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Wells accelerates IoT innovators: Wells Fargo has added two new companies to its startup accelerator, with a focus on Internet of Things deployment and security, according to Business Insider. This brings the total number of startups in the program to 13. ProxToMe provides proximity-based authentication for Internet of Things payments and other transactions. Its technology is based on Bluetooth and replaces traditional card-based verification with a contactless user experience. The other company, Uniken, is a cybersecurity software company that protects users' digital relationships from zero-day exploits, credential compromises and man-in-the-middle attacks. The companies receive up to $500,000, mentoring and guidance from Wells Fargo technology and business leaders, as well as an opportunity to test concepts for corporate and retail customers.

Bloomberg News

Transferwise profitable, but probably won't be a bank: Transferwise has started earning a profit. The company, which is valued at about $1.1 billion, is currently earning about $10 million per month in revenue and is growing at 150% per year, TechCrunch reports. Transferwise, which specializes in cross-border transfers, plans to offer new financial services in the near future; it recently signed new contracts to provide online verification in tech-rich Singapore and payments via Facebook Messenger. The company told TechCrunch it does not plan to apply for a bank license, meaning the new financial services would likely be Venmo alternatives such as mobile P-to-P, rather than becoming a challenger bank.

Wipro loyal to blockchain: Distributed ledgers such as blockchain are expanding from transfers and trades to new uses such as loyalty marketing, and Wipro hopes to cash in. Wipro has released a loyalty rewards management blockchain, part of a major expansion of the company's activities in distributed ledgers. The company's Blockchain Innovation lab uses a cloud structure to fast track development for pre-defined uses cases, bringing in clients as part of the process. Wipro has already developed blockchains for cross-border payments and anti-money laundering compliance. Wipro has also introduced new blockchains for business payments, collateral management, P-to-P insurance for the sharing economy, anti-counterfeit risk and supply chain management.

Travel team-up: There is a lot of innovation going on in how banks and retailers offer rewards, and Delta is stepping up its game by teaming with another transportation company: Lyft. The airline now lets passengers link their Delta account to the Lyft app to earn SkyMiles on the ground, The Verge reports. Similar to how a credit card works, Lyft passengers can earn more points based on their behavior; passengers earn one mile per dollar spent on normal rides, and three miles per dollar spent travelling to or from an airport, the article notes. Uber has its own partnerships with Starwood hotels, United Airlines and American Airlines, according to The Verge.

From the Web (powered by Wiser)

B of A Tracks Customs of P2P Users As Banks Ready To Take On Venmo
Xconomy • Bernadette Tansey
More than 70 percent of people surveyed recently think that children now under age 10 won’t be writing any checks to pay their debts when they grow up—even when the folks they owe are close friends or family members. It’s not that...

How Blockchain Could Help Emerging Markets Leap Ahead
Harvard Business Review • Rob Knight
It could be applied to government, finance, and law.

More from PaymentsSource

Fraudsters doing more with synthetic IDs
As U.S. counterfeit card fraud declines with the advance of EMV, researchers say fraudsters seeking richer ground are reviving a familiar card scam based on creating fake credentials, known for many years as synthetic identity fraud.

If payment providers compete, do merchants win?
For years, William Shatner plugged Priceline, an online portal to take costs out of travel by pitting hotels and airlines against their rivals. A similar idea is taking shape in the market for payment providers.

Mobile ID authentication simplifies secure consumer access
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Why Universal's TapuTapu payment band could stand out
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Chevron picks WEX for fuel card processing in Asia-Pacific
WEX Card Australia has announced two agreements with Chevron International to handle the petroleum retailer's fuel card processing in five countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

Daniel Wolfe

Daniel Wolfe

Daniel Wolfe is editor in chief at PaymentsSource and a contributing editor at American Banker.