Interstellar and Velo Labs Join Forces


Today, Velo Labs and Interstellar announced that the Interstellar team, based in San Francisco, CA, is integrating with Southeast Asia-based Velo Labs, under the leadership of Mike Kennedy and with the ongoing support of its partner organizations, Stellar Development Foundation and Lightnet Group.

The strategic partnership between Interstellar and Velo Labs, which began in January 2020, set out to revolutionize international payments. This latest move pushes the relationship closer, bringing the combined strengths and ecosystems of the two organizations — Interstellar team’s knowledge and expertise of the Stellar blockchain and Velo’s established partnerships across the Southeast Asia region — to help build a global settlement network that enables faster, cheaper and more transparent cross-border payments.

Over the course of the last year, with the support of the Interstellar team, Velo has accomplished significant milestones, including the issuance of Velo Tokens on the Stellar network, the listing of Velo Tokens on major exchanges (KuCoin, VCC, OKEx, MXC), the development of the Velo Protocol with core functions (Digital Credit Issuance System, the Digital Reserve System, and the Hermes Warp Protocol), and the completion of its first live transactions using its Federated Credit Exchange network in December 2020. Together in the year ahead as a unified organization, they’ve set out a roadmap to build market-leading solutions for individuals, businesses, financial institutions, and their customers. The company also aims to drive greater adoption of the Velo protocol and increase the number of transactions over the Stellar DEX and Velo FCX.

Mike Kennedy, the current CEO of Interstellar, will take the helm as CEO of Velo Labs. Kennedy was the former CEO and Founder of Zelle.

Mike Kennedy, CEO of Velo Labs, said: “Interstellar has been focused on revolutionizing international payments with the Stellar blockchain technology, specifically in Southeast Asia. Velo and Interstellar joining teams is a natural progression of that work and will accelerate our shared vision to drive implementation and adoption throughout the region. We’ve already accomplished so much together and I am proud to lead this team through the next phase of our growth.”

Chatchaval Jiaravanon, Chairman of Velo Labs: “This announcement is a pivotal point in our long relationship with Interstellar. It signifies the culmination of our core development phase and the commencement of our growth and evolution phase. Working together as one company will enable us to quickly expand Velo’s ecosystem and continue innovation on the protocol to meet our growing list of partners’ needs.”

Tridbodi “Beam” Arunanondchai, Vice Chairman of Lightnet, said: “As our work has progressed over the last year, the opportunity has become clear — we are in a strategic position to provide unprecedented innovation, especially for cross-border transactions, in Asia. To best tap into that opportunity, it is time to bring our combined strengths under one roof. With Mike’s proven leadership in payments and his team’s technical and strategic blockchain expertise at Velo, we can deliver solutions faster to our growing list of customers and partners.”

Jed McCaleb, Founder of Interstellar and the Stellar network, said: “This is a significant step for the Stellar ecosystem, with potential to drive more anchors to the network, creating new on/off ramps in Asia and business opportunities for both Velo and Stellar communities. It ultimately moves us closer to the future we want to see, where Stellar is connecting global financial infrastructure so that it’s faster, more affordable, and more accessible.”


Zelle Network® Exceeds One Billion Payments in 12 Months, Setting a New Record for the Payments Network


Early Warning Services, LLC, the network operator behind Zelle®, today announced that during the past 12 months (September 2019 – September 2020), the Zelle Network processed more than one billion payment transactions. In Q3 2020, the Zelle Network processed 323 million transactions, totaling $84 billion in money sent — an increase of 17% and 18% quarter-over-quarter, respectively.

“We continue to grow our network, welcoming financial institutions of all sizes. Today, more than 1,000 banks and credits unions are currently contracted to participate on the Zelle Network, including 731 that are live today and processing transactions,” said Al Ko, CEO of Early Warning Services, LLC. “Zelle is available to more than 140 million consumers in their mobile banking apps or in the Zelle app, and is used for the most important life essentials such as sending contactless payments to local businesses and money to friends and family in need.”

Consumers have increased their use of Zelle significantly in the past 12 months, adopting the service for an evolving set of use cases. In its recent Zelle Consumer Payment Survey, the Zelle Network found that nearly three-quarters of consumers surveyed were most likely to use P2P services to provide financial aid to friends and family since the onset of the COVID crisis.

The Zelle Network also saw more than $4.5 billion sent to small businesses and nearly half a billion dollars sent by companies to consumers via the Disbursements with Zelle service.

Partnerships Help to Increase Digital Financial Literacy
With more consumers shifting banking behavior online, Zelle has partnered with leading social change organizations to offer free educational tools. Through its partnership with EVERFI, Zelle has empowered thousands of high-school students in the United States with online financial literacy classes, and, through the nonprofit Older Adults Technology Services

(OATS) Zelle has hosted online community learning sessions on to safely use digital banking tools, including using person-to-person (P2P) payments.

“As the pandemic continues to impact consumer behaviors, it’s more important than ever to help those communities new to digital banking,” said Rose Corvo, Chief Marketing Officer at Early Warning. “This year, we have partnered with OATS and EVERFI and continue to invest significantly in consumer education on how and when to use Zelle, which has helped with adoption but, more importantly, safe banking behaviors.”