Morning Brief 8.3.20: Apple buys Mobeewave, revamps gift cards

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

Plans for payments

Apple has purchased Mobeewave, a startup that enables people to use their smartphones as mobile point of sale terminals that can accept contactless payments.

The deal was worth about $100 million, Bloomberg News reports. Apple has also revamped its gift card in an attempt to simplify use across the company's myriad products.

Called Apple Gift Card, it can be used for the App Store, subscriptions or other digital goods, as well as to purchase physical items through the web, reports Engadget.

Charging ahead

American Express is adding installment pay features to its T&E charge cards. Pay It Plan It, a monthly payment service Amex made available for revolving credit cards in 2017, is now available for Amex's Green, Gold and Platinum charge cards, the card network announced this week.

Charge card customers now have the choice to pay off specific purchases before their bill payment period ends. They may also spread payments for larger purchases out over months for a fixed fee without paying interest, or they may opt to carry a monthly balance with interest or pay their bill in full, Amex said in a Monday press release. Pay It Plan it has been a hit with millennials since its launch three years ago, Amex said.

Amex on July 24 reported an 85% decline in net income during the second quarter ended June 30, based on steep in customer spending amid the pandemic, particularly in the travel sector.

New normal

NJ Transit has resumed accepting cash on buses after temporarily suspending it to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The transit agency had also reduced the number of buses and trains running in the region for the last few months and required bus passengers to enter only through the rear doors, to help shield drivers from virus exposure.

On buses that have been fitted with protective barriers, passengers may enter through the forward doors and pay with cash, beginning Aug. 3, NJ Transit announced. Cash payments resumed on trains in July. The agency is encouraging customers to use exact change to minimize contact with operators, and to pay via the mobile app or ticket vending machines where possible.

Payback

Toronto-based payment processing giant Moneris has added Visa Direct for direct debit funding. The solution will enable millions of Canadians to receive disbursement payments directly into their bank accounts, according to a press release.

The move will enable businesses in verticals including insurance, lending and the gig economy to move funds in real time, further reducing the need for businesses to send checks.

From the Web

Malware writer pleads guilty to helping $568 million cybercrime ring
ENGADGET | Sunday, Aug 2 2020
Software writer Valerian Chiochiu has pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy for helping Infraud Organization develop and use FastPOS malware that helped the group steal massive amounts of data. Infraud is now believed to have stolen enough identities, payment cards and other sensitive data to produce $568 million in losses.

Singapore's Universal Studios deploys facial recognition for entry
REUTERS | Monday, Aug 3 2020
Visitors to Universal Studios in Singapore will now have to pass through facial recognition scanners to enter the park, in the city-state's latest foray with a technology that has stoked privacy concerns.

Facebook raises settlement to $650 million in facial recognition lawsuit
REUTERS | Saturday Aug 1 2020
Facebook Inc raised its settlement offer by $100 million to $650 million related to a lawsuit that claimed it illegally collected and stored biometric data for millions of users without their consent, the company said on Friday.

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