Morning Brief 12.19.19: Spain's cyber security institute lauds bitcoin's safety

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

Vote of confidence

Spain's national digital security agency, INCIBE, contends bitcoin is safer than more traditional payment methods, such as cards and bank transfers.

The agency bases its argument on bitcoin's decentralization, which avoids the exposure of data that occurs with card transactions, reports Yahoo.

Other cryptocurrency data in the past has countered INCIBE's assertion, with Cambridge research finding users have a high level of concern about cryptocurreny's security, as well as hacking. There's also concern among large institutions and governments that the decentralized structure of cryptocurrency can heighten money laundering risk.

On a cruise

MoneyGram has entered a partnership with Brightwell to support payments for cruise ship staff, who often face transaction hurdles because of logistical problems.

The partnership will allow workers to get paid and make payments, including remittances to their home markets in more than 200 countries. The companies hope to lure business by eliminating the need for crew to wait until arriving at port to make a money transfer.

Remitly has also developed payment features that analyze WiFi access on the open sea in an attempt to make it easier to execute payments on board ships.

Keeping up with Klarna

As it plots its expansion in the U.S. and a potential IPO, Swedish fintech Klarna has added Good American, a Khloe Kardashian-owned fashion label.

Consumers will have the option to pay through Klarna in four installments with no fees, which is dsdpart of Klarna's strategy to use installments to lure consumers who are wary of credit card debt.

Klarna has used celebrity as part of marketing before, attracting Snoop Dogg as an investor earlier this year.

Digital ID

Identity verification platform Onfido has partnered with legal verification technology company Entify to improve accuracy rates for transferable authentication.

The companies hope to support biometric-based Know Your Customer vetting with less reliance on manual checks.

The collaboration is part of a broader trend to move beyond static identity management toward more flexible technology that can serve payments, banking and other purposes such as building access and government ID.

From the web

Alibaba announces management reshuffle while Ant Financial names Simon Hu as new CEO
SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST | Thu December 19, 2019
Alibaba and its financial arm Ant Financial announced a number of leadership changes this week, including a new chief executive for Ant Financial, as both companies look to capitalise on global opportunities. Ant Financial executive chairman Eric Jing announced the appointment of Simon Hu as the company’s new chief executive.

Tradeshift Says It’s Slashed Cross-Border Transaction Costs Using Ethereum
COINDESK | Wed December 18, 2019
Supply chain fintech startup Tradeshift, which boasts two million firms on its platform, says it's slashed the cost of cross-border transactions between buyers and suppliers using the public ethereum blockchain. Tradeshift Frontiers, the innovation division of the Goldman Sachs-backed unicorn, represents invoice values as tokenized IOUs between buyers and sellers and then settles them in a novel form of on-chain fiat currency.

Goldman Sachs leads $15M investment in Indian fintech startup ZestMoney
TECHCRUNCH | Thu December 19, 2019
One of America’s largest banks has just poured some money to help millions of Indians without a credit score secure loans and make purchases online for the first time in their lives. Bangalore-based ZestMoney announced that it has raised $15 million from Goldman Sachs and existing investors Naspers Fintech, Quona Capital, and Omidyar Network.

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