Morning Brief 3.3.20: Australia's central bank suggests it will regulate Libra

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Down to business

Facebook has faced a non-stop barrage of regulatory pushback against its planned Libra cryptocurrency, including outright vows to stop the project. Much of the angst is from central banks, which are concerned Facebook's currency would dilute monetary policy.

Taking a more measured stance, the Reserve Bank of Australia said it is prepared to regulate Libra, and other large multi-national payment products, adding it would coordinate with other central banks to oversee international payment challengers. The RBA added these initiatives would provide a competitive mix alongside the country's faster payment program, traditional card networks and other fintechs, according to ZDNet.

It's a softening and less rhetorical position for the RBA, which earlier said it would not allow Libra unless it addressed a series of risk concerns. RBA also said banks have not adequately addressed Australians' cross-border payment needs, adding international technology-driven challengers could improve that.

Lazarus crackdown

The U.S. government has added 20 bitcoin addresses to a sanction list tied to North Korean hackers.

The hackers are tied to the Lazarus Group, which has been accused of stealing more than $500 million in cryptocurrency, reports Coindesk.

Lazarus has also been tied to phishing attacks on banks and ransomware attacks over the past three years.

A new conversation

Clinc's voice banking technology has gotten a major boost through Visa, which will support Clinc for the card network's API users.

Clinc's technology includes balance queries, transaction histories, turning cards on and off, payment disputes, bill payments, access to incentives and other services.

Visa updated its APIs about a year ago to accommodate a broader range of functions and developers.

Pushing at fraud

The Bank of Scotland is the initial adopter of a U.K. name checking service that's designed to combat push payment fraud.

The U.K. is expected to adopt confirmation of payee services nationwide within the next month in line with a regulatory deadline, reports Finextra. Names on the payee account are checked to ensure it's the same name provided. If not, consumers receive an alert and the option to halt the payment.

The service focuses on the U.K.'s Faster Payments scheme, which makes up more than half of the consumer-initiated payments in the U.K.

From the Web

Tesco sends security warning to 600,000 Clubcard holders
BBC | Mon March 2, 2020
Tesco is issuing new cards to 600,000 Clubcard account holders, saying a database of stolen usernames and passwords from other platforms had been tried out on its websites, and may have worked in some cases. The supermarket said it had emailed everybody potentially affected, that nobody would lose their points and new vouchers would also be issued.

Podium rolls out payments for its customer-focused local-business SaaS service
TECHCRUNCH | Tue March 3, 2020
Podium, a Utah-based SaaS company focused on small business customer interactions, added payments technology to its product suite today. The move accretes a new income stream to the company’s quickly growing annual recurring revenue (ARR).

Virtual Payments Poised To Make Inroads In The Business Market
FORBES | Mon March 2, 2020
With the rise of virtual cards and payment tools comes a need for updated regulatory standards and consumer data protection between jurisdictions. Uniform, international standards governing this emerging sector of the financial system must be adopted so consumers can be confident that sensitive financial information will be protected.

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