8.20.18 Your morning briefing

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

China pay
The state-owned Bank of China is working with China Union Pay on a national mobile payment app.

Cointelegraph reports the two institutions will develop and market distributed ledger and data analytics, with BoC working on a mobile payment system, and CUP building a port that allows cardholders to use a QR code to access a cloud flash payment app.

The BoC will then launch a national campaign to promote the security of the new mobile payment system. As part of the initiative, the Hong Kong Research Grants Council has awarded $20 million in grants to Hong Kong University and Technology Business School to help build blockchain-powered technology to support the network.
Almost a unicorn
U.K. mobile payments fintech Monzo's colorful history includes asking consumers not to use a product because it's too expensive and apologizing for technology problems.

But it's also proven adept at raising money. The company is approaching a valuation of about $1 billion, reports The Guardian. This would make it a "unicorn" in technology investing parlance.

Monzo has lined up a fresh $150 million round from Accel Partners and other investors, which would make the fintech's valuation about four times what it was in the fall of 2017.

Ripple adds more exchanges
Ripple has added to its network of exchanges that convert currencies into Ripple XRP asset and back into another currency in a cross-border transaction.

Bittrex will be an exchange for U.S. dollars, while Bitso will handle Mexican Pesos and Coins.ph will process Philippine Pesos.

Ripple has collaborated with banks in Latin America and with Western Union in the past few months to expand its cross-border payments operation, which uses distributed ledgers to remove third parties such as correspondent banks from currency conversions.

A healthy start
While companies in the U.S. work to streamline a paper-intensive health care process, Ant Financial is quickly jumping into the market.

Ant has sent out about 600,000 blockchain medical bills to patients over the past two weeks, reports Technode.

Ant is deploying a blockchain to support medical bills to prevent "multiple" reimbursement scams, or the multiple submission of claims. The ledger does a better job of tracking claims, according to Ant.

From the Web

Lyons’ €5m lift from ex-boss Mastercard for Shipyard Technology Ventures
The Times | Sun August 19, 2018 - Garry Lyons, a former Mastercard executive and boss of payments company Orbiscom, has raised more than €10.5m for a new fintech venture. Lyons’s Shipyard Technology Ventures has raised €5m from former employer Mastercard. A US investment vehicle called Circle Squared Alternative Investments has also backed the new company.

Fraud fears as hospitals lose thousands of patient records
The Times | Mon August 20, 2018 - NHS hospitals lost nearly 10,000 patient records last year, according to figures released under freedom of information laws. The mislaid records, both paper and electronic, prompted concerns over the implications for patient safety and data security.

In a cashless society, mobile payments are the change homeless people need
The Guardian | Fri August 17, 2018 - Greater Change, a social enterprise in partnership with Oxford University, has come up with one such solution: homeless people sign up to a service that provides them with a QR code that cashless givers can scan with their phones to transfer money.

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Issuers to get a trove of new risk data after 3-D Secure testing milestone
After 20 years of working with a clunky, time-consuming 3-D Secure authorization method for online purchases, the wheels are finally in motion to get the upgraded 2.0 version in place for merchants and banks, granting access to more data for spotting fraud.

Visa's outage shows the value of modern quality assurance
Earlier this summer, Visa experienced a significant system failure in the U.K. This outage caused Visa card payments to be rejected at the point of sale all across the country. Ten hours elapsed before systems were fully restored, and social media exploded with consumer outrage over the inconvenience.

How finger-vein payments are catching on in the U.K.
To date, payments companies have feared common biometric methods such as fingerprint or iris scanning are unreliable and susceptible to hacking. However, there’s growing evidence that finger vein ID could prove more palatable.

How an anticipated ATM hack netted $13 million from India’s Cosmos bank
After warnings of an impending major ATM cash-out had bank security teams working overtime last weekend, crooks made off with over $13 million over the weekend in a double attack on India’s venerable Cosmos bank.

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