7.15.19 Your morning briefing

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

Australian shutdown

Commonwealth Bank of Australia said an upgrade to its online banking services was not related to an outage in its online banking services a day earlier.

The outage affected checkout terminals, ATMs, connections to the Australian New Payments Platform and online banking, reports Yahoo Finance in Australia, adding the outage was the result of a glitch at the telco Telstra, which also affected payment processing at other banks such as ANZ and Westpac.

The bad news for the bank is the upgrade also included limited interruptions of some online banking and payment services to perform overnight weekend maintenance.

AML pool

U.K. banks and government agencies are teaming up to improve efforts to stop money laundering.

Called the Economic Crime Plan, law enforcement, banks and different government departments will share information, resources and technology to mitigate payments fraud, financial crime and money laundering, reports Finextra.

The initiative follows several incidents over the past year as crooks improved their money laundering techniques. The U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority levied about $250 million in fines in 2018 over AML non-compliance, Finextra reported.

Scant licenses

Cryptocurrency firm Prasis has received a payment institution license from the European Payment Institutions Federation, a key step toward offering merchant services since it demonstrates the firm has met capital governance and risk controls.

It's also rare in the EU, since the Finland-based Prasis is only the third cryptocurrency company in Europe to receive such a license, reports Coindesk.

Prasis has apparently faced challenges due to the lack of regulatory clarity around cryptocurrency. The exchange plans to use its license to deepen its partnerships with banks, contending it has lost several accounts because of the unregulated nature of cryptocurrency, Coindesk reports.

Shark tank

Facebook's Libra has lots of detractors, particularly among politicians, as the cryptocurrency project almost continuously sparks controversy.

Technology billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has also weighed in, telling CNBC Libra is "dangerous," contending despots could act out in politically unstable countries if they feel control over local currency is being compromised.

In an earlier interview with PaymentsSource, Patrick Burke, a partner at Phillips Nizer and former deputy superintendent at the New York State Department of Financial Services, said Facebook will likely receive pressure from regulators on how it will respond if dictators try to use Libra.

From the Web

Avidia Bank Offers Real-Time Payments and Other Resources to Help FinTechs Grow
Yahoo Finance | Fri July 12, 2019 - Avidia Bank has dedicated resources to helping meet the financial and business needs of financial technology (FinTech) companies. Among the services the bank provides are payment services, which will soon include Real-Time Payments (RTP).

Tencent steps up expansion in India with investment in fintech start-up NiYO
South China Morning Post | Sat July 13, 2019 - Tencent Holdings increased its bets on India with an investment in a start-up that helps the country’s blue-collar workers manage their finances, as it sought to build an overseas presence to supplement its dominant China market.

Can China UnionPay Defeat Alibaba’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay?
The Motley Fool | Sat July 13, 2019 - China UnionPay, also known as CUP, originally dominated all payments in China. The company was effectively a state-backed monopoly in China's electronic payments market due to its central bank mandate. It was almost impossible for any other firm to compete.

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Trump plows into Libra debate as politicians face crypto learning curve
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Samsung Pay adds loan, credit card applications in India
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