Morning Brief 7.16.20: Twitter hacks also target Square Cash account, with a twist

Register now

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

Square peg

The massive compromise of high-profile Twitter handles on Wednesday — affecting the likes of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Kanye West and Michael Bloomberg — hit only a few companies, but Apple and Square Cash were among them.

The incident likely used employee tools rather than a direct compromise of the individuals, but there are signs that this may also be the work of more than one hacker or group of hackers, The Verge reports.

The scam invited people to send funds to a bitcoin address, and that address was largely the same across the compromised accounts — but the tweet sent from the Cash App account uses a different bitcoin address, the article notes. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is also the CEO of Square.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is also the CEO of Square.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is also the CEO of Square.

Intro to crypto

London fintech Revolut is following up its launch in the U.S. with a cryptocurrency service that supports bitcoin and Ethereum through Revolut's app and a partnership with Paxos.

Revolut, which is adding financial services to its core mobile payments product as it expands internationally, hopes to allow an easy conversion between U.S. dollars and cryptocurrency while attracting new consumers to crypto.

It also provides an alternative to Square and PayPal, which are gradually adding support for cryptocurrency trading while stopping short of enabling direct payments via cryptocurrency. Most cryptocurrency payments still require a conversion to traditional currency before the transaction reaches the merchant.

Counter fiat

There are signs Hong Kong residents are using cryptocurrency to avoid government surveillance resulting from a recent law in China designed to halt criticism of the Communist government.

There has been a surge in trades between Hong Kong dollars and USDT, a U.S. dollar-pegged stablecoin, reports Coindesk, adding the surges were timed to the unveiling and implementation of the new security law.

The use of stablecoins is a way to avoid financial surveillance — part of the new law allows the Chinese government to seize banking assets.

There is also a challenge to using cryptocurrency, or even a workaround, given China's traditional hard line on crypto.

Open bank

UMB is working on a menu of services designed to make it easier for fintechs to access payment and banking service combinations as open banking becomes more common.

The services include real-time account opening, debit card, ACH, checking, wires, bill pay and remote deposit, which fintechs can then offer to their own consumers, under the fintech's brand.

The U.S. does not have a version of PSD2, though the European measure which mandates data sharing for open banking is expected to have global influence.

Giving a yell

Consumer digital finance platform MoneyLion has launched a deposit account and card product as it moves deeper into payments.

Called RoarMoney, it will use Mastercard's network and support contactless payments, early access to wages, a mobile wallet, debit card, incentive marketing and transaction alerts.

The service will also integrate with other MoneyLion products, such as investment accounts and short-term financing.

From the Web

Tencent launches new online shopping feature in WeChat app, in a challenge to rivals Alibaba and JD
CNBC | Thu July 16, 2020
Tencent has launched tools to help merchants build virtual shops on its wildly popular WeChat messaging service in China, pitting itself against the country’s major online shopping giants Alibaba and, a virtual payment card startup, raises $10.2M in Series A
TECHCRUNCH | Wed July 15, 2020
Virtual card payment startup has raised $10.2 million in a Series A fundraise, the company announced Wednesday.

Visa Partner Zap Raises $3.5 Million To Expand Bitcoin Payments
FORBES | Wed July 15, 2020
Months before bitcoin payments startup Zap announced a coveted partnership with Visa, the rapidly rising firm quietly raised $3.5 million, according to previously unreported documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

More from PaymentsSource

Uber and others see a long road for pandemic payment habits
The initial adoption wave that mobile and contactless payments have ridden during the first months of the coronavirus pandemic is likely to continue as companies adjust business models to make embedded payment methods a key part of their strategy.

Coronavirus-era fraud needs better biometrics than keystrokes
While the use of behavioral biometrics such as keystroke patterns has become commonplace for web-based security, this has less applicability to mobile commerce given the different form factor and interface of a smartphone, says Incognia's André Ferraz.

More merchants lean on payment-link tech during the coronavirus pandemic
Businesses affected by the pandemic are accepting online and touchless in-person payments from consumers with the help of technologies developed originally for B2B invoicing and payments.

EMVCo builds on 3-D Secure to aid travel industry
EMVCo has developed guidelines that allow the travel industry to provide more data to issuers authorizing ticketing transactions as a way to reduce fraud in air travel, hotel and car rental purchases.

Europe’s own network faces an uphill climb
Sixteen eurozone banks’ just-announced European Payment System Initiative (EPI) is foremost a political project.

Pay-at-the-pump apps have a rare opportunity — if gas stations bother to fix them
The coronavirus pandemic has generated more interest in pay-at-the-pump apps, a growing segment of the payments industry that may not have grown fast enough to be ready for the sudden surge of interest in contactless payments.

Europe’s own network faces an uphill climb
A staged implementation rolling up national systems offers EPI its best prospects. Still, it’s a long shot, says Intrepid Ventures’ Eric Grover.

Amazon's latest assault on grocery stores is high-tech and low profile
A former toy store is hosting the latest of Amazon’s attempts to use its enrolled base, mobile app and automatic sensors to create an alternative to supermarket checkout lanes.

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