Morning Brief 6.3.20: Apple's Hong Kong transit payment app has some holes

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

Transit and politics

As Apple's Octopus Pay transit app officially launches in Hong Kong, Apple Maps has added a feature that allows commuters to find stations. But there are some holes in the system due to disputes between Hong Kong and mainland China.

Some indoor stations are missing, as well as some directions for Hong Kong residents — but not visitors from mainland China. That's due to Hong Kong's self-governance and autonomy disputes with China's government, reports MacRumors.

Apple Pay's Octopus app uses Express Transit, which is designed to speed boarding through streamlined authentication.

Financial inclusion

The U.K. government has approved TrueLayer's application to provide an API to government agencies to digitize transactions.

The move should open payments for consumers that don't have credit or debit cards, allowing greater access to government services and payments from the government.

The coronavirus has spurred governments globally to distribute stimulus funds directly to residents, causing governments to consider new ways to accommodate different levels of financial access among the population.

Cash cause

The virus has also led to a fast decline in ATM usage and cash, adding more attention to an already controversial issue in the U.K. as banks grapple with the cost of managing cash.

The consumer group Which? is pressuring the U.K. government to ensure access to cash remains, reports Finextra. The group reports a survey of 2,000 consumers found half of people who are shopping on behalf of others, a common practice during the coronavirus, are paid in cash for doing so.

Members of Parliament are also pressuring the government to shore up the U.K.'s cash supply.

Train robbery

Amtrak recently suffered a data breach that potentially exposed customer information and the railroad's incentive marketing accounts.

The attack, which took place in April, used passwords, suggesting the crooks used previously stolen information, reports ZDNet. Social Security numbers and card data were not compromised, the railroad reported.

Amtrak's Guest Rewards works similar to airline mileage, permitting exchange of points for discounts, travel and gift cards.

From the web

Contactless Payment on New York City Subway Is Delayed by Coronavirus
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL | Tue June 2, 2020
The new way of paying for subway and bus trips using a smartphone or contactless credit card couldn’t have come at a better time for New Yorkers wishing to avoid touching a MetroCard vending machine. But the coronavirus pandemic has delayed by about two months the completion of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s new fare payment system, OMNY, across the subway, officials said Tuesday.

Fewer ATMs, no more cheques and lower e-payment fees predicted for Australia in wake of coronavirus
THE GUARDIAN | Wed June 3, 2020
A world without cheques, fewer ATMs and a regulatory push to lower electronic transaction fees as fewer people use cash are some of the likely impacts of Covid-19 on payments, the Reserve Bank has said. The RBA assistant governor said cash was now the payment method for just 25% of transactions, or around 10% of their value.

Facebook, PayPal invest in Indonesia’s ride-hailing firm Gojek
CNBC | Tue June 2, 2020
Facebook, along with PayPal, has invested in Indonesian ride-hailing and food delivery company, Gojek, but did not reveal the size of its investment.

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