5.23.17: Your morning briefing
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:
Apple Pay gets bigger in U.K.: Apple Pay can now offer something in the U.K. that contactless cards cannot: a higher spending limit. Apple Pay is no longer restricted to payments of £30 and below, according to The Telegraph, which cites an interview with Jennifer Bailey, the head of Apple's payments business. Over half of U.K. contactless payment terminals can now permit higher Apple Pay transactions, she told the paper, which predicts that the removal of this restriction will lead to more use of Apple's mobile wallet. The £30 limit was in place for contactless cards as a fraud deterrent, as those cards do not use the same level of authentication as mobile wallets. When Apple Pay launched in the U.K. in 2015, it had the support of most large banks but had to wait until April 2016 for Barclays to join the pack. Android Pay came to the U.K. in 2016, and Samsung Pay joined them just this month.
Smart contract coop triples in size: As the R3 blockchain consortium sheds members, another group building standards for distributed ledger technology is expanding quickly. The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance has signed 86 new members, which will triple the consortium's size and add weight to the group's effort to build a foundation for smart contracts, reports Coindesk. Smart contracts, which are automatic triggers for payments and other transactions based on certain terms, are a key part of distributed ledger use cases, since they allow for a faster flow of information and assets. Ethereum is an open source public blockchain platform that was founded by Vitalik Buterin, a virtual currency researcher. JPMorgan Chase, CME Group, BNY Mellon and Banco Santander are among its backers, with Rabobank, ING, National Bank of Canada and the Taiwan Fintech Association signing on later. Ethereum has had its own challenges, including a web theft that forced the initiative to update its security last year.
Not Pandora's pal: When PayPal debuted a simplified blue logo in 2014, it probably never expected to share its design sense with music streaming app Pandora, which unveiled its own simplified blue logo in October. The Verge reports PayPal is now suing Pandora for the similarity, accusing Pandora of deliberately copying PayPal so as to "[latch] itself onto the increasingly popular PayPal Logo as part of its efforts to catch up to its competition," according to PayPal's allegations in the lawsuit. The article notes there are some anecdotal reports of people confusing the logos, and these are included in the filing, but it still calls PayPal's allegations "unusually harsh for a corporate lawsuit."
A compromise on screen scraping?: A squabble over screen scraping is threatening to delay new European data sharing regulations, causing the European Union's financial services division to suggest a compromise. Valdis Dombrovskis, the EU's financial services chief, is calling on the European Banking Authority to reconsider its ban on screen scraping, reports Finextra. The EBA has proposed banning screen scraping in favor of open data sharing as part of the Payment Services Directive (PSD2). Financial technology companies are opposed to this approach, contending it gives banks too much control over data sharing. The banks have countered screen scraping is old technology and newer sharing tools such as application programming interfaces would work better. Dombrovskis has suggested the EBA should not ban screen scraping, but use it as a backstop if the new bank data sharing interfaces suffer a failure. This would protect access for financial technology companies while allowing banks to require third parties to use dedicated interfaces to access data, Dombrovskis said.
From the Web
TransferWise offers foreign currency business accounts, debit cards
Reuters | Tue May 23, 2017 - London-based startup TransferWise has launched a new service in the UK and Europe that will make it easier for small businesses to keep money and get paid in more than 15 currencies, as the company branches beyond its core money transfer business. Similar to having a bank account in multiple countries, the new service will allow small businesses to activate unique account and routing numbers for the United States, UK and the rest of Europe and get paid as if they were a local company, TransferWise said on Tuesday.
Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial enters Malaysian market
China Daily | Mon May 22, 2017 - Ant Financial, the affiliate financial service of China's e-commerce giant Alibaba, entered partnership with 7-Eleven Malaysia on Monday by officially launching the Alipay cashless payment service in over 2,100 stores in Malaysia.
Cyberattacks force millions to cancel bank cards
Times | Tue May 23, 2017 - A record five and a half million people had to cancel a credit or debit card over the past year as the country was hit by an unprecedented number of cyberattacks, a study has found.
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