5.24.19 Your morning briefing
The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the Web:
BNP Paribas will support payments for Fitbit and Garmin devices, giving both companies a boost as wearable payments pick up adoption after a relatively slow start.
The bank, which offers digital payment options via its BNP Paribas Fortis digital wallet, hopes to capitalize on an expanding market for contactless payments in Europe, and will add the wearable devices to other contactless options such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, Payconiq by Bancontact and contactless cards.
Garmin's wearable payment technology also recently drew support from Discover, while Fitbit has been adding payments technology to more of its fitness bands.
One step closer
Facebook has been gradually developing a cryptocurrency, an initiative that progressed this week as it set up a fintech in Switzerland to develop payments and crypto technology, and reports that Facebook plans pilots in about a dozen countries for the first quarter 2020.
Facebook is referring to the cryptocurrency as GlobalCoin, and the social media company has been in contact with the Bank of England to discuss the risks and the U.S. Treasury to discuss regulations, reports the BBC.
The social network's project will collaborate with banks and brokers to exchange traditional currency into Facebook's digital coins. Facebook's earlier attempt at a virtual coin, Facebook Credits, was phased out in 2013.
New COO at USA Technologies
Self-serve kiosk payment company USA Technologies has appointed Matthew McConnell as Chief Operating Officer, a new position at the company that involves driving its cashless payment portal, ePort Connect.
Cashless payments are expanding at vending machines and other unattended kiosks, creating competition among providers to serve the migration away from cash payments.
The trend toward no-cashier retail such as Amazon Go also adds competition. USAT recently partnered with Ingenico to develop technology for no-cashier stores.
When's the next Jerome Woodlawn IRT?
Despite its reputation for being generations behind in technology, the New York subway is now relatively awash in innovation, at least in terms of ticketing.
Google Assistant has added a feature to determine when the next train is coming, reports TechCrunch. For example, commuters can ask "Hey Google, when is the next Uptown 4 train?" The feature comes as Google Pay begins a test on the New York Transit system on May 31.
Google is releasing the technology in anticipation of new contactless payment technology that's designed to replace the Metrocard. Mastercard and Apple have recently announced support for contactless and mobile payment technology for New York's transit system.
Japanese regulators are paying more attention to money laundering protections at cryptocurrency exchanges ahead of the G20 summit next month.
The Financial Services Agency is responding to G20 plans to more aggressively pursue money laundering via cryptocurrencies, reports CoinDesk. Japan is the president of the G20 for 2019.
The intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force will also review Japan's domestic money laundering laws this year, including cryptocurrency laws, CoinDesk reports.
From the Web
Zero raises $20 million from NEA and others for a credit card that works like debit
TechCrunch | Thu May 23, 2019 - A startup that has its own take on modernizing the credit card industry, Zero, is announcing the close of its $20 million Series A. The new round of funding was led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA), and brings Zero’s total raised to date to $35 million, including both equity and debt funding.
AT&T Teams With BitPay to Accept Bill Payments in Crypto
CoinDesk | Thu May 23, 2019 - AT&T’s Death Star logo may have really been a moon after all, with the telecom giant announcing that it will accept bill payments in the form of crypto by way of BitPay. As it stands, the crypto option isn’t being extended to other AT&T services.
2 firms in tie-up to offer S'pore-HK QR payments
The Straits Times | Fri May 24, 2019 - Two finance firms are joining forces to enable cross-border QR payment acceptance in Singapore and Hong Kong. The initiative is being undertaken by Liquid Group, a mobile payment services firm based here which has a presence in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, and Joint Electronic Teller Services (Jetco).
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