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Android Pay cozies up to banks: Google's Android is collaborating with several banks, including Bank of America, Bank of New Zealand, Discover, mBank and USAA, to allow the banks' consumers to add payment cards to Android Pay from within their mobile banking apps. Google's prior practice has been to negotiate deals with banks to add Android Pay from inside Google's app. The new deal should make it easier for consumers to enroll. The participating banks' customers add cards to Android Pay with a single click and then use the app for contactless, online and in-app mobile payments. "This latest collaboration with banks expands Android Pay's capabilities as an open platform, and moves us closer toward our goal of empowering mobile payments everywhere," said Pali Bhat, global head of payment products for Google, in the company's announcement. "We're continuing to integrate with additional mobile banking apps."
Brexit chases Transferwise: There's some data that suggests the impact of Brexit on the U.K. tech market isn't as severe as first thought, but Transferwise says otherwise. Reuters reports the cross-border payments company will move its European headquarters outside of the U.K. by March 2019 because of the uncertainty tied to the U.K.'s departure from the European Union. Transferwise's global headquarters will remain in London, though new hires in Europe will be at the company's new offices, at a location to be determined. Taavet Hinrikus, who co-founded Transferwise in London in 2011, told the wire service he and his founding team would not chose Britain for a startup today because of Brexit. One of the biggest problems, according to Hinrikus, is the loss of passporting rights, which give European Union companies access to the entire bloc of countries from a single base.
ECB's bearish on blockchain: In a setback for the expanded growth of distributed ledgers to power a broad transaction networks, the European Central Bank has stated blockchain is not mature enough to be part of a full market infrastructure. Econo Times reports the ECB does acknowledge benefits such as reduced back office expense, fast record keeping and shortened settlement times. The ECB has a problem with blockchain's level of safety, which it says is insufficient for the scale required by its infrastructure. Blockchain is the underlying technology that powers bitcoin, the popular virtual currency that many banks have shied away from. Yet banks have warmed to blockchain for other purposes, such as settlement and trading. The ECB said it would continue to monitor the technology's development, and has not ruled out using blockchain in the future.
Ant in Indonesia: While it battles to complete its acquisition of MoneyGram, Ant is expanding its base in the Asia Pacific region. BBM reports Ant is collaborating with Emtek to launch a mobile payments and financial services venture in Indonesia. Emteck is Indonesia's largest messenger app, with more than 60 million monthly users. The companies will jointly power e-commerce, mobile payments, merchant services and other features designed to reach the country's underbanked market. Ant has also made recent investments in Paytm to increase its share in India, and has supported mobile commerce ventures in South Korea and Thailand.
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