Today in payments around the world: UnionPay gives tuition refunds to international students studying in Australia, and Visa and Arab Money Fund work on expediting cross-border payments. Plus, Britain raises the contactless payment limit, and Thunes and Bank Alfalah team up for a real-time payments service in Pakistan.
Singapore-based FinTech Thunes said in a statement on Friday (Aug. 27) that it has partnered with leading Pakistani retail bank Bank Alfalah to enable real-time cross-border payments to consumers in Pakistan. As part of the deal, Thunes’ customers will be able to make real-time affordable payments to the 57 million Pakistanis with bank accounts, including Bank Alfalah’s clients. With remittances being an important source of Pakistan’s foreign exchange, this collaboration will help support the basic needs of millions of migrant families across the country.
Global payment services provider UnionPay International (UPI) announced in a press release on Friday (Aug. 27) that it is lending support to international students studying in Australia as part of a back-to-school program. The Shanghai-based Chinese financial services provider, a subsidiary of China UnionPay, has been running a campaign since July 16, offering students who are UPI cardholders a refund of AUD 68 for tuition payments over AUD 6,800 paid to Australian universities. Students can access the “Australia Payment” service in the UnionPay App to make the one-time refund claim before the end of the campaign on Oct. 31.
British banks will limit contactless payments across the region to 100 pounds ($137) starting Oct. 15, banking industry body UK Finance said on Friday (Aug. 27), according to a Reuters report. The threshold for multiple contactless transactions before customers are required to enter their PINs will also rise from 130 pounds ($178.95) to 300 pounds (almost $413). Contactless payments across Britain spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic, with many merchants turning away cash in an attempt to limit the virus’ ongoing spread.
The Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) and Visa have signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance cross-border payments. Under the agreement, Visa will collaborate with Buna, the AMF’s regional payment platform, to offer participants and member banks a variety of channels for cross-border payments in Arab and international currencies, IBS Intelligence reported on Thursday (Aug. 26).