3.8.19 Your morning briefing

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The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the Web:

A softer Brexit
The European Payments Council has approved an application from UK Finance, a banking trade organization, to continue participation in the Single European Payments Area (SEPA) after the March 29 Brexit negotiation deadline, even if the U.K. leaves the EU but does not remain in the European Economic Area (a "no deal Brexit").

The scope of both SEPA and the EEA go beyond the European Union, according to the EPC's explanation of its decision. Other "softer Brexit" options would likely result in the U.K. staying in the EEA, which would make the U.K.'s SEPA transition less complex.

The EPC's ruling would be revisited regularly to ensure UK Finance's continued compliance with SEPA regulations.
Still niche
Cryptocurrency companies have tried numerous strategies to encourage merchants and consumers to use crypto for payments, but at least in the U.K., simple awareness seems to be the main problem.

Seventy-three percent of U.K. consumers do not know what a cryptocurrency is, or can't define it, according to research from the Financial Conduct Authority, which added men between 20 and 44 were most likely to be aware of cryptocurrency. Additionally, only 3 percent of U.K. consumers have purchased crypto assets.

Bitcoin is the most popular, with more than a 50 percent share of the U.K. cryptocurrency purchase market, and 34 percent choosing Ether, according to the FCA.

Brazilian expansion
Jumio, which added "selfie authentication" to its ID technology mix, is also expanding geographically.

The Palo Alto-based Jumio has opened an office in Brazil and appointed Samar Atassi, NetScout's former Latin America chief, to oversee Jumio's Latin American expansion.

The company hopes to serve an addressable market of more than 1,000 fintechs and a large unbanked population, said Harnish Patel, Jumio's vice president of Americas, in a release.

Movie card
Sinemia has altered its model in the competitive movie ticketing market, eliminating its subscription requirement while maintaining its discounts.

In an attempt to counter MoviePass, which is relaunching, Sinemia is offering a Sinemia Limitless card that's valued at $100 but costs $70. That card can then be used to buy movie tickets both within and outside the Sinemia app, reports Cnet.

From the Web

New SimplyGo system to let bank cards double up as public transport travel cards
The Straits Times | Thu March 7, 2019 - Singapore commuters with Mastercard contactless bank cards can use it to pay for public transport rides under a new system to be launched on April 4. The SimplyGo platform will do away with the need to top up stored-value cards, with fares for rides reflected in commuters' credit or debit card bills, just like their retail purchases.

Chinese bankers say lack of fintech investments is a ‘major drag’ on competitiveness
South China Morning Post | Thu March 7, 2019 - Chinese bankers’ concerns about falling behind on fintech investment are at a three-year high, as they consider their existing information technology system to be “a major drag” on business.

Equifax CEO testifies company took security seriously before its massive breach in response to scathing Senate report
CNBC | Thu March 7, 2019 - Equifax's new CEO Mark Begor told senators Thursday that the credit ratings agency has made many changes since its 2017 breach of the personal information of 143 million people, but he also defended the company against a harsh new Senate report about the incident.

More from PaymentsSource

Facebook payments veteran warns of big AML blind spot
Money launderers are increasingly taking a back door into banking — through social media platforms, online retailers, games, apps and the sharing economy, a former Facebook executive warns.

Can blockchain stop small-biz invoice double dipping?
Small-business projects in India and Latin America will provide a test of how well an open source blockchain can reduce the fraud that can occur when businesses try to free up capital from outstanding payments.

Visa takes fintech competition global, focusing on women
In a new, global twist to its ongoing Visa Everywhere competition, Visa is targeting female entrepreneurs who are looking for the right technology to solve their payment-related business problems.

TransUnion innovation lab expanding to Canada, India
Entering its third year, TransUnion’s innovation lab is set to expand. The credit bureau said this week its lab will set up shop in Canada and India later this year.

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