3.22.18 Your morning briefing

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

Instagram's in-app pay goes global
Instagram is expanding its in app shopping and payment services to Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the U.K.

The feature allows businesses in the U.S. to tag products in their organic posts and accept payments without leaving the app.

Instagram hopes that by combining its 200 million accounts, which visit at least one business profile daily, with actionable shopping and payments, it can expand its relationships with retailers.
Motive for tech
Investment firm Motive Partners has lined up a set of financial companies to participate in the European Investment Centre, a 14,000 sq. ft. facility in London that will connect developers and established companies.

The companies include Mastercard, Allied Irish Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and Emirates NBD. These companies will work with programmers to build enterprise-ready products for payments and other financial services.

The group also has ties to the city of London, which hopes the center will help the city retain its status as a fintech hub.

Mea Culpa from 'Albert'
A recent Commonwealth Bank of Australia technology project caused some payment terminals ot malfunction, and the bank has apologized publicly for the incident.

The bank made a technical change Monday morning that affected its terminal management system, and a number of merchants could not reconnect with "Albert," the bank's point of sale system.

CBA did not disclose the number of Albert terminals that could not reconnect with the bank, but reports "most" of the terminals were back online as of Wednesday.

Loyal to cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrency's use for actual payments has had a slow start, though there's been some momentum lately, and MobileBridge, a Zug, Switzerland-based mobile technology company, is adding incentives to use cryptocurrencies for payments.

The company has released Momentum, a loyalty program that allows brands to use Momentum tokens or launch their own branded currency to make payments or accumulate "points" that can be used for future payments.

Momentum tokens can also be gifted or donated, similar to miles for airlines.

From the Web

Target tests a new loyalty program with 1% back, Shipt discounts and free next-day delivery
TechCrunch | Wed Mar 21, 2018 - Target has begun to test a new loyalty program, “Target Red,” that combines discounts on delivery with cash back on later purchases. The program will serve as an alternative to the existing REDcard program which requires customers to sign up for a Target credit or debit card. With Target Red, customers instead earn 1 percent back on purchases that they can redeem on their next visit, as well as receive 50 percent off a Shipt membership, and free next-day delivery through Target Restock.

An early bitcoin pioneer predicts how the blockchain will change banking
CNBC | Wed Mar 21, 2018 - Jed McCaleb, creator of the Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange and co-founder of Stellar, predicts that blockchain technology will result in a "universal payments network." He also said the phenomenon of initial coin offerings show entire "markets not tapped right now by the financial system." Finally, McCaleb expects that non-cryptoassets such as stocks will become digitized with the same technology.

China’s Tencent Invests in Video, AI and Mobile Payments, as Earnings Soar
The Wall Street Journal | Wed Mar 21, 2018 - Tech titan Tencent Holdings Ltd. indicated it was doubling down on investments in China’s mobile-first world to ensure it remains a central presence on the smartphones carried by nearly 800 million Chinese users. Tencent executives signaled they remained bullish on investments in video, artificial intelligence and mobile payments. “Many of the current achievements are really results from investments we made years ago,” said Tencent President Martin Lau at a Wednesday press conference.

More from PaymentsSource

Lessons in real-time payments from around the world
For the U.S., being late to the real-time payments game has some tactical advantages, namely the ability to learn from other countries' successes and failures.

'Green' gift cards are a jolt of energy for retailers
Ecologically-minded brands now have a wealth of eco-friendly card material options available to them and the right choice will serve as a simple, convenient reminder to consumers that green values run through every area of their business, writes Andrew Toon, head of retail at Thames Technology.

China unlocks its door to foreign payments, but how open is it?
China's declaration on Wednesday that its payments market is now open to foreign companies gives Chinese payments processors an opportunity to grow globally — but it's made similar moves before, with little effect.

Caught in the Orbitz: A security threat that affects all e-commerce partnerships
The breach at Expedia's Orbitz not only jeopardized nearly 880,000 payment cards — it cast a spotlight on the weaknesses all companies expose themselves to when they partner with another brand.

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