Weekly 10-Q: Wall Street banks (still) want customers to pin their hopes on Zelle

  • Big banks are reportedly working to standardize the refund procedure for Zelle scam victims and want to restore customers' faith in the payments app.
  • In other news, a federal judge has ordered Block to comply and cooperate with the CFPB's ongoing investigative demands relating to its Cash App payment tools.

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Weekly 10-Q: Wall Street banks (still) want customers to pin their hopes on Zelle

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Last week we covered: Even with a 97% stock plunge this year, Dave's CEO says he's got it covered

Wall Street banks (still) want customers to pin their hopes on Zelle

The likes of JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America are reportedly working to standardize the refund procedure and formulate a 'playbook' to reimburse victims of scams on their payment network Zelle.

In a common Zelle scam, scammers trick users into sending them money under the guise of a bank's customer support.

The move comes amid calls for greater transparency in the peer-to-peer payment sector by US senators, as well as banks trying to get consumers to trust the payments app again.

The new plan could come into effect as soon as early next year after the banks that jointly own Zelle come up with new rules and devise a solution to avoid another chain of scams.

Currently, banks state that if a customer was tricked into sending funds, the bank that holds the account where the money was sent would return the money to the victim's bank, and the customer would get a refund from their bank.

However, customers who didn't receive services or mistakenly made payments due to a typing error or misinformation would not be eligible for reimbursements.

As per the investigation into the service last month, Senator Elizabeth Warren's report said that fraud and theft are not only prevalent but getting worse. An estimated $440 million was lost by Zelle users to fraud and scams in 2021. 

Banks reimburse only a small fraction of the customers who report fraudulent transactions. For example, PNC Bank indicated that its customers reported 10,683 cases of unauthorized payments totaling over $10.6 million -- but it refunded only 1,495 cases, totaling $1.46 million.

Zelle operator Early Warning Services, a fintech company owned by seven of the largest US banks, maintains that fraud and scam claims make up less than 0.1% of payments, with more than 99.9% of Zelle payments being sent without any reports of fraud or scams.

Top stories of the week

American Express rolls out new digital B2B payments solution

American Express has launched a new digital B2B payments ecosystem for its network participants. The new Amex Business Link enables third-party issuers and acquirers to provide their business customers with more efficient payments, both domestic and across borders. Amex Business Link accepts card and non-card payments, supports domestic and cross-border transactions, and includes reporting and reconciliation tools. It connects to CRM and ERP systems that use APIs. Currently, more than 500 businesses across five countries are already using Amex Business Link. (Insider Intelligence)

AvidXchange launches cross-border payments

Accounts payable provider AvidXchange has rolled out cross-border payments to expand its global reach. The embedded payment experience will be first available to Oracle NetSuite customers and accessible in AvidXchange’s newly launched SuiteApp within NetSuite’s SuiteCloud platform. With the AvidXchange SuiteApp, U.S. consumers can pay both domestic and international suppliers without exiting NetSuite. Transactions can be made from a USD bank account -- with AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, INR, and MXN as the choice of currencies. After listing the cross-border vendors, customers can automate exchange rate quotes for international bills and elect to process payments. (PYMNTS)

Block says Square, Afterpay processed over 61 million transactions over the weekend
Block stock surged 3.8% in Tuesday morning trading. Over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, Square and Afterpay sellers saw more than 61 million transactions as consumers globally kicked off the holiday shopping season. Transactions of Buy Now, Pay Later methods through Afterpay grew 120% compared to pre-holiday across online and in-person. (Seeking Alpha)

Block must comply with the CFPB's demand for information
On Wednesday, a federal judge ordained Block to comply with the CFPB's investigative demands relating to its Cash App payment tools. The bureau complained that Block was not cooperating and failed to provide documents for six specific questions raised by the CFPB. Earlier in August, the CFPB requested Block to provide all documents and data from August 2020 and August 2021 in a probe related to Cash App’s handling of consumer complaints and disputes. (Reuters)

Mastercard, Block lobby to boost competition in financial services in Canada

Mastercard, Square, and Equifax are among a group of 40 companies including Wise and Peloton, that have teamed up to form the lobbying group Fintechs Canada, formerly called Paytechs of Canada. In a move to support Canada's emerging fintech ecosystem, Fintechs Canada plans to work with policymakers, educate the public, and raise awareness of the benefits of Canada's fintech sector. Its aim is to increase competition and foster innovation in financial services, which will provide Canadians with more choices. (Bloomberg)

Morgan Stanley plans global job cuts -- and the CEO 'wouldn't bet against' Musk

U.S. inflation continues at record levels, which has put pressure on investment banks that generated billions of dollars in advisory fees. Citing the same reason, Morgan Stanley is making job cuts across the globe as dealmaking slows down. Additionally, in light of Morgan Stanley is among the banks providing $13 billion in financing for Musk's $44-billion acquisition of Twitter, CEO James Gorman further conveyed that he finds Musk among the most interesting entrepreneurs of the last 50 years and wouldn't bet against him. (Yahoo)

Temenos expands agreement with Mbanq to fuel Banking-as-a-Service

By making a minority investment in Mbanq, Temenos expanded its partnership with Mbanq to accelerate the adoption of BaaS in the US and capture its market share. This further extends the existing partnership that the two companies forged last year to develop a Credit-Union-as-a-Service tool. Together, they intend to provide an end-to-end BaaS infrastructure, including regulatory support for fintechs to be set up in a few months at a low cost, pay-as-you-go basis with access to US banks, and other banking services. (PYMNTS)

Tweet of the week

Source: Peter Schiff

Chart of the week

Multiples have stayed flat or decreased in Q3 in all sectors except for energy, IT, and financial services

Source: PitchBook

What's trending

  • Fed Chair Powell says smaller interest rate hikes could start in December (CNBC)
  • Fed's bank regulator Michael Barr signals stricter capital rules for big banks (WSJ)
  • JPMorgan Payments and cloud-based finance solutions provider Kyriba partner on a new real-time treasury solution (PYMNTS)
  • PayPal maintains a strong market share in Black Friday shopping, says Wedbush analyst (Seeking Alpha)

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