12.29.17 Your morning briefing

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

Apple Pay at the movies: As apps like MoviePass seek to reinvent the way people pay for theater tickets, Apple is attempting its own spin. To become the payment mechanism of choice for movie buffs, Apple is offering a $5 credit to people who buy tickets in the Fandango app using Apple Pay, MacRumors reports. The promotion is reminiscent of Android Pay's marketing tie-in with Justice League.

EVO targets Spain: EVO Payments International, a payments processor and acquirer based in Atlanta, has signed a deal with Liberbank SA to support merchant payments in Spain. The deal will take effect in the first quarter of 2018, providing acquiring services, digital transactions and other technology to Spanish merchants. “We are delighted to partner with Liberbank in Spain,” said James G. Kelly, CEO of EVO Payments International, in a press release. “This alliance fits perfectly with our strategy to expand our global footprint through partnerships with market-leading financial institutions."

Protecting passwords: It's common security advice to create hard-to-remember passwords for online banking and payment accounts, then protect them in a password locker app that can autofill them on desktop and mobile websites. Users of the LastPass app had to contend with a flaw that could bypass the app's fingerprint security, but the app's maker has just posted a fix to lock down its security once again, reports Engadget. But what about the next time something like this happens? Engadget notes that the bigger benefit of this incident might be improvements to the process LastPass uses to address issues discovered by researchers.

Can the password be killed? It's no secret that the static password is not a strong enough security mechanism for modern e-commerce. The problem is, many alternatives still don't measure up. TechCrunch reporter Ron Miller recently got locked out of his Google account after forgetting his password and apparently failing the password recovery process. Miller reflects on the situation in an article and wonders if blockchain — the distributed ledger system designed for bitcoin — could be a workable solution for identity verification. Another solution could be better access to human customer support when the automated mechanisms fail.

From the Web

4 Years After Target, the Little Guy is the Target
Krebs On Security | Thu Dec 28, 2017 - Dec. 18 marked the fourth anniversary of this site breaking the news about a breach at Target involving some 40 million customer credit and debit cards. It has been fascinating in the years since that epic intrusion to see how organized cyber thieves have shifted from targeting big box retailers to hacking a broad swath of small to mid-sized merchants. In many ways, not much has changed: The biggest underground shops that sell stolen cards still index most of their cards by ZIP code. Only, the ZIP code corresponds not to the legitimate cardholder’s billing address but to the address of the hacked store at which the card in question was physically swiped.

Plastic Is King At New York Restaurants That No Longer Accept Cash
CBS | Thu Dec 28, 2017 - They say cash is king, but it may not be for long. A growing number of eateries are going cashless and accepting plastic only. Experts said with credit card companies offering rewards programs, and mobile apps like Venmo and Apple Pay technology, not cash, is the new king. “This is something that’s not going to change,” Fast Company editor and managing director, Robert Safian said. The downside to the change is that there’s still a threat of security and ID theft when paying electronically.

Will Bitcoin's Lightning Network Kill Off Altcoins Focused on Cheap Transactions?
Forbes | Thu Dec 28, 2017 - The transaction fees on the Bitcoin network have skyrocketed to new all-time highs of over $30 in the past couple of months, which has led some to suggest that there could now be an opening for a cheaper, less congested alternative to the world’s most popular cryptocurrency. Although on-chain transaction fees have priced some types of payments out of Bitcoin completely, various solutions to this issue are currently in development, with the Lightning Network being perhaps the most promising option.

More from PaymentsSource

Can rewards make people use cryptocurrencies as their creators intended?
As bitcoin's market swings steal the headlines, there are some people in the cryptocurrency industry who are trying to push the market back towards its original intent as a decentralized means of payment.

China puts limits on QR code spending, even as e-commerce booms
China's central bank has put the brakes on mobile and e-commerce payment schemes in the past, mostly from the standpoint of having a wary eye on third-party players elbowing their way into financial services.

Credit union regulator McWatters on shortlist to head CFPB
J. Mark McWatters, chairman of the National Credit Union Administration, is said to be in contention to take over as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Restaurant payment tech lacks interoperability, communication
Many restaurateurs expect more from their merchant services than a paper bill at the end of the month listing the basic credit card transactions, writes Andrew Szala, a content specialist at Upserve.

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