8.27.19 Your morning briefing

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

Ride-share battle

Ride-sharing app Grab has been a magnet for investors such as SoftBank, and is putting that funding toward expanded payments and financial services as it battles rival app Go-Jek in several Asian markets.

In a new move, Grab will invest several hundred million dollars to extend its mix of payments and financial services in Vietnam, reports Reuters, adding that quickly follows a $2 billion plan to build payments, hotel booking in Indonesia.

Grab is under pressure to extend services beyond ride-sharing, and faces a well-heeled rival in Go-Jek. Visa recently invested in Go-Jek to extend the ride-sharing service's product mix in several Southeast Asian markets, while Grab has added insurance and a payment developer sandbox in recent months.

VC for India's digital migration

New Delhi startup BharatPe has raised $50 million from San Francisco-based Ribbit Capital and London-based Steadview Capital for its combination of digital payments and merchant credit.

The funding brings BharatPe's valuation to $225 million, reports TechCrunch. The company attempts to fund and enable payments for merchants by using a United Payments Interface affiliated QR code, which is available on most phones in India.

New installment

Afterpay plans to add Ulta Beauty and J. Crew to its installment payment network, which serves fashion and beauty retailers.

The company enables retailers to offer immediate receipt with payments spread over four installments, with no fees for consumers who pay on time.

More payment companies are offering installments as an alternative to credit cards, particularly given the product's popularity with younger consumers.

The dark side

Google's Android 10 updates will include a dark mode for several apps, including Google Pay.

The mode is designed to make it easier to see features on the app at night, such as the rendering of a payment card or recent transactions, reports AndroidCentral, adding a fully-illuminated app may be too bright. Google has also added a dark mode to Google Calendar, Google Fit and Google Photos.

Google added several other features to its payment app earlier this month, including app notifications and SMS alerts to warn consumers that approving collection requests will result in a deduction from their bank accounts.

From the Web

Loom Launches ‘CryptoZombies’ Tutorial to Get Coders on Facebook’s Libra
COINDESK | Tue August 27, 2019
The team at Loom is releasing a new, free CryptoZombies course. It’s designed so that anyone can learn the basics of working with the Libra codebase that Facebook has already released. Facebook announced in June its plan to create a new global stablecoin along with dozens of partners from major companies.

Festicket acquires Event Genius and Ticket Arena
TECHCRUNCH | Tue August 27, 2019
Festicket, the U.K.-headquartered festival booking platform, has acquired U.K.-based ticketing and cashless point-of-sale (POS) platform Event Genius. The sale also includes Event Genius’s consumer facing brand, Ticket Arena, while further terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed.

Swiss Regulator Licenses Two New Blockchain Companies as It Shores up Legal Requirements
COINDESK | Mon August 26, 2019
Swiss financial authority FINMA offered guidance this week on anti-money laundering (AML) requirements for blockchain-based companies even as it granted broker-dealer licenses to two new blockchain companies. FINMA considers AML to be “technology-neutral” and expects all payments, including blockchain transactions, to follow the requirements.

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