Trump signs executive order banning Chinese payment apps
US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that would ban transactions with some of China’s biggest apps.
The order, due to come into effect in 45 days, long after Trump has left office, prohibits transactions with eight Chinese-connected apps, including some of the nation’s biggest mobile payments services. Ant Group’s Alipay, as well as WeChat Pay, QQ Wallet - both owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent - will be banned should it go through.
Other Chinese connected apps, including instant messenger Tencent QQ, document digitiser CamScanner, file transfer tool SHAREit, video editor VMate, and WPS Office are also named in the order.
Addressing Chinese “threat”
Mr. Trump said the order aims “to address the threat posed by these Chinese connected software applications” and clamp down on the potential for apps to collect private information about American users and make it accessible to the Chinese government. In the order, he draws parallels with a similar directive from the Indian government, which last year banned more than 200 apps to limit the potential for Chinese companies to collect the personal data of Indian nationals.
“By accessing personal electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers, Chinese connected software applications can access and capture vast swaths of information from users, including sensitive personally identifiable information and private information,” the outgoing President adds.
He says the data could be used to “build dossiers of personal information” of American users and track the movement and activities of Federal employees. Software with connections to China are already banned from Federal Government devices.
The Wall Street Journal reports that a preliminary injunction has been launched by a federal judge to block the order, a move appealed by the Trump administration. Two orders to ban TikTok in 2020 were successfully blocked by federal judges. The video sharing app, which has more than 1 billion users worldwide, is owned by China’s ByteDance. The Trump administration offered the same anti-data collection rationale for its ban on US soil.
Tink partners with Novalnet AG for open banking payments
The Munich-based fintech Novalnet AG, which was founded in 2007 and is one of Europe’s leadingfintech companies, has announced a new partnership with Tink, the Swedish open banking platform currently connected to more than 3,400 European banks.
Novalnet AG delivers payment solutions and fully automated services, from checkout to debt collection. Its solutions are also available worldwide.
According to reports, the fintech company plans to launch a real-time payments feature for merchants across Europe, to expand its current services and enhance the transaction experience it operates through its platform.
The new feature, says Novalnet, will revolutionise payments for ecommerce with transactions being credited to merchant’s accounts almost instantly.
Novalnet partnership with Tink
By partnering with Tink for payment initiation services (PIS) technology, Novalnet will take previous region-specific payment methods and offer a new unified digital payments service to its merchants across Europe.
The fintech’s real-time merchant payments feature, which will be launched initially in Germany and the United Kingdom, will then be integrated across other European markets during 2021.
Speaking about the new collaboration, Emmanuel Kirse, COO of Novalnet, explained, "We expect great things from our strategic partnership with Tink, which is a significant development for both parties.
“With Tink, Novalnet can offer a new set of open banking-related solutions in Europe. The new opportunities offered by this partnership will help both Tink and Novalnet grow together, along with our merchants."
Cyrosch Kalateh, Regional Director for the DACH region at Tink said, “Our partnership with Novalnet is a big step for Tink in the German market, and we are excited to work together to bring new, innovative payments services to merchants across Europe.”
He added, “At the end of 2020 Tink committed to expanding its payment initiation services from five to 10 markets, fuelled by an €85mn investment round. We are proud to add Germany to this list by announcing we have now fully launched Tink’s PIS services in this market.”
Image credit: Novalnet AG