8.1.19 Your morning briefing

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

Who's collecting?

Google Pay has made several enhancements to its payment features in India, including app notifications and SMS messages to tell users that approving collect requests will result in a deduction in the user's bank account.

Google's team in India is positioning the move as a security measure, mentioning it alongside AI-powered fraud prevention and tips for consumers to avoid payment fraud. It also comes as UPI transactions proliferate in India. UPI, or United Payments Interface, is India's government-backed real-time payments platform.

Google has added several payment features recently in India, including support for rail payments and a collaboration with a local fintech to allow Google Pay to be used for precious metal investments.

Upping the ante

Tying cryptocurrency to retail payments has been a tough sell, difficult enough for Facebook to acknowledge it may delay or even halt Libra.

A crypto payments startup called Fold is offering bitcoin kickbacks in exchange for using the Fold app to make payments at Amazon, Uber, Starbucks and Target, among other retailers, reports Coindesk. These rewards can be transferred through Fold directly to a cryptocurrency wallet.

Other crypto payment companies also offer rewards as an incentive, including Lolli and "Whopper coin" that rewarded consumers for purchasing Burger King Whoppers with a cryptocurrency that could be used to purchase more Whoppers.

Down the aisle

The Co-operative Group, one of the U.K.'s largest convenience store retailers, is adding a Pay-in-Aisle app that allows consumers to scan products with their own devices as they shop, with the cost deducted via Apple Pay or Google Pay.

Co-op, which has more than 2,600 stores and gas stations in the U.K., will start with 30 stores in England, Scotland and Wales in August, using technology from ACI Worldwide.

The model is a version of checkout-free technology that Amazon Go, Standard Cognition, Zipping and other companies are developing. Amazon is reportedly looking for space in the U.K. for Amazon Go, where local checkout-free technology adopters include Sainsbury's.

Cash hedge

Singapore's OCBC Bank has added a QR code system to enable withdrawals from ATMs without requiring a card through the bank's PayAnyone app.

While Singapore is rapidly becoming a digital-dominated economy, there are still uses for cash and the bank want to have that contingency covered, reports the Straits Times.

QR code-enabled ATM withdrawals are also unusual in Singapore, though cardless ATM withdrawals via a mobile app without a QR code feature have existed in Singapore since 2011.

From the Web

Litecoin Is ‘Halving’ Soon: What’s Happening and What You Should Know
CoinDesk | Wed July 31, 2019 - A rule embedded within litecoin’s code is set to soon reduce rewards for the miners who ensure transaction processing on the world’s fourth-largest blockchain by total value. In five days, litecoin will undergo a scheduled reward halving – a process aimed at preserving cryptocurrency’s purchasing power.

Solana secures $20m for lightning fast platform to take on Ripple and Ethereum
Yahoo Finance | Wed July 31, 2019 - The race to become the highest throughput blockchain has another contender. San-Francisco-based Solana announced it had raised $20 million in funding, led by crypto investors Multicoin Capital.

Wirecard Drives Cashless Payments in Singapore Together With Gong Cha, the Global Bubble Tea Company
Yahoo Finance | Wed July 31, 2019 - Gong Cha stores in Singapore use Wirecard's payment technology at their in-store POS. This includes the cashless kiosks, which reduce check-out lines and increase efficiency. Present in over 20 regions worldwide, Gong Cha is one of the most recognized bubble tea brands in the world.

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