Morning Brief 10.28.19: Barclays reinstates postal cash access

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

Postage due

Following political pressure and criticism from consumer groups, Barclays will allow cash withdrawals at U.K. post offices, reversing an earlier decision that it based on the broader decline in cash usage.
The bank said it is still concerned about the sustainability of using the postal system as a cash point, but it would work with the government to address that issue while maintaining postal access for the next three years, reports Finextra.
The postal service has reportedly raised fees for the banking service to address the rising cost of managing cash. More than two dozen other U.K. banks support post office withdrawals, which are intended for underserved areas.

Funds for ID

KB Financial Group is among a group of South Korean investors participating in a $6.4 million investment round in Coinplug, an early bitcoin exchange and digital payment company.
Coinplug plans to use the funds to build decentralized ID system, reports Coindesk, adding that's part of a concerted effort to make Busan a hub for blockchain technology.
Coinplug's primary business is to support a prepaid bitcoin card, and it works with most of South Korea's large financial institutions.

QSR breach

Krystal is investigating a data breach that impacted payment processing systems at a string of locations in its fast-food network.
The chain has locations throughout the south, though most of the targeted stores were in Tennessee, where Krystal uses different payment systems, reports the Tennessean.
Krystal didn't describe the scope of the attack beyond that, though it did say the breach took place between July and September.

Bad news

A new phishing attack is targeting relief organizations such as the Red Cross, UNICEF and the UN World Food and UN Development programs, looking for payment credentials or political information.
The hackers were able to work around "bad site" browsing protection, meaning some of the fake sites have been up for a long period of time, and users do not get a security alert, reports ZDNet.
The security firm Lookout discovered the attack, which is still ongoing. The fake pages are also optimized to render on smartphones.

From the web

China to explore use of blockchain for financial regulation
CHINA DAILY | Sun October 27, 2019
The Chinese foreign exchange regulator is studying the possibility of using blockchain and artificial intelligence technologies to enhance cross-border trade financing and prevent capital flow risks, according to a senior official on Sunday. New technology emerging in the financial service sector has drawn attention from Chinese financial regulators. Authorities have listed improving regulation using blockchain – a decentralized digital ledger system used increasingly in the financial industry – on the work task list.

Brazil antitrust agency probes Itau and card unit for anticompetitive practices
REUTERS | Fri October 25, 2019
Brazilian antitrust agency Cade opened an investigation into the country’s largest private-sector lender, Itau Unibanco Holding SA and its card processor Rede for alleged anticompetitive practices, according to a statement on Friday. Cade said Itau should not be able to demand that merchants have a checking account in the bank as a condition to advance credit card payments to them.

Amazon to support utility-bill payments with Alexa
MARKETWATCH | Sun October 27, 2019 Inc. is tapping into bill payments by letting customers use its Amazon Pay feature for their utility bills. The e-commerce giant said during a Sunday keynote at the Money 20/20 financial technology conference that it would be partnering with fintech company Paymentus to add the feature, which will allow customers to pay online or else by voice using Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.

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