8.1.18 Your morning briefing

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

Giving in to Apple
Apple has won over two long-time holdouts for its Apple Pay app, CVS and 7-Eleven, the technology company announced as part of record fiscal third quarter earnings.

CVS and 7-Eleven were part of the Merchant Customer Exchange, a failed attempt from Walmart and other merchants to built their own payment system called CurrentC. CVS shut off NFC payments shortly after Apple Pay's launch in 2014, then later added a QR code system to accept contactless transactions.

Apple, which also announced Germany would soon accept Apple Pay, did not give a timetable for CVS' and 7-Eleven's moves beyond saying it will happen sometime this year. By accepting Apple Pay, the two chains will also by extension allow other NFC transaction providers.
Deregulating fintech
The U.S. Treasury department has proposed relaxing rules in several areas to encourage financial technology startups, creating standards similar to those in Europe.

The Wall Street Journal reports that initiative includes a fintech charter, a sandbox to test new ideas and improved access to data. That would create a PSD2-style open banking regime that would make it easier for startups to communicate with banks.

The Treasury is also pushing for a breach notification law that strengthens disclosure standards.

Phishy trend
Shortly after reports that Square's brand was being used as part of a phishing scam, PayPal's name is also reportedly being misused for attacks.

A fake email that looks as though it's from PayPal contains malware that attaches to the user's device, reports The Daily Mail.

The newspaper reports the subject line is "PayPal Account Warning," with a Word document attachment that contains malware.

Buying a wallet
Cryptocoin exchange operator Binance has acquired Trust Wallet as part of an effort to improve its centralized architecture.

Cryptos UK reports Binance is trying to address concerns about centralized cryptocurrency exchanges, particularly that such exchanges run counter to the goals of alternative currency and limit choices for users. Trust Wallet uses decentralized private keys that are stored on its users' devices.

It's the first acquisition for Binance, which has about 9 million users, according to Cryptos UK.

First down and blockchain
The National Football League Players Association has take an a minority stake in SportsCastr, the blockchain unit of FanChain, the digital sports content company.

The union will encourage players to provide content such as livestreams and commentary, with the chance to earn cryptocurrency tokens, either from SportsCastr or through a payment gateway that SportsCastr offers to fans, reports Coindesk.

The platform will also be open to athletes outside the NFL.

From the Web

China’s Online Shopping Giants Open Thousands of Bricks-and-Mortar Stores
The Wall Street Journal | Tue July 31, 2018 - The biggest online retailers in China are buying, building and refurbishing big portfolios of convenience stores, supermarkets and department stores, embracing a much more expansive bricks-and-mortar strategy than their U.S. counterparts. In the U.S. some of the leading e-commerce companies are opening or acquiring physical stores, but at a more modest pace.

Wyre: The Blockchain Platform Taking The Lead In Cross-Border Transactions
Forbes | Tue July 31, 2018 - Founded in 2013, Wyre uses proprietary blockchain technology to complete cross-border payments, cutting the time and expenses traditionally tied to banks and other financial institutions. While banks take up to 3 days and charge between 4-6% for international money transfers, Wyre completes transactions in less than six hours, charging less than 1%.

Universal credit payments at risk of being used by abusers, MPs say
The Guardian | Wed August 1, 2018 - MPs have called for an overhaul of the way universal credit is paid, to minimise the risk of it being used by domestic abusers as a way of exerting financial control over their partners. A work and pensions select committee inquiry report says the current default policy of a single monthly payment per household risks the entire family income – including money meant for children – going into the abusive partner’s bank account.

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