Crowdfunding may surpass venture capital next year, Australian bank ANZ integrates contactless payments, Verifone partners with Ericsson, and other top stories from the past week in FinTech.

Trends Show Crowdfunding To Surpass VC in 2016

A recent report from Massolution shows that next year the crowdfunding industry may account for more funding than venture capital. Last year, US$16 Billion was crowdfunded, and this year the total is expected to grow to over US$34 Billion. Forbes reports:

“If we look at what is driving this growth and change, … we see that the collaborative economy has brought new disruptive models to giant existing industries like real estate and transportation, leveraging automation and the internet to create massively scalable businesses.”

Australia’s ‘Big Four’ Bank ANZ Integrates Contactless Payment Feature

The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), has announced it will implement China's UnionPay contactless payment feature QuickPass to ANZ electronic funds transfer at point-of-sale terminals and ATMs. From CT:

“China's UnionPay is moving forward with its global expansion plans, announcing yesterday it had concluded a deal with ANZ that would find the bank implementing UnionPay's QuickPass contactless capability to 90,000 ANZ EFTPOS terminals across Australia.”

Verifone Mobile Money Pairs With Ericsson’s Wallet Platform

Verifone and Ericsson have announced a global partnership agreement. As part of the agreement, the Verifone Mobile Money Retail Enablement software suite will be integrated with the Ericsson Wallet Platform to bring expanded financial options to markets where access to Internet or traditional banking may be difficult. From Ericsson:

“The global partnership agreement will make it possible for Ericsson’s customers to offer a range of contactless near field communication (NFC) and tap-and-pay services at POS.”

Visa Europe Expects Mobile Payments to Triple by 2020

Visa Europe recently conducted a survey and concluded that one in four Brits expect to use their mobile phone for daily payments by 2020. This would triple the number of people currently using mobile for regular payments. From Digital Money Times:

“One in four respondents has high expectations of taking mobile payments to the next level. In fact, they see no problem in spending up to 50 GBP — or more — on a weekly basis using their mobile phone.”

A Chicago-Based FinTech Initiative Gave Out $3M Total to 9 Financial Services Startups

The Center for Financial Services Innovation, the organization behind the Financial Solutions Lab, has announced the winners of its first startup competition. A total of US$3 Million was awarded. ChicagoInno reports:

“The startups each received $250,000 in capital, along with additional resources, and the winners included Digit, a San Francisco-based app that automatically allocates a user's funds from checking to savings by analyzing their spending habits, and Propel, a Brooklyn-based platform that streamlines the food stamp application process.”

First-Ever iPhone App Released for Trading Every ‘Major’ Digital Currency

ShapeShift became the first exchange to allow the trading of all “major” digital currencies via an iOS app. The launch of the app coincided with the announcement of iOS 9. CT reports:

“The app will extend the ease of use which ShapeShift has sought to optimize in order to give customers an experience with less friction while trading in real time. It can be downloaded and freely used without the need for an account, username, password or even email address, with conversion being done almost instantly following deposit of funds and submission of a recipient address.”

Rhombus Lets Businesses Accept Payments by Text

Rhombus, a new text-to-pay service that allows people to make payments by texting a special contact number, is looking to change the mobile payments conversation. The system, which is powered by Stripe, has seen US$400,000 in transactions to date. From TechCrunch:

“Unlike Venmo the system doesn’t require an app. Instead, users simply text a special business number and all of the transactions are performed between the customer and the business.”

LHV Bank Uses Blockchain Tech to Issue Receivables Claims

Estonia's LHV Bank is utilizing blockchain technology for an experiment that will see it issue €100,000 worth of "cryptographically protected" receivables claims against the bank. Finextra reports:

“LHV says that Cuber (Cryptographic Universal Blockchain Entered Receivables) is technically a new kind of certificate of deposit that can be used as a building block for innovative financial products.”

Russia Expected To Legalize Bitcoin P2P Transactions

According to a leading Moscow newspaper, Russia’s Central Bank may soon allow and regulate transactions in bitcoin, as well as perform other operations with cryptocurrencies. CT reported:

“The Central Bank has historically been more open to Bitcoin than Russia’s Ministry of Finance. Next week, they will meet with financial market representatives to discuss how to approach cryptocurrency as a whole in Russia.”

When Will Mobile Payments Reach Tipping Point?

Most analysts would agree that mobile devices (smartphones) are used for a very small percentage of U.S. retail transactions today. But everyone foresees mobile payments as becoming the mainstream alternative to carrying a wallet. The only question is when. From The Financial Brand:

“In January 2015, a study conducted by ITG Investment Research found that Apple Pay accounted for 1% of digital payment dollars, while Google Wallet accounted for 4%.”