Last week in payments: Top five things you need to know

Equifax hit by data breach, CEO retires

Earlier this month, Equifax announced that it has been a victim of a data breach scandal that is said to have affected the personal information of 143 million customers. The information came mostly from US residents but also included UK and Canadian citizens, and the company is reportedly working with authorities from these countries to overcome the hack.

Chief executive Richard Smith has stepped down since the scandal.

Equifax has lost around $4.5bn in market value since it disclosed the back on September 7th.

Deloitte also hit by data breach that exposes clients’ private e-mails

Corporate finance company Deloitte has also been one of the latest companies to be hit with a data breach.

Its system had been accessed via an e-mail platform, although Deloitte has stated that ‘very few’ clients had been affected. Deloitte said it has also contacted those who had been affected.

HSBC moves to open banking

HSBC is looking to become the first high street lender to launch an app that allows customers to see all their accounts – including those with other banks – in one place. Beta, the new app, will initially test amongst a portion of customers before rolling out to the wider public at the start of next year.

The move comes after HSBC is aiming to take on challenger banks and fintechs and to strengthen customer relationships. It comes month ahead of the PSD2 deadline that imposes banks share their consumer’s customer data.

The efforts are part of a $2bn global spend to modernise HSBC and to compete with challenger bank rivals.

Curve partners with Xero to automate expenses

UK start-up Curve has partnered with Xero to save small businesses, freelance and contractors as well as accountants time when filing expenses. By connecting to Xero software, Curve says that it will announce these users from the time-consuming job of doing expenses – something it claims costs the UK’s small businesses millions of days a year, worth billions of pounds.

“Everyone hates doing their expenses. It’s a tedious, manual job that takes up too much time. But it doesn’t have to be that way: now, Curve will do the job for you, regardless of the bank you use,” says Arthur Leung, product lead, Curve.

“Instead of wasting one day a month on business expenses admin, just connect your cards to a Xero account through the Curve app, and Curve will do your expenses for you. It’s effortless.”

WorldRemit and Wafacash expand partnership across west and central Africa

Moroccon-based financial services company Wafacash is scaling up operations with digital money transfer service WorldRemit to offer instant money transfers across west and central Africa.

The new service will let WorldRemit customers in over 50 countries transfer money as easily as sending an instant message, using the app or website. Instant cash pickup service will become available at over 2,000 Wafacash locations in 7 countries. Remittances in the region have experienced a decade of strong growth, amounting to a projected $34 billion across Sub-Saharan Africa in 2017.

Ismail Ahmed says, Founder and CEO at WorldRemit, said: “We are delighted our partnership with Wafacash is growing. We have a shared vision that money transfers should be as safe, fast and low-cost as possible. This expansion means more cash pickup points in the region, making our service even more convenient to our customers”.

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