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NBA NFC: Wearable technology is adapting to retail shopping, such as with the National Basketball Association adding Near Field Communication (NFC) tags to jerseys. As part of the NBA's new marketing deal with Nike, each team will sell jerseys with "NikeConnect" technology, which can pair to iOS or Android devices through an app, reports Engadget. The primary goal at this point appears to be upselling. The NFC jerseys will have access to exclusive content from the team and players, videos, pictures, GIFs, tickets and game highlights. At this point Nike and the NBA aren't aggressively marketing NikeConnect jerseys as a way to buy items at an arena via a contactless transaction, for example, but the technology could power those types of payments via an OEM "pay" app. And the Nike/NBA app does have an in-app payment component. As part of the "premium" pitch for the jerseys, Nike will sell limited edition products tied to the wearable technology, meaning there will be sneakers and other Nike products that can be purchased only through the jersey app. The concept is reminiscent of the RFID jerseys sold by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2011. Those hockey jerseys used an NCR chip in the sleeve to allow fans to get discounts at concession stands.
Black Box: The number of black box attacks on ATMs is spiking in Europe, according to the European Association for Secure Transactions. A black box attack is when a device is attached to an ATM to command the cash be drained from the machine. There were 114 attacks in the first half of 2017, more than 300% higher than the 28 during the first quarter of 2016. Losses during the first half totalled EUR1.5 million. Overall ATM attacks increased more than 10% to nearly 12,000 in the first half of 2017. Transaction reversal fraud jumped 88% during that time, while card skimming fell 22% to 1,221 incidents, the lowest number in 13 years. Europe is not alone, as ATM fraud in the U.S. is also increasing at a dramatic rate.
BofE bullish on fintech: Financial technology companies are sparking a revolution that will have a profound impact on the banking, payments and the financial services industry, said Bank of England executive Andrew Hauser according to Finextra. In a speech to startups, Hauser drew a contrast between technology movements of the past that changed transactions, such as the telegraph or ATMs, and current financial technology startups that are creating "strong and persistent" forces that are changing the foundation of how banking and payments work. The spike in technology startups corresponds with cost-cutting pressures that followed the 2008 banking crisis, according to Hauser. These changes are behind the BofE's accelerator to work on distributed ledger, regulatory technology and internet security. Thus far, nine proofs of concept have been carried out with another four coming soon, according to Hauser.
Taiwan's Swift hack: Hackers have stolen more than $60 million dollars by using malware to skim funds through the Swift interbank network, according to NewsFirst, a local Taiwanese wire service. Eastern International Bank, a Taiwan-based bank, was the targeted financial institution, and the funds were routed to accounts in Cambodia, Sri Lanka and the U.S. Police in Sri Lanka have made arrests in connection with the theft, and all but $500,000 of the stolen money has been recovered. It's bad timing for Swift, as it's scheduled to host its international banking conference in Toronto this week, with an agenda that's heavy on security. The Swift network was also used for a large hack on a Bangladeshi bank in 2016, and similar attacks over the past two years.
From the Web
Staycation trend cuts debit card use overseas, says UK Finance
BBC | Mon Oct 9, 2017 - UK tourists' debit card spending when abroad was down sharply compared with last summer, suggesting a move to staycations as sterling weakened. Spending on UK debit cards overseas was down nearly 13% in August compared with the same month in 2016, figures from trade body UK Finance show. A total of £3.16bn was spent overseas in August, up slightly on July, but down from £3.61bn of August 2016. Overall, debit card spending has risen, as has the use of contactless payment. Spending on UK debit cards overseas has fallen since the start of the year, and UK Finance said that the strength of the pound was one factor.
EU investigates possible Dutch and Polish blocking of fintech services
Reuters | Tue Oct 10, 2017 - EU antitrust authorities are investigating Dutch and Polish banking associations and their members to determine whether financial technology services are being blocked from accessing customer account data. The two bodies were the targets of dawn raids by the European Commission last week, spokesmen from both associations confirmed on Monday. The Commission said the investigation would focus on whether banks and their national industry associations acted as a cartel or abused their dominance. Representatives of the German, British and French banking bodies said they were not raided. The EU investigation comes amid efforts by the Commission to attract more financial technology, or fintech, companies to catch up with the United States and China. One of its directives requires banks to provide customer data to competing services. Britain’s withdrawal from the EU has added urgency to the task because more than 80 percent of the bloc’s fintech market is based in Britain.
Online payment methods grow abroad
China Daily | Tue Oct 10, 2017 - Alipay and WeChat have started to expand their overseas presence since late last year, in a bid to meet the increasing demand for shopping from Chinese travelers, and to cooperate with more local enterprises. Several hundred thousand foreign retailers support payment through Alipay. Those include restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores, duty free stores and theme parks, the Ant Financial report said. Meanwhile, more airports, duty free stores and department stores overseas have started to accept WeChat. Galeries Lafayette in Paris, one of the most popular department stores among Chinese travelers, also began to accept WeChat Pay recently to attract more buyers. Among those who used WeChat when they shopped abroad last week, 52 percent of consumers used it at duty free stores, followed by 16 percent at retail stores and 9.9 percent at drugstores, according to the latest report of popular instant messaging app WeChat.
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