Morning Brief 2.21.20: EU regulators renew push against Facebook Libra
The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the web:
What is Libra?
The EU wants to regulate Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency, but claims it's not sure how.
Vladis Dombrovskis, the European Commission's executive vice president, says Libra, which has not yet launched and is still being structured, is a "moving target" and is not defined by EU law, reports Finextra. Mirroring much of the political pushback against Libra, Dombrovskis is pressing Facebook for more details than its original Libra white paper and testimony before U.S. lawmakers.
Facebook has suggested it's willing to closely pair Libra to local currencies rather than a shifting basket of currencies, which had wrankled central banks. The EU hopes to set up a regulatory framework for crypto assets that would cover Libra and other projects.
Brazil has set an official date for its real-time payment program, which will launch in November, allowing mobile ATM and online payments at all times.
The country's central bank program, called PIX, is designed to manage the growth of digital commerce in Brazil, according to Reuters.
Brazil fast-tracked its real-time payment initiative as more fintechs moved into the country, necessitating improved processing.
MGM Resorts suffered a data breach that affected more than 10 million people, exposing data — such as phone numbers and addresses — that could enable further fraud.
MGM told The New York Times that payment card data and passwords were not stolen, and the company has reported the incident to law enforcement and hired a cyber security firm to investigate. The breach occurred in the summer of 2019.
Breaches have impacted nearly all categories of retailers, though hotels are particularly prone, given the longer amount of time hotels hold onto customer credentials during a stay.
Norwegian Air plans to support crypto purchases using Norwegian Block Exchange, which has made airline purchases a top priority.
Sparbanken took a stake in NBE in 2019, reports Coindesk, adding the exchange began beta tests shortly after and has now opened to the general public.
Norwegian Air is one of Europe's largest airlines, with destinations in Europe, Africa and North America.
From the Web
Crypto Wallet Vows to Offer BTC Withdrawals to Credit Cards
COINTELEGRAPH | Thu February 20, 2020
Lumi Wallet announced that it will allow users in the European Union to withdraw bitcoin to their Visa credit cards. According to the company, the current methods of converting crypto to fiat simply aren’t practical — creating a “perplexing affair” that’s not too dissimilar from the arduous process of getting a refund from an online retailer.
FTC Refunds Victims of Office Depot Tech Support Scam
BLEEPING COMPUTER | Thu February 20, 2020
The FTC has begun to issue refunds to people who were lured into purchasing computer repair services at Office Depot based on fake malware scans. Whistleblowers told KIRO7 reporters that the employees were pressured into utilizing PC Health Check even though it was known to not be accurate to convince people to purchase repair services ranging from $180 to $300.
Mobile Payments Aren’t Alternative Payments Anymore
FORBES | Thu February 20, 2020
The late development in the payment market as a whole and the sum of its individual domestic and regional parts calls for a change in terminology. The alternatives are no longer alternatives — they are often preferred. Payments are moving away from the confinements of a piece of hardware and a card and are moving to phones, in the form of apps and equally allowing businesses to sell anywhere using digital payment acceptance.
More from PaymentsSource
After Brexit, fintechs find new homes
The U.K.’s departure from the European Union is still causing lots of headaches for financial technology companies, but there’s now enough clarity to work with. And that often means operating from a new address.
Kount adds e-mail age screening to spot new fraud accounts
Fraud prevention provider Kount is strengthening its artificial intelligence-powered Identity Trust Global Network with software for determining how long e-mail addresses have been in use.
Bank of England issues new £20 polymer note as cashless payments rise
The Bank of England issued a new polymer £20 note into general circulation at a time when consumers are increasingly eschewing cash in favor of digital payments.
Is Ally's leap into subprime credit cards worth the risk?
Ally Financial’s $2.65 billion bet on the subprime credit card business is drawing skepticism from Wall Street, with investors raising concerns about the strategy and timing of the auto lender’s decision to embrace riskier unsecured consumer loans.