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eBay shoves PayPal further away: eBay has hired Adyen to process payments, a move to phase out PayPal. That threatens a double-digit share of PayPal's business, and is a big win for Adyen's multi-channel merchant acquiring model. eBay owned PayPal from 2002 until an investor-prodded sale in 2014. That sale led PayPal to find more partners and diversify its product line, but eBay remained a large part of PayPal's business long after the split. eBay purchases accounted for 13% of PayPal's transactions in the fourth quarter of 2017, down from 16% a year earlier but up 10% in terms of overall volume, according to CNN, which reported PayPal's stock slid 11% in after hours trading on Wednesday, a selloff that was also driven by a mixed outlook for PayPal despite strong earnings. eBay said it's making the move to lower costs and add more payment options for buyers. The migration to Adyen will start in North America later this year, with most marketplace customers on Adyen by 2021. PayPal will remain an option at eBay until July 2023, PayPal told CNN.

Bloomberg News

Samsung's Cryptochip: Samsung has built a chip to mine cryptocurrency that's designed to be more efficient than other mining devices. Engadget reports Samsung's chip uses an Application Specific Integrated Circuit, which is specialized for a specific use rather than a GPU, which is becoming more expensive as bitcoin mining activity increases—prices for some models have increased to $700 form about $380 over the past year. Samsung has an unnamed Chinese partner to distribute the its chip, which gives Samsung a way to enter the Chinese market for ASICs.

Smile, you're on Amazon: Amazon is trying to gain traction with what it calls SmileCodes, or a type of QR code that allows shoppers to obtain information about a product by scanning near an ad to launch a website or app. TechCrunch reports Amazon is differentiating it from other QR code marketing by placing its smile logo in the corner of the content, which includes video, trailers, product reviews and product pages. Amazon is testing the codes in pop-up stores and Amazon Lockers, and will have its codes appear in U.S. magazines in February, TechCrunch reports.

Will U.K. ATMs disappear? Link, which operates ATMs in the U.K. plans a phased reduction in bank interchange fees for ATMs, which could cause thousands of machines to be pulled, reports Finextra. Link is making the move over the objection of consumer groups, which contend the reduction of ATMs would hurt users who rely on cash over other payment methods such as cards. Link is countering that criticism by saying all ATMs that are one kilometer or more from a free ATM will be exempt from the fee reduction rules. The consumer group, called Which?, is calling for a government review of Link's plans.

Australian 'open banking' takes shape: Even though the rules are focused on Europe, the PSD2 regulations are expected to cause regulators in other countries to push "open banking," or the use of open technology tools to share data between banks and fintechs. AFR reports deployments are starting in Australia, as Macquarie Bank has begun sharing real-time customer data for payments and other transactions with Zip's Pocketbook, a personal financial management app. Pocketbook is one of the largest non-bank Australian PFM apps, with more than 400,000 users.

From the Web

Mastercard Lands Cabela’s Credit-Card Business
The Wall Street Journal | Thu Feb 1, 2018 - Mastercard Inc. said Thursday it will become the credit-card network for outdoor-goods retailer Cabela’s, following the company’s sale last year to Bass Pro Shops. Large credit-card networks have been competing for high spenders, pouring marketing dollars into travel co-brand programs as well as partnerships with sporting-goods retailers that attract loyal shoppers by offering access to exclusive events and other perks.

Equifax will offer free credit freezes for five more months
CNN Money | Wed Jan 31, 2018 - Equifax has offered credit freezes to everyone for free, whether or not they were affected by the breach. Usually, there is a fee to freeze your credit, ranging from $2 to $10, depending on what state you live in. Once you've frozen your credit, you'll have to authorize the freeze to be temporarily lifted when you want to open a new line of credit yourself. In some states, you could be charged a fee for lifting the freeze, too. Equifax has waived any fees for placing, temporarily lifting, and permanently removing credit freezes through June 30. But freezing your Equifax credit report could still leave you vulnerable to identity theft, experts say. You'd also need to separately freeze your credit reports at the other two credit bureaus -- Experian and TransUnion. Those may still carry a fee.

Square is rolling out bitcoin trading to most of its cash app users
Los Angeles Times | Wed Jan 31, 2018 - Square Inc.'s stock climbed after Chief Executive Jack Dorsey said the company is introducing bitcoin trading for almost all users of its cash payments app, signaling support for the volatile cryptocurrency. The service will be available to most customers of Square cash, with which users can transfer money to friends and family. Those in New York, Georgia, Wyoming or Hawaii are excluded. The San Francisco company said that most of the purchases and sales happen within seconds, and that it won't add an additional percentage or fixed dollar amount onto the sale of bitcoin. Users can buy as much as $10,000 worth of bitcoin per week, though there's no limit to the number of bitcoins users can sell. One bitcoin currently trades for about $10,000.

More from PaymentsSource

Paya, formerly Sage Payment, modernizes its business model
Sage Payment Solutions has spent most of the past half-year separating itself from its former parent company, Sage Group, a break that necessitated a new name as it changed its focus to sell a broader range of technology innovation for merchants and businesses.

Fintech is health care and B-to-B's lifeline to relevancy
The fintech revolution is now touching almost every market in the payments space. Some are still further ahead than others, so expect 2018 to be a year of consolidation in more mature sectors, but one of rapid change in those with some catching-up to do, writes David Yohe, vice president of marketing at BillingTree.

Data: Mass transit is the gatekeeper for digital payments
In many instances, mass transit systems have proven to be catalysts for adoption of new payment technology, starting with the genesis of contactless cards for access to buses and trains in Hong Kong and Japan in the late 1990s.

Mastercard leans on contactless payments to fight childhood hunger
Mastercard knows the more time consumers spend on their mobile devices—often deliberately blocking ads—the less likely they are to see its iconic “Priceless” ads, even if those ads support a charitable cause.

John Adams

John Adams

John Adams is Executive Editor of PaymentsSource.