3.27.18 Your morning briefing

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The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the Web:

How's Venmo using data?
Venmo is updating its privacy policy to better explain its use of customer data.

The changes, which go into effect March 29, provide more detail on how the PayPal P-to-P unit handles data of former users, how it uses cookies, shares and receives data when users make account connections, and adds a chart to summarize Venmo's privacy practices.

The changes come in the wake of Facebook's privacy breach. PayPal, which recently settled a Venmo transfer disclosure claim with the FTC, did not return a request by deadline.

Ant's CEO on blockchain
Ant Financial, the company behind Alipay, is bullish on blockchain but wants very little to do with ICOs, which CEO Jing Xiandon said is "getting something from nothing" and is similar to the 1990's tech bubble.

Ant, an Alibaba affiliate, views the decentralized blockchain as a major provider of trust for digital commerce, reports Asia Times.

Jing said blockchain can create a multi-party trust system, though there has not been a way to commercialize the model yet, according to the article.

Jet setter
Jet.com, a unit of Walmart, has named former Tesco executive Simon Belsham as its president, a key hire as the company faces pressure from rival Amazon's aggressive moves into grocery and other retail categories.

CNBC reports Belsham will expand Jet.com's online grocery business, drawing on his experience at Tesco, one of the U.K.'s largest supermarket chains. Belsham has also worked for Ocado, a U.K.-based online grocer.

At Jet.com, Belsham replaces Liza Landsman, who has joined NEA, a New York-based venture capital firm that has backed Jet.com.

Bitcoin mining has drawn criticism as an energy drain, creating a potential market for companies that claim energy-efficiency.

Subutai, a cloud computing platform, has introduced a blockchain router that allows users to rent idle computer resources and link to Subutai's P-to-P router to save energy.

The company claims this model reduces mining's "hash rate," or energy usage, since it's drawing on unused capacity from other sources.

Circle's exec suite takes shape
Circle, a fintech that's shifted strategy several times — moving from cryptocurrency to social payments to cross-border payments and blockchain — has added Naeem Ishaq as chief financial officer, treasurer and executive vice president of risk.

Ishaq was most recently CFO of Boxed, a New York-based e-commerce platform, where he was also in charge of several business units. Before that, he was head of finance, strategy and risk for Square. He also served as senior director of finance and strategy at Salesforce.com.

From the Web
In China payment war, Walmart places bet on Tencent
Reuters | Tue Mar 27, 2018 - Walmart Inc has placed a bet on Tencent Holdings Ltd’s mobile payment system, giving the tech giant a boost in its battle with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd for pole position in China’s fast-growing payments market. Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, on Tuesday said it had dropped Alibaba-linked Alipay in all its stores in the western region of the country, after agreeing a tie-up with Tencent to use its popular WeChat payment system.

Brazil caps debit card fees, may limit them further
Reuters | Mon Mar 26, 2018 - Brazil on Monday announced a cap on debit card fees paid by businesses to card issuers and left the door open to curbing them further, in a move to enhance consumer protections at the expense of an increasingly concentrated banking sector. Starting on Oct. 1, so-called interchange fees will be capped at 0.80 percent of transaction values, while averaging no more than 0.50 percent, according to new central bank rules first reported by Reuters in January.

'Delta Biometrics': Fingerprints now give entry to Sky Club lounges
USA Today | Mon Mar 26, 2018 - Delta Air Lines, already an industry leader in the use of biometric technology, is doubling down on the technology. Starting Monday, customers at all 50 of carrier’s domestic Sky Club frequent-flier lounges will be able gain entry by using their fingerprints.

More from PaymentsSource
Chip-and-skin: Payments’ Matrix moment
Microchip implants could be considered the ultimate form of mobile payment — skipping the smartphone altogether in favor of giving people bionic abilities. And a small segment of the population is already lining up to try it out.

Cash or gift card? (Never mind — our AI already knows)
HSBC is letting artificial intelligence software predict the types of reward offers card customers prefer. It's driving up response rates in marketing tests, but the process raises privacy and other issues.

If e-checkout has too many bells, consumers will bail
With smaller screen sizes and increased levels of distractions ranging from a text or a notification, pitfalls in the checkout process can result in more abandoned carts than successful transactions, writes Andre Lyver, director of engineering for financial services at Shopify.

BofA extends tiered credit card rewards to small businesses
Bank of America is giving its small-business credit card customers some of the key features of the credit card rewards it offers consumers.

Corcentric, AmeriQuest streamline B-to-B processing
By aligning, the two companies hope to offer efficiencies in a fiercely competitive business payments market.

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