12.4.18 Your morning briefing
The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the Web:
Grab is aggressively expanding beyond its Uber-style core business into financial services, a strategy that now involves inroads into hospitality technology.
It has made a $100 million investment in OYO, reports Reuters, adding it's part of a larger $1 billion OYO raise as the Singapore-based OYO plots an expansion to India, China and other markets. At the same time, Grab's valuation has passed $11 billion.
OYO and Grab could collaborate on myriad payments and financial products, such as linking Grab's ride booking, transactions and merchant network with OYO's hotel and travel booking services.
The U.S. government is trying to figure out if cryptocurrency payments can be traced as part of criminal investigations.
While the anonymity of cryptocurrencies has long been part of the appeal, the Department of Homeland Security's small-business technology program notes the challenges of forensic analysis, such as a payment's origination or destination, reports Coindesk.
The government specifically mentioned "privacy coins" such as zcash and monero as posing a particular challenge for criminal investigation.
Local and cross-border
Despite a wave of deals and partnerships, the cross-border payments market still has room for more fintech plays. Cross-border fintech Camel Financial is turning to a multi-national transaction network to build its presence in Latin America and beyond.
Camel, which is a subsidiary of B2B e-commerce gateway DHgate, will process online payments with Ebanx, a company that supports international websites and payments for local businesses. More than 220 countries and 100 payment methods are available through the collaboration.
Move the crowd
Australian mobile payment and prepaid startup Xinja plans a crowdfunding campaign to support its application for to become a full bank.
Xinja hopes to raise $5 million to build a mobile banking platform, which will complement its prepaid debit card, reports Finextra, adding Equitise will conduct the crowdfunding round.
Xinja's app supports daily spending tracking, bill splitting, P2P transfers and account top ups.
Poke in the eye
Apple has dumped two apps from its app store because they used iOS Touch ID to trick consumers into spending huge amounts of money, reports ArsTechnica.
The Fitness Balance app and Calories Tracker app were supposed to compute health information like body mass and calories. Users were told to scan their fingerprint to view the service, but then saw a popup that said they would be charged a fee.
The apps used this method to charge fees of up to about $150, with their cards automatically billed, Ars Technica reports.
From the Web
PayPal dismisses competition concerns after $2.2 billion takeover of iZettle
CNBC | Tue December 4, 2018 - PayPal has dismissed concerns that its $2.2 billion takeover of European technology start-up iZettle could lead to higher prices for payment services and reduce competition. Britain's antitrust watchdog — the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) — has since said PayPal "could face insufficient competition in the U.K. after acquiring its market-leading rival."
Credit card stealing malware on Canada’s 1-800-FLOWERS website went undetected for four years
TechCrunch | Mon December 3, 2018 - The Canadian branch of 1-800-FLOWERS revealed in a filing with the California attorney general’s office that malware on its website had siphoned off customers’ credit cards over a four-year period. The company said it believes the malware was scraping credit cards between August 15, 2014 to September 15, 2018, but that the company’s main 1-800-FLOWERS.com website was unaffected.
Danske Bank becomes first indigenous bank in the north to offer Google Pay
Irish Tech News | Tue December 4, 2018 - Danske Bank has become the first of the big four Northern Ireland banks to offer Google Pay for customers. The bank has announced that customers will be able to use Google Pay to pay in shops, online, in apps and more.
More from PaymentsSource
Discover's journey from fintech darling to savvy strategist
Discover's aggressive technology strategy made it among the first participants in the Google, PayPal and Softcard mobile wallets at a time when most banks — and most consumers — had no idea what this new technology meant.
Amazon Go's biggest challenge is scale
Even as Amazon has expanded its cashierless Amazon Go stores to new cities, it has been careful to limit the size of each store as a concession to the limits of its technology. That constraint may soon be a thing of the past.
Diebold's AEVI builds multitasking into the point of sale
As consumers adopt mobile wallets or in-app payments, it leaves some acquirers and merchants struggling to keep up — especially if their current point-of-sale systems struggle to handle multiple software programs and apps.
JCB signs deals to expand European reach
Japanese credit card brand JCB has signed several deals to expand its global acceptance online and at the point of sale.