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VocaLink's 'digital debit' spreads across the U.K.: As U.K. regulators consider VocaLink's future as a Mastercard subsidiary, the company has been racking up client wins for its mobile technology. It has signed HSBC and first direct, HSBC's online banking subsidiary, to Pay by Bank, VocaLink's account-linked mobile payment service. HSBC joins Barclays, Bank of Scotland, Halifax and Lloyds as Pay by Bank clients, giving VocaLink the business of most of the country's largest banks. The feature allows users to make 'digital debit' payments through their mobile banking app, with payments coming directly from their bank account. The regulatory hurdles to Mastercard's VocaLink acquisition have been primarily over ATM competition, since VocaLink is the U.K.'s largest supplier of ATM technology. U.K. regulators have given a preliminary approval to Mastercard's proposal to open some of VocaLink's assets to outside competition.

Bloomberg News
Bloomberg News

Inexpensive crime: Distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS), which are designed to overwhelm web servers with high volumes of activity to create a vulnerability, have been responsible for attacks on payment processing sites as varied as Russian banks to Amex and Dwolla and PayPal and Amazon. For crooks, the cost benefit analysis is also quite attractive. Research from U.K. technology consultant Kaspersky found these attacks can cost as little as $7 per hour, enabling crooks to earn about $18 per hour in "profit." The research firm also reports many common protective measures are not helpful, including firewalls to secure DNS servers. Kaspersky also reports attacks can quickly flood systems with traditional firewalls, and adds the most common DDoS methods are now a common part of most hackers' toolkits.

Touchscreen charity: Charitable fundraisers lose tons of money each year to a form of cart abandonment; it's often too hard for donors to actually execute the transaction. That's led payment technology developers to seek ways to improve processing, generally through the use of contactless card-not-present transactions. This week, Australian bank ANZ and Ingenico announced a collaboration to enable ad displays to accept payments. Consumers can make payments by tapping contactless cards on the screen displaying fundraising content. The two companies demonstrated the technology this week at an industry show, setting up a screen to accept $5 to $30 donations for The Smith Family children's education charity.

Chinese cross-border play gets green lit: The Bank of Lithuania has given a non-restricted Electronic Money Institution License to IBS Lithuania, a European branch of IBS Holdings, a Hong Kong-based financial technology company. Finextra reports the regulatory approval will enable IBS to provide payments across the entire EU, giving a boost to the company's multi-currency settlement service. It has already entered into agreements with several European banks to enable payments and settlement between Europe and China, with businesses able to open accounts by the third quarter of 2017. IBS expects to add other regions in the future. Finextra reports the strategy is aimed at winning a share of the business payments market as the Chinese's "One Belt One Road" strategy to increase trade with the EU takes shape.

From the Web (powered by Wiser)

Don't force people to use tap and go cards, banks are told
Daily Mail • James Salmon Business Correspondent, The Daily Mail
MPs have put pressure on the Financial Conduct Authority to close a security loophole which allows criminals to make ‘tap and go’ payments on cards months after they have been cancelled.

Train, trolley and bus tickets go mobile in San Diego County
San Diego Union Tribune
Have you ever raced for the trolley only to wrestle with the ticket machine while your ride rolls away? Breathe deep. There’s some relief on the way. Starting on Thursday, transit users around San Diego County will be able to use their...

How to Improve Mobile UX with Digital Wallets
Business 2 Community • Kaleigh Moore
Today, there are more than 2.32 billion smartphone owners around the world. These devices aren’t just for browsing social media, texting, and making calls. They take owners beyond mere communication and act as resources for consumers who are finding and researching products...

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