02.16.18 Your morning briefing
The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the Web:
FedEx breach: Customer records at FedEx have been exposed, reports ZDNet, which notes the data includes passports, driver's licenses and other identifying information. The tech news site reports the problem stems from FedEx's 2014 purchase of Bongo International, which was rebranded as FedEx Crossborder and shut down in 2017. Data related to that unit was stored on an unsecured Amazon S3 virtual server from Bongo and included records from 2009 to 2012, reports ZDNet, citing reports from Kromtech and MacKeeper Security. The exposed server was secured, allegedly after ADNet contacted FedEx this week. That would have left more than 100,000 sets of records were available for an extended period of time. FedEx confirmed the breach to ZDNet on Thursday.
BBVA's in the gig: Serving the increasing number of freelancers and contractors, often called the gig economy, has become attractive for technology companies and investors. BBVA is getting in on the act with an investment in Azlo, a digital business account that powers cross-border payments, digital bill pay, mobile check deposit and other financial services across national boundaries. The bank reports 43% of workers in the the U.S. will be gig economy workers by 2020, a trend that's also prevalent in other countries, according to a BBVA release. BBVA has also helped incubate Azlo at the bank's New Digital Business Center in San Francisco.
Bitcoin-by-credit loses more support: Commonwealth Bank of Australia is the latest large financial company to ban credit card cryptocurrency purchases. The bank cites the unregulated and volatile nature of cryptocurrencies in explaining its ban. In a release, CBA states virtual currencies do not meet a standard of reliability and reputation when compared to other supported currencies. The bank will regularly review its position on cryptocurrencies.
Cash rules: As some merchants experiment with no-cash payments, European Central Bank executive board member Yves Mersch has leapt to the defense of paper money. Finextra reports Mersch gave a speech about the trend away from paper money, and said five EU states — Cyprus, Bulgaria, Belgium, Portugal and Denmark — approached the central bank to ask about measures to limit cash. Mersch said cash still has value as legal tender, criticizing complaints that cash is anonymous and helps criminals. Privacy protects people from a surveillance state and "thought police," Mersch said in his speech, adding cash shouldn't be the scapegoat.
Coins leak: Coinbase customers are complaining the exchange has made unauthorized withdrawals from their accounts, at times resulting in overdraft charges. The Verge reports cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, ether and litecoin are being withdrawn in a repeat fashion, even though users are reporting not making any purchases beyond the original withdrawal. Coinbase did not comment to The Verge on the scope of the problem, saying it would provide updates on social networks as the issue is resolved.
From the Web
Lydia raises $16.1 million to become the PayPal of mobile payments
TechCrunch | Thu Feb 15, 2018 - French startup Lydia is raising a $16.1 million round (€13 million) led by CNP Assurances with existing investors XAnge, New Alpha AM, Oddo BHF and Groupe Duval also participating. Lydia isn’t the first startup that wants to replace PayPal, and also probably not the last one. But it’s clear that the company is slowly becoming mainstream in France. The company first focused on Venmo-like peer-to-peer payments but is now branching out to cover all sorts of transactions.
Ottawa’s Motion Pay brings Chinese payment giants to Canada
Ottawa Business Journal | Thu Feb 15, 2018 - An Ottawa fintech firm has brought China’s two biggest payment platforms to more than a thousand Canadian merchants after just a year in business, with plans to expand to the U.S. next month. Motion Pay allows merchants to accept payments in-store and online through Alipay and WeChat Pay, the two platforms dominating the mobile payments market in China. More than 1,000 businesses around Canada – including local clients such as the Westin Hotel and numerous retailers in the city – have Motion Pay’s custom point-of-sale devices, which can process transactions in Chinese currency through QR code-based payment systems. The firm has processed C$25 million worth of transactions in the past year.
Pekin Walmart welcomes new app letting customers skip checkout lines
Pekin Daily Times | Thu Feb 15, 2018 - A Pekin Walmart Supercenter has become the first store in the area to implement an app allowing customers to pay for items as they shop, completely bipassing the register, according to a Thursday news release. Scan & Go app allows customers to scan items as they shop and pay on their phone, according to the release. To use the app at the Pekin Walmart at 3320 Veterans Drive, download it from an app store onto a smartphone. Customers without smartphones or who don’t want to download it onto their smartphone can use a scanning device in the store that works the same way as the app would on a phone. Next, scan an item’s barcode and move the item into the app’s shopping cart. Barcodeless items can be looked up in the app with the Find an Item feature. As someone shops, the app will keep a running total of everything in the app’s cart. Checkout and pay on the app when finished shopping. Finally, show the receipt to a Walmart associate before leaving.
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