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BofA, First Data call it quits

The fallout from this spring’s slate of multi-billion payment company acquisitions began swiftly, as Bank of America on Monday announced plans to end its joint venture with First Data just hours after Fiserv’s acquisition of First Data closed.

Bank of America and First Data will “pursue independent merchant services strategies” when the contract’s up in June 2020, though Bank of America and First Data have a deal to provide products and services to Banc of America Merchant Services clients through at least June 2023.

Bank of America had been considering ending the joint venture, part of a trend toward banks rethinking their payments and merchant services strategies as open technology development and the broader digital payments take hold. The bank in 2017 cut its merchant services workforce and added more cloud-based payment technology to serve restaurants and subscription platforms.

First Data also has merchant services relationships with Citi, Chase and other large banks which could be impacted by the merger. Fiserv’s $22 billion deal to acquire First Data combines the vendors' suites of bank and merchant technology.

Breaches

Capital One reports that data from about 100 million people was exposed, with prosecutors blaming a former Amazon.com cloud service employee.

The compromised data includes about 140,000 Social Security numbers and about 80,000 bank account numbers from credit card users, Bloomberg reports.

This news comes on the heels of an unrelated incident at Sephora, which has reported a data breach occurred over the past two weeks, primarily in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong, reports ZDNet.

Ride share battle

Ride sharing companies in Southeast Asia have drawn huge investment, creating a high-stakes battle in the region as the companies diversify deeper into financial services.

Grab, which has raised more than $7 billion and has a valuation of $14 billion, is putting $2 billion from investor SoftBank into Indonesia to battle local ride-sharing company Go-Jek, reports TechCrunch. For its part, Go-Jek, which is valued at $10 billion, recently drew an undisclosed investment from Visa.

In the past year, Grab has opened a technology platform to build financial services and has partnered with Mastercard to offer a prepaid card, giving it tools to work with as it takes part in a broader modernization project with the Indonesian government, according to TechCrunch.

Ripple edges away from Facebook

Long before Facebook Libra drew controversy, Ripple Labs often wore the bullseye, with some detractors of its XRP token calling Ripple "the devil," and Ripple facing potential regulatory pressure over XRP's possible regulatory status as a security.

As some members of Congress call for a halt to Libra, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and founder Chris Larsen are asking lawmakers to consider Libra, Ripple and other cryptocurrencies differently, contending Ripple works as a "partner" with regulated financial institutions.

Garlinghouse and Larsen also complemented the role of government, saying central banks play a "vital" role in issuing currencies and setting monetary policy.

Ransomware emergency

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency following a ransomware attack on three school districts in the past week, including one that wiped out everything on the district's servers.

The districts are contending no sensitive information such as payroll was compromised, though it may be too early to know that for sure, reports Ars Technica, adding the districts initially detected the attack because of high bandwidth usage and the full extent of the damage won't be known until the state locates the authors of the attacks.

Local governments have been prone to ransomware attacks, including a 2018 attack in Atlanta that shuttered some city systems for more than a week. School systems often have fewer cybersecurity resources to protect data and payment systems, leading to increased ransomware attacks, according to The New York Times.

Amazon pushes food delivery in India

While Amazon is battling U.K. regulators over its acquisition of food delivery company Deliveroo, the e-commerce giant is reportedly set to launch a similar service in India.

Amazon will partner with Indian technology firm Catamaran for a restaurant order ahead and delivery service that will debut in time for a holiday spike in September, reports Reuters.

Amazon also recently invested $80 million in its Amazon Pay, which it views as a competitive alternative to Paytm.

From the Web

Alibaba-backed lender MYbank to raise $871 million in maiden fundraising
Reuters | Tue July 30, 2019 - China’s MYbank, an offshoot of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, seeks to raise about 6 billion yuan (£716.5 million) in its maiden fundraising, valuing the online lender at 24 billion yuan.

United Airlines Adds Biometric Clearance for Passengers With Clear Partnership
The Wall Street Journal | Mon July 29, 2019 - United Airlines Holdings Inc. wants to help its passengers get through security faster. United said that it is taking an equity stake in Clear, a technology company that uses fingerprints and iris scans to verify a traveler’s identity at security checks.

How Blockchains Are Disrupting the Payments Industry (In a Good Way)
The Motley Fool | Mon July 29, 2019 - Businesses have been paying the tolls of Visa and Mastercard's credit-card networks for decades. But Paystand CEO Jeremy Almond is building a much more innovative payment infrastructure.

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