11.17.17 Your morning briefing
The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the Web:
Brexit brain drain: As London attempts to keep technology companies in the U.K. after the country leaves the European Union, there are signals that professionals with technology skills may be souring on the U.K., threatening its perch as a fintech and payments innovation capital. Many people are rejecting job offers in the U.K., according to a survey of entrepreneurs cited by The Financial Times. More than a third of companies have lost a prospective hire because of uncertainty over immigration laws, reports the newspaper, which cites research from Tech London Advocates. The U.K. government is attempting to assuage the concerns, announcing it would double the "tier 1" visas for "exceptional talent" to 2,000 per year. Prime Minister Theresa May met with technology executives this week to discuss concerns such as immigration and venture capital investments. May expressed confidence the U.K. would retain its status, though the technology executives said the visa changes are not enough to address the skills gap.
The courier rings twice: Amazon's "unlock the door" courier service for consumers who aren't home has a vulnerability that allows cloud-hosted security cameras to be frozen by a program within WiFi range of the door, according to Wired. Amazon Key relies on these internal cameras as a check on the delivery person. The courier scans the package bar code to gain access to a consumer's home. The internal camera then begins recording as the door is unlocked. The idea is the camera makes sure the courier only ventures just inside the door and then leaves. If the camera can be frozen to make it look like the door has closed, a bad-apple courier could reenter the home a second time without being recorded. Amazon told The Verge drivers are subject to comprehensive background checks, each delivery is pegged to a specific driver and Amazon verifies deliveries based on address and intended time. Amazon also notifies consumers if the camera is offline for a long period, and it plans an update to provide these notifications more quickly, the company told The Verge.
Singapore extends its tech influence: Singapore has become a center for payments innovation projects, serving as a hub for e-commerce technology in Asia and practical deployments of contactless and IoT payments for tasks such as transit payments. The city is looking to extend that influence through a cooperative agreement with the central bank of the Philippines to promote fintech projects such as distributed ledger applications, cross-border payments and compliance issues like "know your customer" money laundering protections, according to a release from the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Singapore is also working on a similar partnership with Thailand.
Xsolla's game for alternative currency: Gaming often attracts payments innovation, and cryptocurrency is no exception. In a new deployment, Xsolla will accept Worldwide Asset eXchange (WAX)'s cryptocurrency. Xsolla distributes and publishes video games globally and support tools designed to optimize user acquisition and monetization. Xsolla will add WAX to the more than 700 payment options it already offers to fund its 2,000 games, and it hopes to feed a broader strategy to encourage cryptocurrency usage among its users. WAX is a repository designed to link gamers and marketplaces by powering real-time payments and security through WAX tokens. "This is a great step forward to enable Xsolla’s client portfolio of over 2,000 games to use WAX as a mechanism to transmit stored value across borders," said William Quigley, CEO of WAX, in a release. "Partnering with Xsolla creates more demand for the WAX ecosystem."
From the Web
Amex launches blockchain-based business payments using Ripple
Reuters | Thu Nov 16, 2017 - American Express has introduced instant blockchain-based payments using Ripple, a fintech start-up, for U.S. corporate customers sending funds to UK-based businesses that bank with Santander UK STN.SN, the companies said on Thursday. American Express said its FX International Payments (FXIP) business had partnered with Ripple to provide real-time, trackable non-card payments from the United States to Britain. Customers are already using the service, the companies said, and it would be extended in the future.
Overstock finds cryptocurrency is most popular in Alaska, with Delaware close behind
CNBC | Thu Nov 16, 2017 - The states driving most of Overstock's purchases via cryptocurrency aren't your typical tech havens. The top five states for cryptocurrency purchases are Alaska, Delaware, Oregon, Wyoming and Hawaii have , the company told CNBC. Overstock got this statistic by looking at the percentage of overall revenue from each state that came from cryptocurrency purchases.
Cash Converters reveals customer data breach
BBC | Thu Nov 16, 2017 - High Street pawnbroker Cash Converters has warned customers about a data breach on its website. The company said customer usernames, passwords and addresses had potentially been accessed by a third party. The data breach exposed accounts on the company's old UK website, which was replaced in September 2017. Cash Converters said no credit card information had been breached, and people who visited its stores but did not use the website had not been affected.
More from PaymentsSource
How Facebook faced Brexit's regulatory cloud
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Why JotForm added e-checks to its digital payments options
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International payments firm TransferWise reports doubling revenue
TransferWise Ltd., the London-based international payments firm and one of Europe’s largest financial technology startups, said revenue in the fiscal year through March 2017 has more than doubled, allowing the company to post its first annual profit.