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:

Digital money in China: The People's Bank of China has successfully tested its own digital currency, making it the first central bank in the world to do so, according to Chinese media agency Caixin. The report said the trial included transactions and settlements using the internally developed digital currency. A group of commercial banks participated in the test, including the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and WeBank. The central bank will next set up a research unit for digital currency, including people with expertise in advanced data management, cryptography and blockchain. The central bank's digital currency platform will eventually connect to the Shanghai Paper Exchange to operate a national platform for digital currency. The new currency will enter circulation along with paper bills.

Image: Bloomberg News
Image: Bloomberg News

Blockchain bonds down under: Blockchain uses are proliferating so fast that companies like fleet card provider WEX are getting on board before they're even sure about how the technology will be helpful. In Australia, blockchain is advancing as a government bond tool. Financial Review reports Commonwealth Bank of Australia has successfully tested blockchain, with Queensland Treasury Corporation using the distributed ledger to generate a bond offer, view bids, finalize investment, execute payments and settle with buyers. The bond used smart contracts, which automatically paid the bond's coupons to holders at the due date. The bank's blockchain team built the technology in its innovation lab in conjunction with the bank's debt markets team.

Germany wants stable fintech regs: In a volatile political climate where countries are competing to lure financial technology companies away from each other by easing regulations, German is seeking a common regulatory criteria. In a speech at the G20 conference, Jens Weidmann, president of Bundesbank, warned regulatory loopholes could cause lax risk management, which could lead to a financial crisis similar to the credit collapse in the last decade. As Germany assumes the G20 presidency, Weidmann called for a framework that all members would use when regulating financial innovation to create a level playing field.

Scotiabank puts funds into AI project: Beyond some early deployments such as a security project at Mastercard, artificial intelligence is still early stage, early enough that many payment and other financial professionals still lack knowledge about the technology. Hoping to spot new uses, Scotiabank is sponsoring NextAI, a Canadian program designed to encourage young people to develop AI applications. The bank will provide $1 million over the next three years and will provide speakers and support for program participants. The bank in 2016 created the Scotiabank Disruptive Technologies Venture at The Rotman School Management in Canada.

From the Web (powered by Wiser)

Alibaba's success leaves room to innovate
Business Insider • B.I. Intelligence
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba trounced analyst expectations in Q4 2016, highlighting strong growth and performance across the majority of its business segments.

Target's Millennial Focus Gives It a Leg Up for Mobile Payments
The retailer won't be the first big-box store with a mobile payments app, but its young customer base could speed the app's success.

Digital Shoppers Say They'll Switch Retailers if Service Lags
A survey finds that consumers in the UK have high expectations for digital commerce, and a willingness to swap retailers if need be.

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John Adams

John Adams

John Adams is Executive Editor of PaymentsSource.