8.15.18 Your morning briefing

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The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the Web:

'Pay' of America
Alipay and WeChat have made progress in the U.S. through a series of partnerships that support payments for Chinese travelers, an expansion strategy that's getting a major boost at one of the U.S.'s largest shopping centers.

Through an integration with cross-border payment marketing company Citcon, both WeChat Pay and Alipay will be available at Mall of America, including stores, guest services and the indoor theme park at the Twin Cities mall.

The apps will also support push marketing and coupons, as well as a geolocation-based store search function.

ATM hackers claim a victim
Shortly after an FBI warning that hackers would use malware to drain ATMs, India-based Cosmos Bank reports 14,000 fake transactions across 29 countries, totaling about $13.5 million.

The attackers targeted the bank's ATM switch, approving transactions for cloned Visa and Rupay debit cards, reports APAC Newswire.

The bank closed its online system for two days as a precaution, adding it believes the attack originated in Canada.

A fast push for corporate automation
Real-time processing is spurring more automation for business payments, a segment that has traditionally lagged consumer transactions in technological innovation.

TD Bank reports 42% of business say real-time payments integrated with online banking will spur more process automation over the next three to five years.

The bank, which based its research on a survey at a recent Nacha event, also reports 20% of execs predict machine learning will create "positive change," while other innovation such as blockchain and biometrics trailed, with 11% and 4% predicting those advancements would have a positive impact in the near term.

Going national
Square has expanded support for bitcoin trades through Square Cash in all 50 states. The service was gradually rolled out because of strict cryptocurrency regulations in states such as New York, Georgia and Hawaii, reports Coindesk.

The mobile point of sale company first announced support for bitcoin trading in January, a move that was seen as a boost at a particularly volatile time for bitcoin.

Square later added more cryptocurrency services to Cash, such as payroll support.

From the Web

Bitcoin is 'useless as a payment mechanism and ridiculous as a store of value,' ex-PayPal CEO says
CNBC | Tue August 14, 2018 - Bitcoin will continue to fall, because "there's just no value there," former PayPal CEO Bill Harris told CNBC on Tuesday. "The cult of bitcoin [makes] many claims — that it's instant, free, scalable, efficient, secure, globally accepted and useful — it is none of those things," Harris said. Harris, who is also founder of Personal Capital Corporation, came out swinging against bitcoin in an April op-ed in which he called the cryptocurrency a "colossal pump-and-dump scheme, the likes of which the world has never seen."

Card payment problems at Marks & Spencer
BBC News | Tue August 14, 2018 - Marks & Spencer is having a problem accepting card payments in around a quarter of its stores. Some stores are currently unable to take credit or debit card payments, while others had limited tills available to take card payments, a spokesperson for the chain said. They blamed "technical difficulties with our tills" for the problem.

Tightening regulations make fintechs easy takeover targets for banks stepping up digitalisation drive
South China Morning Post | Wed August 15, 2018 - Embattled financial technology businesses in China, which have come under tightened regulatory scrutiny, are becoming acquisition targets by mainland banks accelerating their digitalisation drive, according to global management consultancy McKinsey. Joe Ngai, managing partner for Greater China at McKinsey, said that tremendous changes are taking place in the mainland’s fintech sector amid the clean-up campaign by regulators to ward off financial risks.

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Cardlytics has added Wells Fargo & Co. to the list of banks using its card-linked offers platform after a successful pilot, joining JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp., the latter of which has leaned on Cardlytics’ marketing service since 2012.

NCR, Diebold Nixdorf need more than new bosses in the fintech era
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Costco activates contactless terminals in stores
Two years after Citi launched more than 7 million contactless-enabled Costco credit cards in the U.S., Costco has finally enabled tap and pay at its U.S. stores.

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