Morning Brief 7.30.20: PayPal's record-breaking quarter

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Digital dominator

PayPal recorded its first-ever quarter reaching $5.26 billion in revenue, up 22% compared to the same quarter in 2019. Total payment volume reached a record $222 billion, up 30% year-over-year, and exceeded its fourth quarter volume, which is traditionally its highest.

Keys to the company’s strong growth for the quarter were the influx of new users, new merchants, consumers who had never used e-commerce before and the general market shift of physical sales to a digital environment.

“This is our time and we intend to seize the moment,” said CEO Dan Schulman in a Wednesday earnings call. “Our products and services have never been more important and we are ready and well-positioned to capture the opportunities that lie ahead of us."

On the Hill

Under questioning at Wednesday's Congressional hearing on technology competition, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said it's possible his company has violated its own policy against mining third party sellers' data to develop Amazon projects.

Rep. Primila Jayapal, D-Wa., asked Bezos if Amazon had accessed third party seller data, following a report in The Wall Street Journal. Bezos said Amazon has a policy that bans that but he could not "guarantee" the policy had never been violated, reported The Verge's coverage of the hearing.

Top executives from Facebook, Google and Apple also testified, mostly answering questions about their influence on smaller companies. All four companies often clash with regulators in the U.S. and abroad. Facebook, for example, has faced nearly non-stop political pressure after announcing its Libra stablecoin project, while Apple Pay's regulatory battles have ranged from Europe to Australia.

Nickel and diming

It's not just drive-through chicken that's short on coins. While a pair of Chick-fil-A franchises offered free food in exchange for coins, the federal government has also put out a request for help.

The U.S. Mint is asking Americans to use coins when possible to help balance the national supply, reports CNBC, referencing a letter from the U.S. Mint. The U.S. Mint says the move to digital commerce during the coronavirus outbreak has resulted in coins not always being available when needed.

It's asking people to either pay in exact change, or deposit spare change in coin redemption machines.

Stolen wallet

Crypto wallet developer Ledger has suffered a data breach that left user information vulnerable for more than two months.

The hacker infiltrated Ledger's e-commerce and marketing database, reports CoinDesk, adding the victims included users who signed up for Ledger's newsletter. More than one million email addresses were stolen, as well as about 9,500 consumers who had their full names, postal addresses and phone number compromised.

A bug bounty found the breach on July 14, and thus far the damage does not include cryptocurrency funds, Ledger reports. The vulnerability has been repaired.

Going corporate

Bank of America has extended mobile wallet availability for corporate clients globally, adding EMEA and APAC to existing markets such as North America and Europe.

Clients using corporate travel and purchasing cards can use Apple Pay and Google Pay in all markets. BofA first launched the corporate mobile wallet in the U.S. and Canada in 2018.

The bank is positioning the extension as a coronavirus move, focusing on the appetite for mobile payments, though the pandemic has temporarily shut a large percentage of corporate travel and spending.

Fast debit

QuickBooks has released a series of business banking services designed to link payments to the accounting software's other functions for firms that have quickly migrated online.

Called QuickBooks Cash, the product includes an interest bearing account, financial management tools and a debit card that allows businesses to make payments from the account balance. There are also virtual "envelopes" to store funds to ensure the money isn't accidentally spent.

QuickBooks has also deployed its payroll software to support Paycheck Protection Program loans to businesses hurt by the pandemic.

From the Web

Exclusive: India found cybersecurity lapses at National Payments Corp in 2019 - government document
REUTERS | Thursday July 30, 2020
A government audit of India's flagship payments processor last year found more than 40 security vulnerabilities including several it called "critical" and "high" risk, according to an internal government document seen by Reuters.

Singapore-based Valopay wants to be the Brex of Southeast Asia
TECHCRUNCH | Thursday July 30, 2020
Small- to medium-sized companies that do a lot of international business have to deal with two big headaches: high foreign exchange fees and corporate expense tracking. Volopay, a Singapore-based financial tech startup with offices in Bangalore, wants to help by integrating prepaid multi-currency corporate cards, expense tracking and accounting tools into one free-to-use platform.

Indian Users Almost 5 Times More Likely to Encounter Crypto Hacking: Microsoft Report
COINDESK | Wednesday July 29, 2020
While increased volatility and rising mining difficulties have deterred crypto-mining attacks, users in India and Sri Lanka face a relatively higher chance of encountering one, according to Microsoft’s recent cybersecurity report for countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

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