9.8.17: Your morning briefing
Welcome to the PaymentsSource Morning Briefing, delivered daily. The information you need to start your day, including top headlines from PaymentsSource and around the Web:
Bad odds in the Equifax breach: How large was the data breach at Equifax? The World Privacy Forum told The New York Times that if you have a credit report, there's more than a 50% chance that you were exposed in the breach. Crooks accessed Equifax's system between May and July through a vulnerability in software. Equifax discovered the breach on July 28, and reports it has found no evidence of unauthorized activity since. The Times reports credit agencies are particularly good targets for hacks because they store almost all of the information required for identity theft and other electronic crimes, making the Equifax breach worse than the recent Yahoo breach even though the Equifax breach was smaller by comparison. Hackers obtained driver's licence numbers and Social Security numbers from Equifax, both data points that can be used to obtain access to other relationships that are pegged to this information, such as bank accounts, employee accounts and medical records. The Equifax breach also directly compromised credit card information for about 209,000 people. It's the third incident at Equifax in the past year. Earlier hacks mostly targeted tax and human resource information.
Data dollar: A new store in London is accepting a very alternative currency—actual personal data. Security company Kaspersky Lab is operating the store, called The Data Dollar Store, which is located near an Underground station, reports Engadget. The store carries stuff like T-shirts, mugs and prints by artist Ben Eine. To "pay," consumers turn over an amount of information. For example, a mug may cost three photos, or screenshots of email or text conversations. For the T-shirt, users must turn over the last three photos on their phone, so they can't select photos. There's also a barter system in which the store's staff can select photos, and the consumer can make a counter offer. Unlike Amazon's attempts to build a sustainable store with no cashiers, Kaspersky considers the Data Dollar store more of a concept or even an educational lesson. The company contends this information, or data, has value, and consumers often share this data without realizing it feeds analytic engines that produce targeted marketing and other messaging.
Tube payments: Elsewhere in the London transit system, transportation technology company Cubic announced it has launched the TfL mobile ticketing app for Oyster card users in London. The app allows consumers to manage travel fares and payments, top up cards and view journey histories via Android or iOS devices. A range of travel products, such as pay-as-you-go, weekly, monthly or annual travel, can be purchased via the app then added to Oyster cards 30 minutes later by tapping the cards on yellow readers at UnderGround, Docklands Light Railway, trams and TfL rail stations. Future updates will add buses. The London transit system and Cubic have worked together for years on a variety of payments automation projects, and recently began marketing their collaboration to systems outside of the U.K.
Bullish on funds, not so much on talent: Payments and financial services innovators in the U.K. have had more than a year to digest the Brexit vote, and have a mixed view on how the U.K.'s separation from the EU will play out. Citing a survey from Innovate Finance, Finextra reports half of Britain's fintech firms expect revenue to double over the next 12 months, and a third anticipate an IPO in the next five years. Startups still expect venture funding as half of companies expect to raise at least £2 million in their next round and more than a third expect to raise more than more than £5 million. Companies are concerned about talent, as they said finding experts on coding would be their biggest challenge, along with experts in development and sales. About half of companies are concerned about adoption rates.
From the Web
£1.8m spent on Welsh Government credit cards, figures show
BBC | Thu Sep 7, 2017 - More than £1.8m was spent on Welsh Government credit cards in 2016-17, including on luxury dining and hotels, figures have revealed. Spending on the cards included £1,652.50 on seven visits to the Michelin-starred James Sommerin Restaurant in Penarth. The Welsh Conservatives have described the spending as "out of control". But the Welsh Government said the cards were used by civil servants for "official business reasons". The figures, released on the Welsh Government website, showed £1,876.65 was spent with Metropolitan Limousine, a Chicago car hire company, in September last year - the same month First Minister Carwyn Jones visited the US city to discuss trade. Also in September, £3,204.32 was spent on accommodation at the four-star Sofitel Chicago hotel which, according to its website, boasts "stunning views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline" from its 32-floor glass building.
Dollarama profit tops estimates, credit card transactions help
Reuters | Thu Sep 7, 2017 - Canada’s Dollarama Inc reported a better-than-expected profit for the ninth straight quarter as customers spent more at its dollar stores, helped by its policy to accept credit cards for payments. Dollarama’s shares rose as much as 10.6 percent to a record high of C$134.68 in midday trading. The company started accepting credit card payments in the beginning of the second quarter. Customers spent more than twice the amount when shopping with credit cards than they did with cash transactions, Chief Executive Neil Rossy said on a conference call with analysts on Thursday. The Montreal-based company did not break out how many shoppers were paying by credit as opposed to cash and debit card transactions.
Groupon debuts Groupon+, voucherless meal deals with Visa and Mastercard
TechCrunch | Thu Sep 7, 2017 - Restaurant deals are some of the most popular offers on Groupon, the platform that lets you buy discounted experiences and goods from retailers near you. Today, the company is launching a new service to help promote that vertical more. Groupon+, as it is called, will let people use Groupon meal deals that they pay for with their Visa or MasterCard (credit or debit cards), and when they do so, they will get 30 percent of the value of the deal back to their accounts. Groupon+ will initially be available in 23 U.S. markets and 1,500 participating local restaurants and “other neighborhood favorites.” Later, Groupon plans to expand it to more categories like beauty, retail and home and auto services.
More from PaymentsSource
Cybercrooks find tax payments to be an easy score
Recently, the IRS issued an urgent warning about a new email-borne, phishing scam that impersonates, leveraging a double whammy, the IRS and the FBI in a single email.
Can artificial intelligence match credit cards to millennials?
One of the more alarming trends banks face is their inability to win over young consumers, which more than any other generation look for alternatives to credit cards.
Bank of America adds cardless ATM, preps for 'wearable' payments
Bank of America has advanced its mobile app to include cardless ATM withdrawals and set the stage for its customers to make more payments through wearable devices.
Regulatory pressure, controversy won't permanently slow payroll cards
The U.S prepaid payroll card market has been growing significantly over the past few years and should continue this trajectory, despite short term gating factors such as regulation and compliance rulings, public relations issues and complex state wage and hour laws.