12.07.16: Your morning briefing

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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:

Apple Pay's slow comeback: Apple Pay generally underperformed its first couple of years, though it has been building support. The app is now accepted at 35% of U.S. retailers, according to 9to5Mac, which reports Apple is expected to add Gap stores in early 2017. Apple Pay is on pace to reach two-thirds of the largest 100 U.S. retailers during 2017, the site reports. There are still major holdouts, however—Target, Walmart and a variety of gas stations and restaurants still do not support Apple Pay, and the app did not share in Black Friday's market-wide digital payments spike.
IBM dives deeper into blockchain: IBM is already looking at blockchain to extend transaction speed and ease compliance management, and is now extending its outreach to developers through a new ecosystem, reports Venture Beat. The ecosystem will provide guidance to developers building off of the distributed ledger technology, and IBM will also offer a spot on its marketplace, in effect building a blockchain "app store," the magazine reports. IBM launched its own blockchain earlier in the year and has also collaborated with UnionPay and Goldman Sachs on blockchain projects.

U.K. opens competition for payment projects: The U.K. government has shown a propensity to act fast to respond to payment trends, and its new changes to technology rules promise to open the door for myriad technology companies. Finextra reports the U.K.'s Payments System Regulator will allow third party provides to compete for national payment projects, putting pressure on bank-operated ventures such as Bacs, Faster Payments Service and the Link interchange network. The government is concerned about common ownership of the payment system and infrastructure by banks, and it hopes to foster more competition.

N26 globe trots: The German smartphone financial startup N26 has added Spain, Italy, Greece, Ireland and Slovakia to its markets, reports Finextra. N26, which offers an eight-minute sign up process, real time payments, instant notifications and budgeting, is now available in 17 countries. The additions have led the app to include new languages, video content and ID technology. The company, which recently added voice-activated transactions through Siri, relies almost entirely on external technology partners to lower its overhead and feed its strategy to disrupt banks. Its collaborators include TransferWise and it's also in the midst of integrating with LendingClub and Amazon.

From the Web (powered by Wiser)

Walmart tightens grip on online grocery
Business Insider • B.I. Intelligence
Walmart is launching a new line of convenience stores, called Walmart Pickup and Fuel, which will offer free, same-day pickup of online grocery orders.

Retailers are pushing omnichannel for the holidays
Business Insider • B.I. Intelligence
This story was delivered to BI Intelligence "E-Commerce Briefing" subscribers. To learn more and subscribe, please click here. Traditional retailers in the US are turning to omnichannel tools more than ever for the holiday season in order to maximize brick-and-mortar performance, while...

Android contactless payment app goes live in Ireland
IrishExaminer.com - World • Irishexaminer.Com
Thousands of smartphone users will be able to use their device to instantly pay for items in stores across the country from today.

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