Morning Brief 1.10.20: Uber rewards vanish under California gig law

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

The gig is up

Uber is starting to comply with AB5, a California labor law that classifies a large number of contractors and gig economy workers as employees.

The ride-sharing company is changing its user experience to show a range of prices in California, then calculate the final price at the end of the trip, reports Engadget. Uber is also eliminating some rewards, such as protected prices on certain routes and flexible cancellations.

Drivers will have access to more data on trips, such as time, distance and estimated fares.

Uber and Postmates are still suing to block the law. Payment technology firms that serve contractors face pressure from the new law, which could tighten payroll regulations for freelancers.

Taiwan to Japan

Payments technology company Incomm has partnered with Taiwanese payment processor JKOPAY to reach merchants in Japan.

JKOPAY is one of Taiwan's largest QR code payment companies, and also offers delivery, taxi dispatch and utility payments.

In Japan, the partnership hopes to reach pharmacies, home appliance stores and retailers that cater to tourists from Taiwan.

A hedge...and a new name

Northern Bitcoin has changed its name to Northern Data, reflecting a move beyond cryptocurrency that resulted from its merger with Whinstone, a high-speed data center company.

Northern Bitcoin provided mostly high performance computing to generate bitcoins, which the firm says made it dependent on bitcoin's notorious volatility. The merger de-emphasizes bitcoin through diversification.

The switch is similar to Long Island Blockchain, a firm that changed its name from Long Island Iced Tea when it got into bitcoin mining. It later backed away from bitcoin mining as a model, and a branding strategy.

Google college

Transact has added a mobile credential that links student IDs to Google Pay, allowing the same app to support NFC access to dorms, classrooms, dining halls and open loop payments.

The company hopes to take advantage of a broader trend toward interoperable digital ID that ties credentials for payments to other functions that require authentication.

Transact has 15 institutions at launch, including Johns Hopkins University, Mercer, Temple University, the University of Alabama, Duke and Georgetown.

From the Web

PayPal Confirms ‘High-Severity’ Password Security Vulnerability
FORBES | Thu January 9, 2020
PayPal has confirmed that a researcher found a high-severity security vulnerability that could expose user passwords to an attacker. The researcher, Alex Birsan, earned a bug bounty of $15,300 (£11,700) for reporting the problem, which was disclosed January 8 having been patched by PayPal on December 11, 2019.

Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial to launch enterprise blockchain platform – reports
THE BLOCK | Thu January 9, 2020
Ant Financial Services Group, an offshoot of eCommerce giant Alibaba, will reportedly be launching its enterprise-centred “Ant Blockchain Open Alliance” platform later this month. Jiang Guofei, the Group’s VP and the president of Ant’s smart technology business group, stated the network has been live in beta as of November 2019, and will soon be introduced as a fully operational chain.

Harbortouch Explains How to Choose a Restaurant POS System
YAHOO FINANCE | Fri January 10, 2020
Point of sale (POS) systems are key to operating a successful business. Amid a changing economy, evolving consumer habits and dining trends, and growing competition, it's increasingly important to take advantage of every opportunity to improve your operation.

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