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:

Six-second hack: Researchers at Newcastle University report they were able to determine the card number, expiration date and security code for Visa credit or debit cards in as little as six seconds. Using what's called the "Distributed Guessing Attack," the researchers found that banks and the card network were unable to detect multiple invalid attempts to obtain data. The researchers used different variations of the cards' security data and fired the figures at multiple websites, and were usually able to verify the necessary security data within seconds. Investigators believe this sort of "guessing attack" may be responsible for the recent Tesco cyberattack. The Newcastle researchers say the the attacks target multiple weaknesses that are not severe in isolation, but present a serious risk when used together.

Payments tech adoption puts China on top: A robust embrace of e-commerce and emerging payment innovation has helped China pass London, New York and Silicon Valley to become the world's top financial technology market, according to DBS and Ernst & Young. DBS attributes the success to favorable regulations that have powered strong growth of companies such as Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu. The government has encouraged a "sandbox" environment that has led to fast development and monetization of financial innovation, unhindered by international influence, DBS said. Consumer adoption has also played a major role, particularly among young people--the report notes 40% of Chinese consumers use new payment methods, a percentage that's far higher than most of the rest of the world.

E-Commerce offsets a currency crisis in Africa: The news has been mostly good for e-commerce, which saw record numbers in the U.S. on Black Friday and enjoyed a spike amid the cash crunch in India. In Africa, technology is booming despite a struggling economy. Jumia and Konga, two African e-commerce startups, both significantly topped their holiday kickoff volume in Nigeria, even though the country is in the midst of a recession and is suffering from currency volatility. TechCrunch reports Konga earned about $17 million during Black Friday, up from about $5 million in 2015. Jumia did not report sales figures, but reported it surpassed 2015's order volume of 140,000 and confirmed 7.5 million website visitors compared to 2015's 2.3 million.

Smartphone "locks" that drain accounts: Crooks are resurrecting an old app that seizes a smartphone, locks the owner out and then drains payment accounts while the user tries to regain control of his or her device. The attack, called Operation Emmental, has been updated to allow crooks to use SMS to control the hacked phone in real time, according to SC Magazine. The malware also manipulates the text message system to confuse the phone's owner, making it harder to figure out what is happening. The malware can also lock and unlock the phone at will, creating more confusion.

From the Web (powered by Wiser)

Inflexible friend
BBC • Kevin Peachey
The boss of Barclaycard says the plastic credit card is being replaced with new technology, so soon we will need nothing to make a payment.

Fintech startups make hay on currency purge, may hire more
The Economic Times of India
E-wallet companies like Paytm, PayU India, MobiKwik, and Freecharge have been seeing significant rise in GMV and the number of transactions since November 8.

WorldRemit Set to Transform Canada’s Remittance Market
TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Leading money transfer app WorldRemit is rapidly accelerating the switch from offline to digital remittances in Canada, announcing that its Canadian customers are sending nearly 60,000 transfers every month. Almost $24bn (CAD 31.6bn) in overseas remittances are sent from Canada each...

More from PaymentsSource

7 of Starbucks' most tech-savvy management moves
As Starbucks prepares to transition its top executives into new roles, it helps to look back on its history in mobile payments and examine how its management structure helped this plan. Here are a few of the key decisions the company made.

Blockchain projects will pay off – 10 years from now
After years of study and exploration, blockchain is set to make its public debut in banking in the coming months through a series of payment-related pilots, though more robust money transfer initiatives may have to wait.

Starbucks won't need Schultz as CEO to keep its mobile dominance
Investors initially jeered Howard Schultz's decision to step down as Starbucks' CEO, though the famed mobile strategy that's helped spur the coffee chain's high performance over the past couple of years doesn't necessarily require the company's founder to be in its biggest office.

OCC grants new charter to fintech firms—with strings attached
WASHINGTON – The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency will start granting limited-purpose bank charters to fintech companies, but intends to maintain high standards for new entrants.

John Adams

John Adams

John Adams is Executive Editor of PaymentsSource.