5.31.17: 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:
Barclays redefines mobile shopping: Barclays is testing a Grab+Go concept that lets grocery shoppers use their phones to scan products as they shop. The test is currently taking place at the bank's London headquarters, with plans to test it at a high-street partner within the next year, according to Engadget. The idea is to use it at small shops and convenience stores, where consumers might pick up only a few items rather than a full week's supply of groceries, the article says. This makes sense, given the issues Amazon has had with its own checkout-free model store, Amazon Go, which has had issues handling larger volumes. Barclays is well known for its ambitious experiments in mobile payments, including wearables and a Pay by Bank app powered by VocaLink's Zapp.
Square adds remote pay in the U.K.: Three months after first setting up shop in the U.K., Square is launching its virtual terminal service, which allows merchants to receive payments via computer in addition to using Square's mobile hardware. Finextra reports Square hopes to reach contractors, professional service providers and other businesses that don't collect payments directly from customers. The U.K. is Square's fifth market, following the U.S. Japan, Canada and Australia, and is considered a major chance for Square to extend its brand given the high number of small businesses in the U.K., and the potential to expand to other European markets.
Was Windows XP safe all along? The chaos spread by the WannaCry ransomware may have left one audience unexpectedly safe: Windows XP users. Microsoft ended support for the older Windows XP operating system in 2014, issuing almost no public security updates since; this status had led many to assume XP would be especially vulnerable to WannaCry. But rather than lock up files, the WannaCry malware's most common strain simply fails to take over the targeted machine, instead causing the computer to crash and leaving its files unencrypted, The Verge reports, citing research from Kryptos. Researchers cautioned that their test focused on the common method of replicating and infesting WannaCry targets, and that systems could still be compromised by an attacker who manually installs WannaCry or uses another method entirely to hack the outdated operating system.
ICO for financial inclusion: Omise has already raised nearly $18 million from venture capital companies such as SBI, Sinar Mas and Ascend, but it's seeking cryptocurrency for its next round. Thailand-based Omise, which offers technology designed to encourage financial inclusion, hopes to raise $19 million by selling its own currency, OmiseGo, reports TechCrunch, which says it's the first "initial coin offering" for a company with traditional venture backing. The virtual currency will fund a network that enables transfers and payments without a bank account, with steep discounts on transaction fees. Under terms of the ICO, 65% of all coins will be released during the sale, with 20% retained by Omise for future expenses and 10% for the company's staff. The remainder will go to people who already own Ethereum's Ether coin to generate interest, according to TechCrunch. Omise's offering comes about a week after Kik, a Canadian messaging company, raised funds through a similar ICO structure.
From the Web
Alibaba's 'new retail' plan gets teeth
China Daily | Wed May 31, 2017 - E-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is penetrating deeper into the offline sector to build its "new retail" model. It spent an estimated but unspecified amount of over HK$630 million ($80.88 million) for an 18 percent stake in Hong Kong-listed Lianhua Supermarket Holdings Co Ltd on Friday. Post the deal, which was announced by Lianhua, Alibaba is the second-largest shareholder in the former.
China to implement cyber security law from Thursday
Reuters | | Tue May 30, 2017 - China, battling increased threats from cyber-terrorism and hacking, will adopt from Thursday a controversial law that mandates strict data surveillance and storage for firms working in the country, the official Xinhua news agency said.
Canadian fintech Wave raises $24 million from RBC and other investors
CNBC | Wed May 31, 2017 - Toronto-based Wave, a Canadian financial technology (fintech) firm that offers financial management software to small businesses, has received $32 million CAD ($23.8 million) in capital from investors including the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Exhibition Capital and National Australia Bank (NAB).
More from PaymentsSource
Employee training's not enough to stop ransomware
A ransomware attack can be a reputation killer. The institution’s reputation can contribute heavily to the bottom line. Every second of downtime means lost transactions. Every byte of data lost could impact key accounts.
Why a gold-plated credit card may not be as outrageous as it sounds
In the elite card sector, issuers have been aggressively honing their rewards programs and offering hefty bonuses to those who switch. It's a golden opportunity to win the long-term spending of a wealthy customer base, but only if banks can keep those customers on board after the sparkle fades from that initial offer.
Are ATMs sitting ducks for WannaCry-style cyberattack?
When WannaCry ransomware recently froze thousands of computers running on older versions of Windows, I wondered about ATMs.
First Data's CFO: CardConnect will fast-track our transformation
Processors are investing billions of dollars to build huge menus of tools for retailers that may no longer have the time to work with multiple vendors. These transformations are years in the making, and each investment or acquisition has the potential to dramatically change the competitive landscape.
Food for thought: Amazon's grocery ambitions and the limits of digital commerce
After a short test among Amazon employees that began in March, AmazonFresh Pickup went live last week in two Seattle locations. This is the latest example of Amazon’s continued push into the world of physical retail, competing head-on with online-to-offline grocery pickup programs by retail behemoths such as Walmart and Kroger.