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:
JetBlue's Wireless takes off: Mobile payments on planes in flight have been slow to catch on, mostly because of the lack of wireless internet. That is starting to change, as JetBlue has completed full fleet deployment of Fly-Fi, the airline's free wireless service, including gate to gate connectivity. The deployment also includes a collaboration with Amazon to stream entertainment and access to the airline's "shop-and-earn" loyalty program. JetBlue has been adding digital payment technology for some time, including an early deployment of Apple Pay to power payments on iPhones and the Apple Watch. Other companies pursuing inflight digital transactions include CellPoint Mobile, which offers a workaround for mobile wallet payments while airborne.
New Android Wear is coming soon: After months of speculation and delays, Android Wear 2.0 is expected to be released in early February, according to the Android Police site. The launch comes as the market for smartwatches is cooling, though Google is still bullish on watches for billing and other uses, reports 9to5Google, which also reports Google has alerted developers of the imminent launch of Android Wear 2.0. The new wearable technology is also expected to include support for Near Field Communication (NFC), the technology that powers contactless mobile payments, as earlier code makes reference to the programming tools required for tap and pay payments on watches.
A Brexit detente for fintech?: The Brexit vote has led to concerns that technology and finance companies would leave the country, as well as attempts from other countries such as France to lure companies away from the U.K. But Belgium is trying a different strategy. Finextra reports the Belgian government has started talks with the U.K. technology agency Innovate Finance about collaboration between the two countries on financial technology. Under the plan, an innovation hub in Brussels would support fintech startups, and would establish a presence in the U.K. to support British technology development. B-Hive, a consortium of banks, insurance companies, transaction companies, technology companies and support businesses, would be the basis for the cross-country collaboration.
Payoneer, Stripe score with investors: Payoneer and Stripe had the second and third largest venture financings in the fourth quarter, according to the National Venture Capital Association's quarterly monitor. Payoneer raised $180 million, while Stripe raised $150 million. OpenDoor, a real estate sales app, had the top deal at $210 million. Overall, venture capital firms invested about $69 billion in the U.S. in 2016, which was down from $79 billion in investment in 2015, though still at the highest levels in the past decade. Researchers say 2017 is expected to remain strong, with investments going into machine learning and other artificial intelligence ventures.
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