3.1.17: Your morning briefing

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Welcome to the PaymentsSource Morning Briefing, delivered daily. The information you need to start your day, including top headlines from PaymentsSource and around the Web:

Cloudy skies: The payment services app Venmo was reportedly among the sites that suffered delays and other problems when Amazon Web Services experienced intermittent outages on Tuesday. CNN reports Venmo and other web services such as Slack, Trello and Sprinklr were slow or down at times for most of Tuesday afternoon, as were image and content delivery sites that rely on AWS to support their content. Even sites that detect web outages, such as Down Detector, were at times down themselves. The problem was with Amazon Web Services' S3 service, which is a storage site that houses data, web applications and software that users access through the internet. S3 serves primarily the eastern U.S., though the outage had a downstream impact on sites in other areas. To consumers, AWS is a less well-known part of Amazon's business, but more than 150,000 websites use it, including giant sites like ESPN.com, aol.com, and financial institutions such as BBVA's Simple, FINRA and Pacific Life. Not all of these sites reported problems on Tuesday, though numerous wire services also reported the SEC's website suffered periodic slowdowns because of the AWS glitch.
Setl lands in Paris: Fresh off an investment from Deloitte, London-based blockchain company Setl is opening an office in Paris to drive growth in the Eurozone, according to Finance Magnates. Pierre Davoust, the former deputy head of the Financial Markets Unit at the French Treasury, will lead the Paris office as Setl's CEO of France. The two year old Setl's specialty is supporting payments and settlements for multi-asset and multi-currency institutional payments. It hopes the Parisian office will provide access to the expertise it will need to comply with future regulations or changes in the local financial markets.

Dash's Wall of Coins: The cryptocurrency Dash is expanding quickly, fast enough to spark an alliance with an online marketplace to enable quick buying and selling. Dash, which in the past two months has grown from a market cap of $78 million to $233 million, is collaborating with Wall of Coins, which will allow people to buy Dash with "traditional" cash at banks and financial services companies such as JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo. Dash's investors currently have to use a digital exchange using other cryptocurrencies to buy and sell Dash, a method that makes the new collaboration timely given Dash's growth, which now makes it the market's third largest cryptocurrency. Wall of Coins enables users to buy virtual currency with cash in a P-to-P model. Users are instructed to deposit cash at a local financial institution, then receive Dash or Bitcoin in the digital wallet of their choice.

Mobile money's big time: Starting with MPesa's effort to use mobile phone accounts to build a financial services market in Kenya a decade ago, mobile money has expanded exponentially, the GSMA reports. The association says there are now more than half a billion registered mobile money accounts across 92 countries, and in December alone, mobile money operators processed 1.3 billion transactions, an average of 30,000 per minute. There are also 35 mobile money services that have more than one million accounts. One of the early efforts, MPesa, has also grown recently, collaborating with Walmart and expanding into Europe.

From the Web (powered by Wiser)

Atlantic Pacific Processing Systems Partners with CT-Payment
U.S.-based Atlantic Pacific Processing Systems (APPS) strikes partnership with Canadian firm CT-Payment, broadening payment processing products and services to merchants in both countries.

Consumers Voice Preferences, Wishes in Ways Technology Power Payments
Global Hub • Rebecca Kaufman
Digital wallets continued to gain prominence in smartphones and laptops across the globe and dominated the discussion..

Nearly Half of Fast-Growing Companies Offer In-App Purchase and Payment Capabilities
New research, titled "The Future of Money," reveals a relationship between mobile payment acceptance and business growth.

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