01.10.17: Your morning briefing

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Welcome to the new PaymentsSource Morning Briefing, delivered daily. The information you need to start your day, including top headlines from PaymentsSource and around the Web:

Yahoo's Alibaba stake will spin off after acquisition: If Verizon's complicated and bumpy buyout of Yahoo is completed this summer as expected, Yahoo's investment in Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba will live on under a different name, according to an SEC filing on Monday. Yahoo owns about 15% of Alibaba and about 33% of Yahoo Japan, and these assets will be rolled into a publically traded company called Altaba. The rest of Yahoo will roll into Verizon. Alibaba has performed strong, as e-commerce expands in China despite a sluggish overall economy, and it's added security in anticipation of a U.S. expansion. After the Verizon/Yahoo deal, the Yahoo board's size will be reduced, and several key executives will depart, including CEO Marissa Mayer and co-founder David Filo. The Verizon deal has not gone smoothly for Yahoo, as a pair of data breaches that exposed names and email addresses of more than a billion accounts reportedly left Verizon with cold feet, enough to potentially renegotiate the terms of the deal.
More capital for the 'gig economy': The rise of contract workers tied to app services is changing the way people are getting paid—and that means lots of payment companies are putting money into ways to make paychecks more efficient, flexible and digital. The latest company to draw investment is Activehours, a Palo Alto-based alternative payroll company, which just raised $22 million in Series A funding led by Matrix Partners. TechCrunch reports Activehours, which has partners such as Sears and Uber, is aimed at unexpected expenses such as auto repairs. Employees can withdraw money from earned but as-yet-unpaid hours at any time without being charged overdraft fees or interest. Instead, users are suggested to leave a "tip" that they think is fair for the service. Activehours joins other companies that have made investments in the co-called "gig economy" in the past few months, including Mastercard and Visa, and Tipalti, a company with a model similar to Activehours.

Amazon, FreshDirect add food stamp support: Amazon and FreshDirect are among the companies supporting a government pilot program that enables families who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to buy groceries from online services in communities that are underserved by grocery chains, according to Engadget. Other retailers include Safeway, ShopRite, Hy-Vee and Hart's local grocers. The program will be available in Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Washington, though participants will have to cover the e-commerce delivery charges, and the program will not cover all items sold at these stores.

A tech company that's leaning into Brexit: As many U.K. financial technology companies weigh their future in the country given its pending departure from the European Union, Aon has launched Brexit Navigator, a product that's designed to help organizations measure their risk and impact of Brexit. Finextra reports Navigator is an interactive tool that evaluates a company's risk and opportunities given the changing environment, realigns risk management based on the organization's risk tolerance, and performs tests to measure and ensure resilience given potential future changes.

From the Web (powered by Wiser)

Interoperability and Financial Inclusion: The Regulator’s Role
CGAP • Kate Lauer, Olga Tomilova
Payments interoperability enables different payment infrastructures and financial service providers to effect payments between customers. In doing so, interoperability expands the reach of transaction accounts and retail payment instruments, making them more useful for end-users. Payments are an essential financial service in...

Macy's restructuring to focus on digital
Business Insider • B.I. Intelligence
Department store chain Macy’s will close 68 of its 880 store locations as part of a company-wide restructuring that will shift more resources to...

8 retail technology predictions for 2017
CIO • Sharon Goldman
Shoppers opened their pocketbooks wide over the holidays in 2016, pushing retail growth estimates (the Wall Street Journal reported the fastest growth rate since 2005) and consumer confidence to new heights — with e-commerce a particular bright spot with over $110 billion...

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NovoPayment adds payment power to Facebook Messenger bots
Miami-based NovoPayment, a payment provider with broad reach in Latin America, has upgraded its platform to support corporate bots enabling consumers to conduct person-to-person payments and other transactions within Facebook Messenger, the company said in a Jan. 9 press release.

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