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A lot of real-time IoT pay
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group is developing an Internet of Things payments platform using Akamai's blockchain, with deployment scheduled for early 2019.

The platform reportedly can process a million transactions per second, and can process payments in less than 2 seconds, reports Verdict, a U.K. technology news site. The bank said it plans to scale the processing speed even faster once the platform is live.

The first live test will use MUFG's virtual currency, MUFG, which has a value linked to the Yen. The currency will download to smartphones and can support micropayments, P2P and online shopping. About 100,000 account holders and a selection of merchants will be involved in the initial pilot.

Bloomberg News

Fab crypto ATM
Cryptocurrency ATMs are making a slow march across the world, with the latest deployment coming in Liverpool.

U.K. digital currency ATM developer Alphavend and retailer Herman Vapes have partnered to install a machine in the store's Liverpool location, which is near the central train station and a major shopping area.

Alphavend plans to install a larger network of machines across the U.K. in the coming months.

License for faster pay
As European banks work to get up to speed with new faster payment protocols, the authorities have expanded Transactive System's turf as part of the project.

The FCA has authorized Transactive Systems to issue e-money and support payments in the U.K. and across the E.U. Transactive Systems already has similar licenses with the Central banks of Lithuania and the Bank of Lithuania.

The authorization endorses the company's e-money system as being compliant, and that it is able to successfully move funds between banks in near-real time. ClearBank, a European clearing institution, is Transactive Systems' sponsor for the authorization.

Walmart wants to operate its own resale market
As Walmart aggressively pursues digital channels and expands its payments technology, it is attempting to build technology to power the resale of "used Walmart goods," which could give it visibility into transactions that the retailer currently can't see.

A patent application details a distributed ledger that would track items that Walmart sells. This blockchain system would register items and enable the original buyer to sell and propose a retail sale price for a reseller market.

This would provide Walmart more control of a market in which consumers don't use an item for its full "lifespan" and decide to sell it as a used item, since the original purchase would still reside in Walmart's blockchain. The Walmart interface could control the technology that operates a point of sale, mobile device, or a browser-based order and sales system for the secondary market for Walmart goods.

From the Web

Sears gets $425M boost from Citi credit card deal that also boosts shopper benefits
USA Today | Mon May 21, 2018 - If you're using the Sears credit card to "shop your way," you may find the discounts and deals are about to get better. But the best deal of all will be for Sears' parent company, which is about to get a much-needed injection of $425 million due to the upgraded credit-card deal with Citi.

Global Remittances Reach $613 Billion Says World Bank
Forbes | Mon May 21, 2018 - Global remittances have grown to a record level of $613-billion in 2017, a 7% increase from $573-billion in 2016, according to the World Bank. Payments to low- and middle-income countries rose at a high percentage: up 8.5% to $466-billion last year, from $429-billion the year before, according to the World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief.

Alibaba’s newest initiative aims to make Hong Kong a global AI hub
TechCrunch | Mon May 21, 2018 - Alibaba is teaming up with SenseTime, the world’s highest-valued AI startup, to launch a not-for-profit artificial intelligence lab in Hong Kong in a bid to make the city a global hub for artificial intelligence. Alibaba, which is SenseTime’s largest single investor, is providing financing for the “HKAI Lab” through its Hong Kong entrepreneurship fund.

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