Morning Brief 11.22.19: Cash pledges become part of U.K. political campaign

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Campaign pledge

The U.K.'s Labour party claims it will ban ATM fees, halt bank branch closures and promote Post Office-based payment and financial services as part of its campaign for election next month, reports Finextra.
The politics of payments have accelerated recently, with Barclays reversing an earlier decision to halt withdrawals at post offices following political pressure from MPs and consumer groups. The U.K. is among the nations dealing with a decline in cash, which has created "ATM deserts" and bank branch closures.
And cash-friendly policies and legislation have picked up steam as digital payments increase, while cash remains a component of financial inclusion at the same time.

Standards

The People's Bank of China plans to form new standards for more than a dozen financial markets, including blockchain usage, the cloud and artificial intelligence.
These standards will join existing or updated standards for mobile payment apps and voice technology, according to a Google translation of Chinese state media.
China has recently registered all new blockchain projects, reports Coindesk, adding the government has also formed new product categories for fintechs.

City map

Apple Wallet has added a transit card for London through the Citymapper pass, supporting access to rail, bus and Underground for a weekly charge through Apple Pay.
London is a natural fit for the feature, given its transit system has long been an early supporter of ticketing innovation. Apple intends to extend the Citymapper model to other cities, according to iLounge.
Apple Pay has made transit a top priority in building a user base, entering into partnerships such as its deal early in 2019 with Mastercard.

No PIN

Gemalto, Visa and Fingerprint Card have launched a biometric card in Switzerland that's designed to drastically reduce the amount of times a user has to enter a PIN.
The Swiss CornerBank-issued card is designed to indicate a biometric match, meaning the user ideally should only have to use a PIN the first time, explains Biometric Update.
Visa has been testing biometric cards for the past couple of years, including a 2018 pilot with Mountain America Credit Union. Barclays this week upgraded its biometric technology to reduce reliance on PINs.

From the web

Don't Expect PayPal's Buying Spree to End Anytime Soon
THE MOTLEY FOOL | Thu November 21, 2019
Don't expect the spending spree to end anytime soon. In a recent interview, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said, "We have a healthy balance sheet and we are ready to put it to work to buy more companies." He went on to say that PayPal was ready to invest up to $3 billion per year to enhance the company's capabilities.

America Going Cashless? Don't Bank On It
FORBES | Thu November 21, 2019
Reports of the death of cash are greatly exaggerated — or at the very least, premature. In fact, according to a slew of new studies, it’s clear that while America and the world are moving toward a “less cash” model, the global economy is still far from a cashless one.

India’s Razorpay launches corporate credit cards, current accounts support in major neo banking push
TECHCRUNCH | Fri November 22, 2019
India’s RazorPay, one of the largest payments processing firms in the country, announced a range of new services aimed at startups, businesses, merchants and freelancers as the Bangalore-based firm expands the reach of its financial platform in the nation.

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