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:
IBM's 'cloud blockchain' moves forward: IBM has introduced its "blockchain as a service," a public cloud designed to help users in industries such as health care, government and financial services build their own blockchain networks, TechCrunch reports. IBM has been developing the service for more than a year as part of the open source Hyperledger Project, which includes JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, State Street, Swift, Cisco, Intel and the Linux Foundation. TechCrunch reports IBM has added a new set of security services designed to lure enterprise users, enhancing safety while offering the easier access provided by a cloud service. IBM also reportedly added SecureKey Technologies as a client, which is using the technology to test a digital identity network for banks in Canada.
Saks' open pages: Consumer information for tens of thousands of Saks Fifth Avenue customers has been stored publically visible in plain text, according to a report in BuzzFeed News, which contends the digital unit of Saks' corporate parent, Hudson's Bay Company, left unencrypted information out in the open. The information reportedly includes email addresses and product codes for items consumers expressed an interest in buying, along with phone numbers in some cases. Each entry also includes a date and a time, according to BuzzFeed, which also reports the Saks site presents some pages over unencrypted connections, leaving online shoppers' information vulnerable to hacking over open WiFi networks. BuzzFeed reported the pages had been taken down, and quoted a Hudson Bay spokesperson who said it is moving quickly to resolve the situation.
An app store for music royalties: Moving money through the music business, a complex system that includes fans, producers, record labels and artists, has proven to be a tough market to automate. But there are some signs of progress. That's attracting more startups, such as Voltra, a digital store that sells and plays music, and enables artists to receive all of the revenue from streams and purchases of their music. The Verge reports Paolo Fragomeni, a collector and musician who owns more than 4,500 LP records and a thousand 45s, founded Voltra with Aprile Elcich. Voltra, which the founders consider an alternative to Apple Music and Spotify, is free to download, and users create a payment account to either buy music; or listen to an entire song for free, then pay a small fee for the next ten plays of that song, after which the listener has purchased the song.
Morning in India: India has seen a lot of challenges in the past year, largely due to the government's sudden and dramatic replacement of most of the country's currency. But that hasn't impacted the country's overall sense of optimism. Mastercard's Well-Being Index found India's score of 75.0 is the highest in the Asia Pacific region, ahead of Phillippines (73.0) and Indonesia (71.4). The card brand, which uses the measurement of consumer sentiment, perceived security and general outlook on the future to inform international expansion strategy, found the well-being scores in developing markets were much higher than in developed markets in the region. Japan's score was 50.4 and South Korea's score was 52.1. Mastercard attributes these lower scores to what it calls a "culture of overtime" and high levels of work-related stress in the developed markets, factors it says are less prevalent in developing economies.
From the Web (powered by Wiser)
Mastercard Customers Can Soon Make Phone Payments at Bars and Restaurants
Skift • Associated Press, Ken Sweet
There are probably bigger annoyances than mistakenly leaving your credit card at a bar after closing time. But it's not pleasant, and it's nice to see Mastercard doing something to alleviate the issue.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Features Might Include Potential Game-Changer For Samsung Pay
The Inquisitr News • Lorenzo Tanos
The latest rumors on the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8’s features suggest that the flagship device will come with an advanced form of security for mobile payments, including the company’s own Samsung Pay.
Smartphone boom driving jump in digital payments in the Philippines
The Straits Times • Raul Dancel
In the Philippines, cash is still king.
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