3.18.19 Your morning briefing

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

Consolidation
Financial services technology company FIS has agreed to buy Worldpay for $43 billion, a deal that allows FIS to counter the transaction processing scale Fiserv received when it acquired First Data earlier in 2019. The price is based on a $34 billion bid plus $9 billion of Worldpay's debt.

The deal builds on a number of previous acquisitions by FIS and its rivals. The growth of e-commerce and digital transactions has pressured broad-based financial IT companies like FIS and Fiserv to broaden processing technology.

Worldpay, formerly Vantiv (Vantiv purchased Worldpay in 2018 and took its name), combines Vantiv's American acquiring strength with the original Worldpay's international reach. Worldpay has also recently increased its ability to process a greater volume of relatively smaller transactions, a staple of serving online marketplaces.

FIS will also be able to bolster its e-commerce and payment processing, while Worldpay will expand geographically. FIS has been expanding its merchant acquiring strategy, most recently cutting fleet card marketing deals.

Worldpay processes more than 40 billion transactions annually, supporting more than 300 payment types across more than 120 currencies. “Scale matters in our rapidly changing industry,” stated Gary Norcross, chairman, president and chief executive officer, FIS, in a press release.
Card-sniffing caper
Seven e-commerce sites, serving more than 500,000 visitors per month altogether, were infected with malware that steals payment card data during a purchase, Ars Technica reports.

The security firm Group-IB has named the malware GMO, based on the domain name that hosts the malware. The rise of such malware is a side effect of the falling value of cryptocurrencies, prompting scammers to seek new sources of revenue, the article states.

At the time of publication, only one of the seven sites (Fila.co.uk) had removed the malware, Ars Technica said. The malware is successful because it is so hard to detect, the article states.

Apple and privacy
Tempting fate once again, Apple has launched a new advertising campaign that claims its iPhones are better than competing products at protecting users' privacy, Engadget reports.

The last time Apple chose to advertise its privacy protections, the campaign was almost immediately followed by reports of a bug in Apple's FaceTime that allowed callers to spy on other users even if they reject the call, the article notes.

And of course Apple's iCloud service was exploited in an incident years ago that exposed many celebrities' intimate photos — just as Apple was readying to launch Apple Pay.

Bionic Bailey
The body hacking and bitcoin communities are not so different, as former PaymentsSource writer Bailey Reutzel demonstrated when getting a chip implanted into her hand to receive bitcoin payments.

Reutzel, now multimedia content editor for CoinDesk, argues that the convergence of these technologies serves the same goal of enabling people to move money without relying on government or corporate systems.

There’s an overlapping “distrust of formal institutions,” Bryan Bishop, a Bitcoin Core developer, told Reutzel. “They have gotten so large and bureaucratic, it’s sometimes more practical to go your own way and see what you can get done."

From the Web

Nala has built a hassle-free, offline mobile money payment platform for Africa
TechCrunch | Sun March 17, 2019 - While at least a hundred million Africans hold mobile money accounts, the process of transacting over the services is difficult, so Nala made an application that acts as an interface on top of the unstructured supplementary service data layer to make money transfers and payments much easier.

Contactless card use surges as doubts ease
BBC News | Fri March 15, 2019 - Two in five card payments are made using contactless technology as consumers appear to have cast aside any doubts of paying without a Pin. The number of transactions using contactless rose 31% in 2018 compared with the previous year, banking trade body UK Finance data shows. Adoption of this technology on public transport and by more retailers has led, in part, to the rise.

Hong Kong Crypto Exchange Gatecoin Choked to Death by Banking Freeze
CCN | Fri March 15, 2019 - Nowhere does the phrase ‘misfortunes don’t come singly’ appear to be truer than in the case of Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange Gatecoin which has been hacked, had its banking accounts frozen, lost funds to a payment processor and now faces liquidation all in a span of three years.

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Former Mt. Gox CEO Karpeles gets suspended jail sentence
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