The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the Web:
Square Canada: Square has launched a new contactless and chip-card reader in Canada, according to MobileSyrup, which reported Square CEO Jack Dorsey discussed the reader during a technology roundtable. The product is a white square that connects to Square Stand, supporting mobile, tap and EMV transactions. Square will also support debit transactions in Canada, a feature that many consumers and merchants have been requesting, according to MobileSyrup. The fee of 2.65% per transaction in Canada will not change, and the contactless readers will cost $59 CAD. Square's contactless/EMV reader has helped the company boost earnings in the U.S. and reach new audiences. Dorsey also told the panel he hopes to introduce Square Cash and Square Cash Card to Canada, but those deployments still "need work."
Siri in Singapore: Siri has become an increasing part of Apple's payments strategy as consumers warm to voice commands. The technology has landed in Singapore, as OCBC Bank will support B-to-B payments of up to S$20,000 (about $14,700) between to recipients on the user's payee list, Straits Times reports. The transactions will be validated using fingerprint authentication and one-time passwords sent via SMS. The bank's expansion to business payments follows its introduction of Siri-based transfers to retail customers through OCBC's P-to-P mobile app in October 2016.
Wearable transit pass: The Moscow metro system plans to sell a ring that commuters can use to enter and pay for rides. PayRing, a Moscow-based wearable technology company, plans to deliver the rings in late October, and the system's two souvenir shops and about a dozen stations will sell them, according to Moscow Times. The rings can be used at all contactless points of access, covering bus, train and subway fares on a system that averages more than 10.5 million boardings per weekday. Wearable payments are also an option in Singapore, where fitness trackers from Watchdata and Garmin can be used to power EZ-Link payments on mass transit and retail locations in Singapore.
Treasurer beware: Online crooks favor corporate treasury departments over all other options for cybercrime, according to analysis by the Deutsche Bank. These departments are appealing because they usually store personal and business data for a company's clients and other interests, have the authority to make B-to-B and other payments and move large amounts of money. Treasuries also have complicated corporate structures which can lend to infiltration, insider attacks, social engineering and breaches, according to Deutsche Bank. Outsourcing is also a problem, since treasuries have hired third parties to manage back offices and factory processes, according to Deutsche, which adds 19% of companies do not check to ensure suppliers and third parties are using the same authentication methods.
Smart contracts for trade: Smart contracts, which automatically trigger payments when certain conditions are met, are a major cog in virtual currency transactions, and are advancing as a way to wring inefficiencies out of supply chains and trade finance. UBS, IBM, Bank of Montreal, CaixaBank, commerzBank and Erste Group are supporting a blockchain platform called Batavia. Users will access Batavia to have a shared visibility into a shipment as it leaves the warehouse, is loaded onto a plane or ship and arrives at the receiving port. By using a smart contract, Batavia participants can automatically release payments tied to each step of the shipping process. The platform is built on the IBM Blockchain Platform powered by the Hyperledger Fabric Blockchain framework, and is designed to be a faster alternative to the current flow of paper documents, inspectors and transporters to trigger incremental payments. "Harnessing blockchain technology offers enormous potential for driving digitization, but more importantly it paves the way for international projects in collaboration with multiple partners, with these being created and designed to serve our customers. Batavia is a prime example of this, allowing us to bolster the foreign trade services that CaixaBank provides to its clients with commercial operations around the world," said Jordi Fontanals, CaixaBank's COO, in a release.
From the Web
2 suspects may have taken credit card numbers all along I-95
ABC News | Wed Oct 4, 2017 - Two people arrested in South Carolina with $35,000 and eight devices placed on gas pumps to steal credit card numbers may have stolen financial information from people all along Interstate 95 on the East Coast, authorities said. Yordan Alberto and Katty Andrea Carpio-Rios were turned over to the U.S. Secret Service after their arrest Sept. 28 once police realized they were wanted for similar crimes elsewhere in South Carolina and Georgia, Yemassee police spokesman Matthew Garnes said. Alberto and Carpio-Rios were arrested after Yemassee's police chief pulled them over for speeding, according to an affidavit from a Secret Service agent. The chief became suspicious when Alberto and Carpio-Rios told different stories about where they had been and where they were going. He asked to search their car and found the cash, three dozen credit cards with different names, eight credit card skimmers that can be placed on gas pumps and a device that illegally encodes the magnetic strips on the cards with the stolen information, according to the sworn statement.
Whole Foods reports customer credit card breach at D.C., Va. and Md. locations
The Washington Post | Wed Oct 4, 2017 - Customers’ credit card information was accessed without authorization at eight Whole Foods stores in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, part of a security breach that affected 56 stores around the country, the grocery company said. In a statement Tuesday, Whole Foods said it “received information regarding unauthorized access of payment card information” that was limited to “taprooms and full table-service restaurants” at some of its locations. The stores’ main checkout systems weren’t affected by the breach, the company said, and those systems do not connect to Amazon.com.
Los Angeles hotel chain to accept Chinese mobile payment options to serve tourism boom
Los Angeles Times | Wed Oct 4, 2017 - With tourism from China surging, two Southern California hotels announced plans to become among the first in the region to allow guests to use the Chinese mobile payment options WeChat Pay and Alipay. Starting in December, the Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel and the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel will accept payments via the two systems, which are used by more than 1 billion people and dominate the mobile payment market in China. WeChat Pay and Alipay have been pushing to expand beyond China in recent years, and the operators of the two Luxe hotels in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills say they are the first local hotel properties to accept the payment options. The addition of WeChat Pay and Alipay “will help position Luxe Hotels as a preferred destination for the throngs of Chinese travelers that visit Los Angeles and Beverly Hills annually” said Adam Sydenham, regional general manager for Luxe Hotels, a Los Angeles-based chain with three boutique hotels.
More from PaymentsSource
Do payments companies demand a different kind of leader?
As payments industry companies increasingly are characterized by strategic and often brash moves in a fast-changing ecosystem, the stakes have risen for selecting their leaders.
TSYS' diversification moves have more upside: Intrepid's Grover
Like all major and some tier-two U.S. payment processors TSYS wants to participate in less competitive and higher growth markets overseas to sustain long term growth, writes Eric Grover, a principal at Intrepid Ventures.
Data: Why voice-controlled payments are making more noise
Recent announcements from Amazon about the expansion of the Echo range of devices indicate that the retail giant is going all in with its development of voice assistants and voice commerce. Alongside this, Google has updated its voice assistant with a male voice and may announce new features as part of its new line of Pixel phones.
M-Pesa's 1Tap service continues expansion with wearables
In service now for a decade in Africa, India and parts of Europe, M-Pesa is expanding its telco-driven mobile money service to include tap-and-go payments through wristbands, stickers or cards.