7.9.18 Your morning briefing

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

A plus sign that's a minus sign
As the Plenti multi-merchant incentive program winds down, ExxonMobil is finding it difficult to move on.

Security blogger Brian Krebs reports ExxonMobil's snail mail letter on the migration to ExxonMobil Rewards+ includes a toll free number that has a + on the end. The + represents a zero, but that's not widely known, according to Krebs. Dialing something besides zero at the end of Exxon's listed number causes a redirect, including calls to unaffiliated call centers advertising "free cruises" or adult chat lines.

The letter also asks consumers to visit a "parked" website that tries to dump browser extensions on visitors, Krebs reports.
Who gets crypto.com?
Given the craze around cryptocurrency and blockchain, the domain name crypto.com would stand to be in high demand.

The crypto payment card company Monaco has purchased the domain for "millions," reports TechCrunch. The domain is registered to Matt Blaze, a University of Pennsylvania computer science professor, TechCrunch reports.

Earlier estimates pegged the domain's value as high as $10 million, though Monaco did not disclose the specific amount it paid.

WeChat Riviera
WeChat Pay's expansion across Europe has landed in Nice, where the app has launched at the Nice Cote D'Azur Airport.

More than a dozen shops at the airport will support the service. The stores' management company, Lagardere Travel Retail France, has recruited Chinese sales advisors to support the increased volume of Chinese tourists, according to the Moodie Davitt Report.

The airport has added other services, such as links to Chinese news and other Mandarin services for passengers.

Western Union's Russian play
Western Union has expanded its collaboration with Russia's Post to enable Post Bank's mobile app to send Western Union money transfers. Consumers can make payments directly into bank accounts or in cash at Western Union retail locations.

To use the service, consumers fill out a form on the bank's iOS or Android app, and use a one-time password to send the payment. The move will allow the bank to offer more cross-border payment options, according to a release.

From the Web

BP says card payment problem resolved
BBC News | Sun July 8, 2018 - BP fuel stations across the UK are now able to accept card payments after a glitch which lasted over three hours. BP had said earlier its stations were only able to accept cash and that it was directing customers to its ATMs. The oil giant said all its sites had now returned to normal service, and it was launching "a full investigation" into what had caused the problem.

Dealmaking in global payments sector hits new high
Financial Times | Sun July 8, 2018 - Rapid growth driven by a transformation in the way consumers pay for products has pushed dealmaking in the global payments industry to record heights, with 2018 already the biggest year ever in terms of acquisitions in the sector. Payments technology has stood out even amid a general surge in merger and acquisition activity. There were 102 transactions worth a total of $46bn in the first six months of the year, according to data from Dealogic, surpassing 2017’s full-year figure of $32.9bn.

Biometric payments to take centre stage as 1 in 4 of online sales will require further security next year
Irish Tech News | Fri July 6, 2018 - New regulations will require payments to have two factors of authentication. With new EU regulations coming into place next September, Mastercard is predicting a significant increase in the use of biometric technology to authenticate who is paying. With regards to card payments, currently just 1-2% of online transactions require cardholder authentication to complete a transaction (most likely using a password), but this is set to rise to up to 25% or 1 in 4 payments from next autumn.

More from PaymentsSource

How Brexit could improve the U.K.’s Rural Payments Agency
The U.K.’s Rural Payments Agency has long been renowned for its inefficiencies in processing timely and accurate financial support payments to farmers across the country. But now industry figures expect Brexit will lead to an improvement in performance due to a loosening of the EU-driven bureaucratic regulations.

Beyond blockchain? Nanopay, Interac ramp up speed for cross-border payments
Nanopay is planning to add bank, processor and accounting software partners for a B2B cross-border and domestic transfer service which it says exceeds the performance of blockchain-based systems.

Removing too much 'friction' makes payments unsafe
By intelligently applying friction, where the entry of a PIN or a swipe of the screen can be used to correlate against known data, we can better prove that the correct user made the transaction and avoid the costs and disruption associated with fraud and disputed claims, writes Zia Hayat, CEO of Callsign.

Square's many flirtations with banking
The mobile point of sale pioneer Square has done much to expand its product range to stay competitive, and a few of those efforts have made the company more of a direct threat to banks.

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