8.15.19 Your morning briefing

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

Getting chatty

Shopify has built a native chat feature that allows stores and consumers to connect in real time without requiring Apple iMessage or Facebook Messenger.

Shopify Chat also enables merchants to provide details on offers, pricing and transactions faster and without relying on a specific browser or operating system, reports Engadget. That would keep more of the consumer engagement within Shopify, which could be useful as Messenger expands its role as a shopping and payment tool.

Shopify has also been diversifying its ability to tie social networking to payments. It has an existing partnership with Facebook, and recently added Venmo as a partner to expand Shopify's mobile commerce platform.

Cutting skimmers

A group of programmers at the University of California San Diego and the University of Illinois Champaign Urbana has developed an app that's designed to spot credit card skimmers at gas stations without dismantling pumps.

Called Bluetana, the app detects bluetooth signatures tied to skimmers without spotting false positive signatures, such as digital speed limit signs and fleet tracking systems, reports TechCrunch.

The app then matches the bluetooth device's media access control (MAC address) to a list of addresses that law enforcement have linked to skimmers. It additionally uses signature strength to determine if the bluetooth device is near a gas pump.

Checkout-free in Brazil

Zippin, one of the myriad technology firms countering Amazon Go's checkout-free store model, has signed a partnership with Lojas Americanas, Brazil's largest retailer, to deploy the technology across the country.

The first Zippin/Lojas Americanas store has opened in Rio de Janeiro, with a second store expected to open in Sao Paulo shortly with other locations to follow.

Called Ame Go, the stores will range in size from 250 to 3,000 square feet, and will be in mostly urban locations with captive customer bases, such as financial districts and housing complexes.

For a song

South Korean blockchain firm Terra has expanded its e-commerce payment alliance by adding Bugs, a local music streaming service.

Bugs customers can use Terra to pay for song purchases using technology from South Korean mobile payment processor CHAI, reports CoinDesk.

Terra has more than two dozen partners, though Bugs is its first music streaming collaboration. Terra wants to rival Alipay in Asia, relying on a strategy that uses blockchain to cut intermediaries out of payment processing.

From the Web

TransferWise’s debit card launches in Australia and New Zealand, with Singapore to follow
TechCrunch | Wed August 14, 2019 - International money transfer startup TransferWise’s debit card is now available in Australia and New Zealand, with a Singapore launch expected by the end of this year as the company expands its presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

Goldman Sachs may lose money on the Apple Card in the next recession, Nomura says
CNBC | Wed August 14, 2019 - The Apple Card from Goldman Sachs will be “highly sensitive” to rising net charge offs, and thanks to thin margins, the bank will start to lose money if losses reach about 8%, according to analysts led by Nomura’s Bill Carcache.

OneWest Bank now offers Zelle
Yahoo Finance | Wed August 14, 2019 - OneWest Bank, CIT's Southern California branch network, announced that Zelle is now available in its mobile banking app, providing customers a fast, safe and easy way to send and receive money with friends, family and others.

More from PaymentsSource

Checkout-free developers pursue troves of shopper data
Checkout-free technology is very limited in availability and very much a work in progress, but developers and investors are relying on its promise to accelerate payments' broader evolution from streamlining execution to determining intent.

Can a Venmo alternative work without the social hook?
Tipping the valet can be tough without cash in hand. It’s only one of many cash-payment scenarios that frustrated entrepreneur Yuval Brisker in his travels.

Racial divide exposed in lending to the smallest of small businesses
Sole proprietors who are African-American or Hispanic are less likely than their white counterparts to have their funding needs met and are more likely to be discouraged from applying for credit, according to a new report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

FTC misled consumers about Equifax settlement, Warren says
WASHINGTON — Sen. Elizabeth Warren has accused the Federal Trade Commission of “misleading public descriptions” of consumer benefits from Equifax's settlement with state and federal authorities over the credit bureau's 2017 data breach.

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