Fintech, Finance, Technology, Banking Highlights – 23 October 2018

Square releases new all-in-one eftpos terminal

Square announced Square Terminal, an integrated and innovative all-in-one card processing device designed to be fast, fair, and secure.

Square Terminal allows sellers to ring up sales, accept all forms of payments quickly, and print receipts, all from one affordable and elegant device. It is the best solution for businesses that use their own point-of-sale solution or manually key in a payment amount, and want to process payments with Square. Square Terminal also offers sellers a fair and flat rate for every transaction regardless of card type.

“We love how the hardware, payments, and printer are all part of one device,” said Fabrice Borg, manager of Prive by Laurent D Salon in New York, NY. “Square Terminal makes for a more seamless and professional experience when we bring the terminal to our customers and they can pay for their services right from the salon chair.”

Built in-house, Square Terminal has a unique and simple design, giving any business a more professional look. With a battery that lasts all day and both Wi-Fi or Ethernet internet connections, sellers will never have to worry about missing a sale, whether they’re taking payments at the countertop or bringing the terminal right to their customers’ hands.

“Payment terminals are everywhere, from liquor stores to dry cleaners to dentists, and with Square Terminal we can now serve these sellers better with new, elegant hardware on top of Square’s fair and secure payments service,” said Jesse Dorogusker, Head of Hardware at Square. “Square Terminal is designed from the ground up to ensure a feeling of familiarity, so sellers and their customers can use it right away. With Square Terminal, we now offer a sophisticated and modern hardware-plus-software solution for every type of business.”

Finastra unveils cloud-based instant payments offering

At Sibos and Money 2020, Finastra revealed its instant payments offering in the cloud for small and mid-sized banks.

The Fusion Global PAYplus packaged solution will enable tier three and four financial institutions in the EU and US to access the benefits that the cloud delivers, without the cost and on-premise infrastructure requirements that may previously have been a barrier to entry.

Based on Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s enterprise-ready, trusted cloud platform, the pre-defined offering will be generally available in Q2 2019. It will enable central updates, ensuring all users benefit from the latest changes or new product functionalities immediately, including SWIFT and clearing scheme updates. Banks will be able to get up and running in just a few months with standardized pricing and onboarding processes in this SaaS model. This will provide a clear, future-proof cost structure and flexibility in a market where volumes are currently hard to predict.

“The adoption of immediate payments is moving at a rapid pace and is becoming increasingly ubiquitous. It is driven by customer expectations of banking services that provide a user experience aligned to what they encounter in other areas of their lives. Immediate payments are the essential underpinning for clients’ digital transformations,” said Sagive.Greenspan, SVP, General Manager, Payments at Finastra. “We will enable small and mid-sized banks to step up to the plate and really compete in the cloud environment. Where the largest banks would likely prefer our private cloud solution, small and mid-sized banks crave cost-effective packaged solutions which are quick to deploy and avoid legacy platform complications, but still deliver a state-of-the-art product. We’re responding to this increasing demand for hosted payments solutions with a compelling offering built on our deep domain expertise, in combination with Microsoft.”

Wahed Invest launches Halal stock screener app

Wahed Invest, the first fully digital Halal-focused ethical investing platform, announced the launch of its “Halal Stock Screener,” a first-of-its-kind, free app that allows investors to determine if a company in which they are considering investing is “Halal.”

Currently, faith-based investors are limited to investing in mutual funds or paying institutional rates for Shari’ah certifications. The Halal Stock Screener aims to democratize Halal investing, and is available as a free app on both Google Play and the Apple App store.

With Wahed’s Halal Stock Screener, users can search from over 50,000 stocks globally and request an analysis to see if they are AAOIFI compliant and ethical in nature. The analysis uses real-time data supplied by Thomson Reuters, and provides free information, including a company overview, stock pricing, financial ratios, company size, price per share data and estimates, as well as an automated halal quantitative analysis from leading financial organizations.

The Halal investing principles are confirmed by screening stocks for tobacco, alcohol, firearms, gambling, adult entertainment, impure food stock, usurious institutions, excess debt, excess interest, and other concerning financial ratios. Stocks are also screened by Wahed’s experts for the presence of interest, or Riba, and all other impermissible sources of income.

The app also includes a Zakat calculator, allowing users to accurately determine their Zakat annual contribution, which entails donating a portion of one’s wealth to those in need. Zakat is one of the Five Pillars of Islam.

“With thousands of potential stocks available, it can be daunting for people to know if they are investing ethically,” said Kareem Tabbaa, CPO, Wahed. “The new Wahed Halal Stock Screener delivers an easy and fast way to determine if a stock meets a users’ ethical standards. This is an important tool for anyone who wishes to invest ethically, especially Muslims who seek to ensure that their investments are Halal.”