7.5.19 Your morning briefing

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

Dinner with Uber

Uber is piloting an Uber Eats feature that allows consumers to pre-order, pay, schedule a seating time and then eat food in restaurants, an expansion of Uber Eats take-out service and an attempt to reach a broader range of restaurants.

The ride sharing company believes its "automatic payment" experience is transferable to dining in, and can slow wait times at restaurants, reports Eater. The test cities are Austin, Dallas, Tucson and San Diego, and the dine-in option will reside alongside the delivery feature.

Uber is presuming many consumers will also use Uber to book a ride to the restaurant. Uber and other ride-sharing apps are under pressure to build ancillary services off of their core ride-sharing services to gain new revenue streams off of their pre-enrolled users.

Brush up

Alipay has added "beauty filters" to its selfie-pay system in a new feature that's expected to be live across the app's brick-and-mortar merchant network in China within the next week.

The payment app is reportedly addressing a concern in China that facial recognition machines render unattractive images, reports TechCrunch, citing a Chinese language poll from Sina Technology that found 60% of respondents think they don't look as attractive on facial recognition payment systems.

It's an issue that could adversely impact in-store traffic if people aren't comfortable with an image display at checkout. Smartphone maker Xiaomi has also recently developed image improvement technology, according to TechCrunch.

More pressure for Facebook

Facebook's Libra has drawn regulatory pressure in the U.S. and Europe, and Japan is also joining the mix.

Japan's central bank is concerned Libra will be tough to regulate because of the group of traditional currencies and government securities fall under diverse jurisdictions, reports Nikkei Asian Review.

Japanese regulators contend that by using a group of currencies, Facebook may be trying to avoid a large amount of control from one regulator, reports Coindesk.

Money battle

Godfrey Mupanga, a Zimbabwe lawyer who has the support of Lawyers for Human Rights, is petitioning a recent move by the Zimbabwean government to outlaw U.S., South African and European currencies.

The government on June 24 declared the Zimbabwe dollar the official currency. Mthuli Ncube, the finance minister, made the decree shortly after telling the local media Zimbabwe isn't ready to abandon its multi-currency economy, reports MoneyWeb, a local news site. Zimbabwe's inflation rate for its local currency was 98% in May, MoneyWeb reports.

The legal petition contends currency moves in Zimbabwe require parliamentary approval, and as such the executive decision is unconstitutional.

Going bigger

E-commerce platform BigCommerce is expanding its relationship with Klarna beyond the U.S. to include several of Europe’s biggest markets.

The move will enable BigCommerce merchants in the U.K., Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Norway and Finland to offer customers all of Klarna’s installment-style credit options including Pay Later and Slice it, according to BigCommerce.

BigCommerce began working with Klarna in the U.S. in 2016, enabling merchants to offer customers instant installment-loan payments on big-ticket purchases such as audio gear.

From the Web

Fujitsu unveils blockchain-based tech to verify users’ ID during online transactions
Yahoo Finance | Thu July 4, 2019 - Fujitsu Laboratories have created a blockchain-powered system which checks the identity of online payment participants. Decentralized Identification (DID) provides individuals and businesses with a tool to rate other users' trustworthiness during online transactions.

Australian banks, IBM to test retail financing by blockchain
The Business Times | Fri July 5, 2019 - Australia's three biggest banks said they will test a new bank-guarantee platform for shopkeepers that uses a shared database, claiming the project would mark the world's first use of blockchain technology to process retail financing.

Can Facebook’s Libra Avoid Regulators? History Suggests Not
The Wall Street Journal | Thu July 4, 2019 - For all its crypto styling, Facebook ’s Libra looks less like bitcoin and more like a 50-year-old type of investment fund that has attracted intense regulatory scrutiny since the 2008 financial crisis. Investors should be skeptical of claims it can escape the same kind of attention.

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