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Augmented reality under glass
PayPal is making a renewed push at receiving a patent for augmented reality technology that could be used in "smart glasses."

CNBC reports the patent specifically addresses the ability to layer virtual information over physical products, which would allow shoppers to see information and and payment options while looking at an item in a store. PayPal originally filed the patent application in 2016.

Web connected glasses have been tried before, most notably Google Glass, which did not test well. But PayPal has at least some competitive interest in pursuing the technology now. Some models of IoT glasses are starting to pop back up, and CNBC reports Apple is also preparing to release augmented reality glasses.

Bloomberg News

Soft launch
Mastercard and Polish electronic payment company ePlatnosci are testing SoftPOS, which enables retailers to accept contactless payments with a smartphone.

Telecompaper reports 50 startups will test the technology with that number ramping up to 250 by the end of June. Elavon will join the project in the third quarter. Participants will be given a smartphone that serves as a point of sale terminal, and can trigger the payment app through a PIN.

Mastercard began initial work on the Polish mobile payment project, which also includes Mobeewave and Polski ePlatnosci, in the fall of 2017.

Ripple's payment network gets bigger
Ripple's blockchain has attracted myriad banks and technology companies as a way to execute payments with less overhead, and it's expanded its reach deeper into Europe and Asia.

FairFX, RationalFX and Exchange4Free are new clients from the U.K.; while UniPAY in Georgia and MoneyMatch in Asia have also joined Ripple's base.

The payment companies will use xVia, an application programming interface, to manage connections with banks on behalf of the payers.

The mother of necessity
Singapore has become a major target for payments and financial services technology investors, and the local authorities are attempting to keep the momentum.

The city's Intellectual Property Office is speeding the time for patent applications to encourage innovation, reports OpenGovAsia, adding the time for fintech patents will be lowered to six months from the normal two-year period.

The initiative has a particular focus on electronic payments and blockchain applications, as well as security and fraud prevention.

Real-time business
Singapore's technology status is also on display as an initial market for DBS's real-time cross-border payment tracking engine.

The bank's clients in Singapore and Hong Kong will have access to a Swift Global Payments Innovation-powered engine that specializes in digital processing for corporate and small to medium sized businesses. More than 200,000 businesses will be among the initial participants.

China, India, Indonesia and Taiwan will be added during the next few months, according to DBS.

From the Web

Swiss reports of suspected money-laundering hit record
Reuters | Fri Apr 27, 2018 - Reports to Switzerland’s money-laundering watchdog hit a record last year, including one cluster of cases involving 7 billion Swiss francs ($7 billion), the agency reported on Friday. The Money Laundering Reporting Office Switzerland (MROS) handled nearly 4,700 cases of suspicious activity worth more than 16.4 billion francs in all, once again led by suspected bribery, it said in its annual report.

Official: China should focus on blockchain to develop fintech
China Daily | Sat Apr 28, 2018 - China must make great efforts to develop core technologies such as blockchain to better serve the real economy and promote healthy development of the overall blockchain market and ecosystem at the same time, said a central bank official on Thursday. "Conducting deep research on blockchain is the right thing for China to do to develop financial technology, as blockchain is an emerging technology that may become the future financial infrastructure," said Yao Qian, director-general of the Institute of Digital Money at the People's Bank of China.

Data Protection Standards Need to Be Global
Wired | Sun Apr 29, 2018 - Whether it is Cambridge Analytica gaining access to private information on up to 87 million Facebook users, or the large-scale data breaches at Equifax or Yahoo, alarmingly loose standards for the use and protection of customer data continue to fuel a backlash against large tech companies. The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica saga has triggered much-needed debates over the necessity for greater regulation and the potential breakups of de facto monopolies. But these debates will lead nowhere if the global community doesn't manage to tackle the main challenge of how to treat and govern customer data.

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