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Global Contactless Payment Card Issuance will go Above the 2 Billion Mark in 2020

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An additional 110 million contactless payment cards expected to be issued in 2020, when compared to pre-COVID-19 forecast expectations

According to Tech market advisory firm, ABI Research, COVID-19 is expected to have a profound effect on the payment cards market. Contactless is considered the more hygienic and safe way of making proximity payments, and this is being reinforced by ecosystem players who are shifting marketing messages from contactless transactions used to increase convenience levels toward safety and health. Globally, contactless adoption will increase between +6% to +8% when compared to pre-COVID-19 expectations, with the issuance levels forecast to grow by 14% YoY, accounting for more than 65% of all cards issued in 2020 .

“Although the overarching trend toward contactless was well in place prior, COVID-19 will further increase the speed of contactless adoption, particularly within countries and economies where cash remains king, and usage not only being encouraged by payment ecosystem players and suppliers but also by governments and health organizations including the WHO,” explains Phil Sealy, Research Director at ABI Research.

“The way people pay for things is rapidly evolving and changing. COVID-19 has driven a significant shift in consumer spending habits spurred by economic uncertainly and a push toward the purchase of mainly essential items. There is also a surge in e-commerce whereby consumers are becoming even more heavily reliant on online retail channels to avoid crowded places to limit social interactions,” Sealy points out.

However, with a significant strain placed on e-commerce, physical brick and mortar retail still has a major role to play and is essential in many instances. In most countries, retailers considered essential (e.g., supermarkets) remain open. They have put in place measures to help combat the spread of COVID-19 to shoppers and customers, including the enforcement of 2-meter distancing and placing protective screens at checkouts. They are also encouraging digital payments over cash and, where possible, completely contactless transactions.

Major payment networks, including Visa and Mastercard, are looking to aid in the pandemic by increasing contactless card spending limits. Many national and local authorities and governments, as well as merchants, are encouraging digital payments over cash, using the digital transaction method to limit contact with items and objects that are communal and used by multiple people—in this instance, point-of-sale terminals.

“COVID-19 is not only bringing contactless to the forefront of the digital payment experience, but also other next-generation payment card form factors. As consumers increasingly use and become more reliant on contactless, the question of how best to secure and limit fraud on increasing contactless transaction volumes and values will come into play,” Sealy says.

Biometric payment cards are well-positioned as a solution that offers a contactless payment card experience without limits. The use of multi-factor contactless transaction authentication will become a key theme post-COVID-19, extending security previously reserved for high computer-powered devices such as smartphones and mirroring the experience and security features onto the passive payment card form-factor.

“The message is clear that contactless payments have a critical role to play in the fight against COVID-19, from a hygiene, health, and safety perspective,” Sealy added.

This News has been Published in Partnership with PR Newswire

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Alternative meat startup Next Meats Co., Ltd and microalgae biotech company euglena Co., launch "NEXT Euglena Yakiniku EX" containing microalgae

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Alternative meat startup Next Meats Co., Ltd and microalgae biotech company euglena Co., launch "NEXT Euglena Yakiniku EX" containing microalgae

Next Meats Co., LTD, the controlling shareholder of Next Meats Holdings, Inc. (“NXMH”) announced that they had signed a joint product development agreement with euglena Co., a biotech company also from Japan which specializes in cultivating Euglena and Chlorella (types of microalgae) and developing the biofuel business.

It was announced that their first joint product “NEXT Euglena Yakiniku EX” is now available for pre-sale at the official online store of Next Meats (In Japan only).

The companies had signed a joint product development agreement in December 2020, aiming to offer consumers more sustainable diet options and lifestyle choices.

The “NEXT Euglena Yakiniku EX” is a plant-based meat containing 500 mg of Euglena and 500 mg of Chlorella extract. The product, which combines the strengths of both companies, is a plant-based meat packed with protein and a great balance of other vital vitamins and minerals. The Euglena Yakiniku EX, like all other Next Meats products, uses no artificial additives and has no cholesterol because no animal derived materials are used, and has significantly less of an environmental impact than regular meat.

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Data & Analytics Startup 9fin Announces Partnership with European Leveraged Finance Association (ELFA)

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Data & Analytics Startup 9fin Announces Partnership with European Leveraged Finance Association (ELFA)

9fin, the AI-powered data and analytics platform for fixed income, announces its partnership with the European Leveraged Finance Association (ELFA). The partnership will allow ELFA members to benefit from 9fin’s expertise in covenants and related market trends.

ELFA is a trade association for European leveraged finance investors. It aims to create a more transparent, efficient and resilient leveraged finance market by establishing and enhancing industry best practice, promoting transparency and facilitating engagement between market participants.

Steven Hunter, Co-founder and CEO of 9fin commenting on the partnership said: “9fin’s raison d’etre is to bring transparency to the leveraged finance market, so we were delighted when the opportunity arose for us to partner with the ELFA. We believe our technology, data, and analysis can help ELFA members shape a more transparent and better functioning credit market.”

Sabrina, CEO of the ELFA, commented: “9fin’s ability to deliver fast, actionable covenant information to investors will provide significant value to our members, and supports our mission to deepen market engagement on important issues. Its market insights and understanding of the implications of covenants will also be used to complement our educational resources. We look forward to working with them in the coming year to increase transparency for leveraged finance investors.”

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Health Carousel Announces Acquisition of MEDPATH

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Health Carousel Announces Acquisition of MEDPATH

Health Carousel, a premier provider of healthcare staffing and workforce solutions, announced today they are strengthening the power of the Health Carousel Locum Network further with the acquisition of MEDPATH.

MEDPATH, located in Trumbull, CT, was founded in 2012 by Timothy Kouble who will continue to lead the company after the acquisition.  MEDPATH will continue to operate under its own brand in Health Carousel’s growing portfolio of locum tenens brands.

MEDPATH is an innovative physician workforce management company that is mission driven to help healthcare organizations improve patient care and save lives.  They partner strategically with their clients and bring an ecosystem of powerful physician staffing resources, capabilities, and horsepower designed to get physicians to patients faster – with the goal of containing costs.  It has a hyperlocal physician network and strong loyalty with providers who can deploy quickly to provide coverage when needed.

MEDPATH joins a strong family of HCLN brands, including NEXTLocums, Onyx M.D., Lucidity, and Vitruvian Medical, which are expected to become the 10th largest locum tenens company in the country, according to the most recent estimates from Staffing Industry Analysts. This is Health Carousel’s 6th acquisition in the locum tenens space since 2015.

“We are pleased to welcome MEDPATH to our Health Carousel family and are confident that this addition will further increase our track record of service excellence with our customers,” said Bill DeVille, Chief Executive Officer of Health Carousel. “Our healthcare facility partners trust us to solve their staffing problems by delivering high-quality healthcare staff to positively impact their patient care, staff morale, cost of staffing and revenue. The addition of the MEDPATH team and their unique RPO/MSP model will enhance our offerings to clients.”

Health Carousel has a proven track record of helping clients solve their workforce challenges by delivering easier, faster access to a nationwide pool of highly qualified physician and advanced practice providers, demonstrated by winning a 2020 Best in Staffing Client Award for providing superior service to their clients.  MEDPATH is dedicated to that same level of partnership with their clients.

“MEDPATH is incredibly excited to become a part of the Health Carousel Locum Network as we continue to build our unique Physician workforce solutions program,” said Tim Kouble, Founder of MEDPATH. “We connected strongly to Health Carousel’s higher purpose of improving patient lives and making healthcare work better. We’re looking forward to advancing our relationships with healthcare organizations across the country to ensure every patient gets access to quality providers when and where they need them.”

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