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London's mayor lobbies for Euro ties: There are signs that Brexit is not having a major impact on London's fintech economy as of yet, but the mayor is still concerned about a backslide. London Mayor Sadiq Khan is calling on the U.K. to remain part of the EU single Market and Customs Union as part of the Brexit negotiation, reports The Express. The paper notes the recent upswing in London's technology market and input from LinkedIn suggesting London is the top European draw for technology talent from outside Europe, beating Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin and Madrid.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan
London Mayor Sadiq Khan Bloomberg News

Contactless charity opens to wearables: Ingenico has raised more than $17,000 for a child protection charity via a connected screen as part of a fundraiser that was also designed to demonstrate new donation technology. The point of sale technology company is attempting to counter a decline in charitable giving in the U.K. due to the growth in digital payments, meaning people are carrying less money. The number of regular donors in the U.K. has fallen 37% in the past year, partly because people carry less cash, according to Ingenico, citing research from Consumer Intelligence. Digital payment technology is also advancing in other parts of the world to address the cash shortfall.

Selfie rules: The Swiss regulator Finma has changed onboarding rules to accommodate new authentication techniques such as selfies, which large financial services companies such as HSBC and Mastercard have supported. Finextra reports Finma has received complaints about the new rules and will accept input through the end of March on possible updates to make visual authentication easier, such as dumping requirements for single-use passwords and adding eye-tracking technology to prevent the use of old photos as a workaround.

No honor among thieves: An Ethereum hack allows frausters to steal from each other. Reddit reports hackers are automatically triggering cryptocurrency transactions that deposit funds, then repeatedly remove that amount from a smart contract over and over, before that contract can update to zero. But on the other side, another hacker can freeze the user and disconnect the withdrawals so only the deposit can be made, and only the "second attacker" can receive the money. TechCrunch reports these attack programs are easy to find and easily accessible.

From the Web

Sweden's Mission to Go Cashless May Have Gone Too Far
Fortune | Mon Feb 19, 2018 - Sweden’s quest to move to digital payments has had an unexpected side effect: It’s moving too quickly. The country is making the transition to mobile and digital payments so fast that authorities worry that it will be difficult to maintain the infrastructure for handling cash. Throughout the country “No cash accepted” signs are a common sight at restaurants and stores, and now many of the country’s bank branches have also stopped handling cash, Bloomberg reports.

Global regulators neutral on new rules for 'hyped' fintech
Reuters | Mon Feb 19, 2018 - Global banking regulators signaled on Monday they were in no rush to adapt their rules to financial technology firms that have begun nibbling away at banks’ markets. The regulators looked at how fintechs could disrupt banks’ business models by offering payments services, crowdfunding, mobile banks and online trading. “Despite the hype, the large size of investments and the significant number of financial products and services derived from fintech innovations, volumes are currently still low relative to the size of the global financial services sector,” the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision said in its report on the implications of fintech on banks and regulators.

Revealed: Cash eclipsed as Britain turns to digital payments
The Guardian | Mon Feb 19, 2018 - Britain will move beyond “peak cash” this year, according to data gathered by the Guardian that suggests notes and coins are rapidly being supplanted as the favoured payment method, particularly in cities. Debit cards are set to overtake cash as the most frequently used payment method in the UK later this year, according to UK Finance, which represents leading finance and banking firms. The volume of cash removed from cash machines (ATMs) is falling fast, while other data shows customers are eschewing cash for cards – even for small purchases such as a coffee or a beer. In 2006, 62% of all payments in the UK were made using cash; in 2016 the proportion had fallen to 40%. By 2026, it is predicted cash will be used for just 21%, according to figures from UK Finance.

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