Easy-to-use digital payment options grow in popularity: FinancialBuzz commentary

Feb. 10, 2021

FinancialBuzz.com is a financial informational web portal. It describes itself as a pioneer in the financially driven digital space, video production and integration of social media. It is not a financial advisory or advisor, investment advisor or broker-dealer, and does not undertake any activities that would require such registration. The following commentary by Financialbuzz.com was published on Feb. 8, 2021.

The global digital payments landscape is developing at a swift pace. Over the last several years, digital payments have witnessed heightened activity, in large thanks to the acceleration of the digital and information technology revolution, new online services [that] are outside the traditional banking arena, ease of use, and more recently the impact of the pandemic, according to a research report by UnivDatos Market Insights. In particular, the new online services have had a major contribution. For instance: Apple Pay, with 227 million users worldwide is estimated to be the leading digital wallet, up from 140 million users in 2018. In 2020, Samsung Pay and Google Pay are projected to both cross 100 million users globally. XTM Inc. (CSE: PAID) (OTC: XTMIF), PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL), Mastercard Inc. (NYSE: MA), Global Payments Inc. (NYSE: GPN), Visa Inc. (NYSE: V)

The economic consequences from the pandemic are still unclear, yet certain industries found themselves in a position to benefit. A research by McKinsey & Co. indicates that "overall, in retail, the impact was not a decline but a shift in buying behavior. In the first six months of the year, consumers spent $347 billion online with U.S. retailers, up 30% from the same period in 2019 – corresponding to six times the annualized 2019 growth rate of online retail."

XTM Inc. (CSE: PAID) (OTC: XTMIF) announced last week that, "it will launch its payment solution as a continuation of the Black Fox restaurant management tracking app

BlackFox is an application developed exclusively for restaurant and bar managers and servers. Their seamless cash-out process provides managers with calculation and management of tip-outs, tip reporting management of due-backs and reporting to accounting.  Clients include Franworks, one of Canada's largest hospitality groups in the casual dining segment, State & Main, The Keg, Original Joes and the Rowden Group.

Restaurant sales were estimated for North America at $863 billion in 2019 with 85% of full-service restaurant bills being paid with debit or credit. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital payments. With the significant decline in the use and acceptance of cash and many service businesses declining cash as a form of payment, now more than ever, service industry operators need a solution for earnings and gratuity payouts.

XTM's integration with BlackFox app is completed via its suite of published APIs. The integration makes use of restful API calls, allowing for the creation of account administrators, card holders and card management directly from the BlackFox platform. BlackFox users are not required to do any lifting in order to completely manage and move money to the Today program users. The XTM APIs are publicly available at https://apidocs.mytodaycard.com.

Restaurant staff use their Today mobile app and prepaid card as they would any challenger or neo bank solution with a free mobile bank account and a paired app that empowers bill pay, online commerce, card-present point-of-sale, card-to-card transfer, ACH and e-transfer and more.

'The Today Solution works beautifully with the sophistication of BlackFox' app,' said Marilyn Schaffer, CEO. 'BlackFox solves the tip-out calculations, reporting and accounting problems and we deliver the staff earnings; poetry in motion.'

'We were looking for a way to further the benefits of our solution within the restaurant space,' said Dirk Britton, CEO, BlackFox. 'XTM already owns the earnings payout space so it made the most sense for best-of-breeds to collaborate for the ultimate solution.'"

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PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) announced on December 9, launched QR code payments in iZettle's point of sale app, allowing small businesses across the UK - from retailers to florists and cafes - to accept safe and secure touch-free payments from customers. The roll-out marks the first time UK merchants can accept PayPal QR Code payments in-store via a point of sale solution. "Small businesses need access to commerce tools that help them sell securely and meet their customers wherever they are – in-store, online and in-between." Jacob de Geer, Vice President of Small Business Products and iZettle, PayPal, comments. "By bringing together our best-in-class point of sale product with our new touch-free payment method we can help small businesses offer an innovative in-store payment experience while navigating this new normal."

Mastercard Inc. (NYSE: MA) announced on January 26th, that it is applying the latest quantum-resistant technologies to develop the next generation of contactless payments. The new Enhanced Contactless (Ecos) specifications are an industry-first and will help ensure that as our dynamic digital landscape evolves, and new technologies like quantum computing are introduced, contactless technology is future-proofed to ensure consumers will continue to enjoy the same high levels of security and convenience they do today, in the decades to come. "Contactless is the present and future of in-person payments," said Ajay Bhalla, president, Cyber & Intelligence at Mastercard. "2020 brought with it a rapid acceleration of digitization and reinforced the importance of digital solutions - like contactless - to help meet our everyday needs. As the ecosystem continues to evolve, more connected devices and the Internet of Things are going to create more user demand and an even greater need for constant innovation to build next-generation capability, helping to ensure that technology never outpaces trust."

Global Payments Inc. (NYSE: GPN) announced on September 1st, that TSYS, its Issuer Solutions business, has renewed its agreement with Wells Fargo, the fourth largest bank in the U.S. "We continue to benefit from the flexibility and power of TSYS' innovative payments solutions, along with the support of Global Payments, as we look to further simplify, streamline and digitize the overall experience for our commercial card customers," said Mary Mazzochi, Senior Vice President and Manager, Commercial Card Product Suite, Wells Fargo. "We have had a great relationship with Wells Fargo for many years, and this agreement provides further validation of our market leading technologies, products and services for commercial payments that clients have come to expect from our company," said Gaylon Jowers, President, TSYS Issuer Solutions and Senior Executive Vice President, Global Payments.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) announced on February 2nd, that VisaNet +AI, a suite of AI-powered services that address longstanding challenges and pain points for banks, merchants and consumers—including delays and confusion with managing account balances and the unpredictability of daily settlement for financial institutions. VisaNet +AI comprises several innovative concepts and new value-added services, including Visa Smarter Posting and Visa Smarter Settlement Forecast, as well as Visa Smarter Stand-In Processing (Smarter STIP), a capability announced in August of last year. These innovations harness Visa's high-performance AI platform to help make payments more predictable, transparent, and speedy.  "Our clients, partners and cardholders look to us for actionable data-driven insights to better manage their businesses and financial lives, especially during these unprecedented times. Today we're announcing a set of services that use AI to make it easier for consumers to manage their accounts, and for financial institutions to manage their business," said Jack Forestell, executive vice president and chief product officer, Visa. "With our investment in AI infrastructure, we're unlocking novel, real-time solutions to complex problems. This is just the beginning of what we can do with the predictive power of AI."

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