7.1.19 Your morning briefing

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

Amazon's Twitch sells out

Amazon is making the most of its game-streaming property Twitch to promote Prime Day deals, with a programming block called "Twitch Sells Out."

Few details have been revealed about the corporate crossover, which will feature popular streamers (people who broadcast gameplay via Twitch as a hobby or career), whose names will be announced July 10, Polygon reports.

Amazon purchased Twitch in 2014 and has integrated it with its Prime two-day shipping membership. Prime customers can subscribe to one Twitch streamer (essentially a $5 tip to content creators) for free each month, and can download free games.

Hangups about new phones

It used to be that consumers traded in their phones for upgrade every other year, enabling smartphone makers to more quickly deploy mobile wallets and other new technology. Today's upgrade cycle is getting longer, with 25% saying they held onto their phone for three or more years, according to an NPD study.

One thing that might spur new upgrades is the adoption of 5G, according to TechCrunch's coverage of the study. The article cautions that this is no silver bullet, as 5G coverage in the U.S. is extremely spotty.

Mobile wallets may not be much of an allure either, with contactless cards making a comeback in the U.S.

SIM hacks

An emerging digital theft is taking advantage of longer smartphone replacement cycles by tricking people into transferring personal information to a third party.

Called a SIM-swap, consumers turn control of their smartphone to a crook, who can break into connectected accounts, generally starting with email or social media accounts, reports Engadget. The attackers change the information in the users' accounts and sets up email forwarding. The crooks then search through cloud-stored documents to find valuable accounts. The Engadget report noted victims often lose tens of thousands of dollars.

The recovery is also difficult, with victims required to fill out online forms to telecoms and other companies, often having to engage with automated voice response customer service.

License to bank

The Monetary Authority of Singapore will issue as many as five new digital bank licenses, a move to attract banking companies as the island tries to compete with Hong Kong as a digital and fintech hub.

Two licenses will likely go to companies targeting retail banking customers, while the other three will go toward companies targeting small to medium sized businesses, reports Finextra, adding regulators will begin fielding applications in August.

The ride-sharing company Grab is already considering applying for a license in anticipation of Singapore's regulatory move.

From the Web

Visa Will Remain Payments Industry Leader By Focusing On Its Cross-Border Payments Business
Forbes | Fri June 28, 2019 - Visa and Mastercard were in a long-drawn tussle earlier this year to acquire Earthport, as both payment giants look for ways to tap into the growing cross-border payments business. Visa’s cross-border revenues have grown in the recent past at a much higher rate than Mastercard’s.

WhatsApp Payments moves closer to launching in India
India Today | Fri June 28, 2019 - WhatsApp rolled out WhatsApp Payments to a test base of 1 million users last year. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines demanded for WhatsApp to store its payments related data locally, and WhatsApp has successfully setup data storage facilities in India.

Polish payment system Blik to be available on Netflix, Uber: PPS CEO
Reuters | Fri June 28, 2019 - Netflix, Uber and other companies will soon accept payments using Poland’s Blik, said the chief executive of Polish Payment Standard (PPS), the company behind the system. PPS, created by a partnership of six Polish banks, has embedded Blik in mobile banking apps and allows users to pay online or in stores, withdraw money at ATMs and make transfers.

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