12.17.18 Your morning briefing

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

Staying hungry
Starbucks will add Uber Eats to more than 2,000 stores in the U.S., or a quarter of all Starbucks locations in the U.S. The expansion builds off of Starbucks' limited rollout of Uber Eats in September in Miami, and is the latest in a series of Starbucks' attempts to build a delivery business.

It's one of several Starbucks initiatives underway, including an extension of its partnership with Alibaba in China.

The move should also help Uber Eats' goal of reaching 70 percent of the U.S. market over the next year, reports TechCrunch.
Covering the bases
Russia's Sberbank has introduced a QR-code payment system to address consumers and merchants that don't use NFC technology to execute mobile payments.

Called Pay-QR, it's a smartphone app that will be available in 42 Russian cities. The bank is positioning the service for smaller businesses that do not have or may not want to use NFC.

Other markets, such as the U.S., have also held onto simpler QR codes to support contactless transactions as an option to avoid NFC upgrades.

Core wins
Nordic software company Evry has scored nearly $200 million in deals to perform large payment upgrades in Finland and Sweden.

The company will receive nearly $100 million to implement card services, processing, payment software and other financial services support at Handelsbanken in Finland as part of a core upgrade project, reports Finextra.

The second deal, also worth about $100 million, is to handle support the IT systems at Swedish payments processor BankGirot.

Where bitcoin isn't tanking
Amid bitcoin's severe selloff, it is making some progress with retailers, which could form the base of a larger payments market for cryptocurrency.

Sephora will support a marketing and referral app called Lolli. Shoppers can earn cash back in the form of bitcoin, reports Coindesk.

Sephora and other retailers such as Ulta pay Lolli for referrals in centralized currency. Lolli then converts the payment into bitcoin rewards.

From the Web

Alibaba ramps up offline efforts to lure more shoppers
China Daily | Fri December 14, 2018 - Buoyed by the enthusiastic response to the Dec 12 shopping festival, e-commerce giant Alibaba Group has expanded the promotions to its newly formed local service entity-Koubei, a restaurant review and service app and its food catering arm Ele.me.

EU banking watchdog says no-deal Brexit could disrupt payments
Reuters | Fri December 14, 2018 - Although the main banks have stepped up preparations for a potential no-deal Brexit, UK-based payment firms used by European Union customers are not ready. The impasse has increased the possibility of Britain crashing out of the bloc with no transition arrangements.

Alipay upgrades facial-recognition system
China Daily | Fri December 14, 2018 - Mobile payment giant Alipay on Thursday announced a major upgrade to its 'Smile to Pay' service, aiming to make its facial-recognition process more accessible to merchants and customers. The new version, dubbed Dragonfly, is essentially a plug-and play device that Alipay claims to be just one-tenth the size of a traditional self-service POS machine and can be placed in a backpack.

More from PaymentsSource

EMVCo updates 3-D Secure specification to combat card not present fraud
EMVCo has published the EMV 3-D Secure protocol and core functions specifications v2.2.0 to promote an improved consumer experience while supporting new authentication channels during e-commerce, mail order and telephone order transactions.

Game developers get an AI/blockchain payment platform
The video game industry serves a decidedly digital, tech-savvy audience with a propensity toward digital payments, but has been plagued by inconsistencies in payments to developers and a lack of a consistent rewards program for loyal players.

TransferGo draws funds from the crowd and VC to boost blockchain plans
TransferGo will use the funding to fuel international expansion and increase market share particularly across Turkey, India, Ukraine and Russia.

PSD2 and other payment regs are getting away from data compliance tech
Traditional compliance data handling tools and procedures are mostly not efficient enough to handle the mounting data in the right way, which makes the analysis extremely difficult, writes Srinivasan Pandurangan is senior manager of business consulting at Virtusa.

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