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Visa's 'dump cash' incentive moves to the U.K.: A few days after offering incentives to U.S. merchants to adopt digital payments and stop taking cash, Visa is planning a similar scheme in the U.K. The card brand will negotiate with British retailers to provide thousands of pounds worth of free technology in exchange for banning customers from paying with cash, leaving only debit cards, credit cards and mobile wallets, according to The Telegraph. Visa will have an uphill battle, since the British paper reports many small businesses in the U.K. actively discourage consumers from making card payments in an attempt to avoid interchange fees. U.K. retailers spend more than a $1 billion per year on fees for over 10 billion card payments, according to The Telegraph.

Bloomberg News

Walmart's e-commerce unit courts New York: Walmart's $3 billion acquisition of e-commerce portal Jet.com in 2016 was designed to counter Amazon's growth. It may also give Walmart a way to tap into the New York market, which has been largely elusive to the big box retailer. Jet.com is collaborating with Latch, a digital delivery system that allows people to unlock delivery doors in apartment buildings remotely. TechCrunch reports the two companies will jointly invest in outfitting 1,000 apartment buildings with the technology. The collaboration is a marketing deal, as there will be no direct transactional link between the two companies. But Walmart can use the partnership to encourage online shopping and payments in areas where it does not have physical stores by offering easy delivery to buildings without doormen.

Digital boom for giving: Donations have long been a early use case for technology such as contactless payments, and there's data that suggests the innovation has a major positive impact. A Nationwide Current Accounts poll in the U.K. found that people who donate digitally give an average of about $7 versus about $3 for cash. The poll also found 52% of people want to donate when out in public, like in a park or near an outdoor musician, but cannot because they are not carrying cash. Other data shows mobile payments in the U.K. grew 365% in the past year and 29% of all people view their mobile phone as their most important device — as do 54% of those aged 18 to 24.

Meals on robotic wheels: Amazon may have its sights on the skies with its drone delivery plans, but Starship Technologies wants to conquer the roads. The company will soon begin a 12-month pilot of its robotic food delivery service in Concord, Calif., with up to a dozen small six-wheeled robots covering a four-mile area, The Mercury News reports. Residents can order food online or through a mobile app, and the meal remains locked inside until the robot arrives at its destination, at which point the customer can unlock the delivery droid by clicking a link in a text message, according to the article. But the machines still need a little human help; during the test, a person will accompany the robot to help it navigate obstacles and cross streets. The 25-pound robots also have a top speed of just four miles per hour.

Digital make good for late trains: From Scotland to London, the U.K. is a hotbed for transportation innovation, as open loop payments, smartcards and mobile are deployed in train systems across the country. The Thameslink Railway has started automatically refunding travelers for delayed trains. The train system collects ticketing and payment data and determines if a train is off schedule. It automatically sends a claim to each rider's digital payment account based on the length of the delay. The rider confirms the amount and method of payment. The automatic refunds work on ThamesLink, Great Northern, Southern or Gatwick express trains, and the riders must tap in and out using Key Smartcards.

From the Web

AP Explains: Bitcoin's Possible Financial Panic
The New York Times | Fri Jul 14, 2017 - Anyone holding the digital currency bitcoin could soon face some unsettling problems — up to and including financial losses, whipsawing prices and delays in processing payments. Though it's also possible that nothing much may change. It all depends on whether the people who maintain bitcoin can agree by July 31 to implement a major software upgrade — one designed to improve capacity on the increasingly clogged network. Not everyone is on board. In particular, some bitcoin "miners," who are rewarded for verifying transactions, aren't supporting the changes. Any split between miners and others who use bitcoin, including a number of startups and a few big companies, could cause a panic in the $39 billion bitcoin marketplace.

Thieves Used Infrared to Pull Data from ATM ‘Insert Skimmers’
KrebsOnSecurity | Thu Jul 13, 2017 – A greater number of ATM skimming incidents now involve so-called “insert skimmers,” wafer-thin fraud devices made to fit snugly and invisibly inside a cash machine’s card acceptance slot. New evidence suggests that at least some of these insert skimmers — which record card data and store it on a tiny embedded flash drive — are equipped with technology allowing them to transmit stolen card data wirelessly via infrared, the same communications technology that powers a TV remote control.

The Future of Payments: Visa, Inc.’s Jack Forestell Talks Cashless Culture, Banking the Unbanked, and Formula E
Huffington Post | Thu Jul 13, 2017 – So what does the future look like, as our cashless culture experience becomes the norm? What will it take to get there, and what can we – as consumers and businesses – expect in a cashless world? This weekend, Visa will partner with one of the first-ever Formula E races in the United States to give fans a seamless, convenient and enhanced payment experience. Leading up to the event, I sat down with Jack Forestell, Visa, Inc.’s Head of Global Merchant Sales and Solutions, to gain insight and get the scoop straight from the leader in payment technology innovation.

More from PaymentsSource

The U.K. preps for a major change to its payments infrastructure
If nothing else, no one could ever accuse U.K. regulators or market watchdogs of taking a hands-off approach to the country's payments operations.

For billers, channel flexibility can boost loyalty
Everyone has bills to pay. And when billers make safe fast and convenient payment options available, delivered where, when and how people need them, satisfaction and loyalty will follow.

Shopify, eBay forge a connection
Shopify merchants selling in the U.S. will be able to list and sell products on eBay through a single dashboard via a direct integration between the two e-commerce giants that goes live this fall.

Net neutrality's impact on payments
On Wednesday, a number of prominent Internet companies and lobbying groups protested the likely rollback of net neutrality rules by the FCC that were put in place under the Obama administration. The first deadline for public commentary on the proposed changes occurs this coming Monday.

Daniel Wolfe

Daniel Wolfe

Daniel Wolfe is editor in chief at PaymentsSource and a contributing editor at American Banker.