Morning Brief 6.22.20: Mastercard, tech firms to build NFC network in Europe

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

Contactless continent

Mastercard is partnering with NXP Semiconductors and consumer electronics company Xiaomi to develop a contactless payment feature for NXP's mobile wallet.

The technology, which accesses Xiaomi's NFC wearable and NXP's mWallet2GO, will deploy initially in Russia in anticipation of a Europe-wide rollout. The NXP/Xiaomi combination allows users to add bank cards to the Mi Fit app on Android and iOS mobile devices. Like many contactless payment initiatives, the companies are tying the product to an increase in demand due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The three firms have collaborated before, supporting contactless transit in Beijing and other Chinese cities.

COVID-19 money management

Commonwealth Bank of Australia has added a coronavirus money plan that includes information on payments, bills, accounts and data on spending.

The feature is embedded in CBA's existing mobile app, and works similarly to a traditional personal financial management tool, though with tweaks that take the coronavirus into account, such as an emergency budget and instructions on how to access government stimulus funds.

Consumers can also access information about the virus and their own health as part of budgeting and payment planning.

Bad key

South Africa's post office bank suffered a $3.2 million loss from payment fraud after an apparent insider incident that included staff printing a master encryption key.

The 36-digit key allows unfettered access to the bank's systems, and anyone with that access can see and change account balances, other data and execute payments, reports Tripwire.

In the last nine months of 2019, crooks used copies of the master key to initiate more than 25,000 fraudulent transactions, including on payment cards people use to receive government benefits. The cost to replace the cards could be as high as $58 million.

Real time

Chesapeake Bank has joined The Clearing House's Real Time Payments Network, a signal of momentum for the initiative, which has drawn a steady stream of community bank support over the past year.

The RTP network reaches 53% of U.S. demand deposit accounts. RTP has picked up dozens of community banks this year and is expected to influence faster payment processing for government agencies in addition to banks.

The Federal Reserve's FedNow instant payment system is expected to launch by 2024, and has also played a role in pushing more banks toward supporting real-time payments.

From the web

Mastercard Research Indicates Sharp Rise in eCommerce, Abandonment of Cash
THE MOTLEY FOOL | Fri June 19, 2020
According to the company's SpendingPulse research unit, in findings published in a digest Thursday, there has lately been a dramatic increase in eCommerce, particularly in the U.S.

Checkout.com triples valuation to $5.5 billion, making it one of Europe’s top fintechs
CNBC | Mon June 22, 2020
Online payments start-up Checkout.com has raised $150 million in funding at a $5.5 billion valuation — nearly three times what it was worth when it last raised cash.

Thai startup Synqa raises $80 mln from Siam Commercial, Toyota and others
REUTERS | Sun June 21, 2020
Payments startup Synqa raised $80 million from the Thai lender and other companies including Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui and Toyota, reflecting investor appetite for the digital market.

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