5.2.19 Your morning briefing

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

Apple train
Apple has made habit-forming transit payments a major part of its push to expand Apple Pay, including pending or active deployments in New York, Portland, Ore., and other major cities.

It's also struck a deal to enable Cubic's transit cards in Apple Wallet, which will support trains, subways and buses accessible through Cubic's transit app.

Cubic will add Apple support for the Ventra card in Chicago this year, and will also be part of the New York deployment. There's also potential for further collaboration, since Cubic supplies transit transaction technology to dozens of global cities, and has partnered with London to market transit payments to other markets. London's transit system also supports Apple Pay.
Point and card
U.K. plastic card manufacturer Nitecrest has developed a biometrically-activated payment card, which accesses a fingerprint ID panel to make contactless payments above the current threshold of about $50.

With biometrics expanding as a way to access mobile devices for e-commerce and in-app transactions, Nitecrest is seeking to increase usage for contactless cards at the physical point of sale.

The cards are in the early stages of deployment, though the company hopes to ramp up production as existing cards expire.

Got skills
Alexa has added "in-skill" purchasing, or ISP, in the U.K., Japan and Germany, opening a wider customer base for developers looking for monetization options.

Developers will be able to offer one-time purchases and subscriptions, reports Engadget, adding Amazon will also support game hints and rolling access to premium features.

The Amazon store card skill went live in the U.S. in 2018, with early adopters including Synchrony, which supports bill payment via Amazon's Alexa voice assistant.

DIY contactless
A developer has figured out a way to make a wearable out of a regular plastic credit card, though it doesn't sound very easy.

Working on behalf of the Instructables website, the developer asked his bank for a replacement card, dissolved it in acetone, removed the RFID chip and fused a new antenna. He then printed a ring's inner frame on a 3D printer, glued the RFID chip to it and used a ring mold to create a new ring, which he then filled with resin.

This ring, once it's finished, is designed to perform similar to any other contactless payment ring.

From the Web

More small businesses cashing in on cashless payments
USA Today | Wed May 1, 2019 - Small businesses are adopting cashless options in droves, basically because customers are demanding it. Indeed, non-cash payments are increasing at an annual rate of about 6% a year, and in the last quarter of 2018, some $164 billion in cashless payments were transacted.

Crypto Crime May Have Cost Sector $1.2 Billion in Q1, Says Report
CoinDesk | Wed May 1, 2019 - Losses arising from cryptocurrency hacks and fraud may have reached as high as $1.2 billion in the first quarter of the year. The total figure includes over $356 million lost from exchanges (including QuadrigaCX’s $195 million) and over $850 million alleged to have been lost from the Bitfinex exchange.

Mercury Payment Solutions and Arion Bank Select Fiserv Anti-Money Laundering Technology
Yahoo Finance | Thu May 2, 2019 - Fiserv, Inc., a leading global provider of financial services technology solutions, announced that a payment scheme in the Middle East and a universal bank in Iceland have chosen Fiserv technology to streamline anti-money laundering (AML) processes and effectively manage fraud risk.

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Apple Pay's next phase thinks outside the app
To fuel growth, Apple's mobile wallet needs to go beyond its core use cases of NFC and in-app payments. Apple Pay's latest project leans more heavily on NFC to do work typically handled by apps.

5 insights into wearable payments
While the payment volume from smart wearable devices may not have achieved the initial euphoric predictions made by analyst firms — such as over $500 billion in annual volume by 2020 expected by Tractica research — things are about to change for the better as several market dynamics have shifted.

Canadian bank-backed digital ID system launches, built on blockchain tech
SecureKey Technologies has partnered with Canada’s top banks and telcos to launch the country’s first federated digital identity network. The blockchain-based Verified.Me platform uses customer information from multiple databases to address a key problem in the digital world — proving you are who you claim to be.

Mastercard faces pressure to monitor hate group payments at board level
Mastercard’s board is pushing back against an activist group’s calls to create a board-level human rights committee to track potential transactions involving extremist organizations.

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