6.21.17: Your morning briefing

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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:

Here's a tip: Uber's always faced a variety of publicity challenges, but one of the most common and longstanding criticisms is the lack of a tipping function as part of its payments app, though some places such as New York have forced third party ridesharing services to allow tipping of drivers. Uber appears to have bowed to the pressure, announcing it will support tipping. The feature will debut immediately in Seattle, Minneapolis and Houston and will be available across the U.S. by the end of July. Uber's slick user experience—riders enter and exit cars without having to approve payments—has inspired companies in other industries that wish to embed payments into shopping and other functions.
Visa looks for innovation in the Middle East: Visa is expanding its outreach to external developers through a technology program in North Africa and the Middle East. The card brand is asking local programmers and entrepreneurs to propose solutions along three distinct business cases, Zawya reports. Visa is looking for ideas to boost acceptance in stores and through digital channels via the card brand's API. It's also seeking innovations that improve the travel experience in airports and ideas on how consumers can be incentivized through marketing and loyalty programs to select Visa cards at the point of sale. One winner will be picked for each of the three categories and will receive a $25,000 prize. Winners will create a prototype and will meet with Visa executives, with one overall winner receiving an additional $25,000 prize.

More financing for Sequent: The market for tokenization is expected to continue to grow as more companies seek protection for mobile payments. That's helped Sequent draw another $16 million in investment from TIS and existing Sequent investors Opus Capital, SBT Ventures and Jado Investments. Tokenization refers to the process of substituting a "token" number in place of sensitive information during payments, and is part of both Visa and Mastercard's strategy to move more transactions away from plastic cards. Sequent, which also sells technology that's designed to allow merchants to support multiple mobile wallet models, said it would use the new investment to upgrade its core products.

BBVA's biometric play: BBVA's already using "selfie authentication" to verify user identities, and it's now teaming with Spanish technology startup Das-Nano to form Verida, a separate company that will build identity and authentication technology. Veridas will research and produce software to authenticate users through facial, voice, image, document or fingerprint recognition, reports Finextra. The bank hopes the new company will enable identification for staff and customers remotely, which will make it easier to access off-site services and digital transactions. Eduardo Azanza, Das-Nano's founder, will lead Veridas. Founded in 2012, Das-Nano's core products are nanotechnology and emerging user verification technology.

From the Web

A look at Square’s first diversity report and ally training for employees
TechCrunch | Tue Jun 20, 2017 - Square, led by CEO Jack Dorsey, has released its first diversity report, which, not surprisingly, looks very similar to the below-par numbers of other tech companies. But, unlike other tech companies, Square does not “subscribe to a ‘pipeline’ excuse,” the report states. Square is 36.7 percent female globally, and 57.3 percent white, 6.4 percent black and 5.8 percent Latinx in the U.S. Although Square’s overall representation of people of color is low, there’s greater representation of POC at Square than at companies like Facebook (2 percent black, 4 percent Latinx), Google (2 percent black, 3 percent Latinx) and Twitter (3 percent black and 4 percent Latinx).

Instant bank transfers are coming to PayPal and Venmo
TechCrunch | Tue Jun 20, 2017 - PayPal announced this morning a plan to speed up money transfers between its service, Venmo and users’ bank accounts for those with supported MasterCard and Visa debit cards. This new “instant transfers” service will be available at a rate of $0.25 per transaction, and will deliver funds in a matter of minutes, instead of the day or so it typically takes when using PayPal or Venmo.

Trump Policy Could Cut Remittances To A Million Cuban Families
Huffington Post | Tue Jun 20, 2017 - There is a poison pill hidden in President Donald Trump’s National Security Presidential Memorandum (NSPM) on Cuba that could deprive over a million Cuban families of access to remittances from their relatives abroad—a declaration of economic war on the very people that Trump claims his policy will empower. Section 3(d) of the NSPM redefines “prohibited officials of the Government of Cuba” expansively, potentially including almost a quarter of Cuba’s entire labor force. The significance: Cubans who are “prohibited” are not allowed to receive payments from U.S. persons, and that includes remittances (Cuban Assets Control Regulations, §515.570). Sec. 3.(a)(iii)(g) of the NSPM would seem to protect remittances, but it conflicts with the existing CACR ban on payments to prohibited officials.

More from PaymentsSource

Veteran of a cashless restaurant joins LevelUp to improve data use
Many quick-service eateries are working to make the most of in-app payments, which provide a level of data and interaction that cards and cash can't match.

Merchants are missing China's diverse e-payment trends
Retailers aiming for a long-term and sustainable growth in China inevitably find that a comprehensive channel strategy will need a proactive approach in selecting channels, rather than relying on the one size fits all approach.

EMV and U.S. gas pumps: Just 1.4 million to go
As unattended devices, gas pumps would perhaps benefit most from EMV's anti-counterfeiting tech. They have also been among the most difficult to upgrade, prompting the card networks to give gas stations extra years to get EMV compliant.

TSYS extends credit card pact with U.K.'s Tesco Bank
Total System Services has extended a multi-year agreement to support Tesco Bank's credit card business in the U.K.

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