The Monaco Visa prepaid card

Cryptocurrency platform Monaco prepaid card programme receives Visa approval

Payments and cryptocurrency platform Monaco today announced that its prepaid card programme has received approval from card issuer VISA.

The approval means card owners will be able to pay using legal tender currency converted from cryptocurrency (including bitcoin and ethereum) “anywhere VISA is accepted”; it is said to be the first programme of its kind in the industry.

To register for the service, users only have to download the Monaco app on their Android or iOS devices and select a Monaco Visa prepaid card from five available options, including the Monaco Visa Platinum prepaid cards. They will then undergo a three-minute on-boarding process to register for the waiting list.

“The demand for the Monaco Visa prepaid cards has exceeded our expectations with over 17,000 cards reserved, based on word of mouth alone. With perfect interbank exchange rates, and 0.75 percent cryptocurrency cashback on all transactions, the Monaco Visa prepaid card will become the card of choice for consumers. More perks will be added over time to turn the Monaco Visa prepaid card into a dominant force in payments,” said Monaco CEO and Co-Founder Kris Marszalek in a press statement.

Go-Jek reportedly set to acquire payments gateway firm Midtrans

Indonesian ride-hailing giant has been reported to be in talks to acquire payments gateway firm Midtrans, according to Dealstreet Asia.

Citing three anonymous sources, the report also stated that the Midtrans acquisition will allow Go-Jek to augment its payments technology and expertise, as well as gain access to the firm’s customer base, which includes leading e-commerce sites such as Tokopedia, Bukalapak, and MatahariMall, and even flag carrier Garuda Indonesia.

The value of the deal is reported to be over US$100 million.

In the last one year, Go-Jek has made five acquisitions of Indonesia- and India-based companies, with the latest being LOKET.

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Infostellar begins on-boarding closed beta

Japanese space-tech startup Infostellar announced on Thursday that it has begun on-boarding process for its beta antenna and satellite partners, with platform usage testing to begin at Q1 2018.

The startup provides cloud-based satellite antenna sharing platform that allows antenna owners to share unused transmission time and access antennas all around the world for their own satellite operations. The platform also processes downlink data and allows users to issue operation commands.

In a press statement, the company also said that it will first provide support to UHF band satellites, with support for S, X, and Ka bands to follow.

Infostellar has recently raised a US$7.3 million Series A funding round led by Airbus Ventures.

Paytm adds messaging feature in its digital payments app

Leading Indian digital wallet and payments service Paytm has added a messaging feature to its digital payments app, TechCrunch reported.

Available only for Android devices, the messaging feature enables users to perform peer-to-peer money transfer, apart from basic messaging app capabilities such as sending messages, images, and location.

“We have realised that besides making payments, our users and merchants also like to communicate with each other. There is a need of social messaging, commerce, and payments seamlessly blending into one another,” said Paytm Senior VP Deepak Abbot.

The launch of the feature is part of the company’s effort to compete with the likes of Whatsapp and Hike.

Image Credit: Monaco