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Mastercard, Microsoft deepen ties
Microsoft has announced support for Masterpass, which will enable consumers to use Microsoft accounts to pay at retailers that support Mastercard's digital wallet.

U.S. consumers using the latest Microsoft Edge browser can sign into Microsoft accounts and use Microsoft Pay to access Masterpass.

The software giant hopes to support payments with minimal rekeying, as well as extend an existing partnership with Mastercard for "smart city" technology.

Bloomberg News

Sandy around the world
The Financial Conduct Authority is joining with regulators from Europe, the U.S. and Asia to create a sandbox, or a global system to test fintech innovation with less regulatory burden.

The U.K. has offered low-regulatory testing for years, and has long pushed to extend a cooperative model to different jurisdictions. The FCA's latest effort includes the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, financial inclusion agencies and similar agencies in Quebec, Australia, Abu Dhabi and other markets.

Sandboxes are advancing in the U.S. with Arizona launching a state version and the federal government planning a national sandbox.

Shaq's new gig
BBVA's VC unit Propel Venture Capital is the lead investor in Steady, an app for gig economy workers. The funding round includes retired basketball star Shaquille O'Neal.

Steady offers a range of transactional and financial services geared toward people who work as contractors or have irregular hours or pay.

The distinct needs of gig economy workers have led to myriad innovation in payments over the past several years.

Chip sprint
Remember the "fast EMV" products the card networks pushed a couple of years ago? These products made chip card transactions appear faster by changing the user experience, cutting a 10-second transaction by more than half.

Worldnet has incorporated a version of "faster EMV' into its GoChip point of sale products that contend the payment can happen in a single second.

The company is working with IDTech to speed authorization while maintaining security. Like most other products that shorten EMV payment time, most of the change is on the customer usage end.

Blockchain 'pay'
While OEM mobile wallets are starting to grow after years of tepid adoption, they still make up a relatively small part of the overall retail point of sale market.

That leaves space for a distributed ledger, according to payment gateway Beam, which is combining blockchain and mobile phones in an attempt to boost checkout automation, reports VentureBeat.

Beam integrates with existing point of sale systems and supports NFC, QR codes and other forms of contactless technology.

From the Web

Oracle launches autonomous database for online transaction processing
TechCrunch | Tue August 7, 2018 - Oracle executive chairman and CTO Larry Ellison first introduced the company’s autonomous database at Oracle Open World last year. The company later launched an autonomous data warehouse.

Iranian Hackers Turn to Ransomware, Bitcoin as Economy Stalls
The Wall Street Journal | Tue August 7, 2018 - Iranian hackers are developing software attacks that render computer systems inoperable until a digital ransom is paid, a new report says, a threat that comes as the U.S. moves to reimpose tough economic sanctions on the country. Over the past two years, researchers at Accenture PLC’s iDefense cybersecurity-intelligence group have tracked five new types of so-called ransomware they say were built by hackers in Iran.

Germany's claims in euro zone payment system drop in July: Bundesbank
Reuters | Tue August 7, 2018 - The Bundesbank’s claims towards other euro zone central banks fell sharply last month, data showed on Tuesday, confirming policymakers’ comments that flows in the currency bloc’s payment system were not indicating increased stress. The German central bank’s Target 2 balance fell to 913.2 billion euros at the end of July from 976.3 billion in June, suggesting that technical factors at least in part accounted for the sharp increase in the previous month.

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