9.19.17: Your morning briefing
Welcome to the PaymentsSource Morning Briefing, delivered daily. The information you need to start your day, including top headlines from PaymentsSource and around the Web:
The other Equifax breach: While the fallout from the Equifax breach still unfolds, there's news of another, earlier Equifax breach. Fortune reports Equifax was hacked in March, months before the big July breach the company reported on Sept. 7. The size of the March incident isn't clear, though Equifax informed some corporate customers and hired internet security company Mandiant. Equifax did not inform consumers of the March breach, according to Fortune, which reported the two incidents appear unrelated. The magazine also reported banks this summer reported an unusual spike in ID theft using credit report information, suggesting an impact from either or both Equifax breaches. Equifax is already under pressure from potential class action lawsuits and scrutiny over millions of dollars in Equifax stock sales by high-ranking executives this summer, after the breach took place but before it was reported.
China tightens the screws on bitcoin: China's pressure on virtual currencies is expanding to include more than just the primary exchanges. The Chinese government is considering a more comprehensive ban on bitcoin trading, which would cut off almost all methods of transacting in bitcoin, reports The Wall Street Journal. Unlike most governments, which started out with strong anti-virtual currency postures that slowly moderated over time toward regulation, China has never been a strong supporter of cryptocurrency. The government has argued virtual currency creates "disorder" and, more likely, dilutes the Chinese government's ability to control and track the movement of money, reports Engadget, which adds the country could fall behind the virtual currency curve if bitcoin and other become mainstream.
Australia's still rough for Apple Pay: The Commonwealth Bank of Australia will add Garmin smartwatch payments when the new devices are released in October, though CBA did not mention Apple Pay or Apple Watch support, reports ZDNet. While most smaller banks and credit unions in Australia support Apple Pay, Apple has had a tough time with Australia's larger banks. ANZ is the only major bank in Australia to offer Apple Pay, and the Australia's large banks just finished an unsuccessful attempt to collectively bargain with Apple over Apple Pay fees. For CBA customers that are also Apple customers, CBA offers "paytag" stickers to support payments for iOS devices.
Web group wants easier payments: The World Wide Web Consortium is pushing for new technology to streamline online checkout and upgrade security for e-commerce merchants. All of the major browsers have agreed to adopt the payments request API, which asks merchants, developers and other payment industry stakeholders to test new payment technology and report back to the WWC, which has promised to expand its testing function. The WWC is hoping reduce the number of different workflows for online payments, and remove manual data entry as much as possible for purchases. The current state of the market encourages cart abandonment because of the differences in user experience, and it also requires developers to build checkout pages that can accommodate different payment methods.
From the Web
Bitcoin and the Fintech Sector Are Being Scrutinized by Mexican Legislators
Fortune | Mon Sep 18, 2017 - Mexico would regulate its fast-growing financial technology sector, including firms that use crypto-currencies like bitcoin, to protect consumers and spur competition, under a proposed bill seen by Reuters. The proposed legislation, which Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said this month would be unveiled in the Senate before Sept. 20, seeks to ensure financial stability and defend against money laundering and financing of extremists. The new measures will allow Mexico to join a small list of countries, including the United States and Britain, that have sought to regulate fintech firms. Financial services firms envisage massive potential growth in Latin America's No. 2 economy by reaching the more than 50 percent of Mexico's roughly 120 million citizens without bank accounts.
China’s JD.com announces $500M e-commerce and fintech joint ventures in Thailand
TechCrunch | Mon Sep 18, 2017 - Following on from Alibaba’s $1 billion deal with Lazada and a $1.1 billion round in Tokopedia led by Alibaba, rival Chinese e-commerce firm JD.com has announced a $500 million investment that will create e-commerce and fintech businesses in Thailand. Southeast Asia, a region of 600 million consumers, is forecast to see its internet economy grow to $200 billion by 2025 thanks to rising internet access. That potential has attracted investment dollars from Chinese giants lie Tencent and Alibaba, and now JD.com is upping its own efforts. The investment comes from JD.com, Thai retail group Central Group — which owns former Rocket Internet fashion commerce portals Zalora Thailand and Zalora Vietnam — and investment firm Provident Capital. It will see two joint ventures created which lean on JD.com’s experience, expertise and technology to complement Central Group business, which has assets of close to $10 billion and some 70,000 employees across its operations.
This Company Has Brought Cryptocurrency Into The Real World
Huffington Post | Mon Sep 18, 2017 - You’ve probably heard about cryptocurrency, or its most popular currency, bitcoin. But you may not have realized there aren’t any actual coins, but rather lines of code. And there are very few merchants that are setup to process payments using bitcoin or other types of cryptocurrency. And when Sam Sharma first got into trading cryptocurrencies three years ago, he was immediately struck with the idea of facilitating a way for average people to use this new currency in their daily lives. And to accomplish this, he founded Centra. Centra is a debit card that will be tied to digital currency wallets and will allow their cardholders to spend their cryptocurrency as if it were any other type of government backed currency.
More from PaymentsSource
Being good at one thing is no longer good enough, TSYS learns
In the past decade or so, payment processors have turned themselves into more diverse technology providers rather than allow themselves to become the "plumbing" of payments. But to do so meant forging new partnerships with companies that might have previously been seen as competitors.
B-to-B tech providers aren't reaching the entire market
The hardest problem in B-to-B payments isn’t moving the money. It’s simple enough to get payment to suppliers electronically through a credit card or ACH network. What’s hard is vendor enablement—knowing which suppliers accept what payment type, and keeping track of it all.
Apple pushes P-to-P past iOS11 launch
Apple has provided a more detailed roadmap for upcoming operating system updates.
HSBC offers 'selfie pay' in China
In another reminder that the introduction of Apple's iPhone X does not represent the first device to deploy facial recognition authorization, HSBC is making it possible for customers in China to make payments with a "selfie."