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From Russia with mobile: Russian telco MegaFon has introduced an app that allows consumers to make payments with Apple and Samsung devices. Mastercard's Digital Enablement Service is providing token protection for the service, which is accessible from consumer account pages on MegaFon's site, reports Finextra. The technology wire quotes Yan Kukhalsky, MegaFon's director of new business partnerships, as saying the project will open new avenues for telecom companies in financial services, though telco-led financial apps have not always fared well in other countries.

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PSDCanada: Europe's PSD2 data sharing rules are expected to have a widespread impact, and Canada may be the next jurisdiction to mandate open financial data sharing. The National Post reports the Canadian government will review the benefits of a regulation that would give consumers the right to share financial data with third parties such as P-to-P and mobile payment apps. The study is part of the federal budget and there are concerns about consumer privacy that could stall open banking in Canada, the Post reports.

Messenger in Africa: Facebook Messenger's foray into payments has reached Africa, where Mastercard will use it to power small business technology and QR code mobile payments. Mastercard will launch the product in Nigeria with a pilot that will use Masterpass QR to migrate cash-based businesses to digital payments, reports SME South Africa. Ecobank and Zenith Bank will be part of the initial rollout in Nigeria, which is expected to lead to more digital economy services from Facebook and Mastercard.

API partners: Nacha and the Interactive Financial eXchange (IFX) Forum will pursue a strategic combination to standardize application programming interfaces (APIs). The move comes as the use of APIs expands to power e-commerce and mobile payments, as well as open banking initiatives designed to allow financial institutions and technology companies to share data for product development. Both Nacha and IFX have pursued standards for open development over the past few years.

Amazon's $1 billion Ring: Amazon has acquired Ring, a smart doorbell maker, a move that's expected to help Amazon's home delivery services. CNBC reports the $1 billion deal, one of Amazon's largest acquisitions, brings Ring in-house after an earlier investment as part of an Amazon program to invest in companies that can aid Alexa's technology development. Amazon is also building a home delivery service called Key, which uses security cameras and smart locks to let couriers enter a house when the residents aren't home.

From the Web

Britain makes compensation easier for bank payments fraud
Reuters | Wed Feb 28, 2018 - People tricked into authorising payments to fraudsters will be able to claim compensation more easily from their banks under a new industry code, a British financial watchdog said on Wednesday. The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) said an interim code will be introduced in September to give consumers better protection from so-called push-payment scams. This type of fraud totalled more than 100 million pounds in the first half of last year, affecting more than 19,000 people with an average loss of 3,000 pounds per case, UK Finance, a banking industry body, has said. Banks have been reluctant to compensate an account holder for authorising a payment by phone or online to fraudsters that pretend to be a legitimate company. Victims of the scams can be confident any claim for reimbursement will be given fairer consideration, the PSR said.

American Express Expands Portfolio With Hilton Honors
Forbes | Wed Feb 28, 2018 - American Express has a stellar reputation for offering premium perks and a suite of benefits tailored to a variety of different lifestyles, and for travel junkies, their services and travel rewards are unparalleled. Following the popularity of the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card, American Express recently revealed their latest hotel-specific portfolio in partnership with Hilton Honors, designed to offer more benefits and better value whether you're traveling for business or pleasure. Citigroup Inc. previously held the exclusive rights to Hilton's co-branded cards, until AmEx outbid the bank in June of 2017.

The Catch-22 of Blockchain Technology
Fox Business | Wed Feb 28, 2018 - Last year was a true coming out party for cryptocurrencies, with the aggregate value of virtual currencies soaring by nearly $600 billion, to end the year at $613 billion. This better than 3,300% gain marked, perhaps, the best year for any asset class in history, and it certainly got investors' attention. Though there were numerous catalysts responsible for pushing digital currencies higher in 2017, the most clearly defined catalyst then and now is the emergence of blockchain technology Opens a New Window. Introducing blockchain and its key advantages.

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John Adams

John Adams

John Adams is Executive Editor of PaymentsSource.