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Second thoughts?

The severe regulatory and political response to Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency has resulted in even Facebook warning that the project may not happen.

The heat is apparently reaching some of the 28 partners that have invested in the project, who are considering bailing, reports the Financial Times, relying on anonymous sourcing. Libra's partners include Mastercard, Visa, Stripe, Uber, Spotify, PayPal and others. Libra faced fresh regulatory pressure last week as the EU launched an antitrust probe.

The participants' role in Libra has not been defined publicly, and it's not the first time a participant has wavered, as Visa CEO Alred Kelly recently reminded the card brands' investors and analysts that the partners' participation is "non-binding."

Staffing up

London digital payments company and fintech Revolut has added several senior executives, including Wolfgang Bardorf, who is leaving his post as Deutsche Bank's Global Head of Liquidity Models and Methodologies to become Revolut's treasurer.

Other moves include hiring Stefan Wille, who had been a senior vice president at N26, as deputy CFO; and Philip Doyle, who had been head of financial crime at ClearBank, as Revolut's new director of financial crime risk.

Revolut is adding senior executives as it manages regulatory challenges tied to AML controls and plots its move into North America and other global markets.

Inflation hedge

Venezuelan department store Traki will deploy blockchain cash registers in about 50 locations, including a feature to accept cryptocurrency payments in a country that has been plagued by inflation.

The store is using technology from Singapore payments technology firm PundiX, reports Crypotonewz, adding about 10% of Pundi's users are in Venezuela.

Inflation in Venezuela has been a chronic problem, at times surpassing 100,000% amid a broader economic crisis, giving a potential jolt to alternative currency.

China B2B

As the trade dispute between China and the U.S escalates, payments technology is expanding into other China B2B trade corridors.

Singapore-based money transfer firm InstaReM has added support for U.K. and European businesses to make supply chain payments into China.

The company hopes to automate payments for small to medium-sized businesses in China, where automation has traditionally lagged for B2B transactions.

From the Web

Worldpay charges, disclosed in fine print, anger small U.S. merchants
REUTERS | Fri August 23, 2019
Mark VenHuizen, the comptroller of a family business which sells parts for boat engines in Florida, says he has complained three times to Worldpay Inc since 2016 for tacking on extra fees to process his customers’ credit and debit card payments without clearly telling him about it. The first two times when he complained after noticing larger costs on his billing statement, the additional fees disappeared for a few months. Last August, he discovered Worldpay had added a 0.3% charge on top of an initial fee of 0.2% on many transactions, boosting his bill by hundreds of dollars.

Wirecard to process credit card payments for SunExpress
VERDICT | Mon August 26, 2019
German payments firm Wirecard has agreed to process credit card payments of Turkish airline SunExpress in local travel agencies. Under the terms of the agreement, SunExpress will be able to combine its International Air Transport Association (IATA) interface with the billing and settlement plan (BSP) on Wirecard’s digital platform in six countries. SunExpress is a joint venture of Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines. It is said to be one of the largest to operate between Germany and Turkey. Last year, the airlines saw nearly ten million passengers.

Web host Hostinger says data breach may affect 14 million customers
TECHCRUNCH | Sun August 25, 2019
Hostinger said it has reset user passwords as a “precautionary measure” after it detected unauthorized access to a database containing information on millions of its customers. The breach is said to have happened on Thursday. The company said in a blog post it received an alert that one of its servers was improperly accessed. Using an access token found on the server, which can give access to systems without needing a username or a password, the hacker gained further access to the company’s systems, including an API database.

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