8.27.18 Your morning briefing

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

Shutting it down
Alipay is blocking users who are paying for bitcoin trading, reports AltcoinerNL.

As part of the crackdown, Alipay's owner Ant Financial plans a "risk prevention" program to educate users about the danger of crypto-related propaganda, according to Altcoiner.

Alipay's move is part of a broader hostility to cryptocurrency in China. WeChat recently blocked bitcoin news on its feed, while the Chinese government has restricted cryptocurrency through a series of regulations.
More than plastic
Visa has made several investments to expand its reach into non-plastic card transactions.

The latest is an undisclosed stake in Paidy, a Japanese company that issues post-pay credit for e-commerce shoppers that relies on mobile numbers and email addresses to execute payments.

Visa's Paidy stake follows similar investments in Behalf, a merchant capital provider; and Payworks, which integrates payment systems with CRM and and marketing programs.

$3 trillion in wallets
Major mobile payment apps are seeing more uptake, and there may be even larger numbers ahead.

The global mobile wallet app market is expected to reach $3.4 trillion by 2022, a compound annual growth rate of 32% from the current valuation of $594 billion, according to Zion Market Research.

Zion attributes the forecast to the fast growth of NFC-enabled smartphones, which are expected to become more common as new phone models penetrate all global markets.

A blockchain for blockchains
A group of blockchain companies has formed the Universal Protocol Platform, which is designed to improve interoperability among blockchains, resulting in wider use of cryptocurrencies.

Uphold, Cred, Brave and Blockchain at Berkeley are the among the blockchain organizations that support the effort, which will be a hub for 'proxy' tokens.

These tokens will allow users to access a range of cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin and Ethereum, through a single platform.

From the Web

Berkshire Hathaway reportedly in talks to buy a stake in India's largest digital payments company
CNBC | Mon August 27, 2018 - Billionaire investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is reportedly in talks to buy a stake in India's largest digital payments company, Paytm, according to multiple reports on Monday. Berkshire is in talks to invest between 20 billion to 25 billion rupees ($286 million to $357 million) in One97 Communications — the parent company of Paytm, the Economic Times reported.

Smartisan’s new messaging app looks to include payment features as it competes with WeChat
South China Morning Post | Mon August 27, 2018 - Chinese smartphone maker Smartisan may be a start-up, but founder Luo Yonghao has no qualms about taking on internet behemoth Tencent’s WeChat, the ubiquitous all-in-one app that has become a permanent fixture in the devices of over a billion users. A week after Smartisan launched a messaging app called Zidan Duanxin, which means Bullet Messaging, the outspoken Chinese entrepreneur posted on Weibo that it may soon include payment features from Alipay.

Direct flight, WeChat pay, get Scotland's tourism China-ready
China Daily | Mon August 27, 2018 - Taking the newly-launched direct flight from Beijing to Edinburgh, and using Chinese mobile payment platform WeChat Pay to purchase tickets to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Chinese tourists feel their holiday trips to Scotland this summer are more convenient and enjoyable. Starting from this summer, Chinese audiences can use WeChat to pay for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo tickets and souvenir.

More from PaymentsSource

For FTV Capital, the future of payments is in the (digital) cards
When Chris Winship, partner of FTV Capital, paid $35 million in private equity funds for a slice of the digital gift card player Tango Card in May 2018, he did so with the expectation that he would quickly find a buyer.

Selling apps outside of app stores increases the payments security risk
The release of the popular Fortnite Battle Royale game to Android users outside of the Google Play store sets a dangerous precedent both for users and for banks, merchants, payments processors and others across the ecosystem of processing payments on mobile channels.

Google Pay stands on shaky shoulders, and that's a good thing
Google can’t underestimate the importance of its maiden voyage with Google Wallet and the lessons the company learned in being one of the first to offer payments through cellphones in the U.S.

Are phishers really trying to steal physical debit cards?
Phishing has become an everyday part of internet life, something most users of email and social media have come to expect — and ignore — almost without thought.

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