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:

First Data acquires CardConnect for $750 million: First Data hopes to enhance its ability to integrate payments with other merchant services through an acquisition of processor and technology company CardConnect, which is already one of First Data's largest distribution partners. Following the acquisition, First Data will receive all outstanding CardConnect common stock for $15.00 per share, or about $750 million, in a transaction that's expected to close in the third quarter. The deal will add CardConnect's partner management tools, accelerate First Data's ISV initiative, and bring First Data technology to payment systems that are integrated with enterprise resource planning programs. CardConnect processes about $26 billion annually from 67,000 merchant customers. “This transaction is consistent with our strategy of integrating and scaling innovative technologies across our distribution footprint to better serve our partners and customers,” said First Data Chairman and CEO Frank Bisignano in a press release. “CardConnect is a long-standing First Data distribution partner and we are excited to incorporate their state-of-the-art solutions across some of our most important strategic initiatives such as partner-centric distribution, integrated payments, and enterprise payments solutions.” The CardConnect acquisition would add scale to First Data's longstanding strategy to become a more tech-savvy and diversified merchant acquirer, a strategy that saw it buy e-commerce technology specialist Acculynk earlier this year.

Frank Bisignano, chairman and CEO of First Data.
Frank Bisignano, chairman and CEO of First Data. Bloomberg News

The voice of cash: Two paper money lobbyists are joining forces, as the ATMIA has joined the International Currency Association. The ATMIA is the international association for the ATM industry, serving more than 9,000 members in 67 countries, covering ATM manufacturers, banks, deployers and solution providers. The International Currency Association just launched "Cash Matters," an international initiative to draw attention to the role the association says cash can play in expanding economic growth and encouraging financial inclusion. Both associations have expressed opposition to cash-reduction policies in countries around the world, particularly the linkage of cash to money laundering and tax avoidance that's often used as a reason for governments to remove bills from circulation and incentivize digital commerce. "In the light of sustained attacks on the role of cash from the anti-cash lobby, our trade association is very happy to join the ICA to ensure that the voice of cash remains as strong as possible," said Mike Lee, CEO of the ATMIA, in a press release.

Quantum blockchain: The security of blockchain is a moving target, with arguments that it makes money movement both safer and riskier. The Russian Quantum Center has weighed in, developing a blockchain that's designed to enable data transfer with a high level of hacking protection. Gazprombank, one of Russia's largest financial institutions, has tested the blockchain and the Quantum Center is now pitching the technology to other banks, reports HPC Wire. Blockchain is considered vulnerable to Quantum computers because of the computer's speed and ability quickly destroy digital signatures. The Russian Quantum Center combines quantum key distribution with cryptography and other technology to create distinct blocks that are harder to hack, according to the Russian Quantum Center, which adds the technology is widely available in Europe and the U.S.

How vulnerable are pacemakers? There are 8,000 bugs that hackers can use to exploit the programs that adjust and monitor pacemakers from four different pacemaker manufacturers, as well as access information that could potentially be used to compromise other records. Engadget reports researchers have also discovered pacemakers don't authenticate programmers. Researchers from WhiteScope found that for as little as $500, they were able to purchase test devices that could hack into pacemakers. Researchers also found that doctors' monitoring systems don't require usernames and passwords when pacemakers connect to them. They found other sensitive information stored in pacemaker tools, such as Social Security numbers, names, phone numbers and medical conditions, information that could be used to compromise the patient's non-medical financial records. Matthew Green, an Assistant Professor for Computer Science at Johns Hopkins, said requiring passwords would merely lead to a "post-it note on the device listing the password," so every doctor's' staff member can access the data they need.

From the Web

Alibaba leads $1b funding for Ele.me
China Daily | Sat May 27, 2017 - Alibaba Group Holding Ltd plans to lead an investment round of at least $1 billion in Ele.me, one of the largest players in China's food-delivery service sector. People familiar with the deal said that funding from Alibaba and its financial arm, Ant Financial Services Group, will value Ele.me at between $5.5 billion and $6 billion.

Carnival Corporation to offer Alipay payment services onboard its fleet in Asia
Reuters | Fri May 26, 2017 - Carnival Corp says Costa Cruises will launch Alipay beginning in June 2017, with plans to expand to additional ships in Costa Asia fleet later this year.

Bitcoin rival Ripple is suddenly sitting on billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency
CNBC | Fri May 26, 2017 - Blockchain start-up Ripple built a digital payments network for real-time financial transactions. It suddenly has billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency on its balance sheet.

More from PaymentsSource

PayPal's merchant connections are a lesson for the entire industry
PayPal has worked to build support from retailers and consumers, positioning it well in the competitive e-commerce game, writes Lauren Freedman, senior vice president of digital strategy at Astound Commerce.

How Pizza Hut and payments are fueling China's retail revolution
Part of the huge shadow Ant Financial casts is its appetite for global investment, but at the same time it's making moves that are kicking off major changes to how payments are handled in its local market in China.

8 milestones in ATM innovation
Automated teller machines have come a long way since Barclays rolled out the world’s first ATM at a branch in north London 50 years ago. Here’s a look at some of the milestone moments and key innovations in ATM technology over the past five decades.

Dubai bank opens an e-mall to bridge cash gap
UAE consumers often pay for Internet purchases via cash, and Dubai-based bank Emirates NBD aims to bridge that gap with its own e-commerce site to drive more transactions through its payments platform.