Morning Brief 9.3.20: India bans Alipay, others in political dispute

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India has barred several dozen apps that have ties to China, including Alipay, PUBG Mobile and Baidu, a Chinese internet firm that has relationships with carrier billing companies. That follows earlier bans on TikTok and WeChat and its related payment apps; the Indian government contends its bans are linked to data security.

The bans are likely part of tensions between India and China over a border dispute, reports The Verge, noting Tencent makes PUBG Mobile. TikTok is also caught up in the trade dispute between the U.S. and China, and is trying to sell parts of its business to U.S. buyers — though that sale is being delayed by politics.

India has used data protectionism as part of regulatory pressure in the past, most notably requiring outside card companies such as Visa and Mastercard to store data locally.

Contact sport

Tappit has signed the Jacksonville Jaguars to convert the NFL team's TIAA Bank Stadium to cashless payments. Tappit signed a similar NFL deal with Kansas City this summer.

Whether NFL teams will allow spectators is fluid and varies by franchise. Jacksonville and Kansas City both currently plan in-person attendance. Tappit's system will remove touchpoints and is designed to reduce lines.

Sports facilities have been migrating to contactless and digital ordering and payments, with Visa showcasing its technology at 2019's Superbowl in Atlanta, and checkout-free developers using sports facilities to test new payment models.

Drive time

Mastercard will embed vehicle recognition from Rekor Systems into its artificial intelligence platform for drive-through transactions.

Rekor's Edge technology is designed to recognize license plates via IP, traffic or surveillance camera. Mastercard uses spending patterns and store-level data to customize ordering, supporting opt-ins for personalized or dynamic menus; or tailored marketing based on a franchise's location. Combined, the two systems will support mobile pre-ordering and payments, eliminating the need for a staff member to do so manually.

Mastercard is running a series of pilots to test cashierless checkout at pharmacies, restaurants and other retailers, with other recent partnerships including Accel Robotics.

Blocking out

ANZ, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac, IBM and Scentre Group are trying to shorten the time required for merchants to set up leases through a blockchain-powered platform.

Called Lygon, the platform replaces paper applications for bank lease guarantees with a digital system. Bank guarantees are required in Australia to secure a retail lease, a process that normally takes about a month. The project aims to reduce that time to a day, reports Finextra.

The five firms are operating Lygon as a standalone offering, with a public release schedules for early 2021.

Lighting it up

PayPal and BBVA took part in a $300 million investment in Neon Pagamentos, a four-year old Brazilian fintech firm that offers digital payments and lending.

The company will use the funds to build new products designed for its direct deposit users; and other features for its expanding base of about one million micro-merchants. Neon's MEI Facil small-business platform offers payments and tax services.

It will also look for M&A targets to expedite product expansion and will add scale to accommodate the increase in deposits Neon has seen as consumers and businesses move online.

From the web

Apple will roll out 'offer codes' for app subscriptions with iOS 14
ENGADGET | Thursday, Sept. 3 2020
The tech giant has announced that it’ll give developers access to a feature called Offer Codes, which it describes as “unique, alphanumeric codes that provide free or discounted prices for auto-renewable subscriptions.”

As corporate cards are subsumed into software, Airbase posts rapid growth
TECHCRUNCH | Wednesday Sept. 2, 2020
Airbase offers corporate cards and a SaaS suite of financial tooling to support corporate accounting departments and employees alike. While the startup does collect revenues from interchange — card-providers gets a tiny slice of transactions that occur on cards they hand out — the majority of its revenues come from its recurring software incomes.

Major crypto exchange Binance joins European blockchain industry group
REUTERS | Thursday, Sept. 3 2020
Major cryptocurrency exchange Binance said on Thursday it was joining a European blockchain industry group, a move that comes as policymakers look at how to oversee the emerging digital ledger technology.

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