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

Sony takes on Face ID
Apple's Face ID came about as a way to improve upon the authentication provided by fingerprint sensors, and it's not alone. Sony plans to increase production of the chips that power 3D cameras for facial recognition, The Verge reports.

Sony's approach is different from Apple's, which maps users' faces with a grid of unseen dots, the article states. In Sony's version, the tech uses laser pulses that mimic the process of echolocation. This improves accuracy and the distance at which the tech works, according to Sony.

Ultimately this tech could replace fingerprint ID for payment authentication, as smartphone makers look for ways to remove fingerprint sensors, headphone jacks, and any other tech in the pursuit of creating an all-screen device.
Handy hackers
Vein authentication is often marketed as more secure than fingerprint authentication, since it looks more than skin deep to identify a user's unique traits. But even this can be spoofed.

A method demonstrated at Germany’s annual Chaos Communication Congress used wax hands to trick biometric scanners made by Hitachi and Fujitsu, The Verge reports. The vein patterns were lifted from a photograph taken with an SLR camera with its infrared filter removed.

Vein authentication isn't used in any consumer smartphones, The Verge notes, but the same research team compromised Apple's Touch ID back in 2013.

Funneling data to Facebook
Many of the most popular Android apps are sending information to Facebook without requesting users' permission first, Engadget reports.

The apps include Kayak, Skyscanner, TripAdvisor and MyFitnessPal (an Under Armour app that was hacked last year, affecting 150 million user accounts). The data includes users' unique Android ID as well as app-specific data such as travel information, according to a study by Privacy International.

Even if that information can't be used for identity theft or payment fraud, it might run afoul of Europe's GDPR rules, the article notes.

Swift adoption
Swift's GPI faster payments initiative recently passed the 50 percent mark in volume, and it's continuing to wrack up bank support with the addition of the National Bank of Kuwait.

NBK's footprint includes most of the Middle East, and it will join a global network that includes about 300 banks, which can execute cross-border transactions in a few seconds. The bank also recently began supporting Ripple's international payments technology.

Swift has set a goal of universal adoption of GPI by the end of 2020, which would require the participation of about 10,000 banks.

From the Web

Big banks look to cut back, alter credit card rewards programs: WSJ
Reuters | Wed January 2, 2018 - Large financial institutions including JP Morgan Chase & Co, Citigroup Inc, and American Express Co are cutting back or altering some of the rewards plans that their credit card businesses offer borrowers. The financial institutions don’t plan to end rewards entirely, but want to alter them in ways that boost credit card usage and reduce upfront rewards bonuses, people familiar with the matter said.

Walmart isn't the only retailer already winning in 2019
CNBC | Tue January 1, 2018 - In any competition, there are winners and losers. And among retailers competing for customers, the winners of 2018 beat their rivals by providing faster delivery, better online and mobile shopping options, and the trendiest products.

Chinese Retailers Under Pressure To Accept Cash
finews.asia | Wed January 2, 2018 - As the use of cash dwindles in China, the authorities are now stepping up pressure for retailers to accept cash. China's retailers must accept cash, even though many of their customers choose to pay via Alipay, WeChat Pay or other popular third-party payment apps.

More from PaymentsSource

GDPR to become a more global phenomenon in 2019
As perhaps the world's most wide-reaching, comprehensive data protection rule, the General Data Protection Regulation is having a ripple effect that almost seemed inevitable.

The biggest changes coming to the point of sale in 2019
Despite years of advancements in mobile and online payments, the physical point of sale remains still ripe for disruption.

Blockchain can take the payments danger out of gaming
Blockchain technology will allow players to purchase items or games faster, while ensuring their payments are secure, according to Nicolas Gilot, co-CEO of Ultra.

How U.S.'s Poni Card built a remittance network on Mexican ATMs
Poni Card has signed up some big-name U.S. and Mexican partners for its remittance service enabling unbanked recipients to withdraw funds at any Mexican ATM. The U.S. fintech hopes its service will help encourage financial inclusion in Mexico, where 65 percent of the population is in the informal economy.

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