Morning Brief 9.30.20: Facebook centralizes accounts, payments info

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

Central station

Hoping to push usage of its new payment app, Facebook is piloting an accounts center that centralizes several of its services. Consumers will be able to post content across Facebook, Instagram and Messenger, as well as save payment information for use across the different platforms.

The social network will add Facebook Pay to the accounts center this year. Facebook wants to make it easier for users to share content with Instagram and Facebook at the same time, while transacting from either site as part of the same experience.

Facebook Pay has been gradually rolling out over the past year, a project that has gone much smoother than Libra, the Facebook-affiliated stablecoin that has faced heavy political and regulatory pressure.

Dumping plastic

Singapore's United Overseas Bank is one of the city's early users of a Visa API that allows consumers to directly add cards to third-party apps without requiring a plastic card.

Consumers use a menu on UOB's app to add debit or credit cards to apps without entering a card number, expiration date and security code — an experience that's designed to be easier than taking a card out of a wallet.

The bank has signed firms including Fitbit, Grab, and Singapore Airlines to support incentive marketing redemption and digital payments. Visa has expanded its APIs over the past year to cover digital account creation, tokenization, QR code payments and data analysis.

Fintech bet

Stripe has led a $12 million investment in PayMongo, a one-year old Filipino online payments firm that has gotten a rush of business as payments moved online during the pandemic.

Similar to Stripe, PayMongo offers a platform that merchants can use to support online payments. It will use Stripe's funding to add more engineers and broaden its product line.

Stripe drew a $600 million funding round early in the pandemic, and has been using the investment to approach new markets and add merchants in categories that have not traditionally sold or accepted payments online.

Golden State rules

California will expand its regulation of cryptocurrencies, with an expanded office dedicated to monitoring innovation and more power to investigate coronavirus scams. The state has renamed the Department of Business Oversight, which will now be called the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation.

This regulator will have added power to oversee virtual currency, reports Coindesk. The state is concerned about crypto companies being used as part of pandemic-inspired scams.

California is also forming an Office of Financial Technology Innovation that will reach out to new companies to encourage job creation within California; and a Division of Consumer Financial Protection that will monitor cryptocurrency development. The law, which Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed, goes into effect Jan 1, 2021.

From the web

October closes $300 million in new funds for its SME lending marketplace
TECHCRUNCH | Wednesday, September 30, 2020
French fintech startup October has raised some fresh capital to invest in small and medium companies on its lending platform. Overall, the company has gathered $300 million (€258 million) from various partners that will be deployed over the next few years.

Why Coinbase will struggle to ban politics from the workplace
THE VERGE | Wednesday, September 30, 2020
At a highly polarized time, Brian Armstrong’s controversial blog post is an act of wishful thinking

EU drafts rules to force big tech companies to share data: FT
REUTERS | Wednesday, September 30, 2020
The European Union (EU) is preparing to force big technology companies to share their customer data with smaller rivals, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing an early draft of its landmark ‘Digital Services Act’ regulations.

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