T-Mobile suffers breach; Synchrony's new card gets regulatory relief

Register now

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

Scam caller

T-Mobile has announced its second data breach in less than 12 months, reporting unauthorized access to consumer account information, cell service data and information on calls that's often included on bills.

The hack took place in December, and impacted 200,000 consumers, or 0.2% of T-Mobile's customers, according to TechCrunch, adding T-Mobile says passwords and financial data were not accessed. T-Mobile, which recently completed its merger with Sprint, suffered a hack of staff accounts in early 2020.

T-Mobile late in 2020 extended its mobile money feature to Sprint customers and additionally added a billing link to Apple Pay.

Red letter day

The Chinese government is giving away 20 million digital yuan, or about $3 million, to consumers in the hope of spurring adoption of the country's central bank digital currency project.

Most of the people will be in Shenzhen, which is the focus city for the lottery. The winners will have access to a test network of about 10,000 merchants. Each winner will get about 200 digital yuan, reports Coindesk.

China conducted similar digital yuan lotteries in December in Suzhou and October in Shenzhen. The digital yuan's test merchants include Starbucks and McDonald's.


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is offering regulatory relief for Synchrony, which is developing a card that allows consumers with a short credit history or poor credit to use payment records to build a profile for a credit card.

Called a compliance assistance sandbox, Synchrony will have a safe harbor from liability, subject to certain conditions set by the Electronic Fund Transfer Act and lending laws. "Sandbox" is often used to describe a lower regulatory environment for new financial technology in the development stage.

Synchrony has been expanding its card business for most of the past year, including a partnership with Verizon to overcome Synchrony's loss of Walmart.

Job perks

Ticketmaster will be fined $10 million for hacking another firm's ticketing and transaction systems, a scheme that resulted in Ticketmaster promoting an employee who was a former staffer at the victimized firm.

This employee, who reportedly stole credentials for the rival firm's sales gateway, demonstrated the scheme at Ticketmaster staff meeting, then was given a new title and a raise. The firm Ticketmaster hacked was not identified as part of Ticketmaster's settlement in New York, reports Arstechnica. Variety reports it was Songkick.

Ticketmaster in November was fined more than $1 million in the U.K. for lax security that allowed the theft of user credentials via a third party chatbot.

From the web

Indonesia's Gojek, Tokopedia in advanced $18 billion merger talks -sources
REUTERS | Tuesday, January 5, 2020
Indonesian ride-hailing and payment firm Gojek and e-commerce leader Tokopedia are in advanced talks to seal a $18 billion merger ahead of potential stock market listings in Jakarta and the U.S., people with knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday.

Jack Dorsey says proposed cryptocurrency regulation would create ‘perverse incentives’
THE VERGE | Monday, January 4, 2020
Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter and Square, isn’t happy about the new proposed cryptocurrency regulation. He emphasized how the regulation would hurt Square, a financial services company, in a letter posted to the company website.

Hedge fund manager Scaramucci launches cryptocurrency fund
REUTERS | Monday, January 4, 2020
Anthony Scaramucci's firm SkyBridge Capital is the latest traditional fund manager to launch a bitcoin-focused fund after a surge of interest in cryptocurrencies in 2020.

More from PaymentsSource

How contactless payments took off in just one year
The year — and the coronavirus pandemic — caused a dramatic shift in attitude. Many consumers and merchants now saw contactless cards and mobile payments as a way to move ahead without the germ fears that come with touching cash and PIN pads. And even after those fears subsided, the new habits stuck around.

Wearables take even more contact out of contactless payments
The pandemic may have served as a catalyst for rapid growth in contactless payments through wearable devices. It’s the combination of form and function, however, that will push wearable payments into further growth in 2021 and beyond, says Zeta's Bhavin Turakhia.

AvidXchange buying Core Associates to build digital payments for construction industry
A digital payments migration could help rebuild illiquid construction companies unable to afford delays from legacy processing.

Amazon-Berkshire-JPMorgan health venture to shut next month
Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase plan to shut down Haven, a joint attempt to overhaul employee health care launched with great fanfare three years ago.

Jack Ma skips cherished TV show after Beijing tightens screws
Billionaire Ant Group Co. co-founder Jack Ma skipped a recent taping of an African TV program he created, spurring speculation online about his whereabouts and the outcome of an investigation into his internet empire.

PayPal partners with Ingo Money on Venmo check deposit
PayPal’s Venmo has launched a new “Cash a Check” feature on its mobile app to some customers. The offering is made in partnership with Ingo Money and its parent, First Century Bank.

2020's digital B2B transformation was just the start
B2B digital transformation is accelerating payments innovation. Although we can’t entirely predict the future, we can be certain that businesses will not abandon their recent ecommerce investments once the pandemic ends — nor will customers revert to pre-pandemic purchasing behaviors and expectations.

Local payments ace education transactions' final exam
Card payments can't always cut it in different countries, says PPRO's Steve Villegas.

How will fintech fare in Georgia's Senate runoff?
The final outcome of the November election will be decided on Jan. 5 in Georgia, with the balance of power in the Senate at stake, as well as at least two years of financial services and technology policy.

Digital Banking 2020: Digital transformation - The cultural imperative
During 2020, our society has been faced with an economic crisis, health crisis, social justice crisis and environmental crisis. The pandemic has rapidly changed how banks engage with customers and employees; accelerating the shift from in-person interactions to digital engagements. Successfully leading a digital transformation requires much more than smart technology choices, culture is key.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.