Morning Brief 10.15.19: Alipay starts a joint venture in Russia

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Alipay and Russian internet firm Maul.ru have formed a digital wallet joint venture to provide payments in Russia, one of Alipay's first such ventures outside of its home Asian market.

Maul.ru will own 40% of the venture, reports the South China Morning Post, with other partners including mobile operator MegaFon and Russian holding company USM. The venture will focus on providing payment technology to small businesses, among other use cases.

Alipay already has a global presence, though much of that comes from deals with local merchants to support payments for Chinese travelers.

Google Train

Cubic Transportation Systems has finalized plans to enable transit authorities in several major U.S. cities to accept Google Pay for all ticket types, including monthly passes, through Cubic’s OMNY program. As transit ticketing becomes more open, companies are trying to encourage interoperability between systems.

Beginning next year, consumers in San Francisco will be able to pay any type of fare from a mobile device via Google Pay, with Boston and New York to be added to the program in the following months, Cubic said in a press release.

The move is aimed to increase convenience for travelers, who may access Google Pay through the Cubic traveler app, with support for more cities to be added as transit agencies upgrade systems to accept mobile payments, according to the release.

Crypto giving

Unicef, the United Nations' children's philanthropic agency, has established a cryptocurrency fund to manage donations in ether or bitcoin.

Contributions will be held in the cryptocurrency the donors uses, and will also be disbursed that way, reports Finextra.

The UN will use the funds to support open source technology, including projects such as connecting schools to the internet. The Ethereum Foundation has made the initial contributions.

Blockchain pros wanted

Bank of America is following up its blockchain patent applications with job postings for a variety of roles such as treasury product, payment technology architects and regulatory experts.

The job requirements include blockchain experience, or the ability to use blockchain for banking services, according to Coindesk.

One of Bank of America's more recent patent applications describes security technology for a P2P wallet, though the bank has said its applications are conceptual and not tied to a specific product.

From the web

5 Top Car Makers Enter Field Trials for Automatic Blockchain Payments
COINDESK | Mon October 14, 2019
A group of major automakers are about to hit the road with the first field testing of a blockchain-based vehicle identification network next month in the U.S. BMW, General Motors, Honda, Ford and Renault are working with the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) on integrating the system to automatically make payments on typical commuting runs without the need for cash or credit and debit cards.

Alipay to ban all Bitcoin transactions
YAHOO FINANCE | Mon October 14, 2019
Chinese payments platform Alipay will ban all transactions related to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The news was confirmed on Alipay’s official Twitter page with a statement reading: “If any transactions are identified as being related to bitcoin or other virtual currencies, Alipay immediately stops the relevant payment services.”

Google enables debit card payments in Brazil
REUTERS | Mon October 14, 2019
Alphabet Inc’s Google launched a debit card payment function in Brazil through Google Pay, to boost use of its Android smartphones. Online retailers in Brazil often take only credit cards, not debit cards, because of a higher incidence of fraud, a problem Google said it has tackled, without disclosing how.

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