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Home » Daily Briefing » Daily briefing - 14 June 2017

Daily briefing - 14 June 2017

The convergence of remittances and mobile money continues with World Remit announcing a deal with Android Pay that allows users to pay remittances to mobile money accounts. World Remit is connected to around 120 million customers with mobile money wallets, while Android Pay has about 25 million users, meaning that World Remit — with around 60 percent of its customers already using Android Pay — can boost Android Pay's profile. "We want to make it easier for organisations like WorldRemit to offer a simpler, faster in-app payment solution for their customers," said Pali Bhat, director of Product Management at Google, in a statement. "With Android Pay, people will be able to speed through checkout with their Android phones in a few clicks." The promise of using mobile wallets, according to World Remit founder Ismail Ahmed, is that they simplify and secure the process of uploading and storing payment details. "Users of the WorldRemit app would not need to use a separate app for each payment, or be taken to any verification pages — two steps that often see huge drop off in transactions."

Some days we just can't take our eyes off California. Short of actually living in Santa Clara county, Lafferty News has often recommended HBO's Silicon Valley show as an insight into life in uncanny valley, where unreconstructed 'bro culture' has been bringing in the dollars in the now established four-stop programme of 1. Grow Fast, 2. Lose Money, 3. Go Public and 4. Cash Out. Yes, we're talking about Uber here, which continues to grow its revenue while providing an endless flow of bad news about company culture. But the bad news is not only about the sexist culture of Uber. It was the company's defiance of regulations that the rest of us have to abide by and its insistence that it was all for the greater good. Now, Uber co-founder and CEO Kalanick has temporarily stepped aside, following a family tragedy. Here's part of his statement: "The ultimate responsibility, for where we've gotten and how we've gotten here rests on my shoulders. There is of course much to be proud of but there is much to improve. For Uber 2.0 to succeed there is nothing more important than dedicating my time to building out the leadership team. But if we are going to work on Uber 2.0, I also need to work on Travis 2.0 to become the leader that this company needs and that you deserve." What is it with the 2.0 reference? Is Travis a bot? Interestingly, Uber's value hasn't yet started to tank...

Speaking of California companies with questionable cultures, Wells Fargo is back in the news with a new compensation scheme for its employees. "The new compensation system rewards teams rather than individuals in many cases, and is based on whether customers actually use the products they are sold," reports Reuters. Wells Fargo discovered last year, in a very public fashion, that its cross-selling culture was driving its employees into making bad decisions that involved faking account openings. However, analysts weren't exactly falling over themselves to criticise the culture. One analyst, Mike Mayo, met with former Wells Fargo chief executive John Stumpf and was full of praise for the company's culture, driven by Stumpf, who recounted some of his words of wisdom to Mayo, including "if you're on time, you're late". This was Mayo's account of the meeting with Stumpf in 2015: "First, the culture is superior, consistent, and nurtured, as reflected by the title of its 2014 annual report ('Culture Counts'), a clear vision to 'satisfy all of our customers' financial needs and help them succeed financially', and a CEO letter that sets a tone at the top. It also references helping 'families buy that first home or new car, going for the 'wow' from customers, and a view that 'customer feedback is a gift'." However, all's well that ends well. After losing his job at CLSA earlier this year, Mike Mayo, occasional scourge of big banks, found himself a new job at...Wells Fargo.

We noted earlier this year that Starbucks holds more customer cash in its Starbucks wallets than many mid-sized banks hold in their vaults. Is Amazon headed the same direction? Days after news emerged of Amazon's plans to vastly expand lending to merchants, Amazon announced that its Prime Reload programme will offer cash back on purchases made by debit card. And why is this significant? As The Verge explains: "First you have to give Amazon your debit card number as well as your bank account and routing info. You then have to transfer cash directly into an Amazon account. And then you can pay for your stuff on Amazon using that balance. In exchange for the hassle, Amazon will give out a two percent bonus on all cash loaded into its system this way. While that means your money is stuck inside Amazon, it's not a bad deal for anyone who regularly uses the site to buy stuff — which is probably a lot of Prime members." This Twitter thread parses out some of the implications — mostly that a lot of banks can kiss goodbye to deposits that will now end up sitting in an Amazon account.

London banks warned clock is ticking for post-Brexit licence by ECB
Chinese investment in Africa: Beijing's testing ground [FT paywall]

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