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Open Banking Payments To Meet Your Data Needs

VoPay Open Banking Payments Data

We’ve teamed up with top financial data providers to deliver our industry leading open banking payments solution that allows you to accept instant bank account verification payments, improve payment speed and reduce NSFs.

Let’s have a closer look at each of our data integration partners who are a part of the VoPay API that’s designed to optimize EFT payment processing:

Plaid

Plaid is focused on democratizing financial services through technology. They provide developers with the tools they need to create easy and accessible experiences for their users. Today, tens of millions of people in North America (and counting) have successfully connected their accounts to apps they love using Plaid.

Learn more about the VoPay + Plaid integration here.

Flinks

Flinks empowers businesses to connect their users with financial services they want. Trusted by hundreds of world-class companies, Flinks enables businesses to connect users’ bank accounts, enrich their data, and utilize it to deliver better products. An award-winning company, Flinks has become the leader in financial data connectivity in just three years.

Learn more about the VoPay + Flinks integration here.

Inverite

With support for over 285 Canadian financial institutions Inverite is the data provider of choice for many of Canada’s leading companies offering innovative, secure and cost-effective banking verification solutions to the financial services industry for income verification, credit decisioning, fraud reduction, and KYC/AML purposes.

Learn more about the Vopay + Inverite integration here.

More to come

We’ll be adding additional partners in the future so keep an eye out on our newsroom for announcements!

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FintechOnline Payments

How Does Bulk e-Transfer For Business Work?

VoPay Bulk e-Transfer

You can access our bulk e-Transfer service through our developer friendly API and easily send thousands of near real-time payments with just an email.

You’ll get the ability to send up to $10,000 per payment to multiple recipients simultaneously with real-time acknowledgement and daily status reports. You can choose to send up to 1,000 e-Transfers in near real-time or send up to 100,000 e-Transfers overnight.

We’re proud to partner with Interac to power our bulk e-Transfer service and provide businesses with a seamless payout solution to meet their operational needs.

Product Features

Sending a Payment: In order to send Bulk Interac e-Transfers, you only need the recipient’s email address. With Bulk Interac e-Transfer businesses can send single or multiple Interac e-Transfers through our API.

Tracking & Reporting: Businesses receive a real-time acknowledgement, processing summary and daily status  reports, including the deposit of funds, and statuses of pending and cancelled transactions.

How It Works?

  1. Businesses only require the recipient’s email address or cell phone number to send money (no financial information of recipient is required for payment).
  2. Once the payment is sent, recipients are notified by email or text message.
  3. Recipients can deposit their payment at the financial institution of their choice by answering a security question.

Key Benefits

Easy Signup Process: No recipient banking information required.

Increased Funding Limits: Unlike regular Interac e-Transfer bulk e-Transfer has $10,000 per payment limits.

Near-Real Time Funding: Send funds within the hour or overnight depending on volume.

Highly Scalable: Send up to 100,000 e-transfers per day leveraging an optimized process.

Quick Reconciliation: Real-time acknowledgement and daily status reports.

Seamless Integration: Access the service through our developer friendly API.

Get In Touch

Schedule a chat with one our product specialist to learn more!

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FintechOnline Payments

What The VoPay + Plaid Payments Platform Partnership Means For You

VoPay Plaid Platform Partnership

Last week we announced the next phase of our partnership with Plaid which saw us become a platform partner. What does that mean? Well, it’s now even easier to implement our payments API that layers Plaid’s data over top of our core payment engine to deliver the most powerful API based EFT payments solution in the market improving funding speed. Also, you maximize payment security and avoid storing sensitive data through our payment data tokenization structure:

Payments made faster, more efficient and more Secure

VoPay + Plaid payments provide businesses six key benefits:

  1. Bank Account Verification: Verify users identities and authenticate bank account prior to the transaction.
  2. Reduce NSF: Reduce NSF fees by having visibility into bank accounts available funds.
  3. Reduce Input Errors: Auto-fill forms with identity data when users link their bank accounts.
  4. Transparent Tracking: Get full visibility into each transaction with courier package like tracking.
  5. Faster Payments: Validate transaction status and access to funds within 24 hours.
  6. New Revenue: Offer on-demand products and services to retail clients.

Are you an exisitng Plaid client?

You can take advantage of your existing data integration with Plaid by leveraging your data tokens and have your users skip all the authorization access and bank account selection steps, streamlining the payment check out experience. You’ll need to sync your data aggregator account with VoPay to enable this.

Getting started

Interested in evolving your existing EFT payments solution to give you real-time data to make better business decisions? Visit our dedicated product and API documentation page to get started or to learn more!

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Fintech

Five Most Read Fintech Blog Posts Of 2020 So Far

Top 5 VoPay Fintech Posts

We are halfway through 2020 so we thought we would look back at our five most popular blog posts of the year so far:

  1. Canada’s In Love With Cashless Payments: 23 Top Findings
  2. 15 Fintech Companies To Watch In 2020: Part I & Part 2
  3. 5 Companies Disrupting The World Of Money
  4. A Message From VoPay’s CEO Addressing COVID-19
  5. Financial Wellness Apps Bank On Credential-Based​ Authentication

Also, if you enjoy infographics, here’re some of our most recent ones:

A Cashless World

Accounts Payable By The Numbers

Please leave a comment below if you would like us to write about anything specific (payments related) or include your company in a future ‘Fintech Companies to Watch’ post.

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FintechOnline PaymentsOpen Banking

How Do VoPay & Plaid Payments Work?

VoPay Plaid Payments

We’ve teamed up with Plaid to help make payment processing faster, more efficient and more secure. Before we dive into how it all works let’s get to know each of them a bit better.

Meet VoPay

VoPay is a leader in payment innovation, digitizing direct bank payments with speed and transparency. The VoPay Platform enhances how digital platforms initiate and accept financial transactions using a single, open API.

Meet Plaid

Plaid is a technology platform and data network that enables applications to connect with users’ financial accounts. They focus on lowering the barriers to entry in financial services by making it easier and safer to use financial data. Today, they support developers across North America and Europe.

How VoPay + Plaid Payments Work

VoPay layers Plaid’s Auth, Identity, Balance, and Transactions solutions over top of its core payment engine to deliver the most powerful EFT payments solution in the market.  The result is a seamless payment experience with reduced NSFs, verified bank accounts and improved payment speed.

Current Payment Challenges

There are three main hurdles when it comes to existing EFT payments:

1. Lack of visibility: Paper checks or electronic payment systems for bank account payments do not allow visibility into the bank account at the time of the payment.

2. No traceability: Businesses accepting check or electronic payments can not track the payments, the status of the transaction or when the funds will be available.

3. High risk: The current paper check and electronic payment service do not offer balance verification at the time of transaction.

Common Payment Use Cases

Some of the most common use cases include lending and market places where the solution can dramatically reduce NSFs, optimize cash flow, streamline back-office operations and improve payment security. Another would be legal and real estate where you can increase revenue with significantly reduced fees and decreased chargeback risk.

In summary, together VoPay + Plaid payments improve efficiency by verifying user identity and bank information prior to processing the transaction, minimize NSF fees by having visibility into available funds and reduce the access to funds time to just 24 hours.

Are you a developer? View more details here.

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Fintech

Calling On Fintechs To Support SMB Lending During COVID-19

small business loans

Hundreds of millions of small businesses require immediate financial relief through government funding in order to stay afloat—and keep economies functioning. But traditional financial institutions and current infrastructure cannot support the sheer volume, scale, security, and timeline of the necessary loans. That is why Canadian and U.S. governments should look to innovative fintech companies to deploy emergency funds quicker.

After President Trump signed the $2 trillion CARES Act, the Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Carranza and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin announced a mobilization effort of banks and lenders to supply U.S. small businesses with capital. Canada also announced official funding plans for SMBs on March 27, 2020. 

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and an important source of good jobs across this country,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in his statement. “They are facing economic hardship and uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that is why we are taking action now to help them get the financial help they need to protect their workers and pay their bills.”

However, there is a snag in the COVID-19 financial response plans for small businesses in both countries. The scale and timeline of the demand for assistance to keep SMEs afloat are greater and more serious, according to Finance Canada’s top concerns, than that which traditional financial services can currently meet. 

Meeting the scale and timeline of SMEs relief loans

In an open letter to the Government of Canada, the Canadian Lenders Association (CLA) asked to extend the proposed economic stimulus package for small businesses to include financial technology (fintech) lending options. While the fintech community, of which VoPay is a proud member, stands prepared to offer digital lending services, a few steps must also be considered.

In the FDATA COVID-19 letter to Finance Canada and the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, they state the need to formally recognize the essential role that fintech companies can play to deliver financial services. The association explained that tens of thousands of truly small businesses (MSMBs) in Canada, such as restaurants, auto repair, and retail shops, may not be adequately served for three reasons:

  1. These businesses don’t meet traditional financial institutions’ credit requirements
  2. Loan amounts by these businesses are relatively small, making them lower priority
  3. The volume of time-sensitive credit requests may overwhelm traditional financial services

How fintechs can support COVID-19 SMB relief funding

In a recent FDATA statement, Fintech Lending to Small Businesses During COVID-19 Response, the association aimed to encourage Canada’s financial institutions to enable their customers to gain access and control over their own financial data. Unfortunately, as we discussed in our post, Healthy Competition Among The Einsteins And Edisons Of Fintech, some financial institutions have taken actions to limit access to essential data that powers digital tools. 

If consumers (and business owners alike) had access to their own financial data, they could continue to use third-party fintech tools to help them manage their money and financial wellness remotely. The choice would be in the hands of small business owners and consumers over who gets access to their data—and what they use it for.   

Learn more about the benefits of Open Banking wherein consumers would have control over who uses their financial data and for what purposes. 

The same goes for accessing capital in this time of need. Current financial infrastructure does not have the bandwidth or capacity, according to FDATA, to adequately service the financial needs of small businesses in this crisis. It is time to turn to fintech lending for additional support. Many of these institutions have already turned to innovative, secure fintech companies for mutually-beneficial partnerships.  
Scale, timeline, and security have thus become unnecessary blockers for moving forward. Innovative fintech companies, VoPay included as a secure payment solution built for lenders, have long since overcome those challenges. VoPay offers real-time funding through bulk e-transfers and reduces withdrawal NSFs and returns through next-generation, tokenized EFT/ACH.

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FintechOpen Banking

Unlock Financial Wellness in the Midst of Uncertainty

financial wellness

Many people around the world have lost their jobs, had hours cut, and are facing financial crises during this challenging time. Of the many things that have been drastically affected, consumer habits are among them. Some of these consumer changes, however, may turn out to be positive and stay for the long term.

Cash, for example, is no longer king at brick and mortar shops. It’s been replaced with contactless payments, such as debit and credit cards, for health and security reasons. The same goes for paper versus digital cheques, as another digitization example. 

With so much financial and economic uncertainty and upheaval taking place, people are becoming more aware of their financial situations and wellness. They are taking control of their finances and managing what they can. Hopefully, this greater awareness of one’s financial wellness may stick around once the health and safety risks pass and normalcy resumes.

Making the best of a bad situation: Fintech apps to manage finances

Nearly one million people applied for employment insurance in Canada, for example, in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. While some bill payments can be deferred, expenses tend to add up, especially when little to no income is coming in. 

A recent National Post article referenced Erin Lowry’s financial advice book called “Broke Millennial.” In it, they discuss an emergency plan for paying bills, which includes assessing the damage, stalling fixed debt, prioritizing your needs, and riding your credit cards. 

Depending on the individual’s financial situation, this last point should be a last resort. Credit card debt can be crippling in interest payments over the long term. Wherever possible, spend what you have on essentials. For example, when making bill payments or shopping for essentials online, use your chequing accounts rather than your credit cards to avoid extra debt. We wrote posts about how ACH and EFT transfers work for more information on digital payments that don’t increase credit card debt.  

When it comes to managing money, such as assessing the damage and prioritizing needs in an emergency, consumers may need help. That’s where financial applications come in. Thankfully, there are hundreds of financial applications available right at their fingertips. We wrote about 15 helpful fintech apps that might even come in handy during this time. Consumers can stay on top of their finances, bills, savings, income, debt, goals, investments and so on right from their phones in various apps. 

Fully functioning fintech applications and open banking

However, earlier this year, the Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA) of North America released data that 1.8 billion consumer accounts in the U.S. could lose functionality to financial apps they depend on. The FDATA North America determined that impacted consumer and small business use cases would include:

  • Over 530M loan accounts that help consumers with retirement planning, debt reduction, and financial wellness
  • Over 310M accounts to help Americans manage account balances, provide overdraft protection, and make on-time payments
  • More than 330M investment accounts
  • More than 210M accounts to help Americans save and move money
  • Almost 200M transaction accounts
  • Almost 140M accounts to protect Americans from fraud and provide identity authentication
  • Over 100M credit accounts

All of these various financial application accounts used by Americans every day could be affected if screen scraping was prohibited and only the largest financial institutions’ APIs were available because required data fields would be lost. The other, more convenient, consumer-friendly, and secure alternative is open banking

Open banking gives consumers power over their finances. Consumers have the choice to use (and approve) fintech applications in order to support their financial goals and wellbeing now and in the future. 

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FintechOnline Payments

Why Digitize Checks? A Secure Alternative to Paper

VoPay Digitize Checks

Even before the coronavirus outbreak, people were increasingly using cashless payments and digital checks (or e-checks) over cash, coins, and paper checks. What may have started out as a convenience, has—in the midst of a global health pandemic—also become the smarter and more hygienic way to pay. This is especially true as more people turn to e-commerce, digital payments, and digitized checks to transfer money (and pay bills) safely from the comfort of their home.

Money, of course, changes hands frequently multiple times every day. It is a very high-touch surface. However, since the COVID-19 outbreak, people and businesses have been avoiding cash for this very reason. To be clear, the World Health Organization did not confirm that banknotes transfer the virus. However, according to Bain & Co. partner, Thomas Olsen, there is a “psychological factor” for many people who believe it to be unclean and so choose to avoid it.

“Cards only” is quickly becoming the norm in brick-and-mortar businesses. 

This way of thinking may not only accelerate the already growing use of cashless, contactless, and digitized checks now but also in the future. Many of the same hygiene practices that we have become used to during this time, may stick with us in the future. Cashless payments and digitized checks, which we’ll discuss in more detail, are among them. 

Digitizing checks: Say goodbye to paper checks

Digital, digitized, or electronic (e-)checks performs the same function as a traditional paper check. However, digitized checks come with modern perks such as convenience, lower costs to issue, increased security features, and faster turnaround. Paper checks take days to process and are often fraudulent or bounce. Digitized checks can be delivered in real-time with the same day or overnight fulfillment. 

This time savings alone—not to mention the cost and convenience factors—should be enough to finally say goodbye to paper checks. In the U.S., for example, check payments fell 7.2% per year from 2015 to 2018. But it’s still not entirely gone. In Canada, for example, financial institutions still process nearly a billion checks every year. 

We wrote a post called Paper To Plastic To Digital Payments: Evolution Of Credit Cards And Checks if you’re interested in further reading. 

Why are nearly a billion checks still changing hands in Canada when there’s a modern, convenient, faster, cheaper, and more secure alternative? “People default to what’s familiar, unless there’s something to jolt you out of it,” Jodie Kelley, CEO of the Electronic Transactions Association told CNBC recently. “Contactless payments have come up as a new option for consumers who are much more conscious of what they touch.” What if this same thinking applied not to just contactless payments, but to paper checks as well? 

Ready for a secure and safer world of digital checks and payments

There are services, albeit VoPay included, that processes and verifies digitized checks—and digital payments, invoices, bulk e-payments, you name it—almost instantly. When it comes to digitizing checks, no physical material ever needs to be touched or changed hands. Personal financial information, such as our bank account details and bank branch numbers, ever need to be mailed or shared. 

What if we took it one step further, moving beyond an electronic version of a paper check and tokenized the whole process? At VoPay, for example, the entire digital payments and digital checks system are tokenized. We wrote a post about tokenization and digital payment security, but essentially, it means that we’ve scrambled (algorithmically) the bank information and issued a secure token in its place. 

During this time of health and safety uncertainty, many of us have turned to online shopping and delivery and digital banking to pay our bills or accept money transfers. People are steering away from handling cash back and forth. It’s a safer, more secure, and more convenient way forward. We believe that the same holds true of paper checks.

Learn more about digital payments and VoPay.

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Fintech

5 Companies Disrupting The World of Money

VoPay World of Money

For every disrupted industry and category, hundreds of innovative startups seem to appear overnight. Some are better at others on capitalizing on the disruption. On revolutionizing old and dated systems. They aim to make the world a better place than how they found it. Customers (and fellow fintech companies like VoPay) take notice. 

Today we’re highlighting 5 companies in particular that are making the financial lives of customers—be they entrepreneurs, business owners, investors, or average consumers—better. 

5 disruptive companies making the financial world better

1. Qwil: Granting cash flow access to SMBs and freelancers

Cash flow can make or break a business. This is especially the case for small, medium and gig-based freelance businesses that rely on payments to make their business run from month-to-month. Many companies are popping up to fill this need, offering user-friendly and accessibly priced fintech services, along with access to capital. 

Qwil startup is doing just that, supplying on-demand capital and automated global payments to SMBs and freelancers. The company has raised over $160 million from financial companies and fintech investors to help improve the financial wellness of entrepreneurs around the globe. Qwil provides Liquidity as a Service (LaaS) and contingent workforce, giving its SMB users control over their invoicing and payments, and granting access to liquidity. More than 500 companies use their services for digital media financing, freelance marketplaces, and invoicing and payment automation.  

2. Currencycloud: Making global money transfers affordable and accessible  

Sending money between countries is worth some $700 million annually—and many innovative businesses are capitalizing on the globalization of remittances. Currencycloud is one of them. This London-based startup specializes in international payments and collections. 

Currecycloud has over 85 remittance APIs in 180 countries, allowing financial businesses to easily integrate its cloud-based platform and payment infrastructure into existing systems. This helps clients get paid, exchange currencies, and manage everything from digital wallet services to inbound and outgoing payments. Currencycloud recently raised $80 million to help take on the world’s Western Unions—and make international money transfers easier, more efficient, accessible, and affordable. 

3. FrontFundr: Democratizing Canada’s private markets 

Although private markets are growing faster and having higher returns than public markets, the average retail investor hasn’t been able to participate. FrontFundr aims to change that, leading the charge for the democratization of private markets in Canada. FrontFundr is Canada’s leading equity crowdfunding platform and exempt market dealer. 

Since its launch in 2015, the fintech’s community has over 15,000 investors and has raised over $20 million in its platform. The company anticipates raising nearly $15 million in 2020 alone through its investment crowdfunding platform. As of December 2019, FrontFundr has become an official participating dealer on DealSquare, which is Canada’s first-ever centralized dealer platform for private placements. 

4. Finhaven: Tokenizing and disrupting traditional capital markets 

Finhaven is set to revolutionize and disrupt the traditional capital markets, seeing their challenges as opportunities. This Vancouver-based fintech company is building a tokenized global investment banking and securities exchange platform for issuing, investing, and trading. It’s high-capacity cryptographic ledger and platform provide solutions for identified blockchain limitations. For them, the future of capital markets is in security tokens

Finhaven is focused on increasing capacity, liquidity, immutability, audibility, and, of course, security. Their technology will help customers (global issuers and investors alike) raise capital and trade faster and more cost-efficiently than ever before. They help companies access capital through digital currencies while enabling tokenized security and governance for any blockchain transactions. 

Learn more about tokenization and digital security in our recent post

5. Unimoni: Empowering customers with universal money

Financial services today are transcending boundaries, borders, currencies and channels. They aim to allow consumers to move money wherever it needs to be as quickly and affordably as possible. Unimoni is one company that’s leading the charge. 

Unimoni, part of Finablr, is a global provider of money transfers, foreign exchanges, payments and credit solutions worldwide. This company has in-store services, online and self-serve kiosks in countries across the globe—supplying a one-stop financial solution for its customers. It’s parent company, Finablr, spans over 170 countries, processed over 150 million transactions in 2018 and managed nearly US$115 billion for customers. 

Interested in learning about more innovative fintech companies? Read our 15 fintechs to look out for in 2020 blog.

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