Morning Brief 6.8.20: Mastercard develops contactless Android app in India

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Android outreach

Mastercard, Axis Bank and Worldline have partnered to enable Android smartphones in India to accept contactless payments, a move designed to take advantage of an aversion to cash handling and physical point of sale hardware during the coronavirus outbreak.

The three firms will offer a subscription service that covers digital onboarding, acceptance and accounting through the same interface, reports BFSI, a local news service in India.

Mastercard and Visa also recently pushed the Indian government to increase the limits for contactless payments.

CBDC alarm

Central bank digital currencies are being floated as a way to streamline government disbursement, particularly for stimulus funds tied to the coronavirus recovery. But the concept has also picked up steam as a way to improve identity management and counter cryptocurrency projects such as Facebook's Libra.

There are risks to commercial banks, including the potential for a direct relationship between consumers and central banks, which could undercut commercial bank lending.

Citing a research paper from the Federal Reserve of Philadelphia, Coindesk explains CBDCs could drain deposits from commercial banks. That's a challenge to "maturity transformation" or the practice of banks borrowing money on short terms, such as a savings account, then lending for longer terms, such as a mortgage. The Philadelphia Fed recommends CBDCs be introduced in a way that does not encourage a "run" on traditional commercial banks.

Cutting bait

Instacart is requiring customers to leave feedback if they remove tips, reportedly to discourage "tip baiting," or the practice of consumers offering third-party delivery workers large tips in advance but not following through later.

Instacart has also reduced the tipping window from three days to 24 hours, according to Engadget. It will also allow its shoppers, or the workers that shop and deliver on behalf of consumers, to use the firm's Instant Cashout to access both tips and their main earnings.

Instacart and other delivery services are facing political pressure after a group of senators asked the FTC for an investigation into unfair practices.

Curbing abuse

Commonwealth Bank of Australia has found some people are using payment messages to send threats and other harmful language.

The bank will halt payments that have defamatory, harassing or threatening conduct, reports Finextra.

The measure comes after the bank found more than 8,000 abusive messages — ranging from profanity to threats of domestic violence, through low-value transactions, often less than $1.

From the Web

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