Kidnapping, dominance, overhauls and saying no -a week in payments

Issue 172 | 14 September 2021

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Brazilian kidnappers take advantage of new PIX payments system

Brazil's central bank has imposed spending limits on its new PIX instant payments platform in the face of a sharp increase in "lightning kidnappings".

São Paulo has seen a 40% rise in lightning kidnappings - where people are grabbed on the street and forced to transfer money in exchange for their release - in the first six months of the year.

The increase has been attributed by police to PIX, which launched late last year to let citizens make instant payments 24/7/365 through mobile phones, online banking and ATMs.

These lightning kidnappings were kind of dormant. But since PIX entered the market in November last year, we have noticed a significant increase in cases.

Tarsio Severo, from the department of special police operations in São Paulo.

In response, the central bank has put a $200 transfer limit on P2P payments between 8pm and 6am, when most attacks occur. In addition, there is now minimum waiting time for increasing transfer limits and people can choose to set their own different limits for day and night, according to the Financial Times.

Source: Finextra.

Four reasons why open banking is ready to challenge card dominance

Jack Wilson at TrueLayer has been writing about why open banking is ready to challenge card dominance - Jack writes:

One of the key motivations behind open banking has always been to enable the growth of alternative payment methods to cards. Policy drivers, industry development and innovation have all worked together to deliver that in the form of open banking payments. 

This, combined with the continuing growth of online retail sales, and the problems caused by the card network’s ageing infrastructure, has created the perfect opportunity for the ecommerce industry to truly embrace open banking payments. 

To better understand the key reasons for this potential shift, open banking platform TrueLayer commissioned an independent research consultancy with experience in payments. The report draws on existing research into open banking in the UK and the EU, plus interviews with independent experts, international banks, industry bodies, merchants and consumers.

The four key key takeaways from TrueLayer’s report are:

1. After a slow start, open banking payments are growing fast

2. Ecommerce payments are also growing consistently

3. Greater competition from open banking payments will bring about benefits for merchants and consumers

4. International non-card payments show there is appetite for card competition


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Yolt to close consumer app to focus on open banking tech platform

In a surprise move ING Bank-backed Yolt has announced that is shutting down its consumer-facing smart money app in order to focus on its open banking technology platform.

Launched in 2017, Yolt has since garnered more than 1.5 million registered users who are currently able to see their various bank accounts in one place, enabling them to track their spending, set budgets and identify where they can make savings.

However, ING says that after evaluating the business it has decided to close the app and instead focus its resources on the Yolt Technology Service part of the business, and getting its proprietary open banking technology into the hands of businesses.

Our mission has always been to accelerate the adoption of open banking. We want to give financial control to as many people and businesses as possible, empowering them to make more informed choices that help them achieve better financial health, create opportunities and make it possible to fulfil their potential.

Focussing on Yolt Technology Services is a faster and more effective way of driving change.

Nicolas Weng Kan, CEO, Yolt.

An overhaul for Bazalgette's masterpiece

Bazalgette’s masterpiece is a visual reminder for us all as we consider the similarities to the UK’s retail payment schemes.

Nestling between the River Thames and the cycle super highway is a memorial to a chap called Joseph Bazaalgate. Thousands of cyclists’ whizz past it every day without noticing it. Nevertheless, it stands on top of his creation and is one of the wonders of Victorian engineering - the London Sewers.

Completed in 1875, when London had a population of around two million, those same sewers are now being used by over eight million London residents. Only now, nearly 150 years later, is London having to invest £4.5bn in its plumbing - nearly one thousand times the amount spent on the original solution. Why so long after? Because Joseph Bazaalgate had the foresight to double the capacity originally sized for London in anticipation of the future needs. 

Joss Wilbraham, Form 3

London’s dependance on what lies under the Embankment helps us to understand the reliance the whole of the UK has on the almost 10 billion retail payments processed each year by the Bacs and Faster Payments schemes.

Just as Bazalgette’s sewage ‘plumbing’ is getting an overhaul the UK’s Bacs and Faster Payments ‘plumbing’ will be overhauled in the coming years.


And connected news from Australia:



Remember, always say no if someone contacts you asking for personal or financial info.

Saying ‘no’ can feel uncomfortable but it’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.


Bank of England RTGS and CHAPS Annual Report

The Bank of England have published our RTGS and CHAPS Annual Report.

RTGS settles over £700bn each working day. The report covers our highlights from 2020 to 2021 and how RTGS has supported monetary and financial stability throughout the Covid outbreak.


Around the world in Request to Pays

The world is waking up to Request to Pay as the answer to convenient and affordable digital bill payment management. Request to Pay has arrived and is expanding globally.  In this blog we look at some of the more interesting international developments.

As Answer Pay’s Chairman I was pleased to provide a perspective on how Request to Pay is rolling out around the world.


Partner connections

In brief

Longer Read

This week’s longer read is from Dave Birch (and from 2018):

Thanks for reading!