Finance

Mastercard will start accepting cryptocurrencies this year

No word on what cryptos yet

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Because of the recent rise of Dogecoin, cryptocurrencies are once again in the spotlight. Despite their seesawing popularity throughout the years, the digital currency is here to stay. Thankfully, larger financial firms are starting to accept the new currency into their gallery of services. Today, Mastercard has announced that it will accept some cryptocurrencies going forward.

As reported by Reuters, Mastercard will start accepting select currencies into its network later this year. Even without the recent announcement, the company already takes the digital currency, albeit indirectly. This time, the card company will fully support it going forward.

Unfortunately, Mastercard has not announced when the support is coming. The company has also neglected to share which cryptocurrencies will come to Mastercard. Most likely, it will support the most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. Given its popularity, the company might even support the latest craze, Dogecoin.

Recently, Dogecoin raised its value drastically because of Reddit’s recent blitz against the stock market. Random cryptocurrencies and stocks suddenly experienced massive surges in the past few weeks.

In other cryptocurrency-related news, Elon Musk’s Tesla has also started accepting cryptocurrencies as a mode of payment. The billionaire has also invested US$ 1.5 billion in Bitcoin, marking a huge investment in the currency.

SEE ALSO: Mastercard is the 30th SEA Games app payment provider

Finance

Payoneer rebrands ahead of public listing

A universal brand for a universal future of commerce

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Payoneer, the commerce technology company powering payments and growth for the new global economy, announced today a rebrand to reflect its current position in the market and its vision to be the world’s go-to partner for digital commerce everywhere. The new brand marks another chapter in the fintech pioneer’s evolution from young disrupter to industry leader, with plans to begin trading on Nasdaq under the ticker PAYO later this month at an enterprise value of approximately $3.3 billion at closing.

A 2005 “pre-fintech fintech”, Payoneer was born on the cusp of the global shift to digital, borderless commerce. Now, the business is very much at the heart of it. Payoneer’s vast networked ecosystem offers millions of businesses – from emerging-market freelancers to the marketplaces and platforms redefining how the world operates – the technology, connections and confidence to participate and flourish in the new global economy.

“This is the era of Open Commerce,” said Scott Galit, CEO of Payoneer, “a time when the entire world operates on a single digital plane, and anyone, from anywhere, has the opportunity to realize their potential. This is the reality we have always been building towards. As we enter the public markets and look ahead, our new brand is designed to keep driving the business forward while keeping us true to our purpose: to imagine, engineer and inspire a universal future for commerce, together with our millions of customers and partners all over the world.”

Payoneer’s new brand color is “universal”, reflecting its promise to be for everyone everywhere. The new symbol is a circle, illustrating its journey to becoming a single destination, unified, and connected in more places than anyone else.

The brand itself was developed in partnership with global brand company venturethree. Creative Director Jason Lowings said of the project, “There are many players in the busy payments and financial services space, but Payoneer is unique in the breadth, depth and integrity of their global ecosystems. It is a truly universal business, with an optimistic global perspective, uniting marketplaces, systems, businesses and entrepreneurs, everywhere in the world. To express and celebrate this, the new symbol of Payoneer reflects the universe of opportunities available through their many products, services and platforms.”


This is a press release from Payoneer

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Apps

You can now buy and sell bitcoin, ethereum within the Venmo app

You can’t pay with crypto though

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Cryptocurrencies are the most trending topic right now, and everyone wants to be a part of it. Well, PayPal-owned peer-to-peer money transfer app Venmo has rolled out a new platform that’ll let users directly buy or sell the cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum, and litecoin, within the app.

With more than 70 million active users, the app serves as a perfect destination for more users. They can hold a stake in cryptocurrency starting with as little as US$ 1. They can also share their acquisition of digital currency on their feeds.

According to the payments company, more than 30 percent of Venmo customers have already started purchasing cryptocurrency or equities. And 20 percent of those customers started doing so during the pandemic.

The Venmo app is straightforward to use, and everyone is habituated with it. Hence, it is easier for folks to get on board the cryptocurrency train without worrying about complex tools.

The announcement did not say anything about paying for goods or services with cryptocurrency, but that ability could come to Venmo later. Customers will choose between four types of cryptocurrency — Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash.

PayPal recently announced it would let users pay for goods at checkout using cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, Tesla said it would accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. With wider acceptance on mainstream services, cryptocurrencies are become easier to grab for everyone.

Venmo is rolling the new crypto features gradually, starting today. They should be available to all customers “within the next few weeks.”

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Tonik digital bank launches in the Philippines

Offers up to 6% interest rate per annum

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It’s always been challenging to open a bank account for most Filipinos due to a number of factors. Tonik, an all digital bank, aims to reduce the hurdles in opening an account to encourage people to save more.

Anyone can open a Tonik bank account using only the Tonik App (available on Android and iOS), an ID, and a well-lit selfie. Accepted IDs are: Philippine passport, Philippine Driver’s license, UMID, SSS ID, PRC ID, and Firearms ID.

Don’t have any of these IDs? You’re still eligible to opening an account. The account will be active for 12 months with a maximum balance of PhP 50,000. That should be enough time to secure an ID.

After creating an account, a user can easily put money in through the following: Debit Card, Online via GCash, BPI, Unionbank, and Coins.ph, and over-the-counter partners like 7 Eleven, Cebuana Lhuiller, Mlhuillier, and SM Payment.

Savings, interest rates, stashes

Tonik’s aim, like most digital banks in their early stages, is to get people to save. There are plenty of ways to save to encourage people to do so.

Time Deposit

Earns as much as six (6) percent per annum. Starting amount can be set to as low as PhP 5,000. There are also no early withdrawal fees or penalties.

Savings Account

Every registered account has a one (1) percent base interest rate per annum. Pay out is monthly.

Stashes

This is the fun part. Stashes are essentially digital piggy banks for specific purposes. Say, you’re saving for a smartphone or whatever shiny new piece of tech you have your eye on, you can put money in a specific stash so you can easily monitor how well your savings are coming along.

A Solo Stash lets gets users a four (4) percent per annum interest rate. Meanwhile, a Group Stash lets you team-up with another Tonik user for your savings goals earning you a 4.5 percent interest rate. These can be withdrawn anytime without a lock-in period.

Virtual card

Digital banking is also a welcome development with the Coronavirus pandemic still terrorizing the planet. Plenty of merchants have adopted an all digital solution. Tonik also offers a virtual card that you can use for online purchases.

Is it secure?

Tonik is asking for some personal data and, of course, your hard-earned cash. Naturally, you’d want to know if it’s safe and secure.

First, the money concerns. Tonik is supervised by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and your money is insured by the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) up to a maximum of P500,000 per depositor.

For digital protection, the company outlines the following:

  • User account security is protected against fraud by the DAON server-based face check security feature. This ensures that no one can access a customer’s account by feigning his identity in case the account owner’s mobile phone is lost or stolen, even if the face ID is changed.
  • Passwords are safeguarded from the moment of their creation through RCA asymmetric encryption of account holders’ One-Time Pins and passwords. The level of encryption utilized for this feature is the
    same as that used by intelligence agencies
    and the military.
  • Customer data is stored safely in Amazon cloud with Advanced Cloud Security provided by AWSshield that effectively eliminates external threat like cyberattacks and data theft.
  • 256-bit encryption protection puts all transactions through secure channels that cannot be intercepted. Our security operations center monitors all customer-related activities for any possible external threats.

If you’re having any sort of difficulty navigating the app and its features, Tonik has the following customer support channels:

  • In-app chat
  • Tonik Digital Bank Viber chat
  • Customer Service email: [email protected]
  • Customer Service hotline: (02) 5322 2645

Why Tonik?

The name doesn’t immediately make you think of digital banking and the company says it’s intentional. Asked why they chose it during a media briefing, they said it’s easy to remember and doesn’t have any strong association with anything.

The company also has quite a nice and cool vibe to it. You’ll realize this with how things are worded when you interact more with the app.

PESONet transfers

As of April 27, 2021, Tonik users are able to transfer funds from a PESONet participating bank to their accounts. This service is initially available via RCBC, Landbank, PSBank and CIMB, with other PESONet member banks expected to add the service in the coming months.

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