Welcome to the PaymentsSource Morning Briefing, delivered daily. The information you need to start your day, including top headlines from PaymentsSource and around the Web:
Timex adds a payments piece: Barclaycard is bullish on watches as a way to execute payments, having added its bPay chip to a number of timepieces. Timex has joined the roster of watchmakers to adopt Barclays' wearable payments technology, adding bPay to its new Timex Fairfield watch, which will go on sale in early November. The watch will cost about $170 and will support payments of about $40 and under, reports Campaign. Users can also track payments, top up balances and perform other tasks through the bPay app or website. Barclays has also embedded payments technology into clothing via a collaboration with fashion brand Tappy and winter clothing. Other watch brands that have embedded payments technology into timepieces include Movado, and of course the Apple Watch.
SAP blockchain: Blockchain is poised to support myriad business uses beyond virtual currency, ranging from cross-border payments to security. One of the larger initiatives is a new integration that could bring blockchain to majority of global transactions. Equidato Technologies, a joint venture between blockchain distribution platform DECENT and SAP distributor Venaco, have formed SophiaTX. The new blockchain platform and marketplace is the largest integration of blockchain with SAP, creating a global addressable market. Ninety-eight percent of the globe's largest retail brands use SAP software, impacting $16 trillion in yearly payments and 74% of transaction revenue. SophiaTX will have three parts: A blockchain built on DECENT's proprietary platform to power B-to-B transactions; a development platform with integration APIs to SAP and other enterprise applications; and a marketplace for developers to buy and sell apps. "Integrating blockchain with SAP allows businesses to deliver efficiencies, better collaborate along the value chain and even shape their business models," said Jaroslav Kacina, CEO of SophiaTX and Equidato Technologies AG, in a release.
Fidelity opens a mine: Top executives at traditional financial companies are taking widely varied views on virtual currency, ranging from JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon's "bearishness" to Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman's more mellow take. In contrast, Fidelity Investments' chief executive, Abigail Johnson, is openly adopting virtual currency, according to The Financial Times. Fidelity has been testing bitcoin internally, and is extending some features to its general customer base. The investment firm, which has $2.3 trillion in managed assets overall, has made investments in bitcoin businesses and is also considering expanded use cases for the underlying blockchain technology in partnership with several universities. Johnson has also personally mined more than 200,000 satoshis (a unit of bitcoin), according to the Financial Times.
Overstock's trade: Overstock is collaborating with RenGen and Argon to offer an alternative trading system for digital coins issued by initial coin offerings. The partners are hoping to take advantage of the increase in ICOs, according to Finextra. The new trading system will combine tZero's blockchain trading platform with RenGen's ability to provide liquidity, and algorithm technology. SaftLaunch will provide SEC, Finra, anti-money laundering and know your customer compliance. Overstock acquired a license to operate an alternative trading system through its acquisition of Pro Securities in 2015.
From the Web
American Express: Centurion Lounges in Hong Kong, Philly to open in October
USA Today | Fri Sep 29, 2017 - American Express says its two newest Centurion Lounges will open in October. The Hong Kong location will open Monday (Oct. 2) while the Philadelphia location is set to begin welcoming travelers in “late October.” The Philadelphia location initially had been targeted for a summer opening. The Centurion Lounge is the luxe line of airport clubs run by American Express, the first of which opened in Las Vegas in 2013. The roster of locations will grow to nine once the Hong Kong and Philadelphia sites open. The lounges have been welcomed by frequent-fliers, praised for their high-end finishes and amenities and for providing an option not tied to one specific airline.
Whole Foods suffers data breach in some stores
CNBC | Thu Sep 28, 2017 - Whole Foods, which was recently acquired by Amazon, suffered a data breach of credit card information used in taprooms and full table-service restaurants in some of the grocery chain's stores, the company said Thursday. Whole Foods noted these venues use a different point-of-sale system than the main checkout systems. Credit cards used at those systems were not affected, the company said. Amazon shares were little changed in after hours trading. Upon discovering the breach, Whole Foods said it launched an investigation with the help of a cyber security forensics firm and contacted law enforcement. The company said it is taking the "appropriate measures" to address the issue.
Central banks seek better security on inter-bank payments
Reuters | Thu Sep 28, 2017 - Central banks from some the world’s biggest economies proposed measures on Thursday to improve security of inter-bank payments and messaging systems, after the systems were used to steal tens of millions of dollars in Bangladesh and elsewhere last year. The Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI), an affiliate body of the Bank for International Settlements, said institutions needed to up their game to protect the stability of the global financial system. “Wholesale payments fraud is becoming increasingly sophisticated and is expected to evolve further. We need to move fast, and together, to guard against any loss of confidence in the system,” said CPMI Chairman Benoît Coeure.
More from PaymentsSource
Cross-border payments remain a global problem with niche solutions
International payments will only get more complex as faster payments take hold globally, steering banks and money movers to establish central hubs for handling cross-border transactions.
EMV's working, and stragglers need to get on board
Card fraud is declining, making smaller merchants and other chip card laggards even larger targets, writes Allen Friedman, director of payment solutions at Ingenico Group, North America.
Square strikes payment-processing deal with Eventbrite
Square Inc. struck an agreement to process payments for ticketing service Eventbrite and made a strategic investment in the startup, part of the digital-payments company’s push into online commerce, an area dominated by larger players like PayPal Holdings Inc.
Breaches will continue until personal data is 'rendered worthless'
The Sonic breach coupled with the tsunami of recent breaches might just be the game changers that lead U.S. Federal authorities to better protect the data collection, processing and storage of customer data, writes Robert W. Capps, vice president of business development for NuData Security.