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

Facebook launches peer to peer payments

Friends and contacts on Facebook messenger can now send money to each other with a simple click.

According to Business Insider, Facebook’s virtual assistant “M” will also attempt to predict when a payment might be suitable and suggest it. For example, if you send or receive a message stating an amount for a payment, “M” will prompt you to send the payment.

Facebook currently isn’t charging a fee on payments.

Monzo raises £71m in latest funding round

Start-up bank Monzo has raised £71m in its latest funding round. This marks its second funding round of the year, with the company’s valuation doubling since February.

The digital bank now has more than 20,000 current account holders. Total users have increased by nearly 300% since February’s Series C funding round, from 120,000 to 470,000.

“This is an incredible endorsement of our strategy so far, and sets us up to continue the growth we’ve seen this year into 2018,” said CEO Tom Blomfield.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for people to manage and make the most of their money, to give people total visibility and control over all of their finances, and offer them their pick of the best products that the market has to offer.”

PayPal launches Money Pools

The payments giant has launched Money Pools, a service that lets people create pages for their contacts for a special occasion, fundraiser or event. PayPal users can chip in for specific events such as birthday parties, holidays or housemates paying rent.

According to TechCrunch, PayPal is launching the service today in 16 countries — Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States. Anyone who has a PayPal account in these regions can create a Money Pool.

Bitcoin hits another record high

Last Wednesday, Ethereum-rival Bitcoin hit an all-time record of $7,882.

The new high comes after a series of industry leaders critiqued the cryptocurrency, calling it nothing but a “bubble waiting to burst.” Since its spike, Bitcoin then dipped below $6,000 over the weekend, and is now trading at around $6,500.

Visa plans to enhance transportation payments globally

Visa launched Visa Global Transit Solutions, a new program designed to accelerate the use of debit, credit and pre-paid accounts at the fare gate or on a bus reader, speeding up and creating a more convenient experience for mass transit commuters worldwide.

“Visa is the best way to pay and be paid everywhere and on any device.  We want to make the transportation experience faster, easier and more secure whether someone is traveling by car, flying on holiday or taking public transportation to work,” said Michael Lemberger, head of products at Visa in Europe.

“Visa played an important role in partnering with Transport for London (TfL).  We are applying the expertise which has led to more than one billion Visa contactless journeys on TfL to help mass transit operators around the world move away from cash and tickets to contactless payments on buses and trains.”

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