Democrats claim an edge in Georgia Senate races; Apple Pay heads to Paris Metro

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Election night

A runoff election for two U.S. Senate seats took place in Georgia on Tuesday, with votes still being counted late into the evening. Late Tuesday, the Associated Press declared Democrat Raphael Warnock the winner of one race, with Democrat Jon Ossoff in a slight lead in the other.

Republican incumbent David Perdue faced Ossoff in one race and incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler running against Warnock in the other. Control of the Senate is at stake, with Democrats needing to win both races to unseat Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell as majority leader.

The balance of power has ramifications for regulations and laws governing financial services and fintech, including the role of government in stimulus payments, the size of those payments, regulation of payment fees and OCC licensing.

Raphael Warnock

Le Metro

The regional Paris mobile transit app plans to add Apple Pay for mobile devices and watches in February, giving Apple's wallet more commuter exposure in Europe.

Smart Navigo, which launched in 2001 as a card, executed an upgrade to add mobile features in 2019. The update did not initially support iPhones, leaving the service available to mainly Samsung and Android users, reports technology site atadistance.

Apple has embedded its mobile wallet in several transit systems to take advantage of a trend to automate ticketing and boarding. Apple Pay recently finished its deployment on New York's subway and bus networks.

More money more problems

The first round of stimulus payments in 2020 suffered from an uneven rollout, partly due to the relative lack of Americans who have direct deposit for tax refunds.

The new round is also hitting problems, but for seemingly the opposite reason. Consumers who used H&R Block and TurboTax are having difficulty receiving stimulus payments, reports CNBC, adding some of the payments were sent to an unfamiliar or erroneous bank account.

The news network reports the errant bank accounts should return those payments to the IRS, which will then send them to the proper recipients, citing a statement from the IRS. That will result in additional delays.

API in the game

Payment technology company PXP Financial has partnered with U.S. gaming operator BetMGM, a sports betting joint venture between MGM Resorts and Entain.

PXP, or People x Platform, is using an API to connect payment types in different states, which is designed to eliminate the need for multiple integrations for processing and local compliance.

There are seven states active at launch, and the company plans to deploy in more states as sports betting expands in the U.S. PXP in 2019 merged with Kalixa to support an expansion into different payment types and related services for merchants.

Dismissed

The Delaware Court of Chancery has rejected a shareholder lawsuit against MoneyGram stemming from a claim of money laundering lapses at the transfer company that dates to 2018.

The court's decision found that while MoneyGram had poor oversight into laundering, it did not act in bad faith. MoneyGram earlier agreed to a $126 million fine connected to AML lapses.

MoneyGram has since improved KYC and other laundering and counter-terrorism financing through IT projects.

From the web

Indian B2B e-commerce startup Udaan raises $280 million
TECHCRUNCH | Wednesday, January 6, 2021
Business-to-business marketplace Udaan has raised $280 million from new and existing investors as the Indian startup builds a war-chest to accelerate its growth and fend off rivals.

Alibaba plans $5 billion bond this month amid regulatory scrutiny
REUTERS | Tuesday, January 5, 2020
HONG KONG (Reuters) - China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd plans to raise at least $5 billion through the sale of a U.S. dollar-denominated bond this month, four people with knowledge of the matter said, amid regulatory scrutiny of co-founder Jack Ma’s empire.

Hong Kong-Listed BC Group Raises $90M as Institutional Crypto Demand Soars in Asia
COINDESK | Wednesday, January 6, 2020
2020 was a busy year for OSL, an institution-focused digital asset platform based in Hong Kong, providing prime brokerage, custody, exchange and software-as-a-service (SaaS).

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