8.15.17: 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:
Apple struggles in China: Apple's notorious reluctance to share its technology may cost the company business in China. The Financial Times reports Beijing's transit system has launched technology that allows consumers to use Android devices to pay for rides by tapping their handsets, but not iOS devices because Apple will not allow access to the iPhone's Near Field Communication technology. The British newspaper reports that even before this setback, Apple Pay was already struggling to gain market share in China, accounting for less than one percent of all mobile transactions and falling outside of China's ten most used mobile payment apps. While Apple's technology policy has resulted in some roadblocks in the past, Beijing's stance may be particularly challenging given the existing decline in iPhone sales in China. Beijing's refusal is also in contrast to Apple's recent victory in Australia, where the government declined to allow the country's largest banks to collectively bargain against Apple's refusal to allow open access to its technology.
PSD2 startup: A London startup called Tail could be part of a new wave of companies that grow out of PSD2 and other laws that require open banking, or the sharing of bank data with third-party developers on an opt-in basis. TechCrunch reports Tail, which just launched in London with an iOS app, offers discounts at local restaurants that are linked to the consumer's payment card. Tail has integrated with Starling Bank thus far, and also plans to integrate with Monzo, according to TechCrunch. That means Starling's users, through an experience that's similar to a social media login, can use the Tail app to redeem an offer via their Starling Mastercard. This can be accomplished without a coupon or receipt scan, or by notifying Tail which bank account to use, according to the article. Tail also plans flash campaigns, such as a merchant offering a discount tied to weather, or a fast 30-minute window for a discount based on slow foot traffic in a store.
Transfers expand in East Africa: Netherlands-based TerraPay has received approval from Uganda’s central bank to enable international money transfers to mobile wallets, expanding its reach in the East Africa region. TerraPay earlier received approval to support cross-border payments in Kenya and Tanzania, and with the addition of Uganda, the company now connects to an array of large mobile wallet providers for real-time funds transfers using diverse payment instruments and platforms, TerraPay said in a press release. “Over the last few years mobile money has increasingly become a norm in Uganda, especially for those who were financially excluded earlier,” said Ambar Sur, TerraPay’s CEO and founder, in the press release. TerraPay was a startup spun off last year from New Delhi, India-based mobile financial services incubator Mahindra Comviva.
Blockchain group picks up support in the Middle East: Bank ABC, a Bahrain-based financial institution, has joined R3, the New York-based blockchain consortium. Mubasher reports Bank ABC is the group's initial member from the area, adding regional heft to R3, which now has more than 80 members. R3's members recently invested more than $100 million in the initiative, which works on and encourages uses for blockchain such as payments, trading, back office operations and security. Bank ABC's move is welcome news for R3, which has suffered some defections this year as other distributed ledger groups have emerged. JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Banco Santander, Morgan Stanley and National Australia Bank have all left R3.
From the Web
David Sacks: Cryptocurrency fulfills the 'original vision' we tried to build at PayPal
CNBC | Mon Aug 14, 2017 - David Sacks was PayPal's COO back in its early days, and says cryptocurrency is now fulfilling that company's original vision of creating a "database of money." He says we're poised for a correction in valuations but he hopes it'll be a softer landing than the dot-com boom-and-bust. He explains why he thinks cryptocurrency is a long-term threat to the venture capital model.
Bitcoin Price Surges After Agreement on Software Update
The New York Times | Mon Aug 14, 2017 - The price of Bitcoin has rocketed to new highs after a long battle over the rules of the software was resolved, at least temporarily. The price of a Bitcoin has risen nearly 50 percent since the beginning of the month, raising the total value of all Bitcoins to more than $70 billion. On Monday afternoon, Bitcoin was trading above $4,290, an increase of about 7 percent. The price of Bitcoin, the virtual currency, has been climbing steadily for the last year as investors around the world have shown an interest in the unusual characteristics of its technology, which allows money to be held and moved on a network of computers without any central authority or bank involved.
Fintech CEO says tech giants like IBM may go on M&A ‘shopping spree’ for start-ups in 2018
CNBC | Mon Aug 14, 2017 - Tech giants like IBM and Capgemini could go on a mergers and acquisitions "shopping spree" for financial technology (fintech) startups next year, the chief of one such startup has told CNBC. Daniel Döderlein, CEO of Norwegian fintech startup Auka, said that tech behemoths that have shared a long-standing relationship with banks but still rely on older technology would begin to show an interest in a "flood" of new fintech firms.
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U.K. lawyer wants to appeal dismissal of Mastercard fee suit
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