Welcome to the PaymentsSource Morning Briefing, delivered daily. The information you need to start your day, including top headlines from PaymentsSource and around the Web:
Did the NSA hack Swift?: The U.S. National Security agency allegedly got access to Swift, according to Reuters, which reports hackers released documents detailing the NSA's actions. The NSA used weaknesses in commercially available software to gain access to Swift's money transfer system through providers in the Middle East and Latin America. Reuters cites a hacking group, the Shadow Brokers, as the source of documentation for the latest Swift breach as well as a series of other recent hacks. According to the Shadow Brokers, some Swift affiliates were using Windows servers that that were vulnerable to exploits. Reuters quotes security expert Matt Suiche as saying the NSA probably used that avenue to access Swift, and also reports Microsoft has patched the vulnerabilities. Swift reported its main network had not been breached, adding that some local messaging systems of client banks had been breached. Swift's systems have also been linked to hacks in Bangladesh and elsewhere in 2016.
Stripe starts publishing: Stripe has launched a quarterly publication geared toward technology engineers. Susan Fowler will serve as editor-in-chief of the publication, which will have columns, interviews and articles that Stripe hopes will encourage knowledge sharing among the community of developers and programmers that use Stripe to build e-commerce technology for small to medium sized businesses. Stripe also hopes to boost its expanding Atlas small business program. Fowler is an author who has published on programming topics, and TechCrunch reports she has worked in programming positions at a number of technology startups, including Uber. Fowler recently wrote about her experiences at Uber, including alleged sexual harassment and the company's response. Fowler did not speak to TechCrunch, which reported legal concerns and an ongoing investigation into Fowler's claims regarding Uber.
Asia Pacific banks skittish about payments tech collaboration: Financial technology startups have been seen as disruptive to traditional banking for years, though banks often wind up collaborating with innovators to speed the adoption of new transaction technology, while the startups get access to a broader addressable market. But there's a particular distrust of financial technology companies in the Asia Pacific region. Finextra reports nearly three quarters of banks would prefer to focus on their own initiatives rather than participate in an industry cooperative. The concerns are acute in the expanding distributed ledger ecosystem, which is driving changes in cross-border payments, investment, back office processes and compliance. Banks and technology companies are starting to cooperate on blockchain initiatives and tests, forming groups such as R3 to share information and development techniques. Citing research from Simmons & Simmons, Finextra reports Asian banks are concerned about the lack of control for individual banks in the groups, as well as the lack of alignment among participants. The banks are also concerned that, despite the cooperation, the resulting solutions would only benefit a small segment of the financial community.
Canada eggs on its money: Canada's central bank embedded an Easter Egg on the website promoting its new ten dollar note. The note celebrates Canada's 150th anniversary of confederation, and as part of the rollout, it set up a website to offer a full view of the bill, as well as information on the famous people who are included as images on the money. By entering a Konami code, a button sequence commonly used to unlock secrets in early Nintendo games, users see a burst of images of the new ten dollar notes, which flow down the screen as "O Canada" plays on the site.
From the Web (powered by Wiser)
Mobile payments struggle to make impact on contactless card use
Telegraph • James Titcomb
The widespread popularity of contactless cards is stunting the adoption of mobile payment services like Apple Pay and Android Pay in the UK, according to research. Just 1pc of British consumers would choose to use mobile payments in everyday scenarios such as...
This Week In Credit Card News: Many Consumers Don't Redeem Rewards; How Profitable Are Card Issuers?
Forbes • Bill Hardekopf, Contributor
What took place last week in the credit card and payment industries
India’s Digital Revolution
The Diplomat • Shannon
On Digital India Day, a look at where India stands in bringing the digital world to its rural residents.
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