2.6.19 Your morning briefing
The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the Web:
The breach epidemic has grown to a point where Google has released an add-on for Chrome that checks website credentials against a list of exposed password.
Called Password Checkup, it checks manually entered or stored credentials against a database of billions of compromised accounts that Google maintains, reports Ars Technica.
The feature uses anonymization and cryptography to protect the exchange; and creates a secret search index. Google hopes the checkup can undermine the vast amount of identity information that's moving among hacker forums following security incidents.
Aisle of blockchain
The Digital Isle of Man has formed a blockchain office and a sandbox, which is designed to guide startups and developers though regulatory and business issues tied to blockchain-supported payments and other business functions.
The office will be a hub that's designed to connect businesses and other stakeholders on the island to foster collaboration and to proactively respond to regulatory updates, building on the global trend toward sandboxes to aid open banking and other data sharing regulations.
The Digital Isle of Man specializes in gaming payments and other digital media.
A bigger Target
Target is expanding a loyalty program that offers 1 percent discounts and other perks for return trips, an effort to boost foot traffic and lure people who won't sign up for Target's in-store Red card.
Called Target Circle, it's been in pilot in Dallas (where it was called Target Red) and is adding Charlotte, Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City and Phoenix, reports TechCrunch.
Target Red, which offers 5 percent cash back, has about 25 percent adoption, according to TechCrunch.
The cryptocurrency zcash has repaired a code problem that could have resulted in users printing limitless coins.
Zcash then hid the bug and the repair, which was added to a zcash upgrade in October. The bug was revealed publicly for the first time this week.
From the Web
Chinese e-commerce challenger Pinduoduo is raising over $1 billion more
TechCrunch | Tue February 5, 2019 - The price of competing with e-commerce giants Alibaba and JD.com is immense. That’s evidenced by challenger Pinduoduo, commonly known as PDD, which is raising more than $1 billion in fresh capital just six months after it went public.
Coinbase Extends PayPal Withdrawal Option to 32 European Countries
CoinDesk | Wed February 6, 2019 - Coinbase customers in the EU and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries can now make withdrawals into their PayPal accounts. The San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange announced the news Tuesday, explaining that, until now, European customers have had only Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) and UK Faster Payments options available for withdrawals.
Crypto CEO dies holding the only passwords that can unlock millions in customer coins
The Seattle Times | Tue February 5, 2019 - Gerald Cotten's sudden death left C$190 million ($145 million) in Bitcoin and other digital assets protected by his passwords unretrievable. Without the digital keys, clients lose access to digital coins and funds.
More from PaymentsSource
Peru, Vocalink developing real-time payments to spur financial inclusion
Peru is planning a real-time payment system with Vocalink that will put the country on par with similar systems in Thailand, Singapore, the U.S. and the U.K.
Data breakthrough enables Dollar, Thrifty to ease restrictions on car rentals
The U.S. car rental industry has frustrated many young adults for years with special restrictions and credit checks for customers under age 25 who try to pay with their own credit or debit card. But big data is bringing some relief.
Vocalink boss Paul Stoddart gets new role at Mastercard
In his new role, Stoddart will oversee the development and strategic integration of Mastercard's real-time payments capabilities beyond traditional card-based options. Among other projects, he will focus on Vocalink account-based payments, the Homesend joint venture and Mastercard Send.
Amex, Bill.com launch virtual payments for vendors
American Express and Bill.com have launched a system to handle the accounts payable process plus the ability to pay vendors through virtual account numbers.