Morning Brief 1.6.20: U.K. banks suffer fresh payment outages

Register now

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

Unhappy New Year

The new year in the U.K. looks a lot like the old one, with financial outages that cause payments to get cut off.

A glitch at Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks caused payment failures that affected salaries, reports Finextra, adding the financial group — which also includes Virgin Money — told consumers to contact their employers to locate their missing wages. The institution later reversed those instructions upon learning the problem was larger than initially thought. Lloyds Banking Group suffered a similar outage on Jan 1, reports the BBC.

The latest incidents follow several other outages over the past two years involving banks and card networks, resulting in regulatory pressure on institutions to improve redundancies and recovery systems.

Check split

Landry's has discovered malware at hundreds of its restaurants, potentially endangering card information.

The malware was designed to nab card data at the point of sale, reports ZDNet, adding the restaurant hopes an earlier fix can mitigate the damage.

Landry's in 2016 installed a new encryption system following a similar malware infection. The restaurant chain says the encryption should have prevented the malware from accessing customer data, ZDNet explains.

Y2K plus 20

Some New York parking meters are rejecting payment cards, reportedly because the underlying software was not updated to accommodate a scheduled expiration on Jan 1.

The meters are being manually updated, reports Engadget, adding it's unclear how long that may take because thousands of meters are impacted. It's also unknown if the glitch resulted in tickets for unpaid parking. The meters are still accepting coins.

The New York Times reports the parking authority's technology vendor, Parkeon, has disclosed similar "Y2K-style" bugs at meters in other cities, but those issues were quickly resolved.

Lip synching

A fraudster reportedly pretending to be New Kids on the Block member Jordan Knight used phone fraud to convince a New Jersey woman to cash a fake $2,000 check and deposit that check into a bank account. She also purchased $700 in gift cards for a scammer based in Nigeria.

By using gift cards, the scammer made it harder for the bank to track the crime, the New Jersey Herald explains, adding fraudsters often use the caller ID system to make it look like the call is coming from a celebrity.

In this case, local police discovered the fraud when responding to a fake check call at a local check cashing business.

From the Web

Consumers waste up to $3 billion in unspent gift cards a year
CBS NEWS | Fri January 3, 2020
A prepaid gift card may be a popular holiday present, with more than half of U.S. consumers purchasing one this season, but that doesn't mean they're used wisely: About $3 billion in cards will go unredeemed this year alone. As much as 3% of gift card dollars are never redeemed, according to an estimate from the Mercator Advisory Group.

TransferWise enables PayNow for Singapore users to receive money internationally
THE BUSINESS TIMES | Mon January 6, 2020
UK-based fintech startup TransferWise rolled out a new service allowing Singapore customers to receive funds internationally using peer-to-peer instant payment service PayNow. This means individuals in Singapore can now receive money from abroad with just their mobile numbers, while businesses can simply share their PayNow unique entity numbers, without having to exchange bank details.

Police: Ex-school president went on $82,000 shopping spree
THE WASHINGTON TIMES | Fri January 3, 2020
The former president of a private medical career college in Florida was arrested on charges of grand theft, money laundering and fraud after using the school’s debit card to make personal purchases totaling more than $82,000, police said.

More from PaymentsSource

How real-time tech casts a lifeline to banks' online bill pay
One of the biggest untapped areas of payment innovation is in consumer bill payment, which makes up 30% of U.S. consumer spending, with banks currently playing a shrinking role in the $4 trillion segment.

Idemia payment card with changing security code debuts in Spain
In seeking a more secure way for consumers to use payment cards when shopping online, Deutsche Bank, Mastercard and Idemia say they have launched the first motion code card in Spain.

JPMorgan Chase moves to block fintechs from screen scraping
JPMorgan Chase plans to block fintechs from screen scraping — obtaining usernames and passwords of customers, logging in as them, and copying and pasting their account information into a database.

Recession risks will put real-time payments and fintech to the test
In the past year, real-time payments progressed toward widespread availability, mergers and acquisition activity brought new, key players to the fintech arena and partnerships illuminated newfound strengths from bank-fintech collaborations. That's paved the way for payment companies to meet economic risks and new challenges in the year ahead.

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