What happened this week in payments

Stripe unveils partnership with Alipay and WeChat Pay

Stripe is unveiling two global partnerships with Alipay and WeChat Pay, opening up access to hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers for British businesses.

Mobile commerce already accounts for 71% of Chinese e-commerce, which saw sales of $750 billion in 2016 alone. Alipay and WeChat Pay currently dominate the mobile wallet ecosystem in China, with 92% market share and a billion+ users collectively. Now businesses on Stripe will be able to accept Alipay and WeChat Pay on their websites in just a few clicks. For the first time, eligible businesses will be able to activate both Alipay and WeChat Pay right from their Stripe dashboards, without the need for additional developer work or lengthy approval processes.

“Stripe aims to build a unified infrastructure for the internet economy,” said John Collison, President and Co-Founder of Stripe. “By deepening our existing partnership with Alipay, and launching a new partnership with WeChat Pay, we’re enabling businesses to easily access the once-impenetrable Chinese market, and in the manner Chinese consumers prefer.”

UK Challenger bank Revolut raises $66m in funding round

Revolut has raised $66m in a Series B funding round with new and existing investors. This brings the total funding that Revolut has raised to $83m in total.

Revolut emerged in the banking sphere as a mobile app that lets you send and receive money in multiple currencies. When users sign up, they can either create virtual cards or receive a plastic MasterCard. Users can top up their account using another card or a bank transfer. Money can be exchanged in 16 different currencies in order to send it or spend it without any fee up to £5,000 per month. 700,000 people have signed up so far.

The challenger bank is looking to add cryptocurrencies and stocks to the app too. With the new funding round, Revolut also plans to expand to new countries in Asia and North America.

Payments start-up Curve closes $10m Series A funding round

Curve, the start-up that combines all your cards into one Mastercard card, has closed a Series A funding round of $10m. The round includes notable investors including Santander Innoventues, Investec and Oxford Capitals.

Curve customers use an all-cards-in-one Curve Mastercard card to spend from their card-linked accounts, and a secure mobile app to manage their money in one place. Curve is currently in Beta and is available to the self-employed: entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small business owners in the UK. It can be used anywhere in the world that accepts Mastercard. Curve has been used for over £50m in payments in over 100 countries, ahead of fully launching out of Beta. Over 50,000 people have already signed up to Curve.

The latest funding round will allow Curve to accelerate growth by building more innovative features and recruiting world-class talent ahead of its full launch.

Read our exclusive interview with Curve CEO Shachar Bialick.  

Ethereum price falls by 40% from all-time high

Bitcoin-rival Ethereum fell by 40% on Tuesday. The cryptocurrency was trading at a 30-day low and hit as low as $170 at one point.

The setback comes after a 5000% rise in the price of Ethereum at the start of the year. The cyptocurrency has seen significant fluctuations throughout June, when it hit an all-time high of $395, then dropped to $10c for a few seconds in a so called ‘flash crash.’ The cryptocurrency is now trading at around $205.

Read last week’s round-up here

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