7.3.19 Your morning briefing

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QR school

Singapore's OCBC Bank and Republic Polytechnic have deployed a payment system that allows students and parents to pay fees by scanning a QR code on the student portal with a smartphone, bringing more automation to one of the few areas of Singapore that's not vigorously embracing technology.

The university is an early education adopter of PayNow, Singapore's funds transfer system, which the bak is accessing through its API. The API enables transactions from a network of nine banks, including Bank of China, Standard Chartered and Citigroup.

OCBC was one of the first banks in the region to implement an API to access the GIRO interbank payment system for education payments in 2017. More than half of education payments still do not utilize GIRO, according to OCBC, so the bank is looking to boost adoption with the QR code feature. OCBC also recently collaborated with Rapyd to enable e-commerce payments through the PayNow app.

Streaming into India

The content streaming market in India is expected to grow quickly, as much as 22% per year, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. That has potential investors lining up, including Tencent and Paytm.

Tencent and Paytm may invest about $100 million in MX Player, an Indian streaming service, reports TechInAsia. The deal will give Tencent a foothold in India, where it can expand WeChat Pay, which has a huge base in its home market in China and has made deals globally to serve Chinese travelers.

India, which has a huge market and still relatively low digital payments adoption, is also drawing attention from U.S. card brands Visa and Mastercard.

Curbing cash and crypto

Dutch ministers have called on the country's parliament to do a better job against money laundering, including tighter regulation of cryptocurrencies and restrictions on cash.

The ministers want to ban cash payments of more than 3,000 euros, or about $3,400, and remove the 500 euro banknote from circulation. The move would be similar to India's partial removal of cash in 2016, which was also done partly to track payments to combat criminal activity.

The ministers are also asking for tighter rules for Initial Coin Offerings and cryptocurrencies, such as requiring more information about customers involved in transactions; and also called for more investments in projects that fight the use of cryptocurrencies as part of crimes.

Big retailers vs. big e-commerce

Walmart's rivalry with Amazon has taken a turn into lobbying, as a group of retailers including Walmart, Target, Best Buy and other big box stores are offering to "help" the Federal Trade Commission investigate antitrust allegations, particularly those that involve large technology companies like Google and Amazon.

The retailers, who are members of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, say they are concerned about the impact of Amazon and Google's share of internet product searches and how that impacts price and product information, reports TechCrunch. The RILA also claims the dominance of the large technology companies creates bottlenecks that hinder transparency, and is lobbying the FTC for more disclosure rules.

Many of the large retailers, such as Walmart, are in a heated business battle with Amazon that in Walmart's case includes a retail lab to build technology to counter Amazon's brick and mortar innovation.

Making connections

Banking services provider FIS is helping job-seekers find work through a new platform designed for the electronic benefit transfer (EBT) recipients the Jacksonville, Fla.-based company serves.

The FIS Tax Credit Job Board links qualifying individuals including food stamp or supplemental security recipients, veterans and those unemployed for more than 27 weeks with job openings. Prospective employers may earn federal tax credits of up to $9,600 when companies hire qualifying employees, and FIS’s platform automates the tax incentive application process for hirers. FIS issues EBT card programs in 30 U.S. states, including California, Florida and Texas.

From the Web

Will Western Union Face Competition From Facebook's Libra?
Yahoo Finance | Tue July 2, 2019 - Western Union Co. might see another massive invasion into the money remittance industry by the cryptocurrency Libra, which is set to be launched by Facebook, Inc. and its partners in this venture.

Crypto News: Square to Accept Bitcoin Deposits; TD Ameritrade-Backed Trading Platform Receives License
The Motley Fool | Tue July 2, 2019 - Square is beginning to roll out the ability for users to accept incoming deposits. While the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has granted ErisX a license that will allow it to offer digital asset futures contracts.

Hoping to boost spending, Japan tries to sell shoppers on cashless purchases
The Business Times | Wed July 3, 2019 - When the baseball season kicked off in Japan this spring, fans of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles were faced with an inconvenience they'd never encountered before: the food and drinks stalls did not accept cash.

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