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

Apple gets tough with big Australian banks... Apple is fighting back in its battle against Australia's largest banks, which are seeking to join forces in negotiating terms to support Apple Pay. NFC World reports Apple is petitioning the Australian government, saying the group of banks are "not interested in promoting competition in mobile payments" in the country. Apple also says the banks' request to collectively negotiate with third party wallet providers does not provide any "persuasive evidence to substantiate the public benefits they propose will arise from the authorized conduct" and allowing the banks to "form a cartel" will not result in the outcomes the banks seek.


Bloomberg News
Bloomberg News

...and cuts a deal with small Australian banks: While Apple squabbles with the big banks in Australia, it has reached an agreement with Cuscal, a payments group that reaches more than 30 credit unions and smaller banks, to support Apple Pay in the country, according to 9to5mac. Cuscal includes Credit Union Australia, Teachers Mutual Bank Limited and People's Choice Credit Union. The collaboration covers 4 million users and is expected to expand as digital financial services advance at the credit unions and small banks. In a statement, Craig Kennedy, Cuscal's managing director, said he hopes his company's partnership will encourage Australia's major banks and credit unions to resolve their differences with Apple.

Business family balance: A British startup has developed a multi-user account that allows families and businesses to share and manage their money. According to Finextra and other European technology wires, Soldo enables the account holder to define a network of spenders, with each getting access to a wallet app and a Mastercard debit card. Financial technology veteran Carlo Gualandri, who set up one of Italy's earliest online banks, is the founder of Soldo, which will be available in the U.K. and Italy initially. Soldo, which is not a bank, has built its own cloud-based technology to power its app, and will be regulated by the U.K.'s FCA as a electronic money transfer company. The startup would appear to be tailored for the small business owners, a traditionally underserved segment that often uses consumer financial services to manage their business needs.

Overstock votes for blockchain: As blockchain uses proliferate, Overstock.com's blockchain subsidiary, Medici Ventures, has added SettleMint to its portfolio investment companies, reports EPR Retail News. SettleMint develops distributed ledger technology, most recently releasing SettleMint Ballot Box, which records voting via the blockchain. “Two years ago we identified six functions that will be fundamental to this new age, one of which was voting. Among SettleMint’s several great attractions to Medici Ventures’ capital has been their early work on blockchain voting," Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock told the retail website. "The immutability and universal accessibility of the blockchain make it the perfect technology for achieving higher confidence in the democratic process, for everyone.” Overstock's core business is online retailing, and the company has long been a big bitcoin supporter. It was one of the first retailers to accept bitcoin, and has also provided incentives to partners and staff for using virtual currency.

From the Web (powered by Wiser)

Apple Promotes Apple Pay on Web With Exclusive Holiday Offers
MacRumors • Joe Rossignol
Following the launch of Apple Pay on the web on iOS 10 and macOS Sierra, Apple is now offering a selection of exclusive holiday discounts and benefits in order to entice customers to use the mobile payments service online. Some of the...

What You Need to Know About Mobile Payments in Taiwan: Market, Industry and Consumer Behavior Analysis - Research and Markets
BusinessWire
DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "What You Need to Know About Mobile Payments in Taiwan: Market, Industry and Consumer Behavior Analysis" report to their offering. Driven by passion and effort of numerous global companies in mobile payments,...

Mobile payments technology and contactless payments explained
Business Insider • Andrew Meola
The rise of mobile payments technology truly began in 2014 when Apple Pay hit the market. At the time, it was the only major mobile wallet out there. But in the last two years, mobile wallets have flooded the market with offerings...

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