10.6.17 Your morning briefing
The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the Web:
Breaches bring bipartisanship: The Equifax breach has prompted a bunch of activity in Washington, with members of Congress grilling former CEO Richard Smith over the company's actions. There are signs legislation may come out of the incident, as legislators from both parties signal their support for rules that would govern the timing and nature of disclosures, a common public complaint after breaches. The Hill reports Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), the chair of the House Financial Services Committee, has expressed support for a national standard for notifying people impacted by data breaches. Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) has already introduced a bill that would standardize breach notifications and require disclosure to affected parties within 30 days. Langevin's bill also requires the FTC to coordinate breach notification. In the Senate, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chair of the Judiciary, called for a uniform breach notification standard, adding he has been working with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on a bill to tighten disclosure rules, according to The Hill.
Full Circle: Blockchain payment company Circle has developed software to make it easier for different mobile payment systems to communicate, encouraging interoperability. Called Centre, the product uses a common set of protocols and a network scheme to enable funds to move between wallets similar to how information flows between web browsers, emails between different mail services and texts between different SMS providers. Centre would power the movement of fiat money over blockchain and support ID risk, settlement and reversal rules, and anti-money laundering management. Circle will form a nonprofit to manage Centre, and will use the ethereum network and smart contracts to power transactions.
India's government really likes digital payments: The Indian government has been very friendly to digital transactions through direct policy such as removing cash from circulation and fostering a wide-open environment for digital companies. In a new move, the Federal Reserve Bank of India has issued interoperability rules that will make it easier for users of different digital payment apps to interact with each other, reports Inc42.com. Under the new rules, prepaid payment products that are "know your customer" compliant can access the government's Unified Payments Interface. That will make it easier for consumers of apps such as Paytm to send funds to MobiKwik users, or other third party apps. It will also put fintech payment companies on the same rails as banks. Inc42 reports the government is making the move to encourage competition as well as to bolster security.
Open development playbook: Nacha's work on application programming interfaces (APIs) is accelerating with the release of the first set of standardized APIs for payments technology development. The API Playbook covers fraud and risk reduction, data sharing and payment access as primary categories. Within the larger categories are sub APIs that drill deeper. Fraud and risk reduction includes APIs for account validation, bank contact information, payer and payee ID verification. Data sharing includes APIs for credit decisions, account balance queries, marketing and single sign on. Payment access APIs cover enrollment, Internet of Things, real-time messaging and transaction status.
Empty bin: British financial services startup Monzo has been upfront about glitches to its payment technology, including hiccups such as literally running out of cards. The company ran out of cards on September 22 because of a delay at its manufacturer stemming from a machine upgrade, and quickly announced the downstream delivery delay to the 5,000 consumers who had ordered new cards. The company suffered additional delays after the manufacturer's repairs because a small portion of the new card stock was faulty. This week Monzo announced these details to the broad public, apologizing for the glitches and noting that it will work with other card manufacturers to avoid delays in the future.
From the Web
Move over bitcoin, cash is still king
CNBC | Thu Oct 5, 2017 - You may want to think twice before paying your bills with plastic or cryptocurrencies. A lot of people still prefer cash, in fact 27 percent of them do, according to a recent study by Cardtronics and Edelman Intelligence, which surveyed 1,000 people in May and June. And it's not only Americans who favor paper money — a separate study by PayPal found that cash is still king in most of Asia's major markets. Cardtronics said people might also favor paper for security reasons — and they may be right. The company said 84 percent of respondents are worried about data security, and two-thirds said they make payment decisions based on which form is considered the most secure, up 6 percent since 2016.
Digital wealth manager Moneyfarm acquires tech behind fintech chatbot Ernest
TechCrunch | Fri Oct 6, 2017 - Moneyfarm, the U.K.-headquartered “digital wealth manager” has acquired the technology behind personal finance chatbot Ernest. Terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed, though I understand that, along with the tech, this is an acqui-hire of sorts, seeing London-based Ernest’s CTO Lorenzo Sicilia join Moneyfarm to oversee technology integration. Founded in 2015 by Niall Bellabarba, Cristoforo Mione and Sicilia, Ernest was developing a personal finance manager powered by artificial intelligence and designed to run on top of Facebook messenger. After connecting to your bank accounts, the chatbot used natural language processing to answer questions on your financial well-being and transactions, but also to give you proactive notifications to help you manage your money better.
This ICO for an AI blockchain is the most tech-hype idea of the year
Wired | Fri Oct 6, 2017 - We might have just hit Peak 2017 Buzzword: a startup is about to launch an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) to fund a blockchain-based network of Artificial Intelligences (AI), called SingularityNET. Its goal — as the venture’s Kurzweilian name sort of gives away — is fostering the emergence of human-level artificial intelligence on a decentralised, open-source platform, spoiling the game for governments and technology colossuses striving to conjure up general AI in their secretive data centres. The driving force behind the project is Ben Goertzel, a Hong Kong-based AI researcher and Chief Scientist of Hanson Robotics, a company specialised in building humanoid robots — such as eerie talking head Sophia. Over the last few years, Goertzel has grown wary of the concentration of AI power in the hands of a few Silicon Valley giants.
More from PaymentsSource
Google's mobile strategy isn't in the phone — it's in the freebie
Giving away its speaker to Pixel devotees isn't just about getting these devices into homes; it's about getting them to the users most likely to favor Google over Amazon, writes Daniel Wolfe, Editor in Chief at PaymentsSource.
Can a consumer app remove paper from the doctor's back office?
A trip to the doctor's office requires a lot of forms, oftentimes collecting the same information for different purposes.
Don’t believe the hype about application programming interfaces
Cloud technology has made it possible to leverage APIs so that two pieces of software talk to each other and stay updated in real time, which dramatically improves the user experience, writes Sanjeev Kriplani, senior vice president of product at Bill.com.
ADP buys Global Cash Card in payroll card push
Roseland, N.J.-based ADP has purchased Global Cash Card, an Irvine, Calif.-based provider of electronic payments services, to consolidate operations in the payroll card industry, which serves many freelancers and temporary workers.
Ex-Equifax CEO says there's no evidence breach was an inside job
Equifax Inc. has seen no evidence that the cyberattackers who got access to sensitive information on 145 million U.S. consumers worked for the company, former Chief Executive Officer Richard Smith said.