The Nilson Report

Issue 1145 | Jan 2019

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Companies featured in this issue include:

Credit Card Outstandings in the U.S.

Visa Wants B2B Cross-Border Payments Company

Card Transactions Projected Worldwide

Self-Sovereign Identity Using DLT

Pine Labs Merchant Services

IATA Financial Services

Fingopay Vein ID Biometric Authentication

Ingenico ePayments in Russia

Investments & Acquisitions—December 2018

MoreFun POS Terminal

EMV Solution for Gas Pumps

JCB QR Code Payments in Asia

Citi Rewards+ Credit Card

Mastercard Streamlines Corporate Logo

U.S. General Purpose Cards, Outstandings vs. Purchase Volume

Investments & Acquisitions—December 2018

Projected Growth of Purchase Transactions Worldwide

Outstandings as a Percentage of Purchase Volume on U.S. General Purpose Cards 1990-2018

Investments & Acquisitions—December 2018

A total of 43 acquisitions, joint ventures, and investment transactions occurred in 12 countries in December 2018. The top five deals with disclosed values are listed below.

1. 1. Earthport, United Kingdom
Visa, $252.0 mil.
2. 2. Plaid, United States
Series C, $250.0 mil.
3. 3. Earnin, United States
Series C, $125.0 mil.
4. 4. Danal, South Korea
Boku, $112.0 mil.
5. 5. Cross River Bank, United States
Venture round, $100.0 mil.

Full access to the Investments & Acquisitions—December 2018 table is available when you subscribe to The Nilson Report.


Self-Sovereign Identity Using DLT

Distributed ledger technology (DLT) permits replication, sharing, and synchronization of digital data across multiple sites, countries, and/or institutions. And it can operate without any central administrator or centralized data storage. A start-up called Evernym took those attributes and created a new model for validating the identity of individuals, organizations, and devices while preserving privacy and, if required, anonymity. The concept is referred to as self-sovereign identity (SSI). Individuals and organizations maintain control of their identities independent of any intermediary and use SSI to prove any aspect of their identity at any time from any place. 

In 2016, Evernym turned over all designs and code to its DLT model for self-sovereign identity to a not-for-profit entity called the Sovrin Foundation, which governs the Sovrin Network based on open source code and open standards. 

Any person, organization, or device on the Sovrin Network communicates with others without usernames and passwords, one-time passwords, or any other means of security commonly found with online transactions. Entities can share different types of data, including identity information, in a private and decentralized way. 

The Sovrin Foundation is currently comprised of more than 50 businesses called stewards, including IBM, Cisco, Absa, Swisscom, NEC, InfoCert, and Digicert. The foundation is actively seeking new participants worldwide in multiple sectors, including health organizations, banks, nongovernmental organizations, and insurance companies. 

U.S.-headquartered Evernym, which has raised $23 million in funding, now operates as a for-profit company selling digital products and services that leverage the Sovrin Network. The company’s more than 80 employees, who are located in the U.S., the U.K., Serbia, and Russia, include experts in cryptography, blockchain, digital privacy and trust, and DLT. 

Barclaycard, the largest credit card issuer in the U.K. based on outstanding receivables, recently joined Evernym’s 12-month Accelerator Program to test the use of SSI. For payments, particularly ecommerce, SSI offers the promise of considerable reductions in fraud. 

Other companies in the program include pharmaceutical firm Novartis, the International Red Cross, and Irish Life Assurance. Participants get a set of tools to build their own products and services. They can also connect with the other participants. 

Recent proof-of-concept tests on the Sovrin Network have included ticketless airline flight bookings, border crossings without passports, car rentals, processing of refugees, and governments issuing credentials to citizens. 

The provincial governments of Ontario and British Columbia in Canada have used the Sovrin Network to issue credentials to more than 1.4 million businesses to facilitate registrations, permits, and licenses. Alberta Trust Bank in Canada worked with IBM and Evernym to reduce the time it takes to open an account to less than a minute, down from more than four minutes. Credit unions in the U.S., through their jointly owned blockchain technology company CULedger, are developing MyCUID using Evernym technology.

Jamie Smith is Strategic Engagement Director at Evernym, Inc. in London, U.K., 44 (754) 537-5945,,

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