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Apple Pay draws big banks in big markets
Apple has drawn support from Citigroup to power Apple Pay in Australia, a market where it's encountered aggressive pushback from local banks on Apple Pay.

MacRumors reports Citi is also supporting Apple Pay for its cardholders in Singapore and Hong Kong, followed by Taiwan later this month.

Apple has also won support for Apple Pay from BBVA, one of the largest banks in Spain, following Bankia, another large Spanish bank.

Bloomberg News
Bloomberg News

Good funds
Mastercard is extending a partnership with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group that's also part of the card network's general financial inclusion initiative.

The card brand and IFC have an existing $250 million risk-sharing facility that's designed to support electronic payment access in emerging markets.

IFC has agreed to guarantee settlement risk, and through the extension both Mastercard and IFC will recruit more banks to the program.

About face
FX exchange and payment company Currency Matters has added facial biometrics as way to balance speed and security.

Security company Selified is powering the biometrics, which will help Currency Matters comply with anti-money laundering rules while accommodating faster payments' processing requirements.

Selified's system combines selfies with stored images of ID documents and proof of address.

Loyal to blockchain
Swiss coffee brand Lattesso has launched a blockchain-powered loyalty program.

Using the Lattessocoin, Lattesso's virtual token, the program is based on the quibee system, which is a specialized platform for marketing on the Ethereum blockchain. Each cup of coffee will include a code that accesses Lattessocoins, which are accessible via an app.

By using the decentralized blockchain, Lattesso hopes to unify a fragmented and inefficient market, as well as centralize marketing data management, similar to a strategy used by banks such as RBC.

From the Web

Natixis, buyout funds line up final bids for SIX payments arm: sources
Reuters | Thu Apr 26, 2018 - Three bidders including a consortium of French bank Natixis and buyout fund Warburg Pincus are vying to buy the payments unit of the Swiss stock exchange operator SIX Group, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. U.S. buyout fund Hellman & Friedman, which controls Danish payments firm Nets, and French payments group Worldline are also lining up rival bids for the business before an April 27 deadline, the sources said.

China's mobile payment posts robust growth in 2017
China Daily | Thu Apr 26, 2018 - China's mobile payment posted robust growth last year and is gradually replacing generally PC-based online payment, a report showed Thursday. Domestic commercial banks handled over 37.5 billion mobile payment transactions last year, up 46.06 percent year on year, according to the report from the Payment & Clearing Association of China.

New ‘shimmer’ technology allows thieves to steal $53K at Maryland Heights ATM
Fox News | Thu Apr 26, 2018 - As consumers adapt to the threat of ATM skimmers, thieves are developing new methods of scamming the public. In one recent example, Maryland Heights police said thieves stole over $50,000 from an ATM using a shimmer device.

More from PaymentsSource

As Starbucks' mobile strategy stalls, a smaller rival pounces
Lacy Morris would seem to be in a tough spot as the main techie for a smaller coffee chain that's deploying mobile technology years after Starbucks dominated the market. But Starbucks has made missteps, he contends, leaving room for rivals to learn from those mistakes.

Artificial Intelligence is not the future of retail—it's the present
AI is about maximizing technology to drive greater business insights, making brands more efficient and more connected to their customers, our jobs more fulfilling and meaningful and giving us a more personalized experience in our daily lives, writes Anant Kale, CEO and founder of AppZen.

Will Visa and PayPal's truce survive the 'single button' movement?
Visa CEO Alfred Kelly is less publicly adversarial toward market rival PayPal than his predecessor Charlie Scharf, even as Visa's push for a "single button" for online payments seems to undermine PayPal's business model.

The U.K.'s rampant contactless card use is not built on trust
Contactless payments have become increasingly popular in the U.K. over the past couple of years due to the advantages they offer in terms of speed and ease of payment — but despite this, much of the U.K. public does not trust the format.