7.13.17: 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:

Can PayPal users "trick" iTunes?: As PayPal becomes a payment option in additional global markets, there's a loophole of sorts that enables users to fool iTunes into thinking they are in a different country, allowing access to different apps. The Verge reports users in Canada and Mexico can use PayPal to make purchases from the App Store, Apple Music and iBooks. The capability will be available in the U.S. shortly. Since PayPal hides its users' credit card information, the Apple stores technically don't know where the user is located, according to The Verge, which reports users can create an Apple ID in any country. Previously, consumers in the U.S. needed a U.S. credit card to buy from the App Store.
Shoppers like the Amazon/Whole Foods deal: Amazon's deal to acquire Whole Foods will have a major impact on the grocery payments industry, and there's new consumer data that suggests Whole Foods' overall business and checkout technology may change as well. ChargeItSpot, which surveys Amazon shopper sentiment, found 84% of shoppers have positive feelings about the merger and 62% said it would make them more likely to shop at Whole Foods. In addition, shoppers want cashier-free checkout at Whole Foods. Cashier-free checkout can mean several things; it could be as simple as adding more self-serve kiosks. But Amazon is also working on a concept that removes a large portion of the staff from stores. Amazon Go uses sensors and the consumer's Amazon credentials to allow shopping and payment without stopping at a checkout, similar to EZPass on a highway. Amazon has only tested the technology, and is working on tweaks to improve the user experience and deal with crowds.

Bitcoin picks up Swiss bank support: Banks have been more interested in the technology that powers Bitcoin than in the virtual currency itself, though there are some signs of further adoption in Switzerland. Falcon Private Bank is directly offering Bitcoin services to clients such as high-net-worth consumers, family offices and institutions. Users will be able to hold, buy and sell Bitcoin directly through the bank's digital banking platform. Bitcoin Suisse, a Bitcoin broker, will supply the infrastructure and will provide support. The support is considered a big win for Bitcoin, given Switzerland's position as a major international banking center. "As the blockchain industry grows worldwide, we are evermore confident that other institutions will follow Falcon Bank’s innovative lead in offering clients direct access to digital currencies and crypto-assets," said Bitcoin Suisse AG CEO Niklas Nikolajsen in a press release.

Verizon breach hits 6 million records: Verizon's customer service technology has been compromised, resulting in the exposure of 6 million records over a six month span, CNN reports. The compromise came from Nice Systems, which facilitates customer service calls for Verizon. Call logs for the past half year were accessed through an unprotected Amazon S3 storage server that Nice staff controls. The server had a misconfigured security setting, according to CNN, and anyone who knew the proper URL could download files. Verizon contends no outside party had access to the data, which includes customer names, mobile numbers, PINs, home address, email address and Verizon account balance. The information could enable a data thief to impersonate a subscriber.

From the Web

Alibaba-backed Lazada says it's 'confident' it can take the competition
CNBC | Wed Jul 12, 2017 – E-commerce player Lazada, which is now majority-owned by Alibaba, is confident that its expertise in Southeast Asian markets can counter the looming threat from Amazon's much-anticipated entry into the region, a top executive told CNBC. Last year, TechCrunch reported that Amazon had planned to launch local e-commerce services in Singapore in the first quarter of 2017. But earlier this year, the news site cited sources and said Amazon's much-anticipated entry was postponed.

Bitcoin Has a Ransom Problem
U.S. News & World Report | Wed Jul 12, 2017 – The malware attacks across Europe and the United States could have one more long-term victim: bitcoin and its fellow "crypto-currencies." The malware attackers have demanded ransom paid in bitcoin, which makes possible the anonymous transfer of large sums of money across international borders. If law enforcement authorities crack down on this form of anonymous electronic payment, bitcoin and its fellow cryptocurrencies will likely slump in value or disappear.

UK regulator looking to use A.I., machine-learning to enforce financial compliance
CNBC | Thu Jul 13, 2017 – The Financial Conduct Authority, an independent U.K. financial regulatory body, is looking into the possible use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning tools to enforce regulatory compliance. Nick Cook, the FCA's head of data and information operations, said that the regulator was "still learning", and that feedback from a "call for input" from regulatory technology (regtech) firms was informing it about how to support the adoption of automated, digitized compliance. "We are looking at the extent to which we can make parts of our handbook initially machine-readable and then fully machine-executable ... Effectively converting, probably initially our regulatory reporting rules, into truly unambiguous rules that machines can interpret and implement directly," he told an audience at London Fintech Week, a financial technology (fintech) conference, on Tuesday.

More from PaymentsSource

Merchants' mobile wallet adoption shrinks, but will it last?
Seasoned payments industry observers predicted it would take time for mobile wallets to catch on, but few thought adoption would reverse course so soon.

How important is Stripe's pact with Alipay, Tencent?
Since e-commerce merchants often operate without walls, it makes little sense to operate with borders.

Reaching millennials means mastering subscription payments
Millennials seem to be voting with their wallets for the convenience provided by these subscription services.

Visa's anti-cash pitch may be too much, too soon
Visa’s core mission is to crush cash, but its latest promotion rewarding businesses with a pile of money if they stop accepting cash altogether may be too little for this goal.

How 2017's Prime Day will 'Echo' throughout the industry
From the outset, it was clear that Amazon wanted to do more with Prime Day than just boost sales; its release of new voice-controlled products and its purchase of Whole Foods signaled a desire to drastically change the way consumers shop and pay for goods.

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