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TransUnion buys greater device, geographic coverage
TransUnion has agreed to acquire iovation, a company that provides both consumer and device identification, adding another option to secure smartphones and other devices used in e-commerce.

TransUnion is also in the midst of acquiring CallCredit, a U.K.-based firm; TransUnion also announced a deal to acquire Healthcare Payment Specialists, a company that digitizes Medicare reimbursement payments.

All three of these are designed to broaden TransUnion's geographic, market and device reach as companies increase their use of digital and mobile transactions.

Bloomberg News

Face of the account
Selfies are advancing as an authentication tool for digital payment apps, placing pressure on banks to adopt the technology.

Adoption has spread to South Africa, where FNB has added a selfie option to open accounts within minutes, reports BusinessTech, a local news service.

Once open, the accounts enable self-authentication and aid the bank's KYC compliance. Users can also order new payment cards, switch debit orders and set up other services. FNB has also added a travel feature that helps people find and pay for flights via the app.

Fu-Gee-La
Fugees founder and Grammy-award winning rapper Pras Michel has introduced a smartphone that uses the blockchain to allow users to benefit from payments made on the phone.

Michel is launching the phone, called Motif, as part of his digital platform Blacture, reports CNBC.

The rewards will work similar to airline miles and be redeemable for cash. The phone, which will cost $300 when it's released this fall, can also be linked to a Blacture debit card.

Not oversharing?
Vota has launched an app that uses social tools to share card purchases, reports TechCrunch, adding it's a model similar to Blippy, a similar app that sputtered earlier in the decade.

Vota records card purchases and locations, which the users can view privately or share with friends to put shopping into a larger context and feed tailored recommendations. Users can connect cards from Chase, Capital One, Wells Fargo, US Bank, Citi and other Visa issuers.

While Blippy didn't work, the popularity of Venmo with younger consumers could give the model another chance.

A push for open banking
As PSD2 facilitates more data sharing in Europe, other parts of the world are considering opening banking standards.

In the U.S. Envestnet/Yodlee has formed a consortium with data platforms Quovo and Morning Star to push for open access to financial data for consumers, as well as easier payments data sharing among financial institutions and third parties such as payment apps.

The three companies have developed Secure Open Data Access, a framework to guide the data sharing while maintaining traceability, accountability and transparency. Among their goals is to ensure the U.S. financial ecosystem does not fall behind as the rest of the world adopts open banking.

From the Web

Banks Adopt Military-Style Tactics to Fight Cybercrime
The New York Times | Sun May 20, 2018 - Cybercrime is one of the world’s fastest-growing and most lucrative industries. At least $445 billion was lost last year, up around 30 percent from just three years earlier, a global economic study found, and the Treasury Department recently designated cyberattacks as one of the greatest risks to the American financial sector.

How Vietnam's Fintech Market Could Reach Nearly $8 Billion By 2020
Forbes | Fri May 18, 2018 - Fintech's influence is growing around the globe. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, fintech startups attracted more than $40 billion in investments during the past four years, and legacy institutions are warming up to partnerships with agile, digital-first companies.

A simple solution to end the encryption debate
TechCrunch | Sun May 20, 2018 - Criminals and terrorists, like millions of others, rely on smartphone encryption to protect the information on their mobile devices. But unlike most of us, the data on their phones could endanger lives and pose a great threat to national security.

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