Morning Brief 9.27.19: Uber ties rewards to restaurants

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Looking for loyalty

Rideshare companies like Uber and Grab are adding more financial services and ancillary products to build off of their ridership base and seamless transaction experience.

Uber has revamped its rewards program by adding international markets, starting with Brazil and Mexico, reports TechCrunch. It's also more closely tying its rewards program to its UberEats service, adding an option to get meals from Uber Eats as a form of reward currency.

The expansion came as Uber announced several new services, including Eats Pass, a subscription service for deliveries; and follows Uber's recent deal to add rewards for Apple Card.

Blockchain crops

Ant Financial, which operates Alipay, is collaborating with Bayer, which owns Monsanto, to build a blockchain system to support agriculture and food supply chains.

At the same time, Ant will expand its existing partnership with Hyperledger to improve standards and interoperability for a variety of blockchain-based use cases, reports Cointelegraph.

Hyperledger's other partners include Amex, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Microsoft, suggesting a range of B2B use cases for agriculture payments.

Crypto of America

Cryptocurrency payments startup Flexa is opening a demonstration store at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., to test uses case for retail payments.

McKinsey is organizing the store, called Modern Retail Collective. The store will use data and analytics to determine how consumers engage with cryptocurrencies, and if a specific technology or product adds value, reports CoinDesk.

Other technology will also be tested, including augmented reality, digital signage and conversational AI. Square will be among the payment options, but will not use its bitcoin technology, Coindesk reports.

The cost of breaches

The U.K. finance industry halted about $1.01 billion in potential payment fraud in the first half of 2019, up 14% from 2018 — but also failed to halt about $503 million in unauthorized card, remote banking and check fraud.

Data breaches are a major player in the crimes, according to U.K. Finance, which reports crooks are using consumer data obtained from leaks outside the financial industry. Other factors include skimming attacks to online shopping sites and social engineering that fools consumers into turning over personal information.

There were 114.6 million records lost in the U.K. to data breaches in August alone, according to Itgovernance.com.

From the web

DoorDash suffered a data breach that affected 4.9 million people
CNN | Fri September 27, 2019
DoorDash confirmed it suffered a data breach affecting roughly 4.9 million delivery people and merchants. DoorDash said it noticed unusual activity from a third-party service provider earlier in September. After investigating the activity, it found an unauthorized third party was able to access DoorDash user data on May 4, 2019.

Why Ethereum Briefly Overtook Bitcoin in Daily Transaction Fees
COINDESK | Thu September 26, 2019
Ethereum transaction fees are back on the rise and gaining parity with bitcoin transaction fees. Ethereum surpassed bitcoin in daily transaction fees on Sept. 21. While ethereum has since been maintaining a close parity with bitcoin’s daily transaction fees, bitcoin currently beats out ethereum at roughly $350,000 in fees per day.

Libra cryptocurrency not out to replace existing money - project head
REUTERS | Fri September 27, 2019
The Facebook-conceived Libra cryptocurrency, to be launched by a Geneva-based association next year, is not intended to replace existing currencies, Libra Association Managing Director Bertrand Perez said. “We are not in the area of implementing any monetary policy with the (Libra) Reserve,” Perez said at a blockchain conference hosted at United Nation headquarters in Geneva.

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