5.6.19 Your morning briefing

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

Payments gig
Asto, a financial services company for freelancers, is adding invoice financing to its range of products, giving the Santander-owned company a path to approach a wider range of businesses.

The move comes after Santander, Asto's parent, acquired Albert, an expense app for gig economy workers, reports TechCrunch.

The companies hope to build a range of services for self-employed people and microbusinesses, a market segment that has traditionally struggled to obtain financial services, though the so-called gig economy is attracting more attention from both banks and fintechs.
Not open
Three U.K. banks are falling short of providing the APIs required to meet new open banking standards, which are designed to make it easier for fintechs, payment companies and banks to share data.

Barclays, Lloyds HBOS and Santander were found to have "inadequate APIs" to meet service levels, though they are among the best resourced in the U.K., reports Finextra, adding the banks are using technology that's "barely APIs" and performance levels have declined over time.

RBS, Danske, Ulster, NatWest and Nationwide led the open banking performance ranking.

New breach
The data breach epidemic shows little sign of slowing down, as AMC Networks has accidentally exposed more than 1.6 million subscriber records tied to the company's streaming video services, Sundance Now and Shudder.

The information included more than 3,000 Stripe-processed invoices that had the last four digits of the consumers' credit card number, though no full payment data was leaked, reports Engadget.

There were also more than 440,000 records that had IP addresses, location coordinates and information about what devices consumers use to stream content.

Bitcoin phone phishing
The New York Police Department has discovered a growing cryptocurrency scam in which people pretend to be government agents asking for payments in bitcoin, prepaid cards and wire transfers.

The scammers, who usually say they're from the Social Security Administration, have stolen more than $2 million this year, reports CoinDesk, adding the crooks tell people their Social Security number has been used for drug trafficking or money laundering.

The attacks use spoofing, which is also used as part of tax refund payment schemes, to manipulate caller IDs to display government agency names.

From the Web

Bitcoin’s Lightning Comes to Apple Smartwatches With New App
CoinDesk | Sun May 5, 2019 - Launched Sunday by Bluewallet, one of the more popular lightning network wallets, their new app for Apple Watches allows users to receive bitcoin over its new payment technology: lightning. Transactors can use the smartwatch app to generate a QR code that someone else can then scan with their smartphone to send over a payment.

Thunes raises $10M to make financial services more accessible in emerging markets
TechCrunch | Sun May 5, 2019 - Cross-border fintech continues to be an area of interest for venture capitalists. The latest deal sees GGV Capital — the U.S-China firm that’s backed Xiaomi, Airbnb, Square and others — lead a $10 million investment in Singapore-based startup Thunes.

Three tourists arrested after pinhole camera and illegal card reader found in cash machine in Hong Kong railway station
South China Morning Post | Fri May 3, 2019 - Three men from Bulgaria believed to be key players of a fraud syndicate that ripped off card information then used it to make unauthorized withdrawals. Investigation showed more than HK$200,000 had been stolen from accounts of seven clients of AEON Credit Service Limited.

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5 reasons to worry about Facebook’s cryptocoin
Facebook’s pursuit of a crypto-based payment system would seem to be filled with potholes and red flags. The social network’s stealth project isn’t much of a secret, and another Facebook virtual currency has already failed years earlier. But Facebook also has a lot in its corner — enough to threaten the e-commerce and payment processing establishment, should its crypto project take off.

TSYS talks M&A: 'Our goal is to go big or go home'
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Mastercard to acquire Transactis to bolster digital bill payments
Mastercard has agreed to acquire digital bill payment platform Transactis, a deal the card network expects to close during the second quarter of 2019.

Passwords can be gone in just a few years
As the saying goes, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” However, summoning up the will can be difficult, as inertia is a powerful force. We are reminded of this every day when we type in a password to access our computers, online shopping accounts or to make a payment.

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