4.12.18 Your morning briefing

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

Amex, without the smudge
American Express has redesigned its logo for the first time since before the bicentennial, a subtle change meant to evoke a higher-tech age and to make the brand more clear.

Pentagram partner Abbott Miller, who led the redesign, told Co.Design the change to the 1975 logo is subtle, swapping out a blue box with a gradient for a blue box without a gradient. The effect is to be "cleaner," to give the impression that the viewer "cleaned the smudges" off a pair of glasses. The logo is part of a rebrand campaign called "Powerful Backing: Don't Do Business/Don't Live Without It."

There's also a function. The smaller logo is designed to fit on smaller screens, making the logo more palatable to smartphones, Miller told Co.Design.
The Uber train
Uber is collaborating with ticketing and transit software company Masabi to link Uber rides to mass transit.

While Uber is seen as a rival or disruptor to mass transit, the Masabi collaboration envisions multimodal trips.

The rider will use the Uber app to book a car, then view an option to display or buy Masabi transit tickets while in the app. The companies will use Masabi's SDK, which supports fare information requests, payments and bar code ticketing.

Taiwan's eye on crypto
Taking a softer tone than neighboring China's ban on ICOs and cryptocurrency trading, Taiwan will allow cryptocurrencies with tight regulations.

Taiwan will classify cryptocurrencies under the anti-money laundering rules that cover other financial companies.

The government made the decision after meetings with other regulators and cryptocurrency exchanges.

On ice
The Nasdaq Stock Market plans to delist Long Blockchain following a plunge in the company's stock price to near $1, reports Newsday.

It's the end of the rollercoaster for the company, which first saw its stock jump dramatically after changing its name from Long Island Iced Tea in late December, taking on a "blockchain" brand. Its stock, along with parts of its strategy, started to decline when the bitcoin market began its retrenchment earlier this year.

The company said it will apply to trade on the OTCQB market, which is designed for early-stage companies.

Faster data
Corporate treasurers and commercial bankers want more information about payment data and transactions than faster speed, reports Finextra, citing TD Bank.

Fifty-two percent of corporate treasurers say posting more information is better, while 36% say faster settlement is more important.

Also, the availability of APIs to support outbound payment technology is more popular than blockchain-based technology, with four times as many treasurers calling for more investments in APIs than distributed ledgers.

From the Web

Mastercard to create 175 new high-tech jobs in Dublin
The Irish Times | Thu April 12, 2018 - Mastercard, which already employs more than 200 people at its research and development centre in Dublin, is to create 175 new tech jobs in Ireland as it looks to bring more digital payment solutions to market. The company said it is looking to hire across a number of areas, with new roles for software engineers, blockchain specialists, data scientists, project managers, analysts, product designers, cloud infrastructure specialists and information security experts.

Alibaba launches retail and e-commerce courses for Singaporean businesses
Singapore Business Review | Thu April 12, 2018 - Firms will be able to access courses through an online platform by Taobao University. Alibaba Group launched its first Alibaba Global Course (AGC) for 2,000 attendees and 600 SMEs in Singapore. AGC is a series of public lectures focused on understanding e-commerce and related trends.

Ripple looks to back the next Uber by investing $25 million into a blockchain-focused fund
CNBC | Wed April 11, 2018 - Blockchain start-up Ripple is putting $25 million worth of its cryptocurrency into Blockchain Capital, a venture capital firm dedicated to blockchain technology. Ripple, which has partnered with banks and other financial firms, says it's looking for next Uber, Salesforce, or Instagram to be built on its platform "We want smart people, and smart entrepreneurs, who can solve a problem using XRP," says Cory Johnson, chief market strategist at Ripple.

More from PaymentsSource

Alipay: Strength in numbers
Ant Financial, the Alibaba affiliate that operates Alipay, is planning an IPO that could be worth hundreds of billions of dollars — but the funds it could raise are secondary to the consumer population it already controls.

Mastercard and Visa should eliminate Dynamic Currency Conversion
DCC is popular with payment processors and merchants because it almost effortlessly boosts profits, gouging an often one-time consumer instinctively comfortable and receptive to paying in his familiar home currency, writes Eric Grover, a principal at Intrepid Venture.

Data: 'Hey Siri, Alexa, Google—when will you be ready for payments?'
Voice assistants are on a fast track, with ownership of home devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home surging to between 20% and 25% of households from a mere 1% in about two years. The rapid growth is inviting keen interest in many circles about the potential for voice assistants to spark disruption in commerce, payments and financial services.

How Mastercard, IBM plan to reinvent security under GDPR
Mastercard and IBM have founded a company with a very narrow goal: to help organizations scramble their data to thwart hackers and comply with Europe's General Data Protection Regulation.

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