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Singapore summit
Japan, South Korea, Singapore and China have become fintech powerhouses over the past few years, sparking innovation in contactless payments and blockchain.

A group of more than 60 companies from 12 Asian nations have formed a committee to further boost fintech investment and development as the region competes with Europe and the U.S. All three regions had similar fintech investment volume in the past year.

Called the Fintech Cooperation Committee, Finextra reports it will consist of banks, technology companies and policy-makers to foster collaboration. At the first meeting in Singapore, the group approved specifications for QR-code mobile payments, which are a major driver of contactless transactions in China and other local markets.
Halfway to $2 billion
Fresh off making an investment in cryptocurrency, ride-hailing app Go-Jek has attracted close to a billion dollars in investments as it plots product and geographic diversification to battle Grab.

Google, Tencent and JD.com, which are existing investors, are preparing to pour another $920 million into Go-Jek, reports TechCrunch, which adds that would bring Go-Jek's valuation to more than $9 billion.

With new funds from existing investors in hand, Go-Jek will likely look for other backers to reach its target of $2 billion in new funding, TechCrunch reports.

B2B funds
Consumer-style payment automation is finally migrating to business payments, and that's attracting investors.

Apruve's B2B payments technology has drawn a $6 million Series A investment round from Cloud Apps Capital Partners, TTV Capital and Allegis Capital.

The Minneapolis-based Apruve sells software that's designed to remove accounts receivable from a company's balance sheet by using data analytics to inform payment terms and manage back office expense and cash flow.

LA Apple
Mobile payment advancements are creating incentives to remove closed loop ticketing for mass transit.

In a new deployment, Apple is collaborating with LA Metro to install Apple Pay on bus and rail systems during 2019. Commuters will purchase a Transit Access Pass app and use iPhones and Apple Watches to buy tickets at stations. An Android version of the Transit Access Pass is also planned, reports Apple Insider.

Transit systems in Salt Lake City, Portland, Chicago and the U.K. also accept Apple Pay.

From the Web

Industry giants flash plastic for Earthport
The Times | Sat January 26, 2019 - Mastercard has gatecrashed an agreed takeover of a British payment processing minnow by Visa, announcing its own £233 million deal. Mastercard’s offer of 33p per share in cash for Earthport trumped Visa’s previous 30p bid, which was agreed a month ago and valued the company at £198 million.

Home Office tracks debit card use to ‘spy’ on asylum seekers
The Times | Sun January 27, 2019 - The Home Office has been accused of “spying” on asylum seekers after it emerged that it secretly monitors their debit card use to track their whereabouts. Officials use purchases made outside a person’s “authorised” city — the place where they are given temporary housing — to argue they are fraudulently living elsewhere, so are not destitute enough to qualify for emergency aid or shelter.

Alibaba to continue to invest aggressively - exec
Reuters | Fri January 25, 2019 - Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd will continue to invest aggressively despite an uncertain business environment, a senior company executive said. Alibaba’s executive vice-chairman Joe Tsai struck an optimistic note about China and said people were over worried about the country’s economy, adding that Chinese consumers were still fundamentally very strong.

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