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:
Location matters: Payment companies and retailers are itching to use smartphone location data to steer consumers into stores by popping up an alert when it senses they are near, but Apple's next version of iOS could impair these plans. Apple will allow users to tell any app that it can see the phone's location only when the app is in use, according to MacRumors, which speculates that the restrictions will address privacy concerns while also improving battery life. But location data isn't all about marketing; companies such as Visa use smartphone location data to assess the fraud risk of certain transactions.
Cash for Klarna: The Swedish payments startup Klarna has received an investment of at least $225 million from fashion tycoon Anders Holch Povlsen for a stake of just more than 10 percent of the company, TechCrunch reports. Povlsen is buying shares from existing investors, who will also keep part of their stakes after the transaction, the article states; Klarna's most recent infusion of outside cash came in the form of a $5.2 million investment from Creandum in March. Povlsen owns Bestseller, a fashion conglomerate that has worked with Klarna over several years, TechCrunch notes. Klarna has established itself as a solid payments provider in Europe, and launched in the U.S. in 2015. Klarna recently began offering its instant-financing service to merchants on Shopify's e-commerce platform, a deal that covers the U.S., U.K., Austria, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands.
Rebel with a cause: Email marketing startup Rebelmail is becoming an e-commerce company. In doing so, it has launched Rebel Shop, which it describes in a blog post as "end-to-end checkout [in] the inbox." As part of this product launch, the company is rebranding as, simply, Rebel. The company is emphasizing security in its e-commerce offering, noting that the email inbox is already considered a secure place to send password reset emails and receipts; that said, it emphasized that the new product is PCI compliant. The system is designed to be a one-click process for shoppers, given the likelihood that they would be using email on a mobile device.
Streamers become sellers: Amazon's Twitch.tv, a video streaming platform for gamers and artists, has added a new revenue option: affiliate sales. Since purchasing Twitch in 2014, Amazon has often experimented with how to let users generate revenue for their streaming, going so far as to integrate the service with Amazon Prime — but Twitch has remained more of a viewing platform than a shopping platform. Amazon's latest move may change that by turning Twitch streamer channels into a mini-storefront. For streamers who meet a certain threshold of content and viewership, Twitch will place an affiliate product link on their channel so that viewers can purchase the game they are watching directly through Twitch, giving streamers 5% of the revenue, The Verge reports.
From the Web
Mastercard to launch B2B hub, take minority stake in AvidXchange
Reuters | Thu Jun 8, 2017 - Mastercard launches comprehensive digital payment solution for small and midsized businesses. Mastercard B2B hub will first launch in U.S. later this year. Mastercard will also take a minority stake in AvidXchange as part of its Series F funding round subject to meeting closing conditions.
Fintech Company Raises $300 Million to Help Businesses Stop Using Checks
The Wall Street Journal | Thu Jun 8, 2017 - A little-known software company that helps businesses pay their bills electronically has quietly amassed more investor funding than all but a handful of U.S. financial-technology companies. AvidXchange Inc., a firm that automates bill-payment processes for businesses, said Thursday that it raised $300 million in equity from a group of new investors to bring its service to new industries, potentially acquire smaller competitors.
Cashless welfare card: doubt cast on study used to justify expansion
The Guardian | Thu Jun 8, 2017 - Australian National University researchers have criticised the reliability of a government-commissioned study used to justify the cashless debit card’s expansion. Earlier this year, an initial evaluation of the cashless debit card trial – a scheme that controls how social security payments can be spent in two mostly Indigenous communities – found it had largely been effective “in reducing alcohol consumption, illegal drug use and gambling – establishing a clear ‘proof-of-concept’”.
More from PaymentsSource
Why Mastercard isn't worried by Masterpass' slow adoption in fast food
Fast-food and takeout restaurants would seem to be the most eager to adopt digital wallets like Masterpass, Visa Checkout and PayPal that have the potential to speed their customers along. So why aren't more of these wallets on the menu?
Payment companies need to brace for a 'stronger WannaCry'
The ransomware attack caused fear across banks, retailers, health care and governments in May. But worse attacks may be on the horizon.
Amex begins a deeper dive into corporate travel data
Merchants increasingly sing the praises of analyzing customer payment data to learn more about spending habits and deliver customized offers through mobile devices. American Express is kicking off a project to do the same with corporate travel data.
Hope for banks as Justice Department punts on swipe fee case
The Trump administration is stepping away from the government’s 7-year legal fight with Amex that centers on retailers’ right to encourage the use of particular cards. The decision is good news for issuers of credit and debit cards, though it is hardly the last word on the case.
SinglePoint, First Bitcoin to support bitcoin cannabis payments
The legal marijuana market has had difficulty establishing banking relationships, given the disparities in local and federal regulation of cannabis sales. SinglePoint Inc. is developing a bitcoin-based option to address this concern.
Google teams with Panera, First Data’s Clover for loyalty within Android Pay
Google is getting in on the card-linked offers movement with a new API enabling merchants to send targeted offers to consumers who store a loyalty card within Android Pay.
Bango, Amazon team up for carrier payments in Japan
Amazon customers in Japan can now charge purchases to their mobile phone bill through a new deal with Bango.