Industry Solutions has implemented SIGNiT from G+D Mobile Security as a new solution for the reliable tracking of transport damage. The solution, that uses a unique combination of eSIM and blockchain technology, will be presented to the public for the first time at the 5G CMM Expo 2019. With the Damage Detection Sensor, Lufthansa Industry Solutions provides an innovative Detection-as-a-Service (DaaS) offering that uses the SIGNiT solution from G+D Mobile Security. It helps companies to reliably track, by means of IoT data, where goods have been damaged in transit. This way, customers can optimize their logistics chains and prevent similar damage in the future. At the 5G CMM Expo, which will take place from October 8 – 10 in Hanover, Lufthansa Industry Solution will present the new solution for the first time to the general public.


SIGNiT from G+D Mobile Security enables Lufthansa Industry Solutions to ensure that IoT data is 100% trustworthy. SIGNiT combines proven SIM environments and secure operating systems by G+D Mobile Security with the innovative blockchain technology from the Cologne-based start-up Ubirch. Ubirch has developed a trust protocol, which ensures that data from IoT sensors can’t be falsified after their generation. The data packets of these sensors are sealed with strong cryptography in a way that it becomes technically impossible to manipulate them once stored in a Blockchain. This combination of offering Blockchain on a SIM is unique and the first of its kind.


"SIGNiT allows to easily digitize processes in a decentralized ecosystem. Our Damage Detection sensors can identify exactly where damage occurred during transport", says Holger Schlueter, Associate Director IoT at Lufthansa Industry Solutions. "Our aim is to achieve significant ROI improvements of 70 percent."


Main challenge of digitalization


With SIGNiT, G+D Mobile Security addresses one of the main challenges of digitalization: the dependence of IoT-based business models on the integrity of their data streams. SIGNiT offers an efficient, scalable and cost-effective way to 100% trusted IoT data, opening the door to many new IoT business models. Manufacturers of IoT-enabled devices, no matter if industrial machines or consumer devices, can easily protect connected Industry 4.0 and 5G applications. Insurers can implement scenarios in which IoT data set off fully automated payments. In combination with the new 5G standard, SIGNiT has the potential to become a game changer for the connected industry and all types of business models that rely on trusted IoT data.

"The business models of the future will all depend on data," says Carsten Ahrens, CEO at G+D Mobile Security. "With SIGNiT we are solving the most critical challenge of these ecosystems: trustworthy data for all digitized processes.”


Stephan Noller, CEO at Ubirch, adds: "Our vision is to secure IoT data directly at their source. SIGNiT from G+D Mobile Security takes this vision to a whole new level. The product offers an easily scalable plug-in solution for powerful IoT security".



Source: PYMNTS (10/18)


MasterCard is collaborating with four eCommerce retailers —, Funky Pigeon, Cult Pens and The Card Gallery — to offer the Pay by Bank app to online shoppers, MasterCard announced in a press release on Friday (Oct. 18).


“We are thrilled to be partnering with WHSmith and its brands Funky Pigeon, Cult Pens and The Card Gallery to bring this revolutionary new way to pay, putting the customer firmly in control of their finances. Pay by Bank app offers a best-in-class digital payment solution that optimizes user experience while making transactions more secure and reducing fraud,” said Suren Nawalkar, senior vice president of consumer applications at MasterCard. Pay by Bank app (PbBa) — created by Vocalink, a MasterCard company — leverages the U.K.’s Faster Payments service to give users the option of paying for goods with their bank account. This bypasses the need for entering payment information and passwords, simplifying the buying and payment process.


PbBa is designed to work with the security of a consumer’s own bank. It’s not a separate app to download or service to sign-up for — it works through the mobile banking app a user has.


“WHSmith is excited to launch MasterCard's innovative new payment method, Pay by Bank app. We are keen to offer our shoppers digital payment methods that are designed to be both secure and simple and Pay by Bank app allows our shoppers to authenticate direct with their bank offering a flexible and user-friendly checkout experience,” said Ian Sanders, group commercial development director at WHSmith. In August, Vocalink tapped Gregor Dobbie to be its new CEO. Managing director since 2017, Dobbie is leading Vocalink in the expansion of B2B payment services in the U.K. as well as maintain the company’s critical national infrastructures.


Dobbie will be in charge of infrastructure and applications that power the U.K.’s real-time and batch payments, direct debit bill pay systems and the country’s network of nearly 70,000 ATMs.


Dobbie joined Vocalink’s Card Transaction Services business in 2014 and has more than 16 years of FinTech experience.



Source: Ethoca (10/4)


Toronto, CANADA and Leicester, UK – Ethoca, the leading provider of collaboration-based technology solutions that help card issuers and online merchants increase card acceptance and stop ecommerce fraud and disputes, has won ‘Most Innovative Online Solution’ at the UK Fraud Awards 2019.


Hosted by Retail Risk, the awards celebrate the best anti-fraud and security technologies on the market today. The winners were announced during the UK Fraud Awards Gala Dinner on Thursday October 3rd, 2019 at the home of Leicester City Football Club, UK.


Ethoca won the award for Ethoca Eliminator, which is currently used by leading merchants and issuers around the globe. Ethoca Eliminator resolves incoming friendly fraud disputes on the spot by providing cardholders with instant access to real time merchant intelligence the moment they call in to their bank, or directly via their desktop or mobile banking app. With cardholders now able to recognize their purchases through extended data, including the digital receipt and rich order details, disputes are ‘deflected’ instantly. Merchants avoid chargebacks and recover revenue that would have been lost, while card issuers reduce costs and improve the cardholder experience. Over time, Ethoca Eliminator helps to retrain the cardholder and provide the clarifying information they need to recognize their own purchases – further reducing friendly fraud and creating a simpler payment journey with less friction. Also, because these legitimate cardholder transactions are no longer incorrectly coded as fraudulent, fraud models improve, resulting in fewer false declines.


Keith Briscoe, Ethoca’s Chief Marketing & Product Officer, commented: “We’re very proud of our win at the UK Fraud Awards and would like to thank the judges and our customers for supporting us.” He added: “As online commerce grows so too does the need for increased collaboration between everyone in the payments ecosystem. This is why we continue to work on cutting edge innovations that deliver new, more efficient ways to help combat online fraud, improve customer experience and eliminate the need for chargebacks altogether.”


The win at the UK Fraud Awards, follows Ethoca’s two wins at the Australian Fraud Awards in August. The company won ‘Most Innovative Online Solution’ for Ethoca Eliminator and was also awarded ‘Vendor of the Year’.



Source: Discover (10/22)


BassPro, Cinemark, JoAnn Fabric and Crafts, Movember, Papa John’s, Rakuten, Saks Fifth Avenue, and are among the first merchants to offer consumers new option to click to pay


Today, American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa announced the arrival of faster, more secure online checkout based on the new EMV® Secure Remote Commerce (SRC) industry standard, establishing a simplified way for card payments to be made across web and mobile sites, mobile apps and connected devices. The networks have tested SRC technology in market with issuers and merchants. Consumers can now click to pay at select merchants in the United States this month, leading up to wide availability in early 2020. Payment processors and payment platforms, such as Adyen, Authorize.Net and CyberSource - Visa solutions, FIS, Global Payments, MasterCard Payment Gateway Services and Stripe are now offering click to pay to merchants. The initial focus will be on converting existing Masterpass and Visa Checkout merchants to click to pay.


Cinemark, Movember and Rakuten are the first merchants to adopt click to pay on their websites, with BassPro, JoAnn Fabric and Crafts, Papa John’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and following by the end of 2019. Consumers shopping on these sites can checkout with confidence when they see a common click to pay button with network logos. Currently, ecommerce sites feature a myriad of checkout buttons, which can be difficult for merchants to manage, and confusing for consumers. As the prevalence of ecommerce has grown, click to pay now helps to address an increasing need for a consistent, simple user experience and stronger protection of payment information across all types of digital channels and cards.


The new interoperable checkout aims to make the digital payment experience as secure and simple as possible for everyone involved, and increase choice for all stakeholders. This standards-based approach allows consumers to make purchases without having to create or log into an account. The idea behind this is to mirror the one, consistent checkout experience that exists in physical stores – with one terminal and one way to pay irrespective of the retailer. The vision for the future of digital commerce is that the new button will replace the current guest checkout process. For merchants, that means a more efficient checkout solution that will help reduce shopping cart abandonment rates and a way to offer multiple card brands for digital checkout in one seamless integration. For consumers, this means greater consistency and fewer steps at checkout, regardless of their payment choice, and the elimination of laborious key-entry of personal account numbers and information.


“We are always looking for ways to enhance the cinema experience, and providing a simpler, streamlined checkout for ticket-buying is a major part of that,” said Doug Fay, chief technology officer, Cinemark. “We think the added convenience and security will help build loyalty, grow our business and make for quicker checkouts, giving moviegoers the most enjoyable experience possible.”


“Delivering solutions to merchants that enable greater levels of security and convenience for consumers is essential for enabling commerce”, says Eddie Alberty, vice president of strategic partnerships,, “With Secure Remote Commerce, we aim to offer standards to merchants that reduce friction of guest checkout.”



Source: AccountScore (10/29)

AccountScore and Equifax have today announced the release of a new credit risk index for the consumer lending sector which allows financial institutions to more effectively understand consumers applying for credit products. The index is based upon the transactional information found within a consumer’s bank account and takes advantages of the opportunities provided by Open Banking to develop new products in order to better understand consumers. The index can be taken as a standalone product or combined with traditional credit risk metrics to provide a fully-rounded understanding of a customer’s affordability and creditworthiness.


The index is the result of over two years of collaboration and analysis by the AccountScore and Equifax analytical teams. It combines AccountScore’s custom built and market leading transaction categorisation engine with the Equifax transaction data behavioural characteristics - identified as being leading predictors of creditworthiness and affordability. As well as providing financial institutions with more granular insight, the index also outputs 26 indicators which can be displayed back to a consumer to give them an understanding of their rating within the index and the different factors which effect this. This means the index is provided with full transparency and allows lenders to explain their decisions effectively to their end customers.


Emma Steeley, CEO of AccountScore, said: “We are very pleased to release the Financial Health Index to the market. It’s a truly revolutionary product that capitalises on the opportunities provided by Open Banking, both for lenders to gain more insight into their applications but also in allowing consumers to more effectively demonstrate their eligibility for financial products.”


Dan Weaver, Head of Innovation at Equifax, said: “The Financial Health Index is a simple way for lenders to factor into their credit decisions the common payments made by consumers which are not found, or are not always present in a credit report, such as commitments in relation to rent, council tax, utilities and insurance as well as evidencing their income, which will help consumers better demonstrate their affordability and creditworthiness and hopefully lead to more suitable financial products being offered.”


Source: G+D Mobile Security (10/28)


G+D Mobile Security and HIT have announced a strategic partnership at Money20/20 USA 2019 in Las Vegas. Together, they provide a portfolio of metal payment cards available worldwide that meet the highest demands of consumers in design, appearance and functionality. Incorporating G+D Mobile Security’s EMV contactless chip technology along with their personalization and fulfilment centers around the world, the G+D Mobile Security and HIT partnership will combine patented technology and global manufacturing excellence to produce metal cards from HIT’s manufacturing facility in Ohio (USA). With these cards, financial insitutions can offer affluent and high net-worth customers an exclusive “top-of-wallet” payment experience.


The portfolio incudes cards with different weights and a full range of design options, such as standard front and back offset printing, mechanical engraving, colored powder coating and 3D effects. Always revealing a stainless steel edge, the metal cards from HIT and G+D Mobile Security are unmistakenly rigid and heavy, proven by a clear sound of metal when dropped on a table. The cards still enable contactless payment on both sides, providing a seamless user experience at the point of sale.


"The market for metal cards is growing strongly worldwide. Consumers want to stand out and are even willing to change banks to do so," says Gabrielle Bugat, Head of Division for Financial Solutions at G+D Mobile Security. "By partnering with HIT, we can meet the innovation and design needs of this particular target group across the globe."


"G+D Mobile Security has always stood for the highest security and quality standards in the financial industry and with its solutions creates trust in mobile payment," says Cristian Calandria, founder of HIT. "This makes the company the perfect strategic partner for us. We have no doubt that this natural synergy will strengthen both companies and that the result will be highly satisfied customers."


About HIT


HIT is a global company providing technological solutions to an ever growing financial services market. Our goal is to integrate companies to create added value, developing unique products focusing on supplying the best quality and the best service. Our main objective is to be ahead of the upcoming demands and anticipate future trends in terms of R&D. Avenir is our R&D center in Ireland, one of the countries listed as a seedbed of the best talents in this specific industry. We have agreements with the best universities because we consider youth as the backbone of our business strategy. Our official manufacturer located in the United States, FCS, is a company 100% focused on providing metal cards to an ever growing demand for upscale products, ensuring the best quality and service standards.



Source: CNBC


Ride-hailing giant Uber is making a deeper push into financial services. The company announced on Monday the formation of a new division called Uber Money to house its efforts, which include a digital wallet and upgraded debit and credit cards. The emphasis, at first, will be expanding Uber’s efforts to give its 4 million-plus drivers and couriers around the world access to a mobile bank account so they can get paid after each ride, according to Peter Hazlehurst, who will head the new division.


“We wanted to help everybody understand that there’s a new part of Uber that’s focused on financial services and that has a mission of giving people access to the type of financial services they were excluded from,” Hazlehurst said in a phone interview.


Under pressure to turn a profit amid competition from new ride-sharing entrants around the world, Uber is betting that by building out its financial ecosystem, it can keep drivers and riders loyal to its platform. The company topped 100 million monthly active users this year. Many of them use credit cards to pay for rides and food orders. Future products could remove costs related to financial middlemen or generate new revenue streams. Uber is rolling out globally a debit card with an enhanced “instant pay” service it has been testing in the U.S. and a few other markets. The feature has taken off in the U.S, with more than 70% of driver payments made using instant pay, according to Hazlehurst. It is essentially a no-fee banking account, with the debit card in the U.S. linked to an account provided by Green Dot.


“Not only do you get access to your earnings in real time, it doesn’t cost you anything to keep the money there and you can spend it whenever you want to,” Hazlehurst said.


Cash-strapped drivers


These payment innovations highlight the reality that many in the gig economy are struggling to make ends meet. Another popular feature, no-cost $100 overdrafts, helps cash-strapped drivers pay for gas to kick off a working day. It is, however, a better alternative than high-interest payday loans. Uber’s ambitions could bring drivers into the realm of digital finance in parts of the world where cash is still king, like Pakistan and Bangladesh. About 40% of all Uber trips globally are paid using paper currency, Hazlehurst said, and Uber is eager to bring that figure down. After equipping drivers with electronic bank accounts — echoing the model of so-called challenger banks like Chime and Varo — would Uber one day look to provide its many millions of riders with an account, too?


“I think so,” Hazlehurst said. “The reality is that the needs of our partners in the U.S. and in Brazil and in Australia and in India mirror in many ways the needs of consumers as well, particularly in the cash-heavy economies. And the opportunity that we have is to expand to help all of those people have access to financial services.” One advantage Uber has over other new entrants into banking is its massive scale, which allows the company to negotiate better deals with vendors, he said. “We don’t have to take the traditional fee income model to operate these services,” Hazlehurst said.


Tech is coming


Uber’s move is the latest sign that tech giants are looking to make inroads into finance. Apple recently launched a credit card with Goldman Sachs, and Amazon has been offering small business loans to its merchants for years. Facebook unveiled an ambitious plan this year to help remake global finance with its libra cryptocurrency, although that effort lost momentum after some corporate partners abandoned the project.


Among new products Uber was set to unveil at a payments conference in Las Vegas was a digital wallet called Uber Wallet that riders and drivers can use to store dollars, track their transaction history and make electronic payments. Apple Pay and Google Pay will be integrated with the service early next year so drivers can immediately spend their earnings, even without a physical debit card, Hazlehurst said. Uber recently surveyed U.S. drivers about whether they’d be interested in taking small loans from the company, Hazlehurst said, confirming a report from Recode. It’s too early to say if they’ll do that in the U.S., but in several countries including Brazil, India and Peru, Uber already offers micro loans to drivers, he said. For riders, Uber’s credit card, a joint product with Barclays, will be reintroduced with richer rewards for payments within Uber’s transportation and food delivery services.


In its brief time as a public company, Uber shares have been battered by skepticism over its prospects and a broader shift in investor sentiment favoring profits over growth. The company’s stock is trading more than 25% below its $45 May IPO price. Uber reports third-quarter results on Nov. 4.


Source: Canadian Credit Union Association (10/16)


Credit Unions #1 in the 2019 Ipsos Financial Service Excellence Awards for Customer Service Excellence among all financial institutions. For the fifteenth consecutive year, Canada’s credit unions have won multiple awards in the Ipsos CSI Financial Service Excellence awards, being recognized in seven categories, four of them as the sole winner. Particularly notable were the wins in “Customer Service Excellence” and “Values My Business” categories.


“Once again, Canadians have recognized Canada’s credit unions as standout leaders in customer service and other key areas of financial services,” says Martha Durdin, President and CEO of the Canadian Credit Union Association. “We know that credit unions offer a very real and necessary alternative in Canada’s financial services landscape, and to see them recognized by IPSOS only further confirms their vital role.”


The full list of categories in which Canada’s Credit Unions were winners includes:

  • Customer Service Excellence (sole winner)
  • Values My Business (sole winner)
  • Branch Service Excellence (sole winner)
  • Live Agent Telephone Banking Excellence (sole winner)
  • Financial Planning & Advice
  • Online Banking Excellence
  • Automated Telephone Banking Excellence

This year’s results also highlighted the fact that full-year 2019 scores place Canada’s Credit Unions ahead of the Big 5 banks on all key metrics, exceeding the banks by 17 points in the Value for Money category and by 16 points in NPS.



Source: CIBC (10/28)


New feature makes it radically simple to order a new card and use it immediately with mobile wallet. CIBC clients can now replace a lost or stolen credit card in a few simple steps through mobile or online banking and instantly use the new card with their mobile wallet before the physical card arrives.


"CIBC is proud to be the first of the big five banks in Canada to offer clients the ability to replace a lost or stolen credit card through online and mobile banking, giving clients peace of mind and minimizing the disruption that comes from having to wait for a replacement card to arrive by mail," said Lynne Kilpatrick, Head, CIBC Card Products.

Features of the new service include:

  • A simpler, seamless process – requesting a replacement credit card and activating it no longer requires a phone conversation, making it easier for clients to bank on the go
  • More convenience and peace of mind – your lost credit card is deactivated right away and a replacement card is ordered immediately
  • Replacement card instantly ready to use on mobile - for clients already using our cards in a mobile wallet (Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay), the replacement card is uploaded automatically and ready for use instantly, leaving no need to wait for a physical card to arrive
  • Less set up time with Apple Pay and app integration – for clients that don't have Apple Pay set up, the replacement card can be added to Apple Pay directly from the CIBC Mobile App the following business day, letting you make purchases before your physical card arrives


The ability to replace a lost or stolen credit card on mobile and online follows other recent digital enhancements including the ability to lock and unlock credit cards as well as real-time notifications when a credit card transaction is made, and the ability to instantly activate or replace a damaged card online or through mobile banking.


"In today's digital world, CIBC is constantly innovating to deliver experiences that our clients need and increasingly expect," adds Ms. Kilpatrick.


In 2019, CIBC was named Canada's Best Consumer Digital Bank by Global Finance, won the JD Power Award for Best Mobile Credit Card App and had the highest overall score for its functionality and user experience among Canadian mobile banking apps in The Forrester Banking Wave™: Canadian Mobile Apps Q2 Report.


ACT Canada helps members understand complex issues and filter truth from market noise for current and emerging commerce trends.  Through a consultative approach with all stakeholder groups, the association provides knowledge and expertise to help members leverage opportunities, confront challenges and advance their businesses. Please visit or contact our office at 1 905 426-6360.

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