Morning Brief 3.6.20: South Korea charts a path to regulate cryptocurrency

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

New rules

South Korea's National Assembly has passed legislation to provide a path to legalize cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency exchanges. The framework will cover oversight, anti-money laundering and other regulations.

It's a reversal for the county, which had previously cracked down on cryptocurrency, explains TechCrunch, adding the government's posture has contributed to market volatility.

Cryptocurrency is widely used in South Korea, enough for Seoul to launch a project to develop its own crypto, according to TechCrunch. The vote comes ahead of elections, allowing lawmakers to campaign on payments and financial innovation.

No contact

Helsinki has launched a three-year project to add EMV contactless card and mobile payments on all transit modes, a deployment that will extend to other cities in Finland.

The transport authority has hired technology firm Littlepay and will cover bus, tram, metro commuter rail and ferry services. About 50% of travel in Helsinki is via transit, higher than most European cities. New York's percentage, by comparison, is 56%.

Helsinki is also focused on environmental improvements, offering an app that shows the carbon footprint of payment choices. This creates a potential link between transit payment technology and other transactions, a common goal of transit payment upgrades.

New market

Apple Pay added a number of countries in 2019, reaching most of Europe, and it is expanding its reach in the Western Hemisphere as well.

The mobile wallet may soon be available in Mexico, reports MacRumors, attributing its reporting to users who were able to add local Mexican bank cards after setting their region to the U.S. That means the card can be added, though Apple Pay has not formally launched in Mexico.

Mexico would be the second Latin American country to support Apple Pay, following Brazil, which launched Apple Pay in 2018.

Credit for credit

Allectus Capital has made an undisclosed investment in Singapore fintech hoolah, which offers a range of payments technology and point of sale credit.

Hoolah will use the investment to fund its expansion in Malaysia, and will launch a multi-channel product that allows e-commerce and in-store purchases, reports Business Times.

The company's credit product supports 33% of the cost with the remainder coming in two interest free installments.

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