12.12.16: Your morning briefing

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:

Tesco's account numbering snafu: Tesco Bank's debit cards use sequential numbers, considered a dangerous practice because hackers can sift through thousands of accounts undetected, according to the Financial Times, which cites rival banks as sources and notes that banks rarely use sequential card numbers. The U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority has contacted several other British lenders to see if they are using sequential card numbers, which are easier to hack because each card number a crook guesses would be legitimate after the first one. Tesco, which would not comment to the newspaper, suffered more than $3 million in losses in a cyber attack last month. The bank has not reported what caused the hack, saying its investigation is ongoing.

Image: Bloomberg News
Image: Bloomberg News

Tax cuts for e-payments: India's following up its recent cash crisis by announcing incentives for digital payments. Finextra says the government is waiving sales taxes for low-value online payments and is cutting 10% from insurance payments, rail tickets and highway tolls purchased through the Internet. India is also discounting 0.75% at gas stations for card payments, which should remove two million rupees in cash payments annually, according Finextra. The Indian government earlier this fall replaced about 80% of the country's paper money, a move the government said was designed to fight tax fraud. The move has resulted in a spike in digital payments.

Clearing house seeks fast-pay partners: The sheer size of the U.S. market calls for collaboration to make faster processing initiatives work. The Electronic Clearing House Organization (ECCHO) is looking for "strategic opportunities" that may be available with other payment organizations to power faster payments, reports a CBS affiliate in Dallas, where the ECCHO is based. The organization, which clears bank checks for about 3,000 depository institutions members, aims to respond to the Federal Reserve's efforts to speed payments, as well as comply with other changes at the point of sale.

Chrome 'insecure retail' warnings get stronger: Google is changing the warnings for retail sites it deems insecure, from a "neutral" symbol to a "not secure" warning in the URL bar, according to Engadget, which reports the new warnings are in the Chrome 56 beta. The language will apply to any non-encrypted HTTP page that collects passwords or credit card numbers. Engadget reports Google "toned down" the warnings in 2015 to let more publishers convert their sites, and since that time more sites are fully encrypted. Chrome 56 is expected to be available in early 2017.

From the Web (powered by Wiser)

Research Shows Mobile Banking Lifting Hundreds of Thousands from Poverty
Fortune Magazine • David Z. Morris
Kenya's M-Pesa has helped the poor, and the country's entire economy, while turning a profit.

‘Who buys fish with a credit card here?’ Traders scoff at Goa’s bid to ditch cash
The Guardian • Vidhi Doshi
With the state about to be a test bed for India’s drive to digital payments, alarm bells are ringing in the city of Panjim It’s 11 o’clock, and Laxman Chauhan still hasn’t sold any fish.

Digital payments soar by up to 300% after demonetisation
The Economic Times of India • Pankaj Doval
The wallet companies expect growth to remain strong. “Of the estimated annual personal consumer consumption of $1.3 trillion in India, 90-94% is currently paid by cash, while digital is around $70 billion.

More from PaymentsSource

Left undetected, holiday 'transaction laundering' spikes hurt all year long
With consumers in a spending mood after a long and difficult election season, this year's holiday buying crush is likely to be one of the best in decades, experts say. Already, Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases, both online and off, are setting records among some retailers, and there are still plenty of shopping days before Christmas.

Can tokens build relationships, not just security?
Mobile payment initiatives have largely failed because they focus on changing transactions instead of changing the way consumers and merchants engage with each other, according to Carta Worldwide, which touts new tokens as a way to reverse that.

6 ways Amazon wants to disrupt retail payments
Amazon.com has set the standard for e-commerce with fast delivery, invisible payments and many other perks that keep consumers coming back to its site.

China denies it's imposing new rules on UnionPay casino ATMs
Macau’s government said the daily cash withdrawal limits for mainland China-issued ATM cards is being left unchanged, after a report that the number would be reduced by half roiled casino stocks worldwide.

WorldRemit turns to bank collaboration for African expansion
London-based WorldRemit has extended its digital money transfer service to six additional countries in western and central Africa through a partnership with Côte d’Ivoire-based Guaranty Trust Bank.

French interbank rails tap Gemalto to power mobile payment migration
France's national interbank network will add Gemalto's mobile payment service in an effort to provide a smooth transition to contactless technology.