4.05.18 Your morning briefing

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

Russia's blockchain workaround
The Central Bank of Russia suggests Ethereum could be used to power a Eurasian Economic Union payment network, which would "sidestep" traditional payment networks.

Tass reports blockchain software would transmit Swift messaging, a system that the Russian FinTech Association has already tested.

Russia's central bank would operate the platform within the country initially, then expand it to an EAEU system later.
Cyrpto watchers
As central banks in countries such as U.K. considering how to regulate cryptocurrencies, South African central bankers set up a specific unit to monitor cryptocurrency and fintech.

The South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) set up the unit to build a proof of concept for a distributed ledger-based interbank clearing and settlement system and will establish a regulatory approach for future fintech developments, reports Finextra.

A special unit is also necessary because cryptocurrencies are outside of the traditional banking and payment system, according to Sarb.

Losing balance
An outage at Commonwealth Bank Australia lReports left card balances missing from accounts and consumers unable to use cards, reports New Daily.

The issues got worse during the day as transactions started getting blocked and recurring payments failed to process.

Consumers were also reportedly unable to pay at McDonald's and transit stations.

Monzo's makeover
Monzo has attracted most users to its new account service, which is replacing its older prepaid accounts.

U.K.'s Verdict reports about 362,000 consumers have upgraded to the new accounts, which were introduced in October when Monzo received a full U.K. banking license.

About 98,000 have not, and their prepaid cards have stopped working. These consumers can upgrade over the next few weeks, or their balances will be returned.

From the Web

Alibaba is preparing to invest in Grab
TechCrunch | Wed April 4, 2018 - Fresh from announcing a deal to buy out Uber in Southeast Asia, Grab looks set to gain further firepower with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba preparing to invest in the ride-hailing firm. Alibaba is in the early stages of making an investment in Grab, two sources with knowledge of discussions told TechCrunch.

Delta cyberattack may have exposed credit card details
NBC News | Thu April 5, 2018 - Delta Air Lines said Wednesday that some of its customers' payment information may have been breached in a cyberattack last fall. The airline said the incident involved (24)7.ai, a chat-services provider used by Delta and other companies.

French group Edenred invests in U.S. start-up payments firm Candex
Reuters | Thu April 5, 2018 - French pre-paid meal voucher and card provider company Edenred has bought a stake in Candex, a U.S. start-up electronics payments firm, Edenred said on Thursday. Edenred said its investment formed part of a $3.5 million fundraising round for Candex, in order to finance Candex’s development.

More from PaymentsSource

Why China's mobile wallets keep outpacing foreign rivals
Some of the biggest digital wallets in the world — including Alipay and WeChat Pay — succeed because they have very little in common with other big-brand wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.

Business e-pay is an addition, not a replacement
Implementing an electronic payments solution isn’t about replacing one payment method (checks) for an electronic one—as in abandoning checks for ACH, writes Ralph Perdomo a research analyst at Nvoicepay.

Data: What will it take for blockchain to go big?
This year could be a pivot point for blockchain to move past proofs of concept to adoption, propelled by strong investor interest. But many still see the tech as being three to four years away from going mainstream.

Crédit Agricole signs Wirecard to grow European footprint
French banking giant Crédit Agricole’s payments unit has signed a deal with Wirecard to develop an integrated payment acceptance and acquiring platform serving large merchants.

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