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Not so fast on distributed ledgers? Banks are generally excited about the potential of distributed ledgers such as blockchain to power cross-border payments, real-time processing and other functions such as trades, but the technology is not mature enough yet for full deployment, according to an executive from Bank of Japan. Finextra quotes Shigehiro Kuwabara, an executive director at BofJ, as saying distributed ledgers should not replace centralized systems, at least not yet. Kuwabara said banks should have a better understanding of the technology, noting that most of blockchain's development is coming from outside the banking industry at as startups and established IT companies. The executive also noted a recent attack on DAO, a blockchain-powered virtual currency fund. DAO was hacked by crooks who exploited the blockchain's "smart contract" (automatic payment trigger) to steal tens of millions of dollars by "rewinding" the payment records to digitally "recover" money, something Kuwabara said would not be possible in a traditional system. Other financial technology experts such as CCG Catalyst's Paul Schaus have also argued that blockchain and distributed ledger are longer-term initiatives, recommending an incremental approach.

Image: Bloomberg News
Image: Bloomberg News

Mastercard bots in Turkey: Mastercard's foray into chatbots has thus far included a collaboration with Facebook, and the card brand hopes to expand its game through collaborating with Turkish mobile retail company Getir to offer "conversational commerce." The partnership will enable consumers to chat with a bot via Facebook Messenger and make single click purchases from Getir through Masterpass. Users type Getir in the search section on Messenger, chat with the bot and make a payment after selecting an item. Getir sells about 600 items for delivery. Mastercard is also building out its restaurant and hospitality payments technology through Masterpass and its Qkr mobile app.

From the incubator to the world: Sensibill, which got its start as part of a university-run program for technology entrepreneurs in Toronto, has attracted VC funds for an international push. The company, which automates receipts, has raised $17.3 million from investors including Information Venture Partners and OpenText Enterprise Apps to add the U.S., U.K. and Australia to its market base. The four year old company works with banks, including TD and Scotiabank, to embed e-receipts into banking apps for consumer and business banking. The company uses artificial intelligence to add actionable insights to inform merchant decisions on products, return policies and product categorization.

YoYo staffs up for U.K. merchant push: Mobile payments and marketing company YoYo has hired payments and financial services technology veteran Simon Moran to help boost its merchant acquisition strategy in the U.K. He will also be responsible for building a market for YoYo in the corporate and education sectors. Moran, who will be vice president of commercial at YoYo, was most recently a general manager at PayPal and part of the company's senior leadership committee in the U.K.. Over the past 17 years, Moran has also served in senior positions at Visa and American Express.

From the Web (powered by Wiser)

Can Zelle Replace Venmo? Banking Giants Fight Back.
Crowdfund Insider • Jessica Pham
Does “Can you Zelle me the payment?” have the same ring to “You can just Venmo me?”

Earnings Outlook: Costco earnings: Analysts think a membership-fee hike is coming
MarketWatch • Tonya Garcia
Analysts think Costco will install a membership fee hike at some point in the next few quarters.

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