7.18.19 Your morning briefing

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Honor system

France will shortly set rules that allow cryptocurrency companies to voluntarily meet standards for capitalization and consumer protection in exchange for approval.

The Financial Market Authority will issue rules by the end of July, and will urge crypto currency companies to pay taxes in France in exchange for approval, reports Reuters. The French government is betting cryptocurrency companies will be willing to meet the requirements given the appetite for regulation that exists in the cryptocurrency industry as a sign of legitimacy.

The announcement of Facebook Libra is also expected to make broader cryptocurrency regulation a higher priority.

Giant Eagle's no-checkout store has landed

Pittsburgh supermarket chain Giant Eagle has partnered with retail technology firm Grabango for one of the larger deployments of cashierless technology to date, totaling nearly 300 supermarkets and convenience stores.

Grabango uses computer sensor technology and algorithms to execute self-service checkout, contending it can serve much larger stores than the smaller ones that have dominated no-checkout and cashierless deployments thus far, reports VentureBeat.

Cashierless stores have drawn a lot of attention but large-scale deployments are still limited. Amazon Go has opened about a dozen stores, with plans for up to 3,000; and there are also other technology companies in the space that are mostly early stage or in pilot.

Is PSD2 too narrow?

PSD2 regulation has gaps that could hinder open banking, according to the Open Banking Implementation Entity, the U.K. agency set up to support compliance.

The agency called for more detailed guidance, saying there's a need to address refunds, guidance for when premium APIs are allowable (premium APIs carry extra fees and provide access to financial services outside of PSD2's scope), open finance and general data management.

PSD2 has been fraught with missed deadlines, enough for a payments industry lobby group to call for delays of up to three years to comply with PSD2's authentication rules.

Square coin

Hirings often reveal clues as to company plans — the project that eventually became Libra dates as far back as former PayPal president David Marcus' transfer from Messenger to blockchain at Facebook, or the social network's hiring of blockchain payment specialists from London.

Square also appears to be dropping similar hints by advertising for designers to work on Square Crypto, or what Square is referring to as "bitcoin for everyone."

That suggests Square is considering cryptocurrency as a payment instrument. Square in 2018 began supporting bitcoin trading for Square Cash users though it has not aggressively pushed supporting crypto for payments at its retailers. A Square spokesperson did not elaborate on merchant usage, saying the job posting is related Square's team to build a bitcoin open source project.

From the Web

EBay picks 5.5% stake in India’s Paytm Mall
TechCrunch | Thu July 18, 2019 - EBay said it is buying a 5.5% stake in e-commerce marketplace Paytm Mall as the global firm makes another push to gain footprint in India’s fast-growing e-commerce market.

Facebook Is Getting Closer to This Massive Opportunity in India
The Motley Fool | Wed July 17, 2019 - Facebook has been working on a payments service in India for over a year. It launched a beta test with 1 million WhatsApp users in early 2018 and finally looks like it's moving forward with the project.

China rich with opportunity for fintech talent
China Daily | Thu July 18, 2019 - China is on the cutting edge of the fintech industry and promises great opportunities for fintech talent, fueled by a rising demand for financial services and technology professionals, according to Hays plc, a global professional recruiting group.

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Visa buys an omnichannel specialist for the age of Amazon Go
Card issuers are accustomed to a world in which consumers choose which card to use at the moment they make a purchase. But in the Amazon Go model that more retailers want to emulate, that choice is made long before the shopper enters the store.

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