Morning Brief 8.11.20: Facebook Financial focuses its payments talent

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Facebook is building a team of executives to organize its payment products and operations, part of a broader launch of Facebook Financial, an attempt to draw a line between the social networks' various financial services ventures.

David Marcus, the former PayPal president who has led Facebook Messenger and served as the face of Libra — the Facebook-affiliated stablecoin project — will oversee the Facebook Financial team. Stephane Kasriel, another former PayPal exec, will be head of Facebook Pay, a P2P service designed to rival PayPal's Venmo. Facebook Pay is expected to roll out in the U.S. on Instagram, and is being tested in Brazil.

Marcus on Twitter said he will continue to lead Novi, a Facebook digital wallet that could be used to buy and store Libra, which is still scheduled to launch later in 2020 following a change to its stablecoin structure in an attempt to ease regulatory pressure.

David Marcus
David Marcus

Too strong?

Stricter authentication could push consumers to abandon transactions, creating a new challenge for PSD2's security standards.

Strong Customer Authentication, or SCA, standards are due to be enforced in September 2021. In testing, Microsoft found that users are likely to abandon purchases as higher rates when challenged. SCA often requires an extra step, such as SMS confirmation, reports OneNewsPage and several other media outlets.

SCA has already struggled due to stakeholder confusion and the coronavirus outbreak. The rules require knowledge, such as a question; a possession, such as a computing device; and something the user is, such as a biometric.

Smooth sailing, when sailing resumes

While WeChat faces a potential ban in the U.S. due political unrest, its payment app is keeping its momentum in other markets.

Isbank, one of Turkey's largest cross-border payment companies, will support WeChat for payments at brick-and-mortar merchants, upgrading from existing e-commerce support. Like Alipay, WeChat Pay builds much of its business outside China by teaming with local merchants.

The new deal with Isbank will take some time to mature, given the downturn in travel due to the pandemic. But the partnership gives merchants in Turkey greater access to WeChat's 1.2 billion users for both online and in-store payments.


New York's transit system has asked Apple to improve iPhone unlocking to allow riders to keep their masks on while accessing the subway system.

The MTA says riders are removing masks to unlock their phones using face recognition, mostly on older iPhone models, reports 1010Wins, adding the MTA is asking Apple to make new authentication more widely available.

Apple Pay, which is part of the MTA's ticketing upgrade, has technology that allows faster authentication for transit networks, such as a feature on iOS 13.5 that shows the passcode field from the bottom of the screen; and Express Transit, which allows riders to authenticate without unlocking the device.

From the Web

Vitesse, a fintech providing real-time cross-border payments for businesses, scores £6.6M Series A
TECHCRUNCH | Tuesday Aug 11 2020
Vitesse, the London-based fintech that offers real-time cross-border payments for businesses, has raised £6.6 million in Series A funding.

Big U.S. companies form group to boost hiring of minorities in New York
REUTERS | Tuesday Aug 11 2020
Leaders from major U.S. companies, including banks and tech giants, have formed a group aimed at increasing the hiring of individuals from minority communities in New York.

Barclays being probed by UK privacy watchdog on accusations of spying on staff
REUTERS | Monday Aug 10 2020
Barclays Plc is being probed by the United Kingdom's privacy watchdog, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), over allegations that the British bank spied on its staff, the agency said on Sunday.

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