Last week, today, March 17: News in payments and fintech

Our bi-weekly news roundup collects some of the headlines in payments and fintech to watch, giving leaders across industries (or fintech enthusiasts) a quick glance at some of the news in the space. In Flywire’s 10+ years in delivering the most complex, high value payments, we’ve had a unique opportunity to work with many different organizations in the fintech and payments ecosystem. We’ve seen changes in how clients get paid, how their customers want to pay and how central the payments experience has become – not just across the industries we focus on, but every industry.

Project Icebreaker: breaking new paths in cross-border retail CBDC payments - BIS
The Bank for International Settlements and the central banks of Israel, Norway and Sweden have completed a study on the potential benefits of using CBDC for international retail and remittance payments. The early results are promising, according to the press release.

Consumer Use of Buy Now, Pay Later: Insights from the CFPB Making Ends Meet Survey - Consumer Finance Protection Bureau
New data from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau shows that while many borrowers used the product without “any noticeable indications of financial stress,” on average, borrowers were much more likely to be “highly indebted, revolve on their credit cards, have delinquencies in traditional credit products, and use high-interest financial services such as payday, pawn, and overdraft compared to non-BNPL borrowers.”

Nacha Releases Top 50 Financial Institution ACH Originators and Receivers for 2022 - Nacha
ACH volume increased by 4.7% for originating institutions and 3.4% for receiving institutions over 2021, according to Nacha’s report.

In Payments, Like Geopolitics, India Seeks a Third Way - Bloomberg
Setting up decentralized cross-border payments systems will be fiendishly difficult if every national platform has mutually incomprehensible data formats and processes. Indian and Singaporean authorities hope that harmonized rules and obligations will overcome that problem.

SVB’s Collapse Hits the Chinese Startups It Once Wooed - The Wall Street Journal
Among the countless news stories covering Silicon Valley Bank this past week, this one points to issues faced by its international client base in China.

Brazil wants to build on digital payment success with CBDC pilot - Insider Intelligence
Brazil joins 17 other countries that have piloted CBDCs, along with 11 that have launched digital currencies and 32 with CBDCs in development. Unlike most of these other countries, Brazil is focused on wholesale vs. retail transactions.

Fight Over How to Settle Surprise Medical Bills Leaves Cases in Limbo - The Wall Street Journal
Hundreds of thousands of disputed medical bills – and by extension, payment of – are being held up as the Biden administration must now evaluate and update a dispute process in line with a federal court decision.

From Flywire

Annual luxury travel report: What will define luxury travel in 2023?
Some 83% of luxury travelers surveyed plan to spend more on travel than they did in 2022, and the demand for help from travel advisors and agents is strong. Flexible work schedules are also contributing to lengthening trips and travel seasons.

Reducing bad debt through digital transformation: How LifeBridge Health minimized their bad debt by 20%
More than ⅓ of health systems have more than $10 million in bad debt – but it is possible to reduce the accumulation of bad debt by a significant margin. In a recent talk given at 2022’s Oracle Cerner Health Conference, Flywire client LifeBridge Health, shared how it reduced overall bad debt by 20%.

3 ways software drives higher-ed payments innovation -eCampus News
Flywire’s CTO David King gives his take in this ongoing series on two different topics that are very important in the space right now – how software is driving value in payments experience and how to move an SIS to the cloud.

Flywire’s travel tailwinds: CEO Mike Massaro on FY 2022 results - FXC Intelligence
Flywire reported excellent results in the fourth quarter. Some of Flywire’s success was a result of the company’s growth in the Travel segment, especially in the APAC region.

Go2Africa finds perfect travel partner in Flywire
In stark contrast to the rest of the booking experience, payments presented a point of friction for customers – something finance team members Riëth Moodie and Maageda Sheik set out to rectify with Flywire.

Why global insurance companies need a new approach to international premium payment processes
B2B Senior Account Executive Matt Teumer writes on the lack of local, digital options for international policyholders, and the advantages to global providers of making sure payer needs are met.

Women in FinTech – Rising Stars - FT Partners
Flywire’s very own Emily Watson, Sr. Director of Payment Solutions & Growth, was recognized by FT Partners in their recent profile of rising women leaders in FinTech.

Amid widespread tech layoffs, this tech firm grew by 50% - Boston Business Journal
2022 was a great year for Flywire – both from a growth and investment perspective. The company added more than 590 clients across all verticals and moved more than $18B around the world.

Stat of the week

70% - the percentage of European financial institutions that expect to increase investment in financial technology over the next 18 months, according to Fintech Finance News.

Report of the week

Nigeria’s digital economy: Building a digital payments ecosystem - FXC Intelligence
Adeyanju Pinheiro-Aina’s comprehensive report covers strategy and policy that has stimulated the Nigerian economy, along with the Nigerian payment systems, electronic payments and more.

Word of the week

VUCA - albeit not a word, the acronym/phrase meaning “Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous” was coined by the US Army War College to describe the world at the end of the Cold War.

Conversation starter

Where Digital Payments, Even for a 10-Cent Chai, Are Colossal in Scale - The New York Times
India’s instant payment system is now used by almost 300 million individuals and 50 million merchants, and according to this article, “has made daily life more convenient, expanded banking services like credit and savings to millions more Indians, and extended the reach of government programs and tax collection.”