Morning Brief 7.22.20: eBay free to pursue payments as PayPal pact ends

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The multi-year window for eBay's 2015 spinoff from PayPal is finally complete, which means eBay can accelerate its own payment products.

While eBay and PayPal are no longer part of the same company, they retained certain relationships via an operating agreement and conducted a "Brexit-style" five-year incremental separation, which ends this week.

eBay says that will allow it to pursue payment projects without adhering to the terms of its agreement with PayPal. eBay has been gradually adding markets to its managed payments service, which launched in 2018 shortly after eBay replaced PayPal with Adyen as its processor.

Advance Scout

Amazon is expanding its deployment of delivery robots, which reportedly have helped the e-commerce giant manage increased demand during the coronavirus outbreak.

Amazon debuted the robot, called Scout, in 2019 with a test near its headquarters in Washington state. Amazon later added Irvine, Calif., and this week began tests in Atlanta and near Nashville, reports The Verge. The locations are more diverse, though still mostly suburban, leaving the technology untested in urbanized areas.

Walmart and UPS are also testing delivery robots, and Walmart is piloting autonomous cars as delivery options.

CBDC banks

Banque de France is accelerating its digital currency project, adding companies to participate in a test for interbank settlements.

Accenture, HSBC, Euroclear, ProsperUS, Seba Bank, Iznes, LiquidShare, and Societe Generale-Forge will experiment with using crypto assets to support central bank currency. The companies will examine the use of central bank digital currencies to execute cross-border payments, reports Finextra.

The European Union is also developing a central bank digital currency, in part to speed coronavirus stimulus funds disbursement and partly to counter Libra, the Facebook affiliated cryptocurrency project.

Chain link

China's government blockchain service has added support for six public blockchains, allowing development and data management for overseas parties starting August 10.

That includes access to financial and payments data through a partnership with China UnionPay, reports Coindesk, adding the public chains are Tezos, NEO, Nervos, EOS, IRISnet and Etereum.

China launched a national blockchain project in April, including UnionPay, China Mobile and the State Information Center of China.

From the Web

Plum raises $10M for its ‘smart’ money management app
TECHCRUNCH | Tue July 21, 2020
Plum, the London and Athens-based fintech that offers a “smart” money management app to help you improve your “financial resilience,” has raised a further $10 million in funding as it gears up for European expansion.

Russian online payment provider QIWI cancels SPO, sources say
REUTERS | Wed July 22, 2020
Russian payment services provider QIWI on Wednesday cancelled a secondary public offering (SPO) of its shares, two people with knowledge of the deal told Reuters. QIWI, which is listed in New York, said on Monday it had launched an underwritten SPO of 6.8 million Class B shares.

Alipay allows pet owners to buy insurance by using facial recognition on their cats and dogs
China’s e-payment giant Alipay has launched its first ever insurance program for cats and dogs. An annual premium for the service starts at 199 yuan (US$28), getting buyers a 3,000-yuan (US$429) policy that covers accidents and non-congenital diseases.

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