7.31.17: 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:

Cards for cars: Uber and Lyft are both working on credit cards, reports Fox Business, with Uber's likely to be in circulation by the fall. The news site had more information on Uber's plans, reporting Barclaycard will be the issuer of a Visa-branded card. The card is expected to be co-branded, open, and usable for other kinds of purchases. Uber's rival, Lyft, is also working on its own card, sources told Fox Business. While Uber has faced some controversy recently, it remains one of the most recognizable brands in the rapidly expanding "app economy" or mobile-driven businesses that rely on contract workers. This growth is attracting collaboration with more traditional companies. American Express, for example, has scored with its marketing partnership with Uber, a deal that Fox business reports has boosted Uber rides per card.
Biggest U.K. payments change in a half century: The U.K. Payment Strategy Forum has produced a plan to construct a new "National Payments Architecture," reports Law360, which says it would be the most radical change to the national payment system since the 1960s. The forum's mission is to plan an evolution that will encourage more competition and innovation in the British payments market, with plans in place to introduce new data standards, security and other measures to increase transaction speed. The organization will review feedback over the next six months and by the end of 2017 it will deliver a final blueprint for implementation. The U.K. Payment Strategy Forum was formed two years ago and has expanded to about 650 people representing organizations covering consumer groups, businesses, government agencies, payment system operators, payment service providers and financial technology companies.

Blockchain collaboration grows: The open source blockchain development consortium Hyperledger has been gradually adding members such as American Express over the past year, and more recently added 10 new organizations. The growth comes as the group introduces a new blockchain framework, Hyperledger Fabric 1.0 that's part of the group's goal of building blockchain uses for finance, banking, payments, Internet of Things, supply chain, manufacturing and technology. Its new members include ANNE, Beijing RZXT Technology Development, Capgemini Financial Services, New H3C Technologies, Revelry Labs, Smart Link Labs and TradeIX. Other new members joined as Associates, a category for nonprofits and government entities, including the Accord Project, Tecnalia Research & Innovation and the University of Luxembourg.

Amazon in a box: While Amazon is encroaching on traditional retail and supermarkets, it's also attempting to improve its core businesses of e-commerce, fulfillment and delivery. Amazon has introduced a new delivery box for apartment buildings that will also accept packages from other companies, according to TechCrunch. Called The Hub, it's an expansion of the existing Amazon Locker service, which provides delivery stations in public places and stores that are designed to make delivery more efficient, and are also being used to boost foot traffic in bank branches at BBVA. The apartment boxes could also be a competitive play against Walmart's attempt to build a similar service in New York. Jet.com, Walmart's e-commerce unit, is collaborating with Latch to deploy a delivery system for New York apartment buildings that don't have doormen.

From the Web

Google’s new program to track shoppers sparks a federal privacy complaint
The Washington Post | Sun Jul 30, 2017 - A prominent privacy rights watchdog is asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate a new Google advertising program that ties consumers’ online behavior to their purchases in brick-and-mortar stores. The legal complaint from the Electronic Privacy Information Center, to be filed with the FTC on Monday, alleges that Google is newly gaining access to a trove of highly sensitive information -- the credit and debit card purchase records of the majority of U.S. consumers -- without revealing how they got the information or giving consumers meaningful ways to opt out. Moreover, the group claims that the search giant is relying on a secretive technical method to protect the data -- a method that should be audited by outsiders and is likely vulnerable to hacks or other data breaches.

Pushing globe into easy pay mode
China Daily | Mon Jul 31, 2017 - WeChat Pay expands internationally to catch up with, and possibly overtake, market leader Alipay. WeChat Pay, the mobile payment tool developed by internet major Tencent Holdings Ltd, is accelerating overseas expansion as it narrows the gap with first-mover Alipay in China's red-hot digital payment arena. In its latest endeavor, the company has applied for a license in Malaysia to offer local payment services via the app. If it is approved, the license would allow local users to link their local bank accounts to WeChat Pay and make payment in the local currency, the Malaysian ringgit.

Mobile payments are in, cash and card nearly out
China Daily | Mon Jul 31, 2017 - According to market research firm Analysys, China's third-party mobile payment providers accounted for transactions worth 18 trillion yuan ($2.66 trillion) in the first quarter of 2017, up about 47 percent quarter-on-quarter. Analysys estimates China's mobile payment market will account for transactions worth 100 trillion yuan by 2019. "Growth of mobile payment tools is faster than that of any other payment models. The trend indicates that mobile payments will become the mainstream payment model across China in the near future," said Zhou Yuedong, vice-president of the credit card division of ICBC, the country's largest lender.

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Starbucks reaches a new milestone: 30% of payments are mobile
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7 plans for a faster U.S. payments system
A task force convened by the Federal Reserve has released its evaluations of 16 proposals to build a faster U.S. payment system. The plans were judged by the task force’s consulting firm, McKinsey & Co., based on how well they satisfied 36 criteria related to speed, security and other attributes.

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