8.8.17: 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:

Chase cuts branch issuance: JPMorgan Chase is no longer allowing consumers who lose debit cards to replace those cards at its 5,300 branches, reports The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources. Consumers will now have to wait for new cards in the mail. The bank made the cut because of an uptick in fraud, reports the newspaper. The move comes as banks are under pressure to respond quickly to card customer service queries to accommodate the expansion of digital banking and mobile payment apps. "Instant issuance," or leaving a branch with a new card that's immediately usable, is often one feature banks use as a way to boost card usage and increase the odds that their card will be the favored, or "top of wallet" card. Like other large banks, Chase has also faced recent pressure in its credit card business from marketing expenses from consumer incentives.
Venmo's code: Venmo has added QR codes to user profiles as a way to avoid searching for other users' handles when hitting them up for money. Users click "scan code" in the app's menu, which allows customers to capture others' codes with their own mobile device's camera. Users can also display their own code for others to scan. QR codes, which remain more prevalent than Near Field Communications readers in most markets, are an older technology that's still a main part of many mobile payment apps. UnionPay, for example, supports QR codes in its QuickPass offering; and Mastercard recently added application programming interfaces for QR codes. In Venmo's case, the QR codes are about providing an easy way to identify users rather than executing contactless payments in a store.

Monzo's sorry: Monzo has suffered a series of technology glitches in the past few months, causing payments to be periodically unavailable and the company to change its outsourcing policy. It has now apologized. In an unambiguous post called An apology from Monzo, CEO Tom Blomfield reported fresh outages, saying the company's card processor has not been able to solve its technical issues. As a result, card payments have failed for intervals lasting from a few minutes to more than an hour over the past week. These issues may continue over the next few days, Blomfield writes, adding consumers should carry a backup card from another bank. He also said Monzo doesn't know how long it will take the card processor to fix the problems. Monzo's in-house Mastercard processor is now live and current account debit cards have been working well for several months, and that should serve as a base to run the entire operation soon, Blomfield wrote.

Mistakes were made: A bad update to cash machine technology is responsible for an anti-money laundering oversight that may total in the hundreds of millions of dollars, according to The Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Fox reports the bank, which is being sued by the government for failing to report about $650 million in suspicious transactions, is tracing the problem to a software update to its identity management network in 2012. The newly updated ATMs didn't create government-mandated transaction reports for payments that fell outside of certain parameters for three years. Saying that in an organization as large as Commonwealth Bank, "mistakes can be made," CBA added the coding error was responsible for the vast majority of the 53,000 violations flagged by the Australian government.

From the Web

Wells Fargo joint venture sued over merchant credit card fees
Reuters | Tue Aug 8, 2017 - A Wells Fargo Bank joint venture that provides credit card processing services to merchants across the country has been hit with a lawsuit accusing it of using misleading sales tactics and overbilling for its services. Filed on Friday in Brooklyn federal court, the proposed class action said Wells Fargo Merchant Services promised merchants that it would give them transparent pricing but charged them unauthorized fees and disguised the fees with deceptive language in monthly statements. A joint venture between Wells Fargo Bank and payment processor First Data Corp, Wells Fargo Merchant Services helps process credit and debit card purchases for businesses.

Moscow to cut dependence on U.S. payment systems: RIA
Reuters | Mon Aug 7, 2017 - Russia will speed up work on reducing dependency on U.S. payment systems and the dollar as a settling currency, RIA news agency cited Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying on Monday. It is a response to the new sanctions against Russia reluctantly signed into law last week by U.S. President Donald Trump. The sanctions targeted Russia's energy sector, with new limits on U.S. investment in Russian companies.

People’s Bank of China Has Fintech on Its Mind
The Wall Street Journal | Mon Aug 7, 2017 - China’s central bank is increasing its monitoring of the loosely regulated financial-technology sector—a major source of risk, given the enormous sums involved. The People’s Bank of China said in a report that it is considering expanding its risk-assessment system beyond banks to include major online financial businesses.

More from PaymentsSource

As digital payments take off, VMware seeks a larger role
The development and adoption of technology to often move at different rates in the payments industry, creating a need to manage usage that is out of sync with expectations.

Siloed security is making corporate payment fraud more dangerous
Just as the consumer payments space has evolved and transformed over the past decade, so too has the B-to-B payments landscape.

The race to connect smart contracts to the real world
Smart contracts technology is rapidly maturing. Self-executing coded agreements are being harnessed to launch new digital assets and will soon be used by American corporations to issue shares of stock on a blockchain overseen by the state of Delaware.

MoneyGram reports flat revenue, still on track for Ant deal
MoneyGram’s total revenue declined slightly during the second quarter to $410 million, resulting in flat growth compared to the previous quarter based on constant currency, the Dallas-based company announced Monday.

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