9.6.17: 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:

Alibaba's More Mall: Like Amazon, Alibaba is taking what would appear to be a counter move by digging deeper into old school brick and mortar retailing. Alibaba is planning to open a mall, the Chinese e-commerce company's first major retail project, according to CNBC. Called More Mall, the five story complex will be built near Alibaba's headquarters in Hangzhou and will include brands from Alibaba's retail e-commerce platform and other retail brands. Alibaba has made other moves toward physical retailing such as Hema, a supermarket brand that originally launched in 2015 as a grocery order app. It has since moved into physical locations and will be part of More Mall, according to CNBC.
South African cross-border payments: Mobile payments company TerraPay is accelerating its recent expansion in Africa, receiving regulatory approval from the South African Reserve Bank to launch cross-border money transfers in South Africa. In the initial rollout, the company will focus on transfers to Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Mozambique and Uganda. TerraPay is the fifth company to be licensed as a foreign exchange dealer in South Africa, which gives it authority to conduct low-value international payments. Its service will support mobile wallet service providers, banks and money transfer operators. South Africa is considered a major send and receive market, handling remittances from the U.K., Australia and the U.S., while sending funds to neighboring countries in southern Africa.

Bitcoin wallet: Payza has been gradually adding support for virtual currencies as it extends its international transfer market, and has now launched a service that allows consumers to generate and manage cryptocurrency addresses from within their Payza accounts. This will allow users to avoid setting up and adding funds by bitcoin prior to receiving bitcoin. There will be no fee for the service, which will be available for Payza Personal and Payza Business account holders. Payza merchants can also use Payza payment buttons to process bitcoin payments on the web and Payza APIs to automate bitcoin payouts.

A virtual trillion: Exchanges for bitcoin and other virtual currencies have been spiking dramatically this year, and that's having a major impact on the overall value of the virtual currency market. The yearly value of cryptocurrency payments should be greater than $1 trillion by the end of 2017, Juniper Research reports. If that prediction comes true, it would be 1,500% higher than 2016's value of about $67 billion. The first half of 2017 alone produced $325 billion in cryptocurrency transactions, with 66% of that coming from an increase in the price of Etherium. Litecoin has also experienced a surge and should exceed $100 billion by the end of the year. Juniper reports other virtual currencies are also spiking. Bitcoin's value has increased, and the new Bitcoin Cash will also drive transaction volume.

From the Web

About 14% people carry no cash in China
China Daily | Wed Sep 6, 2017 - About 14 percent people don't carry any cash when they go out, as mobile payments replace wallets in China, French market research firm Ipsos reported Tuesday. Another 26 percent consumers carry less than 100 yuan and about 74 percent said they can survive for over one month with only 100 yuan cash in their pocket, the report said. The report also said that 84 percent of people in China said they are "comfortable" going out with only mobile phones, no cash. Non-bank payment organizations handled a total of 97 billion mobile payment transactions from 2013 to 2016, with over 195 percent annual compound growth rate, according to China Payment and Clearing Association. Chinese banks dealt with 8.6 billion payments from mobile services in Q2, up 40.5 percent from a year ago, the People's Bank of China said.

Citigroup Eyes Payments-Sector Consolidation with Investment Banking Hire
Fox News | Tue Sep 5, 2017 - Citigroup Inc. has created a separate services group within its investment-banking coverage of the industrials sector and appointed two global co-heads to oversee the new division amid a flurry of deal-making in the payments-processing sector in Europe and the U.S. Jean-Baptiste Petard is expected to join Citi in December as global co-head of the independent services division, according to a memo announcing the new structure. A seasoned investment banker, Mr. Petard was most recently at UBS Group AG, where he oversaw the Swiss bank's investment-banking operations for business services, transportation and logistics in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. At Citi, he will be based in London, focusing on clients in the business and payment services sectors in EMEA.

Indian online restaurant search startup seeks $200m from Alibaba, Ant Financial
China Daily | Wed Sep 6, 2017 - Indian online restaurant search and food ordering startup Zomato is in talks to seek $200 million from Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and its financial affiliate Ant Financial that runs China's largest e-wallet Alipay, according to a report by The Economic Times. The company, founded in 2008 and worth $960 million during its last fundraising round in September, 2015, is expected to be valued at $1.1 billion and titled unicorn if it could raise the target amount in this round. Currently operating in over 10,000 cities across 24 countries and especially having a high visibility in Middle East and South Asia, Zomato saw its revenues surge 80 percent in India's 2017 fiscal year that ended on March 31, the report said. In addition, the company's annual operating cost and losses were reduced by 81 percent and 34 percent respectively in 2017 fiscal year.

More from PaymentsSource

Data: A grim outlook for mobile payments
Compared with European and Southeast Asian countries, the U.S. is lagging in adoption of proximity mobile payments.

Phishing's adaptability is increasing pressure on security teams
One thing has always been the same in phishing attacks: social engineering, such as luring people into clicking on a link and providing information so it can be captured and sent off to a drop zone.

In B-to-B payments, Nvoicepay shifts the focus to communication
It's a common lament that businesses cling to checks and other forms of paper-based transactions while consumer payments rush into a digital future.

Lease-to-own 'fintech' gets $100M credit line from BMO Harris
Snap Finance, a nonbank lender with a digitized approach to financing consumer purchases at checkout, has secured a $100 million revolving credit facility from a syndicate led by BMO Harris Bank.

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