6.29.17: 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:
PayPal's inclusion play: PayPal has made an undisclosed investment in LendUp, a company that offers lending and financial education to market segments that banks usually overlook because of perceived risk, Reuters reports. LendUp plans to use the infusion to expand its customer base, and it's also looking for ways to collaborate with PayPal on future products. LendUp additionally appointed Carrie Dolan, the former chief financial officer of LendingClub, as an advisor to its board of directors. The five year old LendUp's core product is an alternative to payday lending, using technology to serve consumers with poor or no credit.
Payments pointers: Using a customer's pulse and other biorhythms to vet identity is a concept that has been bouncing around for a couple of years, but it hasn't found solid traction yet. It's getting another try in Norway as payments processor Nets is testing finger vein authentication at the point of sale with Sthaler, a British biometric company, which has used similar technology at music venues and to vet employees for entry. Finextra reports the technology uses a three dimensional map of the consumer's finger veins and produces a natural personal key that's tied to the user's credentials and removes the need for people to enter other details to make a payment. Nets hopes to integrate finger payments as an option for its Dankort mobile payment app.
Worse than ransonmware: The Petya virus that knocked out payment systems in the Ukraine and other computer systems globally is actually a step beyond ransomware such as the recent WannaCry, according to The Verge. While most ransomware demands payments to restore machines, Petya is actually a "wiper" or a program designed to erase what's on the infected computer. Citing the cybersecurity company Comae, The Verge reports the new version of Petya grew out of an older version that was more traditional malware, but the code was changed to destroy disks instead of encrypting, in effect making the payments straight theft rather than ransom. The Verge speculates Petya is more similar to a cyberattack than ransomware but the attackers chose to position the virus as ransomware to "control the narrative."
Plastic for social payments: Just as Venmo is reportedly testing a physical payment card, social money app Moneymailme is also working on both virtual and physical cards. Moneymailme is collaborating with Prepaid Financial Services to power the cards, reports Commoditas Partners. Moneymailme is positioning the cards as an additional way for people to access funds they have in their Moneymailme e-wallets, and a way to move money more freely. Moneymailme cited internal research noting half of 18-25 year olds predict cash will be obsolete within 20 years, leaving cards and digital payments for all transactions.
From the Web
Government and Bank Websites Flunk New Security and Privacy Test
NBC News | Wed Jun 28, 2017 - Websites run by the country’s largest banks and the U.S. federal government scored the poorest in a new security and privacy analysis. The non-profit Online Trust Alliance (OTA) Alliance anonymously audited more than 1,000 websites for their site security, email security and privacy practices, without the sites knowing they were being watched. The OTA’s 2017 Online Trust Audit & Honor Roll found that many of the companies and government agencies that operate some widely-used websites drop the ball when it comes to security and responsible privacy practices. Slightly more than half (52 percent) of the audited sites qualified for the OTA’s Honor Roll – a five percent improvement from 2016 and up from just 30 percent in 2014. Websites run by the country’s largest banks and the federal government had the most failing grades and fewest Honor Roll recipients of the six categories studied.
Android Pay adds support for American Express in Canada
TechCrunch | Wed Jun 28, 2017 - Android Pay launched at the end of May in Canada, but at the time American Express was listed as “coming later this summer” in terms of support. AmEx users didn’t have to wait long, it turns out, because support just went live for their credit cards in Android’s mobile payments platform in the country. AmEx joins a decent list of major Canadian banks, as well as MasterCard, Visa and Interac debit.
Analyst calls Square the 'Tesla' of payments; predicts nearly 20% rally
CNBC | Wed Jun 28, 2017 - Mizuho Securities analyst Thomas McCrohan called Square "the Tesla of payments." Drawing a comparison to the young and innovative automaker, the analyst said Square is approaching payment processing with a "Silicon Valley perspective," revolutionizing the way small businesses participate in point-of-sale transactions with a small dongle and a software platform. "Square is selling solutions, trust, and digital expertise otherwise unavailable today by the majority of payment processors the lead with single point card processing solutions," wrote McCrohan in the Wednesday report. These additional services lead the analyst to believe the company will gain significant share from traditional payment processors.
More from PaymentsSource
Why Apple's dreaded 'blue bar' will benefit retailers, banks
Apple's plans to display a bright blue bar on iPhone screens when an application is monitoring the user's location may feel like a threat to location-based marketing. More likely, it is an overdue wake-up call for retailers and banks to improve their communication about the benefits of location data.
Faster payment is about certainty, not speed
Whether you call them faster payments, instantpPayments or real-time payments, the terminology around the initiative is plagued by poor word choices.
BBVA paves way for Alipay payments in Spain
Chinese tourists visiting Spain will be able to shop at Spanish stores using their Alipay mobile wallets through an agreement between BBVA Group and Ant Financial Services, the Alibaba affiliate that operates Alipay.
Target spots weakness in Amazon and Walmart's grocery war
Not content to have Amazon and Walmart steal all the thunder, Target has begun a pilot of a grocery delivery service called “Restock,” with terms that are designed specifically to make its rivals look slower and more expensive.