Financial technology companies are introducing new services to facilitate digital payments – prompted in part by social distancing measures brought in to curb the spread of COVID-19.
PayPal has this week rolled out a contactless point-of-sale service based QR codes. The payment giant’s app now allows customers to buy and sell “in-person, safely and securely, and touch free”, it said in a statement.
It has also agreed to waive seller transaction charges for QR code users for a limited time.
“We know that in the current environment, buying and selling goods in a health-conscious, safe and secure way is front of mind for many people around the world,” said John Kunze, senior vice president of branded experiences at PayPal.
“As the coronavirus pandemic has evolved, we have seen a surge in demand for digital payments to transition to include new and safe solutions for in-person environments and situations.”
QR codes are a form of barcodes first introduced in Japan by carmakers in the 1990s but now widely used for other digital services.
The update has been introduced across 28 markets around the world including the US and Canada.
Elsewhere, Pacific National Bank has teamed up with fintech platform Nymbus, with the platform set to provide the operational technology for the bank’s digital-only service FACILE.
FACILE was designed for “financially mindful and tech-savvy” young professionals, Nymbus said in a statement.
It added that digital solutions were increasingly important in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the social distancing measures introduced across the country.
Nymbus handles the “end-to-end requirements” of FACILE’s operations, which it said eliminated the need for costly technology conversions or additional resources.
“We knew we had to act fast to meet the rising consumer demand for digital banking services,” said Carlos Fernandez-Guzman, CEO at Pacific National Bank. The deal with Nymbus “has given FACILE an edge over the competition”, he added, highlighting the service’s 24/7 remote support as a key feature.
Pacific National Bank has approximately $665 million in assets and is based in southern Florida.
Separately, Danish fintech company Paiblock has extended its in-app banking service provisions to US retail banks.
Mark Arthur, founder and CEO of Paiblock, said the move was an “integral part” of his company’s response to the pandemic.
“Consumers that were relying on ATMs for balance inquiry and transaction history on the go have been left without a safe and reliable alternative to ATM access,” he added.
Paiblock’s platform facilitates checking, saving and mortgage accounts and money transfers. It is based on blockchain technology, according to a statement from the company, and aims to allow consumers to access all their financial data in one place.