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

(Mostly) good news for Square: Square is showing signs of life, though one of its most important revenue streams may be at risk. The mobile point of sale company reported third quarter revenue of $439 million and a loss of 9 cents per share. That's better than analyst expectations of a loss of 11 cents per share and revenue of $431 million. Gross payment volume was up 39% to $13.2 billion, and it processed more than 35,999 business loans totalling $208 million, up 70% from last year. Given Twitter's struggles, Square's performance is good news for Jack Dorsey, who's CEO of both companies. But Square's positive results do some with a catch. Square Capital, the company's financing product, faces potential challenges from elsewhere in the industry, reports TechCrunch. The Lending Club scandal—its CEO resigned this year following lending abuses and reporting problems—has cast a pall over the entire alternative lending space, the technology site reports, saying investors are cooling on online lenders. If that's the case, it would force Square to use more of its own funds to operate its lending operation and potentially take on more risk to boost a product that already faces renewed competition as the traditional bank lending industry recovers from the last decade's crisis.


Square CEO Jack Dorsey
Square CEO Jack Dorsey Bloomberg News

Refrigerators with WiFi: Web appliances are set for fast growth, with connected appliance shipments on pace to pass 200 million globally in the next five years, up from 17 million currently, according to Juniper Research, which cites the additional cost of basic connectivity is less than $10. The refrigerator in particular is being singled out as a potential "hub" of a smart kitchen. The data's good news for companies that are already adopting the technology, such as Mastercard, which is the payments brand for Samsung's connected refrigerator; and the online grocer FreshDirect, which is developing new uses cases for connected refrigerators.

Financial inclusion efforts pay off: Payment cards are growing rapidly in the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, according to technology wire Finextra, citing data from London research and consulting firm RBR. Cards in the Middle East and Africa grew 13% between 2014 and 2015; while Asia Pacific cards expanded 10%, according to RBR, which attributed the expansion to financial inclusion measures such as automating salary and government payouts. The number of cards is on pace to reach 17 billion by the end of 2021 from 13 billion at the end of 2015. Debit cards are growing faster, making up 70% of payment cards globally, up from 68% in 2014 and on pace for a 72% share by 2021. That's another sign the "banked" population is expanding, since debit cards are normally an entry-level financial service.

Instagram's e-commerce future: Instagram's "influencers" often place a purchase link into a post when taking a photo of something for sale, but this process can go much further. Instagram is rolling out in-app purchases, the Facebook unit has announced. By next week, some iOS users will see shoppable photos with an icon in the lower left corner. Instagram is partnering with about 20 retail brands at the start, including J.Crew, Kate Spade and Warby Parker, with plans to eventually expand to more retailers and enable purchases from outside the U.S. Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest also allow purchases within the sites.

From the Web (powered by Wiser)

Future of payments: 4 trends to know in payment processing
B.I. Intelligence
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.

New Whataburger App Will Allow Mobile Ordering
CBS St. Louis • Cbs Dallas, Fort Worth
The app gives customers one free reward for every five visits to a Whataburger restaurant.

Regulator accused of letting down poorer bank customers
BBC • Brian Milligan
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is accused of letting down the financially vulnerable in its recent report on banking.

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Gamers rank payment speed, convenience higher than security: Report
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