5.18.18 Your morning briefing

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

U.K. shores up its Brexit fintech defense
As the U.K.'s technology industry defends its technology hub status against Brexit, the government has appointed envoys to different parts of the U.K. to provide consultation.

Richard Theo, the CEO of Wealthify, will be the fintech envoy for Wales; while Georgina O'Leary, the director of innovation, research and development for Allstate Northern Ireland, will be the envoy to Northern Ireland.

Elsewhere, David Ferguson, CEO of Nucleus Financial, and RBS current design chief Louise Smith are the enjoys to Scotland; and University of Leed professor Chris Sier is the envoy to the northern U.K.
E-commerce in bloom
Cannabis payment technology has been advancing as companies in the industry focus on relaxing state regulations.

In this environment, CanPay is pushing ahead with a geographic expansion of its e-commerce/debit payment integration. It has increased the number of states it serves to 14, adding Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Michigan and New Mexico. The integration links CanPay's debit accounts to OMMPOS and LeafLogix.

Monzo's sorry
U.K. payments company Monzo has an unusual public posture. It profusely apologizes for technology malfunctions, and asked its customers to refrain from using an expensive product.

Now it's apologizing for being "late" to support Apple Pay. "We'd really love to have done this sooner and we're sorry it's taken so long. Apple Pay has been by far the most requested feature over the last few months and we're glad it's finally here," wrote Daniel Cannon, Monzo's lead engineer, on Monzo's site.

Monzo included instructions on how to use Apple Pay, but did not further explain its timing.

Ethereum founder's new project
Ethereum Co-founder and Decentral CEO Anthony Di Iorio has unveiled the Decentral Project, the next phase of the Jaxx digital wallet.

The first features of the deployment include a "gamified" interface to educate users about blockchain and a Decentral Unity token that rewards users for engaging with Decentral's partners. Other elements will be added over time.

"Decentral hopes to blur the line between the digital and real-world interactions of millions of people," said Di Iorio in a release.

From the Web

Alliance gains momentum, increases membership
China Daily | Thu May 17, 2018 - Membership of Alibaba Group's anti-counterfeiting alliance has tripled since it was established a year and a half ago, according to the Chinese e-commerce and online services provider. Formed in January 2017, the intellectual property rights protection body, named the Alibaba Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance, has seen its membership rise to 105 brands which sell their products through Alibaba's e-commerce platform, up from 30 at the group's establishment.

Switzerland seeks study of state-backed "e-franc" cryptocurrency
Reuters | Thu May 17, 2018 - Switzerland’s government has requested a report into the risks and opportunities of launching its own cryptocurrency, a so-called “e-franc” that would use technology similar to privately-launched coins like bitcoin but have backing of the state. Several countries have begun evaluating the viability of introducing their own state-backed digital currency, with Sweden’s Riksbank saying an e-crown might help counteract issues arising from declining cash use and help make payment systems more robust.

Cyberlaundering: from ghost Uber rides to gibberish on Amazon
The Guardian | Thu May 17, 2018 - The rapid expansion of fintech, e-commerce and mobile app services has made doing business and transferring money faster and more seamless than ever before. But it has also opened the floodgates to cyberlaunderers who are now finding ways to co-opt legitimate sites and platforms for their own means.

More from PaymentsSource

Zelle founder Paul Finch to step down
"It was a difficult decision, but we’re at a good spot to do this,” Finch, 55, said in an interview.

Why PayPal and iZettle need each other to fight Square
PayPal is reportedly looking to acquire iZettle—often called the Square of Europe—in a move that could blunt Square’s prospects in key markets.

Crypto starts to chip away at cash's dominance in legal pot shops
Even though legalized cannabis and cryptocurrency payments are still vexing markets by themselves, WebJoint and Alt Thirty Six are quickly looking to take their combined dispensary play to other businesses.

Data: Hispanics’ growing power in payments
Behavioral data about Hispanics’ use of digital payments is scarce, but the sector as a whole spends more than $1.4 trillion annually and its population growth rate significantly outpaces the mainstream, based on U.S. Census Bureau data.

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