11.7.18 Your morning briefing
The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the Web:
Deregulation takes a holiday
The U.S. will have split government, as Tuesday's elections resulted in a Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives while the Republicans held onto the Senate.
Given that Congress' efforts to repeal financial regulations such as the Durbin debit card rule were already stalled with full GOP control, there will be even less deregulatory momentum for at least the next two years, along with more focus on consumer protection. Rep. Maxine Waters [D, Calif.], likely the next chair of the House Financial Services Committee, is a staunch critic of the Trump Administration and has long pushed for consumer issues.
It's also possible that laws or regulations that scrutinize data management or push for more "consumer ownership" of data, similar to GDPR and PSD2 rules, will receive more attention, though passage will be a heavy lift given the gridlock that will likely accompany a split government and early attention on the 2020 election, with campaigning likely to start within the next year.
"'[Currently] Congress, along with the administration, have a tough time pronouncing 'PSD2,'" said Richard Crone, a payments consultant, in an interview before the election results came in. For Democrats, a U.S. version of the payment services directive could be another position to maintain stiff regulatory control and transparency of fees for banks and payment service providers in response to Trump's weakening of the CFPB, Crone said.
Facebook faces GDPR query
Advertising is a big part of Facebook's attempt to become more transactional, and may land the social network in hot water with European regulators.
The U.K.'s Information Commissioner's Office has referred Facebook to the Irish Data Protection Commission, which investigates GDPR issues, reports Engadget.
The regulator will examine Facebook's ad targeting, browser tracking and interaction analysis. Facebook's plans in the retail space include using Messenger to encourage purchases and the expansion of video in advertisements.
Giving it away
Cryptocurrencies have struggled to find footing for mainstream use such as retail payments, leading a company called Blockchain to give away a huge amount of cryptocurrency as a marketing ploy.
Blockchain, which runs a crypto wallet, will hand out about $125 million worth of Stellar lumens [XLM] to Blockchain's users, one of the largest consumer giveaways in history, reports TechCrunch.
Mobile transit in the OC
Adding a wrinkle to the slew of mass transit payment projects that are underway globally, The Orange County Transportation Authority is testing what amounts to an order and pay system.
Called OC Flex, the system lets passengers request and pay for a ride through a mobile app that orders a shuttle bus for curb-to-curb service. It's different from most mobile projects at mass transit systems, which focus on ticketing for conventional rail and bus lines.
The Orange County system is an attempt to better match mass transit service to variable rider demands.
Emirates NBD has debuted an API sandbox, anticipating a global expansion of open banking under PSD2, which is expected to have a global influence as banks deploy APIs, the suggested method to ensure data sharing with third parties.
Emirates NBD collaborated with Virtusa on the project, which will include more than 200 APIs and 900 endpoints at retail, corporate and small businesses, reports Finextra.
There are more than three million simulated customer transaction types in the testing models.
From the Web
AirAsia CEO says its mobile payment app will give Alipay, GrabPay 'a run for their money'
CNBC | Tue November 6, 2018 - AirAsia's new mobile payment app, BigPay, can give established players in the region a run for their money, according to the budget airline's CEO Tony Fernandes. BigPay, which is run as an independent business under its parent company AirAsia, launched its app earlier this year. The app is positioned as an "everyday digital alternative to bank accounts," and is available in Malaysia, according to its website.
Ripple (XRP) Leaps Higher As Bitcoin Falls -- Again Overtakes Ethereum
Forbes | Tue November 6, 2018 - The latest ripple surge comes on the back of a positive few months for the XRP price, which has been boosted by a number of major banks adopting the technology of Ripple Labs — the creator of the XRP cryptocurrency. Ripple now boasts a market capitalization of $22.5 billion, above ethereum's $22 billion, according to CoinMarketCap data. Bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency, still holds the top spot by a wide margin, however, with a total market value of $112 billion.
Citizens Bank Will Launch Real-Time Payments For Commercial Accounts in 2019
Forbes | Tue November 6, 2018 - Citizens Bank plans to phase in real-time payments for its commercial banking business starting in 2019. The bank, which is an owner bank of The Clearing House (TCH) has been a backer of real-time payments for three to four years, said Matt Richardson, head of product solutions in treasury management at the bank.
More from PaymentsSource
HSBC suffers data breach on small number of online accounts
The breach may have occurred through a technique called "credential stuffing," in which hackers who have stolen passwords for other websites try them out on an online banking site.
Gig work's growth places pressure on faster payments
Companies that rely on contract work also depend on diversifying revenue streams, a cycle that will repeatedly place fresh stress on an already complicated payroll system.
Billionaire Novogratz invests in cryptocurrency firm Bitfury
Cryptocurrency venture Bitfury raised $80 million from investors including the merchant bank founded by billionaire ex-Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner Mike Novogratz.
FIS, Louis Vuitton team up for cross-border payments
LVMH Group, makers of Louis Vuitton handbags and other luxury goods, leans heavily on cross-border transactions to distribute its products. To streamline its processes, the company has partnered with FIS.