CVS adds PayPal, Venmo QR code support; ECB investigates outage

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Contactless prescriptions

CVS has added support for QR code PayPal or Venmo payments at 8,200 locations, removing an extra step in which a consumer has to make contact with a terminal.

The pharmacy chain will accept credit and debit cards, PayPal Credit, bank accounts and balances, reports Engadget, adding it's one of PayPal and Venmo's larger QR code in-store deployments.

It's also a major step for Venmo, which launched its QR and NFC code-powered contactless card in early October.

New wave

Tokyo-based JCB saw a 30% year-over-year increase in contactless payment transactions through July, according to a new white paper the card network released.

JCB’s retail partners began aggressively expanding contactless payment acceptance in 2018, and JCB expects to see a 15% increase in retailers accepting contactless payments through the end of the year, according to the research.

Despite ongoing economic uncertainty due to the pandemic, JCB’s e-commerce sales volume continues to grow, helping drive a 37% increase in JCB’s annual online sales volume over the last four years, the company said.

Early bird

U.S. Bank is the first bank to integrate with Akoya, the API-based data-aggregation network owned by a dozen North American financial institutions, including U.S. Bank.

Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank will use the Akoya Data Access Network to grant, monitor and revoke access to financial data consumers opt to share with third parties, according to a press release.

The consortium of banks purchased Akoya in February 2020, providing a data-sharing platform available to financial institutions, data aggregators and fintechs accessible through a single point of integration.

The company is jointly owned by Fidelity along with The Clearing House Payments Co. and 11 large banks including PNC, Bank of America, Citigroup and U.S. Bank. It uses APIs to restrict third parties to extract only specific data for defined use cases, to guard privacy and security.

Target set

The European Central Bank plans to review a breakdown of its real-time gross settlement system that caused an 10-hour outage.

The October 23 incident involved a software defect in the TARGET2 system, which is operated by the Eurosystem. An independent review will examine other incidents impacting TARGET settlement services in 2020 with a focus on business continuity, change management, communication protocols and the relevancy of recovery tests.

The findings should be released by the second quarter of 2021. The TARGET system includes the ECB and 19 other European central banks, which use Target to submit euro-denominated payment orders.

IPO

Airbnb is planning its debut on Nasdaq, following a profitable quarter in which it earned $219 million in net income on $1.34 billion in revenue.

While its revenue was down 19% as travel declined during the pandemic, the company expects to expand its revenue and services from a base of recurring customers, reports CNBC.

Airbnb in April raised $1 billion to boost its technology development and fund an aid program for its recurring hosts. The company's board includes former Amex CEO Ken Chenault.

From the web

Brazil launches 'Pix' instant payments system, Whatsapp to enter 'soon'
REUTERS | Monday, November 16, 2020
Brazil's central bank on Monday launched an instant payments platform that will speed up and simplify transactions, as well as foster financial sector competition and lure in new players such as big techs Facebook Inc and Google.

Amazon launches Amazon Pharmacy, a delivery service for prescription medications
TECHCRUNCH | Tuesday, November 17, 2020
A little over two years after its $753 million acquisition of the prescription medicine delivery service Pillpack, Amazon has finally launched Amazon Pharmacy, its online and mobile prescription medication ordering and fulfillment service.

Twitter names famed hacker 'Mudge' as head of security
REUTERS | Monday, November 16, 2020
Social media giant Twitter Inc, under increased threat of regulation and plagued by serious security breaches, is appointing one of the world's best-regarded hackers to tackle everything from engineering missteps to misinformation.

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