Sustainable Payments The Next Frontier

In providing the fuel and rails for the modern economy, the potential for payments to impact on sustainability cannot be underestimated. As rapid, global digitization continues to transform all aspects of our lives, payments are pivotal: almost every digital activity relies on a payment system.

As a result, there is a responsibility incumbent on payment providers in funding and increasing awareness to sustainability.

Amongst both businesses and consumers, there is also a greater awareness of the role of sustainable finance, which is playing an increasingly critical part in influencing investment decisions. ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) initiatives undertaken by payments can play a huge role in influencing these decisions.

Why is a sustainable payments industry important?

Firstly, necessity. The pandemic has significantly changed the structure of the economy, causing a decline of physical cash and digitizing businesses – all contributing to the reduction of reliance on carbon emitting processes.

The second reason is consumers. Regardless of industry, consumers are increasingly choosing businesses that share their environmental goals.

Consumers are also influencing investor pressure. Businesses are now looking to invest in environmentally friendly ways: two out of three French and German retail investors say they will invest in sustainable ways even if there is cost involved2. This is also visible in the green bond market, in 2022 green bond issuance has increased 49% year-on-year, with the market set to hit $1 trillion globally in 20213.

The third reason is regulatory. Increase in regulations, especially within Europe, is driving transparency in this space, with change being brought about thanks to the Paris agreement, COP 26 and other targeted regulations.

Challenges in the sustainable payments industry

  • Greenwashing
    Different standards, definitions and regulations can cause confusion and allow ‘greenwashing’. Incoming regulations will force industry standards and transparency, but rising focus on greenwashing is driving financial institutions to take a more cautious to ESG-linked products and solutions.
  • Geopolitical tensions
    World events can have a ‘butterfly effect’, increasing cost of living. This can result in challenges such as an impact on consumer demand, and the likelihood of consumers choosing green options when faced with financial insecurity.
  • Unintended consequences
    If not managed carefully, sustainable financing could cause unforeseen negative effects on society, such as job losses as a result of cutting finance to fossil fuel industries. Other unintended consequences for green initiatives should also be considered, for example by-products of electric cars including toxic and non-recyclable batteries.

How is J.P. Morgan making payments environmentally sustainable?

The payments scope is wide – stretching across every conceivable industry. As a common denominator between these industries, we have undertaken a program of workshops and client meetings to  recognize and support ESG needs, which vary considerably between industries. Environmental efforts are  concentrated for technology, media and telecoms as well as consumer and retail, diversified industries and natural resources. However, healthcare, utilities and public sector, alongside Financial Institutions, are targeting their focus on social and governance concerns.

Our approach to ESG management includes having robust governance systems, risk management and controls at a firmwide level. Equally important for us in J.P. Morgan is the social aspect –  investing in our employees and cultivating a diverse and inclusive work environment, and working to strengthen the communities in which we live and work.  At J.P. Morgan, we are advancing sustainable solutions for our clients and within our operations in several ways:

  • Minimizing the environmental impacts of our physical operations
  • Maintain carbon neutral operations since 2020
  • Transition J.P. Morgan’s fleet to electric vehicles by 2025
  • 100% paper purchased from renewable sources and reduce office paper by 90%
  • Working with organizations to advance sustainable development

Financing positive ‘green’ solutions. We are aiming to finance and facilitate more than $2.5 trillion over 10 years to advance climate action and sustainable development, including $1 trillion for green initiatives.

Last year, J.P. Morgan released the 2030 emission reduction targets for the Oil & Gas, Electric Power, and Auto Manufacturing financing portfolios4. In addition, we have expanded our financing restrictions on activities such as oil and gas development in the Arctic.

Specific to payments, we are developing financial solutions that drive action on climate change and generate other positive environmental impacts. In sustainable Supply Chain Finance in particular, our compelling alliance with Taulia and Ecovadis provides a sustainable SCF program that assesses sustainability of suppliers and offers tired pricing based on rating.

Based on our conversations with multi-national corporates in Europe, it is clear that sustainability sits at the heart of their corporate strategy for the future.

Every company has become a climate company in its own right, as we all work towards a common goal of limiting the impact of climate change. At J.P. Morgan, we would like to reiterate our commitment to supporting our clients, communities and colleagues by working towards a new frontier of sustainable payments where we not only invest in our platforms but in our planet.

Source: Earth Day 2022 – Sustainable Payments | J.P. Morgan

Related contents:

Hellenic Bank: Green loans and social practices for a sustainable futureRich countries must do their part in fixing climate change – UK Premier The New Times

2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Malaysia forwards three proposals to boost international cooperation Malay Mail

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Americans Are Still Spending Ahead Of Holiday Season Despite Inflation Surge

Personal spending rose 1.3% last month in a sign that consumers are continuing to spend more despite higher inflation, which continues to rise at its fastest pace in three decades, according to new data from the Commerce Department on Wednesday.

Prices climbed by 5% in the year through October, the fastest gain in over 30 years, according to the latest Personal Consumption Expenditures price index report.

Inflation is surging at its fastest pace in three decades, data shows: October’s annual jump in prices is more than last month’s reading, which showed prices for the year through September climbing 4.4%.

Despite the lingering Covid-19 pandemic, the reduction of stimulus payments and ongoing supply chain issues adding to investor fears about inflation, consumer demand remains steady amid rising private wages and salaries, the Commerce Department’s report said.

Personal consumption expenditures (or PCE)—a key measure of consumer spending—rose 1.3% in October, while personal income rose 0.5%, according to the data.

Both measures of consumer strength were up sharply from recent months: The elevated spending levels ahead of a busy holiday season could help boost the broader economic recovery, experts say.

The increase in personal spending comes as Americans benefit from large pay increases and healthy household balance sheets, especially after several rounds of government stimulus, according to the report.

“Within goods, increases were widespread, led by motor vehicles and parts,” according to the report. Energy prices increased over 30% and food prices nearly 5%. Excluding both of those, the PCE price index for October gained 4.1% from a year ago.

Whether rising inflation starts to cut into consumer demand. While spending on consumer goods is now well above prepandemic levels, Americans with lower incomes could start to defer purchases if price increases continue, economists warn.

genesis-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2-1-1

In a more positive sign for the U.S. economic recovery, weekly jobless claims fell substantially to their lowest level in 52 years, according to new data on Wednesday. The latest report from the Labor Department showed that the jobs market has continued to make a comeback in recent weeks. Around 199,000 people filed initial jobless claims in the week ending November 20, which was down 71,000 from the previous week and the lowest level since November 1969.

Stocks continue to remain near record highs—with the S&P 500 up 26% so far this year, though markets could be more volatile in 2022, experts warn. Rising fears about higher inflation, the Covid-19 delta variant, supply chain issues and Federal Reserve policy are all top of mind for investors going into the end of the year.

Further Reading:

This Wall Street Firm Sees A Negative Year Ahead For The Stock Market (Forbes)

New Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Sink To 52-Year Low Despite 2 Million Americans Still Receiving Unemployment Benefits (Forbes)

Stocks Jump After Biden Reappoints Jerome Powell To Lead Federal Reserve (Forbes)

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Send me a secure tip.

I am a New York-based reporter covering billionaires and their wealth for Forbes. Previously, I worked on the breaking news team at Forbes covering

Source: Americans Are Still Spending Ahead Of Holiday Season Despite Inflation Surge

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More Contents:

How To Find a Buyer For Your Annuity

Remember to give a discount on the cash value of your payments. According to the industry group, the National Association of Settlement Purchasers, the maximum discount rate in the industry is 18%.

If you are looking for a buyer for an annuity, find out how to resell the value of your annuity. The number of payments you wish to sell, the amount of money you will receive, your payment plan (including the way payments are received), the current market situation, the RATING OF THE INSURANCE COMPANY THAT ISSUED the annuity, and any fees or other charges incurred on transferred annuities.

It is important to find a reputable bond buyer to guide you and explain the process. Sellers need to understand that they are not getting the full value of your pension until the company you are contracting out reviews the pension and makes an offer that is mutually beneficial. Once you have taken out your pension and agreed to the terms, you can mimic the transaction. 

In order to ensure careful consideration of pension scheme clauses, companies should ensure full transparency. They should offer personalized presentations outlining the non-guaranteed elements of the pension contract. It is recommended that you learn a few basic aspects before buying an annuity. =

If you sell an annuity in its entirety, YOU GIVE UP YOUR REMAINING INTEREST IN THE CONTRACT. You will receive the money left over from the payment of the contract, but no one else will receive future payments. If you buy an inherited annuity through a sales contract, you are the buyer, not the insurer. 

Another option is to sell the entire annuity, which can result in a much higher payout. Annuity holders may feel safer selling part of their pension than they do if they know they will get the payments on which they depend in the future. The time you sell the annuity passes and you get the remaining regular payments back.

Similar to partial sales, bondholders can sell part of their pension payments for a lump sum in lump sum sales. This means that they will receive a certain dollar amount that will be deducted from future pension structures for settlement payments. For example, you could sell years one to four of your pension in lump sums. 

Once you have decided how much money you need you can decide to sell the whole value of the annuity or part of it, either as a lump sum or as part of a certain NUMBER OF PAYMENTS. IF YOU DECIDE TO sell some or all of your payments, you continue to receive regular income and retain tax benefits. 

If you need cash immediately, you can sell the payments for a lump sum. You will receive a cheque for three payments at the time of sale and once the payments have passed through your annual pension, the cheque will be reinstated. If you sell part of your pension (or more) and need a cash lump sum in the future, you will need to repeat the process. 

For example, if you need $25,000 for a new car, you can sell the $25,000 of the value of your annual inventory. A company like DRB Capital buys part of your pension contract and gives you the money you need. You receive periodic payments for a certain number of years, but you can also receive and sell a lump sum if your annual payment amount is too low.

One of the biggest misconceptions about cashing in a pension is that future payments have to be sold. You have the right to cash in your pension if a third judge agrees. 

In other words, the sale and use of all annuities reduce the number of annuities you have. While selling an annuity can be a good option for reducing debt or settling financial hardship, this decision should not be taken lightly. There are ways to sell all annuities and it is important to check all of them to CHOOSE THE RIGHT ONE FOR YOUR NEEDS. In the same way, you will receive payments from a pension scheme on future dates.

An annuity can be bought as a lump sum in exchange for several future lump sums. If YOU CAN MEET YOUR CURRENT FINANCIAL NEEDS with money from your pension, you are ready to retire. Many pensioners keep the money they need and sell the rest of the value of their pension. They sell some of the value of the property and pay each other dividends on certain parts of the pension. Selling an annuity can be ONE OF THE BIGGEST FINANCIAL DECISIONS A PERSON CAN MAKE.

IN some cases, sellers opt for specialized financial firms such as the CBC Settlement Fund to handle their pension transactions, which can range from retirement accounts to trust funds. Some annuity buyers offer large lump sums to recipients of pensions who need to make regular payments on a lump sum basis. Large lump sums are usually less than the sum received by the beneficiary at the end of the term but the amount received at the end of the term is reduced by a so-called discount rate that gives the beneficiary MORE FLEXIBILITY TO MEET IMMEDIATE FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS.

If you receive structured payments such as divorce settlements, child support payments, 401 (k) payouts, veterans benefits, or Social Security, you don’t have to sell your pension to raise money. Pension payments are subject to normal income tax when you receive them, but with guaranteed annuities for retirement, you only owe as much income tax on the money as on regular distributions. As we have already explained, there are many different types of pensions: annuities, lottery or jackpot pensions, deferred annuities, and more.

The first phase, known as the rewards payout phase, consists of a single series in which you receive a lump sum from the company. The lump-sum is the money with which you take care of financial obligations or changes in your life, such as STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS, BUYING A HOME, OR GOING to school.  It depends on the pension plan you are contracting out of, but generally speaking, paying a lump sum into one will set up the right accumulation period. 

By:

Source: www.bufeez.com

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Related Contents:

Apple Pay Fees Vex Credit-Card Issuers

Banks are nudging Visa to change the way it processes some Apple Pay transactions, according to people familiar with the matter.

According to people familiar with the matter, banks are pressing Visa to change the way some Apple Pay transactions are processed. Some banks are pushing back, weakening the card network Visa Inc.

To change the way some Apple Pay transactions are processed, according to some. This change will reduce the fees that banks pay to Apple.

According to people familiar with the matter and a document seen by Businesshala, Visa plans to implement the change next year. Apple executives have told Visa officials they oppose the change, the people said. The two companies are in discussion and it is possible that the planned change will not start.

Currently, banks pay the fee to Apple when their cardholders use Apple Pay. Under the new process planned, the fee will not apply to automatic recurring payments such as gym memberships and streaming services.

The dispute reflects a long-running tension between the tech and finance giants. Companies like Apple and Amazon.com Inc.

Consumer payments have been expanding over the years. Banks often bargain with them for fear of being left behind. But deals don’t always work out: Alphabet Inc. NS

For example, Google is dropping plans to introduce bank accounts to users. Apple said in a statement that “our banking partners are an important part of the growth of Apple Pay.”

The company said, “Our bank partners continue to see the benefits of providing Apple Pay and invest in new ways to implement and promote Apple Pay for our customers for secure and private in-store and online purchases. “

Major networks including Visa and MasterCard Inc.

There are effective gateways between banks and Apple Pay, as they help to load banks’ cards into mobile wallets. The change will apply to Visa-branded cards, though other networks may follow suit.

Mobile wallets are smartphone apps on which people can load their debit or credit-card credentials and use their phones instead of tangible cards to make payments. The transaction fee is charged to the buyer’s card.

When Apple introduced Apple Pay in 2014, the iPhone had already discontinued the music player, camera, and GPS system. Banks and card networks are worried it will displace card payments as well.

Banks agreed to pay 0.15% to Apple for every purchase made by their credit cardholders. (They pay a separate fee on debit-card transactions.) Those charges account for most of the revenue Apple makes from its digital wallet, according to people familiar with the matter.

The terms had the potential to be uniquely attractive to Apple. Banks do not charge Google for its Wallet.

Visa and MasterCard also agreed to make an unusual concession to Apple: Apple will be able to choose which issuers it will allow on Apple Pay and which issuers will accept cards, according to people familiar with the matter. Visa and MasterCard generally require that all entities that accept their credit cards must accept them. Apple agreed not to develop the card network to compete against Visa and MasterCard, the people said.

But since then, customers have been slower to adopt Apple Pay than bank and card network executives expected. And some bank executives were outraged when Apple launched its own credit card with Goldman Sachs Group in 2019 Inc.,

People familiar with the matter said, because it made Apple a direct competitor.

Apple said in a statement that it “works closely with approximately 9,000 banking partners to offer Apple Pay to customers in approximately 60 countries and territories.”

Visa has shared its planned technological change with at least a few banks in recent months. A document reviewed by the Journal explains the new process that doesn’t mention fees, but details a change to so-called tokens issued by Visa for mobile-wallet payments.

When consumers load their credit cards on Apple Pay, Visa issues a special token that replaces the card number. This allows the card to work on Apple Pay and also helps protect the card in a potential data breach, among other benefits.

Visa is planning to start using a separate token on recurring automatic payments. This effectively means that after making the first payment on the subscription, Apple will not receive a fee on the following transactions.

According to people familiar with the matter, some of the larger banks first tried to lower their Apple Pay fees around 2017, but were not successful.

By: AnnaMaria Andriotis

AnnaMaria Andriotis reports on credit cards for The Wall Street Journal. She covers Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover as well as the big banks’ credit-card divisions. She also writes about consumer credit broadly, with a focus on issues that have a big impact on U.S. borrowers. She has been a reporter with The Wall Street Journal since 2014 and got her start at Dow Jones more than 10 years ago. You can email AnnaMaria at annamaria.andriotis@wsj.com and follow her on Twitter @AAndriotis.

Source: Businesshala News Exclusive | Apple Pay Fees Vex Credit-Card Issuers

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Related Contents:

The Hottest Perk of the Pandemic? Financial Wellness Tools

In the midst of the Great Resignation, with employers scrambling for ways to hang on to experienced staff, financial wellness programs might be an attractive addition to the benefits bag.

That was a key finding from PwC’s annual Employee Financial Wellness Survey, which was conducted in January 2021 and released in April. Among those polled, 72 percent of workers who reported facing increased financial setbacks during the pandemic said they would be more attracted to another company that cared more about financial well-being than their current employer. About 57 percent of workers who hadn’t yet faced increased financial stress said the same thing.

Financial stress doesn’t just affect worker retention; it also has an impact on productivity. PwC’s survey showed that 45 percent of workers experiencing financial setbacks have been distracted at work by their money problems. The menu of financial wellness tools employers might elect include educational tools for personal finances, one-on-one financial coaching, and even access to rainy day funds.

It’s a growing business sector, too. HoneyBee, a B2B financial wellness startup, recently closed a round of funding with $5.7 million in equity, TechCrunch reported. The financial technology company grew 225 percent during the pandemic and saw a 175 percent increase in usage for its on-demand financial therapy tools. Origin also recently announced that it raised $56 million in its Series B funding round, which it will use for customer expansion, as it saw increased demand for financial planning services during the pandemic, Business Wire notes.

Although one in five workers waits until they experience a financial setback to seek guidance, when they are offered continual support, employees are more likely to be proactive with their finances. According to the PwC survey, 88 percent of workers who are provided financial wellness services by their employers take advantage of them.

By Rebecca Deczynski, Staff reporter, Inc.@rebecca_decz

Source: The Hottest Perk of the Pandemic? Financial Wellness Tools | Inc.com

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Critics:

Making money is definitely the cornerstone of financial wellness and increasing your income can help you obtain your goals. You do not need to be a millionaire, but it’s important to obtain some level of income stability. Being financially well starts with having a reliable income and knowing at a consistent time, you will expect to be paid a certain amount. Steady and reliable income is one of the cornerstones of financial wellness.

Even if you don’t like budgeting or planning, it’s good to set goals for yourself. You are more likely to stick with it when you have goals to reach and can see progress. By creating a plan, you are visualizing the what, why, and how you will get there. If you don’t already have a household budget, grab your most recent bank statement and look at the total amount of money you have coming into your household each month. Then, factor in fixed, required expenses – things like rent or mortgage payments, utilities, insurance, and more.

f you do not have an emergency fund, now is the time to start building it. The goal of an emergency fund is to have available funds for when you are dealing with unemployment or you have an unforeseen cost. You won’t stress about the money because you have a nice cash reserve that you can access quickly. Finance experts often say that you should have at least three to six months’ worth of expenses in your emergency fund. If you have nothing in savings, putting away just $25, $50, or $100 a month is an amazing start. Ultimately, it’s what you feel comfortable with. You can also consider putting it in a high savings investment such as CIT Bank’s Savings Builder, which helps put your savings to work with very little risk.

Once you get a handle on your finances, you can start to map out life events and large purchases, so you can begin saving! Planning ahead is always helpful, and once you get a handle on your current financial plan, set some goals for what comes next. By building a plan, you have a road map to help guide you through the rest of your story. Putting even a small amount into savings on a consistent basis is one of the best ways to get your savings to grow so you can meet your goals, small or large. Set your own personal savings rule to live by and make a plan on how to achieve it. Prepare for life events and large purchases by planning ahead.

Your credit score is another critical part of your financial health. Things like late payments, too much debt or high balances negatively affect your credit score. Keep watch over your credit report and credit score with a free credit report from places like Credit Karma. A higher credit score tells banks and lenders that you’re a reliable and less risky borrower. 

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