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Push-back on PSD2-style rules
Spurred by the European PSD2 open banking standards, other countries are working on rules to guide data sharing between banks and startups that provide digital financial services such as payments or personal financial management.

The effort is hitting a snag in Australia, as the country's large banks are pushing back against open banking, reports Finextra. Westpac is leading the charge, contending reforms will cost the bank $450 million in technology and compliance costs.

The Australian government has recommended more than 50 changes to the financial system to accommodate the relationship between digital payments and the banking industry.

Bloomberg News
Bloomberg News

Break the budget
The town of Lafayette, La. hopes to solve a budget crunch by creating its own currency.

The Acadiana Advocate reports Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux has proposed the city-parish conduct an ICO, making it one of the few governments to do so.

The cryptocurrency that results could help the town pay its debts, fund public works or position the city as a technology hub, according to Robideaux.

No more bitcoin bubble?
The fervor that boosted bitcoin to record heights in 2017 has likely cooled off as the currency becomes mainstream, reports Investing.com, citing data from Barclays.

That means it may be a long time before bitcoin, which is currently trading at around $7,000, returns to its highs of near $20,000 from December.

But it also clears the way to diversify use cases and find avenues to use bitcoin and other virtual currencies for payments, since the quick returns from treating it as a trading asset are likely gone.

World wallet to launch in Russia
A central bank-affiliated mobile payment system called World, or Mir, plans to launch in Russia, and is speaking with different technology companies about support.

Websawa reports the product will work with smartphones that run recent Android operating systems and have NFC. The site reports World is still in negotiations Apple.

A telco-driven mobile wallet is also under development in Russia.

From the Web

More restaurants go cashless, accept only cards and other forms of payment
USA Today | Sun Apr 15, 2018 - Tender Greens, with 28 restaurants on the East and West coasts, is one of a growing number of eateries that are either shunning cash and only accepting credit and debit cards and contactless payment systems, like Apple Pay, or experimenting with the strategy.

America should build on the Swiss model to regulate cryptocurrency
The Hill | Sun Apr 15, 2018 - Government oversight of cryptocurrencies is a complicated solution, and the United States is still developing its approach. The Congressional Blockchain Caucus is currently pressing for a hands-off regulatory approach to blockchain — a key underlying technology that has many uses and in the case of bitcoin is in effect a digital ledger which records chronologically and publicly all transactions — so that industry and government can collaborate and ensure U.S. global competitiveness.

Japan airline ANA aims to build digital payments business
Financial Times | Mon Apr 16, 2018 - ANA, Japan’s largest carrier, is aiming to launch a digital payments business as it seeks a cushion against the volatility in the airline industry’s profits. The plan is part of a broader digital push by ANA, which hopes to build on data collected from the 31m users of its airline miles to provide a range of services including real estate, insurance and health to consumers across Japan.

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