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Which companies stand to benefit from a cashless world?

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14/07/2017
Visa is reported to be considering offering incentives to UK businesses to go cashless after the success of a similar scheme in the US.

Under the scheme, reported in the BBC, 50 small companies in the US received $10,000 if they only used cards.

It shows the extent to which electronic payments are growing around the globe. Kames Capital says this is creating opportunities for investors.

Ryan Smith, head of ESG research at Kames and co-manager of the Kames Global Sustainable Equity fund, says: “From a sustainability standpoint, electronic transactions provide greater transparency, which in turn leads to greater formalisation of the economy and higher tax revenues. In general, the less cash-based a society the less corrupt – a fundamentally sustainable outcome.”

He highlights three companies benefiting from the move to a cashless society:

Vantiv Inc.

“Vantiv is a US listed company with exposure to the whole electronic payments value chain and provides services right the way through the transaction process from when you use your card to pay for something in a shop through to telling your bank.”

Tencent

“Tencent operates China’s largest social networking and entertainment platform which includes the country’s second largest online payment network, TenPay. TenPay users can transfer money, make payments (via scanning QR code) and settle credit card bills. China’s financial sector is dominated by state-owned banks. E-finance is introducing new players to the market and is expected to accelerate new loan market growth.”

Alphabet (Google)

“Google’s peer-to-peer payments service, Google Wallet, allows users to send and receive money from their mobile or desktop computer with no cost to either the sender or receiver. Google’s ‘unconventional’ corporate governance structure is well known. But its owner/founder structure and strong balance sheet together allows for a more forward thinking strategy than most other companies that equity investors can access. The very premise of the renaming of Google as Alphabet (or more correctly, the former becoming a subsidiary of the latter) is to allow Alphabet to be forward looking and take ‘alpha-bets’.”

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