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Amazon will refund unauthorized childrens' purchases: The Federal Trade Commission will soon release details on a refund program that Amazon will operate as compensation for not warning parents that "free" apps contained in-app purchases. The refunds total about $70 million in purchases made between November 2011 and May 2016. A federal court in 2016 ruled Amazon did not do enough to inform people that these potential purchases were embedded in free apps, nor did it provide safeguards against such purchases. "This case demonstrates what should be a bedrock principle for all companies. You must get customers' consent before you charge them," said Thomas B. Pahl, acting director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a release. The FTC in the past has also taken action against Apple and Google for similar infractions.

IMAGE: Bloomberg News

ATM of things: ATMs are increasingly seen as a channel ripe for innovation. To address the trend, Diebold Nixdorf is introducing a 'banking concept,' Essence, that is meant to accommodate increasing consumer comfort with connected commerce, or the growth of the "Internet of Things," according to Diebold Nixdorf. The machines include touchscreen display and are powered by software and include touch functions that resemble smartphones and tablets, such as swipe, scroll and 'smart zoom.' There are options for PIN and Near Field Communication authentication, as well as an EMV reader, and is also designed to operate within a wall in an attempt to reduce the machine's footprint.

Dueling virtual currencies: As governments start to build virtual currencies, partially in an attempt to manage the risk of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, two distinct models are starting to emerge. BTC reports R3, a bank-run consortium that's collaborating on standards for virtual currencies, is working with experts to weigh the pros and cons of each version: A public network version called Fedcoin and a private, permission version called CAD-coin. Fedcoin, which has its roots in Canada and has been studied by Federal Reserve officials, uses a bitcoin-style model but pegs the currency to the U.S. dollar, which would make it a hybrid of cryptocurrency and government-issued money. The Bank of Canada and large Canadian banks are studying the second model, CAD-coin, which requires users to pledge cash as collateral into a central account. This account then transfers CAD-coin into the user's account. It's still early stage, and there has been no endorsement as both models are still considered to be works in progress. R3 experts say both still have challenges, particularly the threat of a "bank run" in the case of a currency sell-off.

Ad screener buys Flattr: Eyeo, the corporate parent of Adblock Plus, has acquired Flattr, a micropayment company, for an undisclosed amount. The deal brings together two companies that often find themselves at the center of controversy. Ars Technica reports Adblock Plus engages in "constructive ad blocking," which is designed to enable users to block certain types of web ads and filter other content to match the user's preferences. The German company is frequently the subject of lawsuits from web content publishers, though Ars Technica reports all of these suits have been unsuccessful. Flattr is a digital "tip jar," allowing users to make microdonations to people who create digital content. Flattr has been in disputes with Twitter over advertising policy, and has also continued support for Wikileaks even as mainstream payment companies abandoned the news leak organization. Eyeo, which claims Adblock Plus has more than 100 million users, says the combination of Adblock Plus and Flattr will give consumers more control over the internet.

From the Web (powered by Wiser)

The Evolution Of Point-Of-Sale
Forbes • Communityvoice, Editors, Forbes Technology Council
It's just a matter of time before it's harder to pay with cash than your phone.

How To Use Your Payment Tool To Increase Company Sales
CBS St. Louis • Cbs Chicago
One key factor of sales consistently overlooked by small business owners is the method of payment itself.

Tencent Just Passed Wells Fargo as the World’s 10th Biggest Company
Fortune Magazine • Scott Cendrowski
Thanks to a booming online payments business.

More from PaymentsSource

Mastercard's plan for transit goes beyond fare payments
Transit systems provide a clear use case for mobile payments, allowing commuters to avoid lining up at ticketing machines when they're already in a rush to get to their destination. But many of the perks of mobile wallets, such as targeted offers, don't apply to them.

The post-EMV fraud spike is landing at merchants' feet
The global e-commerce market continues to expand. By 2019, it’s expected to be worth $2.4 trillion. But as the market grows, so does the opportunity for fraud (online fraud was up by 30% last year), and the sinister ways by which fraudsters commit their acts.

Ingenico adds checkout games to 'win' products instead of paying
Ingenico ePayments is giving merchants a new way to engage consumers at the checkout by offering a choice of games enabling participants to win merchandise instead of having to pay for it.

Western Union adds Apple Pay for in-app transfers
Western Union Co.’s mobile app customers can now use Apple Pay to send funds originating in the U.S. to more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, including domestic bill-payments.

John Adams

John Adams

John Adams is Executive Editor of PaymentsSource.