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Home » Daily Briefing » Daily briefing - March 2019

Daily briefing - 20 March 2019

Insta
Instagram will soon offer in-app purchases

Part of Instagram's attraction is that its one billion users stay inside the app. There's no straight way to link to another website — such as eBay — from Instagram. But the visual-first nature of Instagram has proven irresistible to marketers, and now Instagram steps closer to an e-commerce site by providing for in-app purchases. "Merchants will only get the details necessary to fulfill an order, including contact info and address, but not your actual payment info," reports Techcrunch. "Users will see an opt-in option to share their email address with the seller for marketing purposes. Checkout with Instagram could leave merchants with a little less data than if the purchase happened on their website. But Instagram says it will provide info on which sales it generates for a merchant." The checkout feature will launch in beta in the US with big brands involved, including Adidas, Zara, Prada and Michael Kors. Users who see a product tag will notice it will be joined by a 'Checkout on Instagram' tag also. Customers will enter information once, with payment details stored in Instagram. The news was treated sceptically by card schemes. "Storing your payment credentials on social media," wrote one cards executive. "That's brave!" Indeed. All the more reason for Mr Zuckerberg to ram together Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp before regulators get their act in gear and keep these businesses separate. "Instagram has fiercely protected the right to link out of its app in order to keep you steadily consuming its content," notes Techcrunch. "Now with more than one billion users, Instagram has trapped people's attention inside, and it's finally ready to sell the right to sell there."

Singapore-based telco Singtel will partner with NETSTARS to offer Singtel customers a way to spending money in Japan. Singtel has big plans to be the mobile wallet of choice in the Asia Pacific region, and Japan is a nice pearl on its string. "Southeast Asia, where a chunk of the 650-million population is underbanked, is becoming a crowded market for mobile payments," reports Reuters. "Singtel wants to stand out by permitting users to be able to pay with their e-wallets outside their home country. Singtel plans to expand the mobile wallet alliance to India, the Philippines and Indonesia." Singtel International Group's chief executive Arthur Lang said that with scale, Singtel will be able to convert payments wallets into multiple use instruments.

With the booming success of Worldpay, investors are paying close attention to processors and their IPOs. Last week we heard news that the Network IPO will indeed take place in London in April, and that Worldpay executive director Ron Kalifa will take over as chairman at the processor. Simon Haslam, formerly of Elavon, is the chief executive. "The global payments sector is undergoing a period of rapid change," Mr Kalifa told the FT. "Businesses have to demonstrate deep local market expertise together with sophisticated and innovative technology solutions. Network International has a long successful history of combining both these factors."

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