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:

Uber's 'mass transit': Uber's impact on the payments industry is far and wide, and is now extending into commuter benefits. Uber has expanded its collaboration with employee benefit company WageWorks to enable pre tax payments for commutes via the ridesharing service, reports VentureBeat, which adds the service is expanding beyond New York to include Boston, Washington, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Denver, Atlanta, Miami and New Jersey. WageWorks’ commuter benefits traditionally include buses and train fares, making this a coup for Uber and a potential competitive play at transit authorities. Through the program, company employees pay for Uber with a WageWorks Commuter Prepaid Mastercard, WageWorks Visa prepaid commuter card or TransitCheck QuckPay Prepaid Visa card. When booking through these cards, Uber connects to a car that seats at least six people.

Bloomberg News

A watch with a bill: Google's latest developer preview for Android Wear includes apps that allow billing, according to TechCrunch. Users authorize in-app billing by entering a four-digit PIN into the watch. Google is also releasing a new API that sends watch users to the Google Play store to install smartwatch apps. The technology brings the company closer to offering full payments functions for "connected" devices that can also be worn, such as watches or gloves. Google is also expected to include NFC payments in its updated Android Wear platform which is still not available to the broader public.

Facing Payments. As biometrics appear to be gaining steam for authentication, Sumitomo Financial Group is piloting technology that uses snapshots of users' faces to actually make payments, reports Finextra. The technology, from NEC, matches a stored headshot against against an instant mugshot to execute transactions, with payments deducted from the users' salaries. About 1,000 staffers from the card and banking division will participate in the tests, which will be conducted in the company's cafeteria.

Microsoft powers Asian blockchain group: Microsoft will collaborate with AMIS and the Industrial Technology Research Institute of Taiwan to form a blockchain consortium that operates off of Azure, according to Cryptocoinsnews. The technology giant has also enlisted banks such as Ubon Financial, Cathay Financial Holdings, MegaBank, KGI, Taishin and CTBC Bank for the R3-style group. AMIS uses distributed ledger technology to streamline authentication and combat money laundering, and the banks hope to use this tech to grow payments and other online banking apps off of internet connected technology.

From the Web (powered by Wiser)

Scottrade Bank Expanding Mobile Payment Solutions to Personal Banking Clients
ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Scottrade Bank announces a roll out of the Android Pay and Samsung Pay to its personal banking clients.

Cyberattack on Quest Diagnostics breaches 34,000 patient records
Healthcare IT News • Jessica Davis
Hackers gained access through the company’s MyQuest by Care360 app on November 26.

Flexible Features Speak Loudest in Loyalty Programs
Nielsen Newswire • Quinwi02
Consumers are faced with a dizzying array of retailers vying for their attention, and a retail loyalty program can be a determining factor for where they decide to shop. In fact, 72% of global respondents agree that, all other factors equal, they’ll...

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