The information you need to start your day, including top headlines from PaymentsSource and around the Web. In today's briefing:
Big breach in the U.K.: Tesco Bank, the financial services arm of the U.K. grocery chain, has stopped online payments after as many as 20,000 accounts were robbed, according the BBC. Benny Higgins, Tesco's CEO, told the broadcast network he was hopeful that customers would have their money refunded within the next day, adding customers could still use their cards for cash withdrawals, chip and PIN transactions and bill payments. Over the weekend, customers complained about money being withdrawn without permission, cards being blocked and delays in reaching the bank by phone. Higgins said the bank would bear any financial loss from the incident, and did not reveal details behind the theft, notably avoiding the word "hack," calling it instead "online criminal activity." Technology experts said the theft looked like an attack on a vulnerability in the bank's site, or gaining physical access to a branch and then accessing the central system. The Edinburgh-based Tesco has about 7 million total accounts.
McMobile ordering: McDonald's will deploy mobile ordering in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France tne the U.K. by next year, according to Engadget, joining other quick serve chains such as Starbucks, Domino's, Dunkin Donuts, Chipotle and Taco Bell. Starbucks in particular has seen fast growth for its mobile ordering service. McDonald's expects to have mobile ordering active at as many as 25,000 franchises globally by 2018. While McDonald's is a relative laggard in mobile ordering, the chain has been at the fore of other mobile innovation. McDonald's is collaborating with Mastercard on a customer analytics test in Asia that has ties to m-commerce. The fast food giant has also deployed hands-free payments in the Bay Area with Google and was an early collaborator on contactless payment initiatives in Canada and with U.S. telcos.
Card cold war: Russia wants to make its national payments system compatible with China UnionPay, a move meant to counter Visa, Mastercard and other Western brands, Reuters reports. The wire service quotes Dmitry Medvedev, Russia's prime minister, speaking on China Central Television, saying he wants to "harmonize our national payment systems." Russia would be well-served by such a deal--China UnionPay is huge, having nearly 4 billoin cards in circulation, and it has numerous relationships with companies outside China, Apple and Samsung. Russia has been building its own payment system for several years, a move that picked up steam after the U.S. placed sanctions on the country for annexing Crimea. Part of those sanctions included Visa and Mastercard cutting halting support for certain Russian banks, a punitive move that the card networks partially reversed.
No fintech bubble, at least not now: The mobile-driven expansion of payments and financial services technology is not causing an "immediate" threat to international financial stability, according to the Financial Stability Board, a group formed by the G20 after the 2008 financial crisis. Speaking to the Finextra wire service, FSB Secretary General Svein Andresen said it's monitoring the emerging fintech market, adding "We have seen many interesting trends over last few years in fintech. However, it is quite possible that a number of the changes either do not pose new risks or may pose risks that are already effectively regulated." In particular, the group is studying the impact of distributed ledger technology and P-to-P lending to ensure a balance between stability, access and risk, and the impact of new companies on existing financial infrastructure.
Visa Europe tech vet joins MyPINPad board: Steve Perry, the founder of Visa Europe Collab will join the board of multi-factor authentication company MyPINPad, reports the technology wire Finextra. Perry is one of the founders of Visa's European innovation center, and has been with Visa Europe for more than 25 years. Visa Europe has rolled out a number of innovative programs and products over the past couple of years, and payments technology sharing is a large part of the U.S.-based Visa's acquisition of Visa Europe. MyPINPad provides the authentication technology for other payment companies such as VocaLink and Alaric.
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