Morning Brief 10.21.19: Japan moves toward travel crypto payments

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

Crypto's journey

Mitsubishi Research Institute is testing a cryptocurrency for travel and tourism, providing a mainstream use case for crypto.

MRI will issue the Kintetsu Shimakaze Coin on a limited basis, according to a translated announcement on MRI's website. The test will be in a tourist-friendly area and is a prelude to wider use on railways, reports Nikkei.

Japan's cryptocurrency market is relatively more advanced than other regions, with more thorough regulation, which is seen as vital to advance cryptocurrency payments. Japan has also called for an international approach to regulating Facebook's Libra, a different strategy than the mostly adversarial pronouncements in other countries.

Bitcoin gateway

Elsewhere in Japan, Bitcoin.com has agreed to acquire O3 Labs, a Tokyo-based software company that builds financial technology.

The two companies will co-develop mobile financial services that will carry Bitcoin.com's brand and are designed to grow the Bitcoin Cash network. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Stefan Rust, Bitcoin.com's CEO, said the goal is to push business development by offering payments and other financial services that aren't tied to traditional banks, according to a release.

Opening its wallet

Cambodia's central bank is attempting to cut processing costs for international payments by using an internal digital wallet.

Called Bakong, the wallet uses the Hyperledger blockchain, which will connect banks in Cambodia and Malaysia, reports Yahoo, adding remittance fees for payments between the two countries can be as high as 30% despite the proximity.

Cross-border payments are among the most popular uses for blockchain technology in financial services, given blockchain's ability to eliminate processing time and third parties from transactions.

New tools

Standard Chartered is upgrading its cash management system to support several payment technology trends, including the U.K. Faster Payments Scheme and APIs, in addition to the FX and clearing the bank currency offers.
The project is scheduled for completion by the middle of 2020, and is designed to address market changes in payroll, automated reconciliation and supply chain payments.
Standard Chartered has made several moves over the past year to bolster supply chain payments, including adding new markets and teaming with other banks to compete with technology providers in the treasury finance space.

From the web

OCBC joins Singtel's regional mobile payments network
THE BUSINESS TIMES | Mon October 21, 2019
SINGTEL will expand its VIA mobile payment alliance to include OCBC – the first Singapore bank to join the network and the second regionally, after Thailand’s Kasikornbank. This will allow OCBC customers to go cashless when they travel to Thailand or Japan, by the first quarter of 2020.

U.S. Bank partners Alacriti to introduce new eBill Service
VERDICT | Fri October 18, 2019
U.S. Bank is set to roll out the eBill Service in collaboration with fintech firm Alacriti to simplify bill payments. The new service is designed as an electronic bill presentment and payment solution for billers and payers.

Saudi electronic payments witness dynamic growth
SAUDI GAZETTE | Sat October 19, 2019
Mastercard, in collaboration with Saudi Payments, recently hosted the Mastercard Saudi eCommerce Forum 2019. The event brought together key players and innovators in the Saudi financial sector to discuss the latest global and regional eCommerce market dynamics and the global growth trends that are shaping the payment ecosystem. The forum, which took place in Riyadh, supports the Saudi 2030 Vision to make 70 percent of all payments electronic by 2030.

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