Morning Brief 7.17.20: U.K. authorities pressure banks to support cash

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

Cash in politics

British authorities are ramping up pressure on banks to maintain access to cash as a financial inclusion measure, as pro-cash politics take on a larger profile in both the U.K. and U.S.

The Financial Conduct Authority has set guidance for banks and credit unions that tie access to cash, check cashing and manual withdrawals and deposit availability to branch networks, in effect creating hurdles to financial institutions trying to close centers to cut costs or add fees to ATMs. The FCA is also pushing resource sharing and alternative access to cash. Cash access and ATM "desserts" have become major issues in the U.K.

In the U.S., the focus has been more on merchants, as companion Senate and House bills join state and local legislation that require businesses to accept cash, pushing autonomous retail developers to keep cash as an option.

Safe entry

OCBC is supporting Singapore's National Digital ID platform, giving the bank ties to the city's digital coronavirus mitigation program.

NDI supports authentication for payments, facility entry, government ID and account activities without touch biometrics or PIN entry — instead using contactless facial recognition.

The digital ID system is also part of Singapore's contact tracing program, which matches entry to facilities based on coronavirus data, which could help banks and merchants vet people who enter their stores or branches.

Whose idea?

An Ethereum payment project called BlockCrushr is suing ConsenSys, saying it used access to inside information to build a payment feature of its own.

The dispute involves a $100,000 investment ConsenSys made in BlockCrushr, which involved sharing lines of code, reports Coindesk. BlockCrushr claims a developer from another ConsenSys project was at joint meetings and used some code for his own project and became a founding member of another crypto payments project.

ConsenSys then launched a payments product a day ahead of BlockCrushr in August 2019.

Subway map

New York's contactless OMNY transit payment migration has finished deployment in segments of the IRT division in the Bronx, with full completion on 2, 3, 4 and 5 trains to Brooklyn expected by the end of July.

The rest of the subway and bus system is in pace for completion by the end of 2020, reports NY1. That would be at least two years ahead of schedule, as the push to make the system contactless has accelerated during the pandemic. The MTA also plans to introduce an OMNY contactless card in 2021 to replace the system's MetroCards.

OMNY's part of a global move to open transit ticketing, a key element in bringing riders who may be concerned about contagion back into systems

From the Web

Japan puts central bank digital currencies on key policy roadmap
REUTERS | Fri July 17, 2020
Japan will look closer into whether to issue central bank digital currencies in future, the government said in its annual policy roadmap, a sign that Tokyo may be warming to the idea as the coronavirus heightens demand for cashless payments.

Before hack tore through Twitter, online forum offered accounts for sale
REUTERS | Thu July 16, 2020
Before a hacking campaign tore through Twitter and compromised some of its most high-profile users, an ad went up on a gray market site that facilitates the trade of user accounts for many popular websites including Twitter.

Flipkart introduces ‘Part Payment’ to reduce product returns, but cash may still be king
CNBC | Thu July 16, 2020
Online retailer Flipkart has introduced a new payment method called ‘Part Payment’ to allow customers to make partial payment at the time of placing the order and the rest at the time of delivery.

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