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Does eliminating cash pay? Visa has incentivized businesses to stop accepting cash, and has commissioned a study on the impact of eliminating cash on overall economies. Roubini ThoughtLab reports a potential boost of $470 billion per year across 100 cities, or an expansion of 3% in the average GDP of the cities in the study. It weighed the impact of cash payments against electronic and card payment penetration; and the impact of a transition to mobile wallets, cards and online transactions. The study does not consider the full elimination of cash. The hypothetical bar is full city usage of non-cash payment methods equal to the level of usage by the current top 10% of digital pay adopters in that city.

Bloomberg News

Cops hit the jackpot: The Department of Justice has charged two men, Alex Alberto Fajin-Diaz and Argenys Rodriquez, for an alleged connection to a "jackpotting" attack on ATMs. The suspects were caught near an ATM that was dumping $20 bills, and police say a search of the suspects' car found tools and electronic devices that are often used to hack ATMs, and more than $9,000 in $20 bills. Security writer Brian Krebs recently reported on the increased risk of jackpotting, in which attackers force ATMs to release cash, which "mules" collect. Jackpotting is considered bank fraud, carrying a maximum prison sentence of 30 years, according to The Verge.

Behind the music: Artist crowdfunding service Patreon has made several adjustments over the past year as it responds to YouTube's changing advertising rules and charts a strategy to utilize new funding. Part of its expansion includes Lens, a new feature in Patreon's mobile app that enables artists to capture and share their creative process without the artist having to halt work. The feature is designed to facilitate updates on new content and deliver "behind the scenes" views of work to attract and retain patrons, rather than to draw direct revenue.

Phishing hole: Comodo Labs has discovered a spear phishing attack that can hit digital wallets that store cryptocurrencies. The attackers use a multi-step process to trick the victim, starting with a deceptive email that purports to offer a security update that's anything but If the user clicks the link in the email, he or she is led to a login page that looks legit, but is slightly off. The bad login immediately empties the user's wallet. Comodo reports that the fake credentials are good enough that it can be hard for a user to tell the difference.

From the Web

U.S. states join forces on fintech licenses
Reuters | Tue Feb 6, 2018 - Banking regulators of seven U.S. states have agreed to simplify the way financial technology companies can apply for licenses, in a bid to make it easier for businesses to offer their services nationwide. The states of Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas and Washington, will recognize each other’s findings when assessing the suitability of companies applying for money service business licenses, the national organization of state bank regulators said on Tuesday. Money business licenses are used by a wide range of young digital companies that provide financial services, from money transfer startups to bitcoin exchanges.

Uber says hackers behind 2016 data breach were in Canada, Florida
Reuters | Wed Feb 7, 2018 - The two people who hacked ride-hailing firm Uber’s data in 2016 were in Canada and Florida at the time, a company security executive told a U.S. congressional committee on Tuesday. About 25 million people whose data was compromised in the breach live in the United States, Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] chief information security officer John Flynn said in written testimony to a Senate Commerce Committee panel. Of those, 4.1 million were drivers, said Flynn, whose testimony described new details about the hack, the handling of which prompted newly appointed Uber Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi to fire two top security officials. Uber disclosed the breach of 57 million worldwide users in November, about a year after it occurred.

EU data protection law may end up protecting scammers, experts warn
The Guardian | Tue Feb 6, 2018 - Sweeping new European data protection regulations may have the accidental effect of protecting scammers and spammers by killing the WHOIS system used to link misdeeds online to real identities offline, security experts have warned. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into effect in May, contains a raft of measures intended to strengthen data protection for Europeans.But some of the new rights and responsibilities will conflict with decades-old technologies that have provided much-needed transparency on the internet, says Raj Samani, the chief scientist at cybersecurity firm McAfee.

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John Adams

John Adams

John Adams is Executive Editor of PaymentsSource.