9.11.18 Your morning briefing

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9.11.18 Your morning briefing

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

Succession strategy
Daniel Zhang will succeed Jack Ma as chairman of Alibaba on Sept. 10, 2019, when company founder Jack Ma's retirement becomes official.

Zhang is currently CEO of the Alibaba Group, taking that role in 2015 from Jonathan Lu. Lu became CEO in 2013 when Ma stepped down from that position because he wanted the e-commerce's chief to be someone "born in the 1970s." (Zhang was born in 1972).

Ma will serve as an Alibaba board member until 2020 and will remain a lifetime partner of Alibaba Partnership, a group of 36 executives from Alibaba Group companies and affiliates. Alibaba has recently made huge investments in retail and mobile payments technology.

A buyer for Visa-backed blockchain
Lightyear.io has acquired Chain, a blockchain startup whose investors include Citigroup and Visa.

The deal will create the world's sixth largest blockchain, reports Coindesk, which also reports Chain is the supporting technology for a blockchain-based B2B payment pilot at Visa.

The combined companies will be called Interstellar, and will retain Chain CEO Adam Ludwin and all of Chain's employees as part of the deal.

Legal shakeup at Ripple
Ripple's general counsel, Brynly Llyr, has left the crypto company at a particularly challenging time as Ripple faces at least two major legal battles.

Llyr had been Ripple's lawyer since 2016, and has also served in senior legal roles at PayPal and eBay. Quartz, which reported Llyr's departure, adds Ripple has hired former SEC chair Mary Jo White and former SEC director of enforcement as part of its legal team.

Ripple faces a class action contending the company is illegally profiting from sales of its XRP token. And the SEC has also ruled ICOs should should be treated as a security for regulatory purposes, though it has not taken a direct stance on Ripple.

Verizon's board adds PayPal boss
PayPal CEO Dan Schulman has joined Verizon's board of directors as the telco hopes to take advantage of Shulman's expertise in mobile and wireless technology, according to Verizon.

Schulman previously served as group president at American Express and has also worked at Sprint Nextel, Priceline and AT&T.

At PayPal, he has been responsible for finding ways to turn Venmo cash-positive and prepare PayPal for its full separation from eBay as the auction site migrates its payment processing to Adyen.

Google Pay adds credit unions
About a month after adding more than 100 banks to its network, Google Pay has added another three dozen financial institutions in the U.S.

The institutions are mostly community banks and credit unions, reports AndroidPolice. Google has also rebranded its Indian Tez mobile payment app to Google Pay and expanded its transit payments technology over the past several months.

From the Web
WhatsApp's payments entity may rope in former Paytm executive
The Economic Times | Tue September 11, 2018 - Facebook-owned WhatsApp is finalizing its India leadership team, even as its payments business finds itself in a regulatory limbo. According to multiple industry sources aware of the development, former Paytm vice-president Amit Lakhotia is set to become the head of its payments entity in India.

Alibaba ties with Russian firms on e-commerce platform that will use Moscow's own payment system
CNBC | Tue September 11, 2018 - Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba signed a new strategic partnership with a number of Russian firms Tuesday, which will form a new e-commerce platform and utilize Russia's own payments system.

British Airways breach caused by credit card skimming malware, researchers say
TechCrunch | Tue September 11, 2018 - A security firm says credit card skimming malware installed by hackers on British Airways’ website a few months ago was to blame for a data breach of over 380,000 credit cards.

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