11.9.18 Your morning briefing

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

North Korean threat
Hackers linked to North Korea have used malware to steal tens of millions of dollars from ATMs in Asia and Africa, the latest attack tied to the reclusive dictatorship.

Lazarus, a hacking group behind a series of malware attacks on banks and other institutions in 2017, used Trojan.FashCash to infect servers that communicate with ATMs, reports Engadget.The malware then ordered the machines to illegally dispense cash.

The same hacking group has been tied to earlier attacks on Sony Pictures in 2014 and a theft at Bangladesh's central bank in 2016, and has been expanding its reach over the past year, targeting countries globally.
Online trading fintech eToro has invested $1 million into a project that pays a "social interest cryptocurrency" to emerging markets or communities to build financial inclusion or economic development.

The cryptocurrency, issued through the GoodDollar project, will be non-speculative and will be continuously distributed through smart contracts to verified parties for no fee, reports Finextra, adding this is designed to act as a fiscal stimulus.

Teams in London and Tel Aviv are working on the experiment, and eToro is also recruiting participants in other markets.

Chip ID
Hong Kong is upgrading its federated ID cards to improve security and personal data management.

The cards, which it will distribute starting Nov. 26, will have a chip that will record, store and transmit data, reports planet biometrics.

The cards will support access to buildings and facilities, as well as provide access to transit systems, educational facilities and eventually contactless transactions.

Generous text

Charities are often quick to adopt new payment technology such as blockchain as cash fades from use.

U.K. fintech donr has expanded the scale of its text giving platform to provide another option beyond mobile and mobile point of sale donations.

Users send a text message to donate up to about $35, or double most U.K. text donation apps, by using the charity's keyword followed by the amount.

From the Web

FTC Says MoneyGram to Pay $125 Million to Settle Fraud Allegations
The Wall Street Journal | Thu November 8, 2018 - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Thursday said MoneyGram International, Inc. has agreed to pay $125 million to settle allegations that the company failed to take steps to crack down on fraudulent money transfers. An FTC order in 2009 “required MoneyGram to protect consumers from fraud through its money transfer system, and today we are holding MoneyGram accountable for its failure to do so,” said FTC Chairman Joe Simons.

India's finance minister says Mastercard, Visa losing out to local players
The Business Times | Thu November 8, 2018 - India's finance minister said on Thursday that Mastercard and Visa were losing market share to domestic payments networks, months after Mastercard complained to the US government that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was using nationalism to promote a local rival. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley spoke about the surging growth of RuPay and Unified Payment Interface (UPI), which allows swift inter-bank fund transfers.

Email accounts hacked, leading to ‘unauthorised transactions’, Hong Kong’s biggest bank HSBC says
South China Morning Post | Fri November 9, 2018 - A number of HSBC’s PayMe app users had their e-wallets compromised after hackers targeted private email accounts, Hong Kong’s biggest bank said on Thursday. The bank stressed that PayMe was still secure and “has not suffered any breaches”.

More from PaymentsSource

Square puts itself on a collision course with the biggest terminal makers
As companies mature out of their startup phase, their sales growth curves begin to flatten and costs start to rise — unless, of course, they change their business model. And that’s exactly what Square is doing to maintain its startup-style growth.

Intesa Sanpaolo, Fingerprints AB to pilot biometric contactless cards in Italy
Intesa Sanpaolo will be testing a new biometric contactless Mastercard in Italy, leveraging technology from Sweden-based Fingerprints AB.

TGI Fridays, Zinburger adopt Ingenico pay-at-table devices
U.S. restaurants for years have been experimenting with novel EMV payment approaches ranging from tablets to apps, but two major U.S. restaurant chains are opting for basic hand-held terminals from Ingenico.

Data: Amazon under pressure
The booming U.S. economy is forecast to drive a record $1 trillion in sales this holiday season, with brisk online and mobile sales expansion outpacing the growth rate at brick-and-mortar stores. Amazon’s dominance is in no danger, but the e-commerce giant is looking over its shoulder as Walmart and other retail powerhouses close in. The fourth quarter could be a tipping point for Amazon, which recently lowered its holiday sales growth forecast.

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