What happened this week in payments

Barclays enables Siri payments

Barclays customers can now ask Apple’s virtual assistant Siri to send payments on their behalf on their mobile phone.

Users can use their voice to ask Siri to make a payment and authenticate the transaction with Apple’s touch ID feature. Barclays is the first UK high street bank to enable Siri authorised payments, giving customers the ability to pay to existing payees or mobile contacts without having to use the mobile app.

“Barclays has a long history of introducing innovative new products and services to give our customers choice in how they bank,” said Barclays’ head of customer experience and channels Raheel Ahmed.

“The introduction of Siri payments to mobile banking customers is another step forward, giving flexibility and greater choice for all our customers.”

German fintech N26 hits 500,000 users

German digital bank N26 now has 500,000 customers across Europe. The fintech is growing at an accelerated pace, as it only recently reported hitting 300,000 users back in March this year.

The Berlin-headquartered bank has announced a number of new products over the past year.

US retail store Walmart and Google announce partnership

Walmart and Google have announced a new partnership to enable voice shopping with Google Assistant in Walmart stores.

Customers will be able to use Walmart’s ‘Easy Re-order’ feature through Google’s shopping service, Google Express, which will allow them to browse through thousands of products using their voice. Consumers can also use Google Express and order with their voice for several other US retailers including Target, Staples, Walgreens and many more.

UK’s Prodigy Finance raises $240m in crowdfunding round

Student online lender Prodigy Finance has raised $240m in equity and debt funding this week.

The funding round was led by venture capital firm Index Ventures, with participation from AlphaCode and Balderton Capital.

The UK-based company provides financing to international students from emerging markets to enable them to study at business schools in the UK, US and Europe. The company has provided more than $325 million in funding to over 7,100 students globally since 2007.

The company is reportedly seeking to speed up its expansion in the US with the help of the recent funding round.

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