4.18.19 Your morning briefing

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

Paytm's castle
Vijay Sharma, the founder and chairman of One97 Communications, which operates Indian mobile pay app Paytm, envisions payments as a "moat" that surrounds the company's expansion on several fronts outside of its core digital transaction processing.

The company plans to diversify in “two dimensions” — lifestyle and financial services, Sharma said in an interview on CNBC. He said payments processing will serve as a gateway to consumer activities such as ticketing and entertainment on one side, with banking, financial services and wealth management on the other.

Paytm has been actively diversifying over the past year, adding gaming and entertainment services, as well as adding a brick and mortar component to its Paytm Mall.
Blockchain pays
Investment is flowing into blockchain, leading to a proliferation of new investment funds, including a new fund that has an eye on fintech and payments use cases.

Proof of Capital has launched a $50 million fund to invest in the technology behind blockchain and distributed ledgers. Of particular interest will be remittance, payment execution, security and wallet technology, reports Venturebeat.

Its first investment, Ubanx, develops blockchain products to support easier user experiences for financial services.

Supply lab
Business payments and supply chains are often the toughest transactions to automate, leading fintech Surecomp to launch a lab for trade finance and other B2B use cases.

Based in Tel Aviv's technology center, the lab will include developers and product managers who will focus on IoT, distributed ledgers, regulatory technology and other innovations and how these can connect to back offices, open banking platforms and transactions.

The lab's first projects are an API and an app store for trade finance products.

Better vision
The FIDO Alliance, EMVCo, and the World Wide Web Consortium have formed an interest group to build what the groups call a "vision" for web payment security and interoperability.

The group will identify gaps that are holding back that vision, and will propose technical specifications to improve compatibility.

The interest group comes shortly after the formation of a similar entity called the Center for Payments, which is focused on promoting interoperability and collaboration among small businesses.

From the Web

Invest In: Armillion's Diamond-Set Payment Bracelet
Forbes | Wed Apr 17, 2019 - The Swiss FinTech company Armillion has elevated its already ultra-luxe payment and multi-key bracelets, releasing a diamond-edged version that can make MasterCard-supported payments of up to £1 million ($1.3million).

1-800-Flowers remembers Mom with mobile and voice tech, assortments
Chain Store Age | Wed Apr 17, 2019 - 1-800-Flowers.com is offering new shopping and payment options, as well as special assortments, in time for Mother’s Day. The specialty online gift retailer’s Mother’s Day push includes implementing Google Home as a new voice platform for shopping and transacting.

NatWest unveils biometric payment system for businesses
CNBC | Wed April 17, 2019 - NatWest has launched biometric payment approval technology for business and commercial customers. In an announcement Tuesday, the bank said the system enabled its customers to make payments, via an app, using Apple’s Face ID or Touch ID.

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