6.9.17: 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:
Out-of-the box thinking: Packagd, a company operated by a team incubated with the venture firm Kleiner Perkins, has launched a mobile commerce app that builds on the unboxing trend. The app, called Unboxed, shows videos of product unboxings with links to buy the products, TechCrunch reports. The company works with Best Buy and takes payments through Apple Pay, the article states; the company's backers compare its appeal to QVC or the Home Shopping Network. Unboxing videos are already popular on YouTube, though video makers on YouTube typically get revenue from advertising and sponsorships rather than direct product sales.
Rise of the machines: Perhaps we should all get used to seeing robot waiters taking payments, like SoftBank's Pepper does at Pizza Hut using Masterpass in Asia. SoftBank is buying the robotics company Boston Dynamics, a unit of Google/Alphabet, and Japanese bipedal robotics company Schaft, Bloomberg reports. The original Pepper robot stemmed from SoftBank's 2012 purchase of French robotics company Aldebaran Robotics SA, but adoption was limited, the article notes; the purchase of the widely revered Boston Dynamics could create a better robot for SoftBank and its clients.
Bad Apple: Apple has had a spotty reputation with data security — its iCloud service was implicated in the 2014 release of personal photos by Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and other celebrities — but this time Apple's problem comes from within its own operations. Chinese authorities have detained 22 people, of which 20 worked in direct marketing and outsourcing for Apple in China, accusing them of using Apple's internal database to access and sell customers' personal information, the AFP reports. The exposed information includes names, phone numbers and Apple IDs.
The not-so-great firewall: Microsoft has discovered a group is able to compromise Windows machines by using an Intel management tool that bypasses the Windows firewall, Ars Technica reports. The tool, called Intel Active Management (AMT), is given deep access to machines to allow administrators to perform tasks such as installing operating systems remotely. The same deep, remote access can be exploited by hackers who want to take over a machine and update their malware without alerting the operating system. The article notes that this method does not exploit a flaw in AMT, but rather uses AMT's standard features for malicious purposes; the attack won't work if AMT is not activated.
From the Web
Ant Financial extends online credit service to retailers
China Daily | Fri Jun 9, 2017 - Ant Financial Services Group, the online finance firm backed by billionaire Jack Ma, will extend its online consumer credit service to four million retail businesses across the country to boost sales and encourage spending－as China's consumers increasingly feel more comfortable shopping with borrowing money.
U.S. business schools embrace 'fintech' as students clamor for courses
Reuters | Thu Jun 8, 2017 - Leading U.S. business schools are trying to teach students how to become masters of financial technology, a subsector of Wall Street that has grown in size and prominence, but because the area is still ill-defined and relatively new it is hard to develop courses.
Wells Fargo Employee Arrested On Charges Of Fraud, Identity Theft
CBS | Thu Jun 8, 2017 - Police arrested a Wells Fargo employee accused of bank fraud and identity theft. Hassante Denise East, a customer representative for Wells Fargo located at 700 Adams Ave., allegedly engaged in a scheme with others depositing fraudulent checks and withdrawing money, according to Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.
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Walmart adds immediate credit access to Walmart Pay
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