Category Archives: Canada

Using Social Media to get the Best Online Payment System

With the advancement in technology and innovation, the process of payments has evolved significantly. Different fields have adopted the new payment solutions with enthusiasm. The banking sector is not an exception. Various banks and social media companies have embraced this new payments trends and have collaborated to offer new services. This is because of the growing use of the smartphones and internet among many people around the world. An increasing number of people are using the social media to make payments as well as performing other banking and transaction operations. The following are examples of banks which have integrated within social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter in order to provide the best online payment system and respond to the needs of the people.

ICICI Bank – India
ICICI bank launched ICICIBankPay which would allow clients with a Twitter account to transfer money in the country. It can also allow individuals to recharge prepaid mobile, view the last three transactions, and check the account balance. Moreover, the rolling out of the mobile payment service via Twitter was also aimed to tapping the market of potential clients who did not have an account with the bank but still wanted to use its services.

Banque Populaire d’Ḗpargne (BPCE) – France
BPCE signalled a move to revenue streams by collaborating with Twitter in announcing that it would allow its clients to transfer money through tweets. All one needs to do is to link the Twitter username to the S-money account and install the app. Both the sender and the recipient of the money must have the S-money account and app linked.

Kotak Mahindra – India
Kotak launched a social savings bank account known as Jifi Saver. The management of the account is done through Twitter and Facebook. It caters for the tech savvy clients more so eCommerce partners. It also caters for the needs of online shoppers. The service is available in 27 cities across India.

Baclays Bank – UK
On 10th March, 2015, Baclays launched a Twitter service becoming the first bank in the UK to allow payments through Twitter. It aimed at exploiting social and digital opportunities in order to offer an optimal customer experience. The payment is swift and does not require that the user provides the bank details or the phone number. The service was successfully launched despite the security concerns associated with the use of the mobile phones and the social media.

Rakuten Bank – Japan
Rakuten has a well established reputation in global eCommerce business. It was therefore not surprising when the company utilized the use of Facebook in its service to clients. Customers are supposed to log in to the bank iOS and Android apps, connect their Rakuten and Facebook accounts, and choose from their Facebook friends who they want to pay. If the recipient bank account is not linked to a Facebook account there is a small charge of 165 yen, if it is, it is a free service.

RBC Royal Bank of Canada – Canada
RBC expanded its mobile bank solutions by enabling its clients to make electronic transfers through Facebook. This is in line with the bank’s mission to become “Canada’s most innovative bank.” In this regard, one can send money to his or her Facebook friends through Android, iPhone, or iPad.

ASB Bank – New Zealand
In July, 2012, ASB Bank sought to exploit the social media phenomenon by announcing that it would use the Facebook platform to send notifications to customers. Similarly, it allowed customers to make payments to other banks through Facebook. The bank emphasized that one does not have to provide a bank account. From the time the service was launched, 10 % of the bank’s mobile payments have been effected through the platform.

FNB – South Africa
FNB South Africa has drastically changed the South African banking landscape with its advertising strategies and progressive marketing. It is against this backdrop that it adopted Facebook as one of the banking tools. It uses Facebook to do the following business operations: crowd-sourcing, sponsorship, and communication with clients and fans. Its smartphone app can make payments and one can link it easily to a bank account.

Commonwealth Bank – Australia
The commonwealth, Australia, connects with the clients via the Facebook and Twitter. It released a social media app, CommBank Katching for Facebook , that will give clients payment options via Facebook. The app has put into consideration the security and privacy issues that surround the use of Facebook. For example, the bank was concerned about the online scams and cyber crime and promised to lay concrete measures that would protect its clients.

There is a paradigm shift in payments methods. Banks are realizing the immense benefits that come with the use of social media in their business operations. In this light, banking institutions are giving payments via the social media great attention. The greatest advantage with this is that the use of the social media is growing. There is all the likelihood that it will continue to grow. Despite providing little value for international remittance, social media will play a major role in online payments and transactions.

Canada’s 2015 commitment to improve remittance services

Canada’s new fiscal budget was released this week. Being a federal election year, the Conservative Party of Canada has tried to sell the budget as being more centered than ever before. Within it they talk about tax free investing, large scale infrastructure investment, to income tax cuts and the balancing of the fiscal budget. Doesn’t this just seam all right, in the perfect world?

Despite having practically frozen investment to the health and education sector, the federal government is still providing large scale stimulus. Much of it in infrastructure. Like any traditional government budget, it is way over sold. Take the contributions to foreign remittance infrastructure for example. It was highlighted in the budget as being a sector of the economy that had to evolve as fees are generally high and service quality is generally low. The Conservative Party of Canada highlighted that they will be investing to this sector of the economy. How much, you may ask? $5 million over 5 years.

It is very much a positive contribution to understand that many immigrants to Canada remit back home to help their family and should have access to fair and adequate services. So $5 million over 5 years, what’s the deal?

I think that the size of the contribution is actually quite suitable as this sector has significant technological opportunities for businesses to thrive. At the moment, the environment in many developed countries is underdeveloped as it relates to money transfer businesses. In many cases, regulation has gotten in the way but with the advent of block-chain technologies, the entire industry has the opportunity to evolve to reduce fees and increase trust exponentially. Transferring value is something that should be practically free. The evolution of the internet is slowly (or rapidly in some cases) decentralizing our society and the exchange of value is following suit. Trading systems are opening up and more international competition is joining the marketplace. This is what is going to reduce fees and better service for foreign remitters.

Within this budget, the amount of money contributed to the industry was absolutely irrelevant in my opinion. Much of the Canadian media have been quick to point out that the budget contained plans to invest toward remittance infrastructure and this contribution, albeit a good thing for the sector, is not what it needs. Our financial and payment system requires finesse as it relates to regulation. At them moment, much regulation is designed for a none digital world and actually impedes innovation, as companies utilizing new digital systems for exchanging value and identification run into stiff KYC (Know-Your-Client) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) regulation. This regulation needs to be revamped for our changing economy and that is when the remittance industry will evolve. To add, this issue is not just a Canadian issue but many developed countries have similarly archaic financial regulation.

I’m not saying I have all the answers to the issues presented as they are fairly complex. I am saying that many developed countries need to review their financial regulation to make sure it fits a digital world.