What happened last week in payments

Bitcoin surges past $4,000 for the first time

The Bitcoin saga continues. The cryptocurrency soared past $4,000 for the first time ever last week, up 15% from the week before. Bitcoin has increased 300% in value in 2017 alone, showing a significant jump as it continues to be the most powerful cryptocurrency on the market.

The increase in price has reportedly bolstered related businesses. Coinbase announced last Thursday that it received a $100m investment.

WorldRemit and National Bank of Kenya announce partnership

WorldRemit and the National Bank of Kenya have announced a strategic partnership that allows Kenyans living abroad to make instant transfers back home.

WorldRemit customers send an estimated 700,000 transfers every month to over 140 destinations. WorldRemit customers can make instant bank deposits to the Royal Bank of Kenya accounts held in both Kenyan shillings as well as US dollars, and send funds for cash-picks from NBK branches.

Read our exclusive interview with WorldRemit VP or Product here.

WhatsApp to introduce peer-to-peer payments

Last week messaging platform WhatsApp announced that it is preparing to introduce payments to the messaging app, allowing users to transfer money to another with a message.

According to online portal WEBetaInfo, where the news was first announced, the next step in the app’s development will be the introduction of payments.

Barclays plans to close several branches by the end of 2017

The Independent reported that Barclays is planning on closing around 54 branches by the end of the year in an effort to cut costs.

The closing of branches will reportedly not result in any job losses, with jobs to be transferred elsewhere. The latest round of bank branch closures see a move towards digital and mobile banking and have raised concerns amongst small businesses in the UK.

The bank still has around 1,300 branches across the UK.

Read last week’s payments round-up here. 

Related reading

Finance more evolution than revolutionary change