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:

Alibaba's echo: Just as retailers start to respond to Amazon Echo's direct purchases and card marketing, Alibaba is beginning work on a rival voice speaker. CNBC reports the device could be in the market within days and will likely link to Alibaba's website to enable direct payments via the speaker. Alibaba is just as busy as Amazon when it comes to adding new retail and payment options. Just this week it invested $1 billion in the Lazada online mall, and it also shelled out $250 million to grab a stake in Paytm as the Indian payment company makes hay off of the country's rapid move away from cash to digital. Alibaba is also pursuing market share among U.S. merchants that are looking to sell into the Chinese market and its affiliate Ant Financial, which operates Alipay, is battling to acquire MoneyGram to gain a foothold in the U.S.

Diebold Nixdorf travels lighter in the U.K.: Diebold Nixdorf will sell its Diebold UK business to local ATM company Cennox. Finextra reports the move is meant to meet requirements from the U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority, which had expressed concerns the $1.8 billion Diebold/Wincor Nixdorf merger would leave only NCR as a major competitor in the ATM market. The CMA, which has placed ATM operator consolidation under increasing scrutiny in the past year, had said Diebold Nixdorf must sell either its or Wincor's customer-operated ATM unit in the U.K. to a CMA-approved buyer. The financial terms of the Cennox deal have not been disclosed, though Cennox will be able to manage Diebold's U.K. operation, including 67 employees, and will be able to sell legacy Diebold hardware, services and software in the U.K. and Ireland.

European CNP fraud losses rise: European card fraud losses hit a record in 2016, totalling about $2.1 billion, as crooks targeted card-not-present online and mobile payments, according to Finextra. The U.K. had the highest losses, with about $700 million. The U.K. total was 9% higher than 2015 and was higher than the previous fraud record, which came in 2008 after the introduction of chip and PIN in the U.K., a migration that usually results in an increase in digital payments fraud. The data showed that CNP fraud is now 70% of total fraud losses, up from 50% in 2008. The highest increase in fraud was in Sweden (18%) and Poland (10%).

How to shield ATMs from explosive attacks: The ATM industry trade group ATMIA has released security guidelines on protecting ATM systems from explosive attacks, which the ATMIA reports are an increasing threat in Europe. The guide details the types and methods of explosive attacks, and how to protect cash, including banknote degradation techniques and explosive resistant safes. The European ATM Security Team (EAST) recently tracked about 500 attacks, noting that most used solid explosive materials or gas. The number of such attacks increased by 80% in the first half of 2016, according to EAST.

From the Web

To See What It Will Be Like When Amazon Owns Everything, Look at China
The Wall Street Journal | Thu Jun 29, 2017 - As their size and influence grow, tech giants are entering uncharted territory. Amazon.com Inc.’s recent bid to acquire Whole Foods Market Inc. inflamed concerns in the U.S. about big tech companies taking over America. In China, that’s already happening. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. are online-offline conglomerates each with hundreds of millions of users. The pair—directly or through companies they invest in—provides services and products across a range of businesses.

Online fraud costs public billions but is still not a police priority, says watchdog
The Guardian | Fri Jun 30, 2017 - Police forces are not doing enough to tackle the growing threat of online fraud, a public spending watchdog has found. The National Audit Office (NAO) said the issue was “not yet a priority” for all local police forces and the problem had been overlooked by government, law enforcement and industry. The report said the overall cost of all forms of fraud in 2016 was £10bn to individuals and £144bn to the private sector, arising from almost 2m cyber-related fraud incidents. The NAO’s chief, Sir Amyas Morse, said: “For too long, as a low-value but high-volume crime, online fraud has been overlooked by government, law enforcement and industry. It is now the most commonly experienced crime in England and Wales and demands an urgent response.”

UK in credit splurge despite pay squeeze, Bank figures show
The Guardian | Thu Jun 29, 2017 - Britain’s hard-pressed consumers are increasingly turning to credit cards, overdrafts and loans to support their spending, according to the Bank of England. Threadneedle Street’s monthly report on money and credit found that the outstanding amount of unsecured consumer credit rose by 10.3% in the year to May, five times as fast as the growth rate of earnings. The size of the increase is likely to add to the Bank’s concerns flagged up earlier this week about the precarious financial position of many individuals, and led some City analysts to speculate that it would encourage Threadneedle Street to try to rein in consumer borrowing with an increase in interest rates.

More from PaymentsSource

As shopping goes mobile, retail sales models adapt
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Loyalty's 'high end' focus is hurting retailers' brands
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Cardtronics to support FIS Cardless Cash at all U.S. ATMs
More consumers will soon be able to withdraw cash at ATMs by using their mobile phones as a remote control via Cardtronics, which has decided to extend FIS Cardless Cash to all of its U.S. ATMs over the next two years.

Tech veteran to join debit-cards-for-kids startup
Nancy Cox, a former Fiserv executive, is the new chief technology officer at Greenlight Financial Technology, an Atlanta-based startup that allows parents to control their kids’ debit card spending.

John Adams

John Adams

John Adams is Executive Editor of PaymentsSource.