4.02.18 Your morning briefing
The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the Web:
Alibaba gets Hungry
Alibaba and Tencent's rivalry has a fierce and lucrative side battle in food delivery, a $32 billion market in China. Alibaba has just topped off its existing investment in Ele.me ("Hungry"), a ordering app valued at more than $9.5 billion, up from $5.5 billion a year ago, with about 260 million users.
The amount of the deal was not disclosed, but Techinasia reported it's likely in the billions given Ele.me's huge size and fast growth. Alibaba can pair it with Alipay for a full order and pay service.
It also keeps Alibaba on pace with Tencent, which works with China's two other major mobile delivery apps, Meituan and Dianping.
Making a splash
The push for cryptocurrencies to become actual payment tender has led a startup called Waves to build a dedicated payments gateway.
Waves will support a sandbox that allows developers to integrate cryptocurrencies into their own ecosystem. The payment gateways will allow users to deposit different tokens that are backed by funds in the gateway.
This would create an easier to use, more transparent and stable system for cryptocurrencies to be used as payments, Waves contends.
Scrapes and bruises
The Financial Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is warning about the dangers of "scraping," or the data aggregation for payments and other financial that accompanies online budget services.
FINRA says this often comes with the sharing of login credentials, creating a security risk. The authority has recommended APIs as a way of sharing account information between financial institutions and third parties.
PSD2, the new European guidance on data sharing, mandates APIs over screen scraping, a decision that followed a lengthy battle between technology companies and banks.
ATM phishers head to the pen
Romanian and Italian police have arrested 20 members of a gang that used spear phishing to steal account details and nab EUR1 million from ATMs in Romania.
Finextra reports the group send emails that appeared to be from a tax authority to two unnamed banks. Hundreds of victims clicked on the crooked email and were redirected to a fake website, where their credentials were lifted.
The funds were then transferred to the crooks' accounts and later withdrawn from ATMs.
Italian football club Lazio was tricked into making a fraudulent player transfer payment by an email scheme.
The Telegraph reports scammers told Lazio to send the money to the crook's bank account in Holland rather than the account for Feyenoord, the player's old club. The transaction was an instalment payment by Lazio for player Stefan de Vrij to his old club, Feyenoord.
From the Web
Card Data Stolen From 5 Million Saks and Lord & Taylor Customers
The New York Times | Sun April 1, 2018 - A well-known ring of cybercriminals has obtained more than five million credit and debit card numbers from customers of Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor, according to a cybersecurity research firm that specializes in tracking stolen financial data. The data, the firm said, appears to have been stolen using software that was implanted into the cash register systems at the stores and that siphoned card numbers until last month.
Retailers Race Against Amazon to Automate Stores
The New York Times | Sun April 1, 2018 - Soon, more technology-driven businesses like Amazon Go may be coming. A global race to automate stores is underway among several of the world’s top retailers and small tech start-ups, which are motivated to shave labor costs and minimize shoppers’ frustrations, like waiting for cashiers. They are also trying to prevent Amazon from dominating the physical retail world as it does online shopping.
Bitcoin’s First-Quarter Play: Falling Back to Earth
The Wall Street Journal | Fri Mar 30, 2018 - Bitcoin posted its second-worst quarter on record in the first quarter of 2018. As of Thursday, bitcoin was down 49% in the quarter, trading around $7,115. That would make the first quarter the worst since the third quarter of 2011, when it fell 68%, and the second-worst quarter since it started trading regularly in 2010. Moreover, it slid 64% from its record of $19,800 set on Dec. 17. It was the first down quarter for bitcoin since the third quarter of 2016, when it fell 9.5%.
More from PaymentsSource
How an African startup built a bitcoin network while crypto's reputation crumbled
Elizabeth Rossiello heard that cryptocurrencies would be the next big thing so she founded BitPesa. And while she benefited from the initial craze around bitcoin and blockchain, her company also shares bitcoin's reputational wounds.
Government digital currencies aren't efficient enough for prime time
Until the technologies provide significant savings, cryptotokens threaten financial stability, and the risks of open access to central bank balance sheets are worked out, retail CBDCs are a long way off, writes Collin Canright, a fintech consultant.
7 ways Uber, Lyft and Grab threaten payments providers
These apps may not seem like much of a threat as long as they stay in their lane — but increasingly, ride-sharing companies are pushing the limits of how their apps can be used for payments.
Trump's threats to China will fracture payments partnerships first
President Trump's isolationism — and the consequent rumors of a trade war — is colliding head-on with a trend of Chinese tourists coming to the U.S. looking for ways to spend their money.