12.19.18 Your morning briefing

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

The grocery battle gets bigger
Streamlining grocery fulfillment post-checkout has become a major battle among retailers, with ideas ranging from Amazon and Walmart developing new concepts.

Target is expanding Shipt, the same-day grocery service it acquired last year, to ship not just grocery products but all major product categories Target offers in 2019, according to TechCrunch.

Meanwhile, Kroger is attempting to compete by using driverless vehicles. The grocer is collaborating with Nuro to use a vehicle called the R1, which travels on public roads, USA Today reports. The companies have been working on the concept since June, and will debut the service in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Swiss squabbles
It's not unusual for Apple Pay's introduction to involve fighting and claims that the app is being shut out in some manner, or vice versa. It happened in the U.S. with merchants such as CVS blocking Apple Pay's technology and Australia, where there was a dispute with large banks over how fees would be negotiated.

In Switzerland, regulators are investigating claims that Apple is selectively blocking NFC technology for competitive advantage, reports 9to5Mac, which also reports Apple has resolved another complaint that it was blocking Switzerland's TWINT mobile payment app.

That follows an almost reverse investigation in November into allegations Swiss banks were colluding to support TWINT over Apple Pay.

Cryptoready
Western Union contends it is ready to support cryptocurrency, but there still isn't enough interest in the company's market to move forward.

The transfer company bases its potential on its knowledge of money transfers and its large existing network and consumer base, reports Crypto News.

Fintechs and banks already widely use the blockchain technology that underpins cryptocurrency to support international transactions, though support for cryptocurrency for payments remains rare.

Avoiding the dollar
One of the main attractions to cryptocurrencies is the outsider reputation, or the idea that it's an alternative to centralized currency.

Coinbase is removing a lingering tie to tradition supporting direct cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency conversions, removing the intermediary step that converted to dollars before final conversion, TechCrunch reports.

The conversions are only available in the U.S. and include bitcoin, ethereum, ethereum classic, litecoin, 0x and bitcoin cash.

From the Web

Mozambique’s central bank taps Euronet to overhaul payment network
Verdict | Tue December 18, 2018 - Banco de Moçambique, the central bank of Mozambique, has selected Euronet USA in a bid to upgrade its national payment network. The solution offered by Euronet will facilitate a range of services.

Aliibaba aims for 2 billion users by 2036
China Daily | Wed December 19, 2018 - E-commerce and internet behemoth Alibaba Group Holding Ltd aims to register 2 billion individual users around the world by 2036. With its technology in core commerce, cloud computing, cross-border e-commerce and mobile payments, the group said it is committed to helping domestic and foreign consumers to buy products from all over the world, and to make mobile payments global.

Hackers Breach Dozens of Local Government Payment Portals to Steal Credit Card Data
Fortune | Tue December 18, 2018 - Security research firm Gemini Advisory published a report Tuesday that provides new details on how vulnerabilities in Click2Gov, a widely used type of government payment software, has affected towns from Oceanside, Calif. to Sarasota, Fla.

More from PaymentsSource

Alipay tweaks facial recognition to combat biometric fraud
Alipay is upgrading its facial recognition technology to make it more accessible to users and to make it harder for crooks to game the system

TransferMate buys Swiss FX firm to expand B2B payments
TransferMate, a cross-border B2B payments provider based in Ireland, has announced plans to buy Devisenwerk, a Swiss foreign exchange firm, to expand its capabilities and geographic reach.

Swift GPI used for more than half of its cross-border payments
The Global Payments Innovation service now moves 55 percent of Swift's cross-border transactions as it nears its second anniversary.

Augmented reality is about to get real
The high-tech and visual user experience is getting set to take hold, giving merchants something to think about, according to Radu Spineanu, co-founder and CEO of Two Tap.

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