The information you need to start your day, including top headlines from PaymentsSource and around the Web. In today's briefing:

Japan's big 'faster payments' venture: A consortium of Japanese banks that plan to build a real-time payments platform has nearly tripled size in less than three months. The collaboration, which will use technology from SBI Ripple Asia, launched in August with 15 banks and this week reports 42 members, which is beyond even the consortium's goal of 30 banks, according to technology wire Finextra. Over the next few months, the group will discuss how to manage domestic and foreign exchange transactions in an environment that includes blockchain and other new technology, and build a 24-hour and real-time remittance infrastructure. The group has set a March 2017 deadline for a proof-of-concept before a full commerce build. SBI Holdings also plans to launch a digital currency exchange and the Japanese government has legalized virtual currency. There has already been some adoption of virtual currency in Japan--Mitsubishi, for example, uses it as part of a corporate wellness program.

Image: Bloomberg News
Image: Bloomberg News

Mobile edges out cash: Even though mobile payment apps are still not mature, the technology is causing cash to dip in popularity globally, according to BetaNews, which cites research from NTT Data, which polled 2,000 consumers and 300 business executives. One third of consumer expect mobile money to dominate inside of the next ten years, and about half of consumers expect cash to decline in the next three years, with the U.S. and Europe leading the way. But businesses are not so sure--40% of the executives say payment tendencies will not change much in the next ten years, and 31% of business executives don't envision mobile money in their business. And 41% of business that don't accept mobile payments say they believe their consumers prefer cash or check.

Bitcoin on the rails, sort of: Switzerland's train operator SBB is testing a service that enables riders to exchange Swiss francs for bitcoin at train ticket machines, Engadget reports. Users scan a QR code with their phone to retrieve between 20 and 500 francs (about $505) worth of bitcoin. However, the two year trial in partnership with SweePay has some obvious limitations, and appears to be more about what happens outside the station. Consumers can't use bitcoin to buy train tickets, and the purchase require a Swiss phone number, which limits the pilot to mostly Swiss residents. The pilot is attempting to measure the appetite for bitcoin in Switzerland, where despite a relatively welcoming regulatory environment, few stores currently accept the digital currency, according to Engadget.

Legal aid for techies: Financial and payment developers are in high demand, enough for companies like PayPal to relocate offices to be near them. British law firm Slaughter and May is looking to curry favor with innovators by offering them free legal counsel. In November, the London firm will open its Fintech Fast Forward program, seeking applications from startups in insurance, compliance, data, transaction and distributed ledger technology, according to LegalWeek. Each business that's accepted will receive £30,000 in free services. Slaughter and May also recently adopted artificial intelligence, which is gaining in enterprise use in industries such as payments.

From the Web (powered by Wiser)

Future of Payments: Four Trends to Know in Payment Processing (AAPL, GOOG, GOOGL, SQ, WMT, JPM)
Business Insider • Andrew Meola
The payments industry has been evolving rapidly, especially in the last few years with the growing shift to digital. The global payments ecosystem is constantly changing as new startups try to change the way we move money around the world. Mobile wallets.

For gas-station operators, chip card upgrade is a pain in the pump
Chicago Tribune • Olga Kharif
Jared Scheeler faced a tough decision this year: Spend more than $100,000 to upgrade the payment systems at his gas pumps in North Dakota or be left without protection against counterfeit cards. By October 2017, Scheeler and every other gas-station operator.

Apple Pay comes to Yandex.Money customers via Mastercard
The Paypers
(The Paypers) Yandex.Money, a large online payment service in Russia, brings its users the mobile payments service from Apple, Apple Pay.

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Volume and open tech play a role in cutting cross-border payment costs
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John Adams

John Adams

John Adams is Executive Editor of PaymentsSource.