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:

Paytm taking on WhatsApp: Paytm has taken advantage of India's quick migration away from cash, and it's now expanding into peer-to-peer communication, games and other mobile content, reports TechCrunch, which added that the move would put Paytm in competition with WhatsApp. The update is expected before the end of August, and will commence with text, image, video and audio messaging, though the mix is expected to get more sophisticated over time to include payments, ride hailing and commerce. Eventually, Paytm, which has financial backing from Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, will add channels, similar to WeChat, that act as accounts for brands to build relationships with consumers via games and marketing. These brands and Paytm merchants would also be able to receive digital payments from consumers through these channels, removing the need for a face to face interaction.

Bloomberg News

Xero and Stripe: Stripe has struck deals to expand its presence in China and Europe, and is broadening its service through an expanded collaboration with accounting software provider Xero. When a Stripe payment comes through a bank feed, Xero automatically performs an account match to handle reconciling through a single click, which is designed to allow small business owners to begin accepting credit card payments faster. It also allows Stripe to diversify its range of products at a time when all merchant acquirers are considering value adds. Xero has also collaborated with WooCommerce and PayPal on Business in a Box, a PayPal product that's designed to attract small businesses by offering a range of services beyond digital payments.

A package deal for NFC: The NFC Forum has partnered with the Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association to add more technology to the packages used to sell food and other products. The Verge reports NFC time and temperature models could be included, enabling grocers to determine the impact of shipping conditions such as how long meat has been sitting out and how its temperature has been maintained. While most packages have QR codes to pick up this type of information, NFC has matured enough to make a new service viable. Nearly all smartphones now have NFC, so having NFC on boxes could more easily enable other services, such as content and more transactional features such as payments. QR codes would require an app and a redirect for these features, which NFC could enable nearly in real time with a tap. But a drawback, according to The Verge, is it would take more work, such as electronics and a battery, to place NFC on boxes, which would probably make the technology more prone for specialized use.

Making contact in the U.K. Barclaycard is marking the tenth anniversary of the introduction of contactless cards in the U.K. by forecasting that the technology is about to grow quickly. Barclaycard projects adoption of contactless cards will expand more than 300% over the next four years, when 70% of British residents will use the technology more frequently than today. About six in 10 Brits use contactless now, with 71% of that group using contactless more frequently than a year ago. That expansion and more general adoption will push overall contactless payments up quickly, the institution contends. Barclaycard's Contactless Spending Index shows 51% of card transactions up to the £30 limit now come via contactless card technology. Barclaycard also notes 40% of retailers now solely accept card payments or are considering going entirely cash free within the next five years.

From the Web

Bitcoin hits fork in the road as major payment system
CBS Moneywatch | Tue Aug 1, 2017 - A battle is afoot over the future of Bitcoin. The front line of that war is a new iteration of the cryptocurrency called Bitcoin Cash that launched today and that advocates say will make it easier to use Bitcoin to buy and sell things. Bitcoin "miners," who effectively control its supply, have been clamoring to upgrade the underlying technology used to execute transactions using Bitcoin so it can compete more effectively with other payment networks, such as PayPal and credit card systems.

New Bill Seeks Basic IoT Security Standards
Krebs on Security | Tue Aug 1, 2017 - Lawmakers in the U.S. Senate today introduced a bill that would set baseline security standards for the government’s purchase and use of a broad range of Internet-connected devices, including computers, routers and security cameras. The legislation, which also seeks to remedy some widely-perceived shortcomings in existing cybercrime law, was developed in direct response to a series of massive cyber attacks in 2016 that were fueled for the most part by poorly-secured “Internet of Things” (IoT) devices.

Alibaba to expand in telecom sector
China Daily | Wed Aug 2, 2017 - Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is gearing up for expansion in the telecom sector, as it aims to meet the communication demand of millions of small and medium-sized enterprises across China. The Hangzhou-based company, which has emerged as one of China's two biggest corporations by tapping into the online shopping boom, is stepping up its investment in the telecom sector, amid market speculation that it will be an investor in China Unicom.

More from PaymentsSource

Millions of merchants not ready for fast-approaching security deadline
Plenty of U.S. merchants still working to complete their migration to EMV now have another high-pressure technology hurdle to worry about: Most are still using a core transaction security protocol set to expire in the next 11 months and if they don’t take appropriate action they’ll be unable to process transactions.

New 'nano-segments' require a more diverse payment strategy
In today’s digitally advanced environment, it is easier than ever for individuals of all ages to find and connect with peers who share similar causes, interests and hobbies.

RBC adds 'Siri pay my bills' to its app
Royal Bank of Canada has updated its mobile app to enable personal banking users to ask Siri to pay their bills on iPhone and iPad.

European banks ready to spend on faster payments technology
One of the critical unanswered questions early in the Single Euro Payments Area process and the new Payment Services Directive in Europe was whether banks would pony up for needed technology upgrades.