Blog

New fintech hits major milestone

Australian payment service provider PayDock will offer a range of new, secure, mobile-friendly payment options to its e-commerce merchants powered by Bluechain. The new Bluechain payment option simplifies the checkout process, allowing registered customers to quickly and safely pay on their mobile with a few taps. Conventional checkout processes for online shopping carts require the customer to type in their…

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Open banking

Have they learned nothing from the banking royal commission?

As the Australian Government pushes towards a regulatory framework and operating model for open banking in Australia, based on the recommendations in the Farrell Review, the fintech industry watches on bemused by yet another wasted opportunity for real reform. By handing control of the design of Australia’s open banking initiative to the banks, the Australian government is dooming it to failure….

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Merchant

Low-cost merchant acquisition is a prerequisite

The adoption of new digital payment channels depends on whether merchants can afford to acquire and use the latest technologies. If the merchant hardware is expensive, adoption rates are low. If merchant fee structures are opaque or excessively high, adoption rates are low. For example, e-wallets are only useful if the merchant supports contactless card payments. But contactless NFC terminals…

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Garment worker

Digitizing payrolls positively impacts the lives of women in the garment industry

Women make up about 80 percent of the world’s garment industry workforce, but they are mostly paid their wages in cash and many lack access to traditional financial services. And when they are paid in cash, many women workers cite an inability to save because a family member controls their income. Geography and social conventions can have a major impact…

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Digital financial inclusion is key driver for achieving UN’s agenda for SDGs

Latest progress report from Better Than Cash Alliance reinforces how digital financial inclusion, when provided responsibly and sustainably in a well- regulated environment, not only drives growth, but also enables faster progress toward many of the other sustainable development goals (SDGs). Since the UN adopted its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, the pace of digitization has grown…

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Woman using her mobile phone

Domestic schemes offer better choices

Despite regulatory reforms and the introduction of real-time settlement systems, today’s payments industry still suffers from a litany of problems, many of which are related to the card-based technologies that still underpin in-store and online payments: Card-not-present (CNP) payments are the major cause of card fraud. Card-on-file (COF) exposes consumers to a high risk of data breach and identity theft….

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Informal economy

Digital payments boost GDP

The global informal economy (that is, legal income out of sight of the government and tax authorities) is substantial and comprises close to a quarter of global economic activity. Capturing the informal economy could bring many benefits, including less poverty, more job security, greater access to social benefits, and additional tax revenue to fund the development of infrastructure, education, and…

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Outdoor farmers market

Digitizing gaps in the supply chain

According to the World Bank, 230 million financially excluded people still receive their wages in cash, and 235 million unbanked adults in developing countries receive cash for their agricultural products. In total, 6.3 trillion dollars of global supply chain payments are still made in cash. For as long as a business purchases goods from unbanked suppliers or it needs to…

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social good

Harnessing technology for social good

Around the globe, technology is being harnessed for social good in many different ways. From addressing complex social issues to fighting hunger, technology can make a positive and sustainable change in people’s lives. In particular, the rapid spread of mobile technologies in developing countries is creating new opportunities to assist the unbanked to enter the financial system. At Bluechain we…

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Using mobile phone

It takes more than just a cute app

Innovations in mobile payment systems are rapidly changing consumer payment behaviours, creating opportunities for non-banking players to enter the digital payments industry. The global tech giants, Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple, in particular, are utilizing their formidable market reach and consumer behaviour know-how to reshape consumer expectations and the digital payments landscape. Millennials and Gen-Z display far less brand loyal…

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Secure Trading

Bluechain joins Secure Trading network

Bluechain has signed an agreement with Secure Trading for payment gateway services, giving Bluechain access to their extensive acquirer network across Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America. Secure Trading is one of the world’s leading independent payment service providers and is integrated with banks all over the world. The Secure Trading partner program enables Bluechain to introduce customers…

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Location Kenya

New fintech hits major milestone

Yesterday in Nairobi, Kenyan payment solution provider PesaPrint signed a licence agreement that will see Bluechain rolled out to over 5 million users in Kenya in the next 5 years. Under the licence agreement, PesaPrint will white-label the Bluechain payments app and will be responsible for in-country marketing to merchants and consumers. Apart from securing an important revenue stream in…

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org chart

Robin Halliday appointed CFO

The Board is pleased to announce the appointment of experienced finance professional Robin Halliday as group Chief Financial Officer. Robin, who will be based in the UK, adds considerable depth to our senior management team as we prepare for the transition from start-up to operations in the coming months. Bluechain CEO Mike McAuley commented “Robin’s experience in both the public…

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Cash

Going cashless: what are the barriers?

The race to cashlessness is being run around the globe, but at very different speeds. In the developed world, cash payments continue to decline. In some parts of Europe, shops, restaurants and bank branches even refuse to handle cash because of how little consumers use it. But in the developing world, cash payments commonly still account for over 90 percent…

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Bluechain request-to-pay

Request-to-pay: a better a way to pay

In a survey of UK payments users (World Class Payments Report, Payments UK, www.paymentsuk.org.uk), customers expressed the need for “more choice and control over the timing and method of their payments”. Payments UK identified four capabilities as priorities for giving customers more control, simpler access, better information and improved confidence in their payments. One of those priorities is request-to-pay (RtP),…

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UK-Australia

UK-Australia fintech agreement welcomed

The UK-Australia FinTech Bridge agreement, signed yesterday by Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison and the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, is good news for Australian and UK fintechs. The agreement provides a framework for governments, regulators, trade promotion agencies and industry bodies from the two countries to work together and drive fintech growth. The UK is one of Bluechain’s…

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Authorized push payment (APP) fraud on the rise

The introduction of near-real-time payments in the UK, USA, EU and Australia has seen a sharp rise in authorized push payment (APP) fraud. APP fraud involves a deception in which the fraudster convinces an individual to make a payment under false pretences, typically by sending a convincing but fraudulent invoice or by diverting payment away from the legitimate service provider….

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e-commerce fraud

Fraud in mobile payments continues to rise despite increased fraud prevention efforts by merchants

The Mobile Payments & Fraud 2017 Report sheds light on the current status of payments in the mobile channel from the merchant perspective. With over 800 merchants participating in the 2017 Mobile Payments & Fraud Survey, spanning small and large merchants in every part of the globe, the survey provides a reliable and independent measure of trends in the mobile…

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Latest funding round completed

Although securing private funding has proven a difficult path for many Australian tech companies, Bluechain has continued to fund its development from private and institutional sources. In doing so, Bluechain is following a path more commonly seen in Silicon Valley start-ups, in which IPO and trade sale options are pushed further down the timeline, allowing seed investors to maximize return…

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Trust and technology: banks should heed the warning signs

According to a recent article in the Australian Financial Review “Bank dominance under threat from technology, trust”, banks need to start taking notice of how the world has changed around them. The days when the banks dictated how consumers paid for goods and services or borrowed money are gone. And if they don’t pay attention, they could find themselves being…

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The Australian Trade and Investment Commission welcomes Bluechain to Africa

Last night Bluechain celebrated the company’s formal launch into Kenya with a reception hosted in conjunction with the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) during the Seamless East Africa 2017 Financial Inclusion Summit at the Radisson Blu in Nairobi. The celebration formally marked the opening of Bluechain’s first African office and subsidiary in Nairobi, Kenya. It was hosted together with…

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Empowering financial inclusion through mobile technology

You might not be familiar with the term, but “financial inclusion” is an important issue in emerging and developing economies. And that’s because many governments have identified it as one of the key enablers for sustainable economic growth. When too much business activity is conducted informally, outside traditional financial systems, governments lack the controls they need to effectively manage their…

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Bluechain to present multiple keynotes and sessions at the Financial Inclusion Summit and Seamless East Africa 2017 this week

If you plan to attend the Financial Inclusion Conference or Seamless East Africa, please be sure to check out Bluechain’s sessions at both of these events. Bluechain’s Managing Director Africa, Yoku Korshah, will be discussing a range of issues that are impacting East African financial institutions, from financial inclusion to merchant acquisition strategies. Korsah will draw from his deep domain…

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Financial inclusion: one of Africa’s greatest challenges

Financial inclusion has been a major challenge for developing economies for many years. The reason it is such a hot topic, especially in Africa, is that many governments have identified it as one of the key enablers for sustainable economic growth. When too much business activity is conducted informally, outside traditional financial systems, governments lack the controls they need to…

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5 benefits of redefining domestic payment schemes

The global payments paradigm is changing. Worldwide, the dominant international card schemes battle against ever-increasing fraud, exposing their underwhelming response to the emergence of card-not present transactions. In the developing world, banks are looking to mobile technologies to capture payments by the unbanked and remove reliance on cash. And in the first world, disruptors are carving out pieces of the…

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Bluechain will preview its next-gen domestic payment scheme at the Central Bank Payments Conference June 26-28

If you plan to attend the Central Bank Payments Conference in Amsterdam 26–28 June 2017,  be sure to connect with us for a preview of our new domestic payment platform and discover how it fosters cash-lite and inclusive economies, provides greater control over data sovereignty, reduces fraud, and lowers costs. Our Managing Director of Africa, Yoku Korsah will be coordinating…

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New survey reveals mobile wallet adoption is stagnant

Mobile wallets or e-wallets first appeared on the digital payments scene more than two years ago from major players Apple Pay and Android Pay, with Samsung Pay entering the market soon after. On 15 March 2017, Karen Webster, CEO of PYMNTS.com presented statistics for mobile wallet adoption and usage, which can be found at http://www.pymnts.com/mobile-wallet-adoption-2017/. So, what does the data…

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Credit card fees get crunched

I read an interesting article recently in The Age about credit card interchange fees and the government caps that come in from July 1: http://www.theage.com.au/small-business/finance/anz-dumps-amex-as-credit-card-fees-get-crunched-20170313-guxcxj.html#comments. Perhaps even more interesting is that the readers’ comments pick up on problems with the existing credit card schemes with greater clarity of purpose than the schemes themselves. The schemes might not get it, but Bluechain certainly knows…

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Australian banks denied access to NFC on iPhone. Now what?

On Friday 30 March 2017, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced that the country’s largest banks cannot collectively bargain with Apple over access to near field communication (NFC) technology on the iPhone, which would allow the banks to compete with Apple Pay. Rather than enhancing competition, this decision limits Australian consumers and impairs the banks’ profit margins as they…

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Contactless payments: Choosing a wireless technology for next-gen payments

Today’s mobile phones and smart phones are so much more than just a telephone. They serve as televisions, browsers, in-boxes and digital wallets. Instead of paying with cash, cheque, or credit cards, today’s consumers can use a mobile or smart phone to pay for a wide range of services and goods. While mobile payments have been slow to catch-on in…

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Mobile payments: Have the card schemes stopped innovating?

I recently attended the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. This conference provides attendees with an in-depth analysis of the topics and trends that are shaping the mobile industry in 2017. It also provides the opportunity for the giants and dwarves of the industry to showcase their latest innovations. In past years, there has been a strong focus on infrastructure, with…

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Softech recognizes Bluechain with awards for Most Innovative CTO and Excellence in Secure Payment Technology

Bluechain is pleased to announce we have received the 2017 Softech INTL Award for Excellence in Secure Payment Technology. In addition, our Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Bluechain inventor, Craig Glendenning, has been named Australia’s Most Innovative CTO. It’s an honour to be recognized by the international financial services and technology communities for Bluechain’s innovative next-gen payment platform that raises…

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Around the world in 60 days: Payment challenges are universal

While you may not have heard of Bluechain yet, we’ve been busy talking to and sharing our vision with the payments industry. In the past 60 days, I’ve logged close to 100,000 miles across four continents and have talked with dozens of tier I and II banks, central banks, regulators, payment service providers and merchants to get a pulse on…

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Fighting for open access to NFC on the iPhone

By Kurt A Mueffelmann, Executive Vice President Earlier this week, a group of Australian banks applying to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for permission to jointly negotiate over access to Apple Pay and the Near Field Communication (NFC) function on iPhones, announced they have narrowed the application to solely focus on open access to the NFC function. According…

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Are the domestic card schemes doomed?

In some countries, in-store payments are still dominated by their domestic card schemes, like Interac Debit in Canada and JCB in Japan. When compared with international card schemes, domestic card schemes typically offer significant cost advantages to consumers and merchants and are an attractive revenue generator for the local banking industry. Sovereign control of a low-fee payment system also strengthens…

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MyState trial enters phase 3

Having successfully completed the phase-2 trial objectives (creation of bank account eCards and nearby user-to-user payments), the MyState-Bluechain trial has now entered the next phase. In Phase 3, we will be testing the new merchant point-of-sale (POS) app and relaxing some of the restrictions on which cards can be linked to eCards. An expanded range of Bluechain and non-Bluechain payment…

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Another bandaid or is it time for plastic surgery?

Traditional methods of payment have reached or are rapidly approaching the end of their useful lives. Users of payment systems are increasingly tech-savvy and ready to embrace new payments technologies. But with that savviness comes an increased expectation of simplicity, security, speed, convenience and lower cost. A new generation of payment technologies is sweeping through the industry, which have the…

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Money 20/20 post-conference wrap

Following close on the heels of the Sibos conference, Money 20/20 in Las Vegas gave us the opportunity to continue conversations we started at Sibos and to start new conversations with numerous potential partners attending the event. Money 20/20 is the world’s largest payments and financial services innovation event, featuring more than ten thousand attendees, a thousand CEOs, and over…

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Sibos post-conference wrap

Sibos, held this year in Geneva from 26-29 September, is the annual conference, exhibition and networking event organised by SWIFT for the financial industry. Sibos is recognized as the premier business forum for the global financial community to debate and collaborate in the areas of payments, securities, cash management and trade. Exhibitors at Sibos are limited to financial institutions, SWIFT…

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See us at Money 20/20 in Vegas

You can find us on booth 1351 at Money 20/20 at The Venetian, Las Vegas on 23-26 October. CEO Mike McAuley and CTO Craig Glendenning will be happy to give you a quick rundown on how Bluechain can transform your payments business. You can also check out the latest Bluechain app and merchant solutions.

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MyState trial ticking boxes

MyState trial participants were surveyed at the end of phase 1 to gain feedback on aspects of functionality, processing speed, and usability. All trial participants surveyed reported that the Bluechain app was easy to use, and many reported that Bluechain was now their preferred method of payment. Although slower than usual speeds were experienced on first-time purchases (additional time is…

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Bluechain supports banks’ submission to ACCC

You may have seen Bluechain’s name mentioned in association with the consortium of banks that applied to the ACCC “to engage in limited collective negotiation with providers of third-party mobile wallet services on conditions relating to competition, best practice standards, and efficiency and transparency.” The news was picked up by AppleInsider and others. The submission is about ensuring that the…

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MyState trial progresses to phase 2

Having successfully met the phase-1 objectives (onboarding customers and testing the payment server), next week, the MyState trial will move into phase 2. In phase 2, two additional functions will be made available from the app: attach a bank account to an eCard, and request a payment from another, nearby user. Also, due to the reliability of the app and…

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MyState trial off to a flying start

At the end of July, users began downloading the Bluechain phone app and setting up their eCards in preparation for the start of the MyState trial. The first payments commenced on Friday 29 July at Little Shoes Espresso in Hobart. Over the first week of August, customers used a variety of Apple and Android phones to connect with the Bluechain merchant’s iPad. All transactions…

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MyState trial set for July

The first trial of the Bluechain payment system and app kicks off this month in Tasmania. The trial will be conducted by Bluechain partner bank MyState. This is the first live trial involving real transactions on customer and merchant accounts. The trial will initially be restricted to peer-to-peer transactions between a single MyState merchant and MyState staff acting as customers….

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Putting trust into e-commerce purchases

Online transactions volumes are increasing, but at the same time fraudulent activity is becoming more sophisticated and more prevalent, growing at a rate of 15% from $400 million in Australia in 2014. It’s no wonder that consumers are wary when they are asked to provide their card details online. Significantly for online merchants, highly engaged consumers are abandoning their carts…

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Funding for market trial secured

The latest funding round has just closed for $3 million, once again, fully subscribed, putting the company in a strong position to complete the market trials and launch the product in Australia and international markets. The first market trial kicks off in July in Tasmania with Bluechain partner bank MyState, with the launch planned sometime in 2017. This has been…

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Why haven’t they fixed card fraud?

Credit card fraud places a major cost burden on the payments industry and, hence the buying public. In Australia, fraud payouts and investigations cost the banks over $400m. Worldwide, it’s over $5 billion. So, given today’s secure technologies, why is card fraud still tolerated? The more cynical might say that they haven’t fixed it because they can pass on the…

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Hiding the cost of payments just hurts retailers

When a customer presents a credit or debit card for payment, the merchant has no idea what it will cost to process that payment. With the proliferation of card types, rewards programs and new payment technologies like PayWave, merchants have less visibility of their cost of sales than ever before. Consumers are incentivised to use the cards that provide the…

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Catch Craig and Mike at the Total Retail & Payments Expo

CEO Mike McAuley and CTO Craig Glendenning will be giving short presentations on Bluechain at the Total Retail & Payments Expo at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on 11-12 May. You can catch Craig’s presentation in the Card & Payments Innovation theatre at 1:30 pm on Wednesday 11 May, and Mike’s presentation in the Retail Technology theatre at 1:00 pm on…

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We’ve changed our name

As of 21st April, 1pay Corporation Pty Ltd became Bluechain Pty Ltd. The new name allows us to operate in every geography where we hope to do business in the future. We have launched a new website (bluechain.com) and logo which are used for all social media channels and have new email addresses. The product is now also called Bluechain….

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Visit us at the Payments and Retail Tech Expo

You can find us on stand 12 at the Total Retail and Payments Expo at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on 11-12 May. Admission to the exhibition is free. CEO Mike McAuley and CTO Craig Glendenning will be on the stand and would love to see you there. They’ll also be giving short presentations on Bluechain in the adjacent theatres….

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Rod Bernabe joins Bluechain

I’m very pleased to announce that Rod Bernabe has accepted the position of General Manager and Product Development Manager with Bluechain. Rod has worked for several international software companies as product manager over the past 20 years. As product development manager, Rod is responsible for managing the software development teams working on the app, servers and plug-ins. As general manager,…

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Seed funding round fully subscribed

The Board is pleased to announce that the initial share offering to raise $1.5 million has been fully subscribed. This enables the company to establish an office in Melbourne, appoint core development staff, and fund operating costs until mid-2016. The shares were allocated on a first-come-first-served basis until the initial offering of shares was fully subscribed. This initial seed funding…

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