Debenhams offers Western Union money transfers
Debenhams has partnered with Western Union Company to offer a global money transfer service from its stores with travel money bureaux. Customers will have the choice to complete the whole transaction in-store at Debenhams Travel Money bureaux, or to use the Western Union Mobile app and pay at Debenhams locations.
Danish FinTech trials finger vein payments
Digital payments specialist Nets has started testing finger vein payments with students and visitors at Copenhagen Business School (CBS). The FinTech firm said that scanning the structure of veins in customers’ fingers makes for faster and safer payments.
Iceland latest UK brand to launch in China
UK supermarket chain Iceland has become the latest UK retailer to sign a partnership with China’s largest retailer, JD.com, to debut its products in the Chinese market. The Iceland flagship store on JD.com’s cross-border e-commerce platform, JD Worldwide, will make Iceland’s own-brand products and a curated selection of other branded products available to consumers across China for the first time.
Farfetch launches technology accelerator
Online fashion retailer Farfetch has launched a scheme to provide startups with a programme of mentorship, networking opportunities and access to early-stage funding. Based in Farfetch’s Lisbon offices and lasting 12 weeks, the programme will include a series of workshops, one-to-one sessions with senior staff and mentorship meetings covering topics such as e-commerce, marketing, technology, fashion, logistics and operations.
Affirm expands payment offering
US FinTech Affirm has expanded its range to offer interest-free, three-month payment terms to help shoppers a new way to make smaller purchases. The company suggested the expansion will be especially valuable to fashion brands and retailers that want to offer a quick and convenient payment method and are more transparent than traditional credit.
iZettle launches e-commerce platform
Swedish FinTech firm iZettle has launched a new e-commerce platform that will allow merchants to sell in-store, online and on-the-go, all from one place. The platform lets small business owners set up and customise a brand new webshop, or start selling across multiple channels online, including social media, blogs and existing websites – keeping track of all sales and inventory in one place.
Retail sales down in March: ONS
In the three months to March 2018 retail sales fell by 0.5 per cent when compared to the previous quarter, with declines in all sectors except for department stores and non-store retailing. The latest Office for National Statistics figures also showed month-on-month growth down by 1.2 per cent, due to a large fall of 7.4 per cent from petrol sales – likely due to adverse weather conditions impacting travel.
Cash still king with payments on the increase
Cash remains the most widely used form of payment in all regions of the world, while the amount of cash in circulation is growing, according to a report from G4S. The World Cash report surveyed 47 countries covering three quarters of the global population and over 90 per cent of the world’s GDP, with results revealing a growing global demand for cash – despite the increase in electronic payment options in recent years. Cash in circulation relative to GDP has increased to 9.6 per cent across all continents, up from 8.1 per cent in 2011.
Mastercard calls on global SRC support
Mastercard has called on merchants, acquirers, issuers and other technology players to support the new EMVCo Secure Remote Commerce (SRC) framework, which aims to create a ubiquitous online payments experience for global shoppers. Mastercard believes that SRC can be implemented as one, common checkout button – delivering a more consistent checkout experience by reducing the multiple steps that consumers face at different sites.
JCB to pilot fingerprint authentication card
Japanese payments firm JCB will conduct a trial of its new biometric card which features fingerprint authentication. Enabled by IDEMIA, the new payment solution requires users to first register one or more fingerprints for authentication purposes. When they want to buy something, they need only touch the fingerprint sensor on the card's lower right corner with their finger so as to authenticate payment.
Debenhams reports 84% profit drop
Debenhams has reported that its pre-tax profits are down 84 per cent from £87.8 million to £13.5 million during the half year to 3 March. Like-for-like sales declined 2.2 per cent, amid a “challenging UK market background” when during the final trading week extreme weather conditions temporarily closed almost 100 stores.