Klarna adding staff, office space in the U.K.; Visa’s crypto financial inclusion push

Klarna adding staff, office space in the U.K.; Visa’s crypto financial inclusion push

The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the web:

The office

Swedish point of sale credit firm Klarna plans to double its U.K. staff to more than 400 over the next year. It has additionally opened a new office in London and redesigned facilities in Manchester.

The London office will be the firm’s U.K. headquarters, reports BDaily in the U.K., adding Klarna’s staff will work on a hybrid in-office/at-home basis. Klarna is expanding in the U.K. as the overall buy now/pay later market continues to expand quickly as shoppers look to avoid credit card debt.

The market also faces challenges, such as pending regulations, with the U.K. moving to tighten the rules for BNPL firms due to concerns about mounting debt.

Klarna adding staff, office space in the U.K.; Visa’s crypto financial inclusion push

Crypto converts

Visa is partnering with personal finance app Tala to boost cryptocurrency access for underbanked consumers.

The collaboration follows Visa’s move in March to settle transactions in USD Coin, Circle’s fast-growing stablecoin. Tala will offer payment cards linked to its digital wallet, enabling consumers to spend against their USD Coin balances on Visa’s network, which includes about 70 million merchants.

Tala is positioning the integration as a way to take digital currencies to a broader audience, potentially bringing more people into the financial system.

In the air

Revenio Capital and Taurus Wealth Advisors have invested $14 million in Series A funding in Fly Now Pay Later, a U.K. fintech that finances the cost of a trip over 12 months, a longer term than the four months that general point-of-sale finance companies support.

The funding brings Fly Now’s Series A total to $48 million raised since the start of 2020. The firm plans to offer services directly to consumers as well as through partnerships with travel merchants.

Travel is emerging as a BNPL niche, with competitors betting on pent-up demand as the pandemic wanes.

Charged up

Gilbarco Veeder-Root is expanding its mobile platform to support electric vehicle charging.

Called EVerse, the feature allows users to set pricing structures, add payment methods and form contracts with electric vehicle owners. There’s also an app that helps drivers locate charging stations and pay ahead of time.

GVR is additionally offering usage analytics diagnostics, remote updates and in-field support. The number of electric vehicles is rising, and businesses are expected to add more vehicles to their fleets, creating a need for charging systems that work at scale.

From the web

ayments, lending and neobanks rule fintechs in emerging markets, report says
TECHCRUNCH | Thursday, May 6, 2021
The report “State of Fintech in Emerging Markets Report” has three objectives — to evaluate the investment, product, and inclusivity trends across emerging markets. The team surveyed over 177 startups and 33 investors across Africa, Latin America, and India. Though this sample size used is minuscule, the key findings are quite impressive.

Latam e-commerce giant MercadoLibre’s loss widens on higher taxes
REUTERS | Wednesday, May 5, 2021
MercadoLibre Inc posted a larger quarterly loss on Wednesday, hit by a higher tax bill and weak margins, as the Argentine e-commerce giant boosts spending to respond to a surge in online shopping and digital payments in Latin America.

U.S. court authorizes IRS to seek identities of taxpayers who have used cryptocurrency
REUTERS | Wednesday, May 5, 2021
A federal court in the United States has authorized the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to serve a “John Doe Summons” on the crypto exchange Kraken, seeking identities of U.S. taxpayers who have used cryptocurrency, the Department of Justice said on Wednesday.

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