11.27.18 Your morning briefing

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

Monopoly battle
The U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority has completed an initial investigation of PayPal's iZettle acquisition and contends the deal could result in higher prices and lower quality in the U.K., reports the Independent.

PayPal and iZettle face pressure to adjust the deal, or face a deeper investigation by the U.K. government. The CMA applied similar pressure to extract adjustments from Mastercard for the card brand's acquisition of VocaLink in 2017.

iZettle is a key part of PayPal's strategy to combat American fintechs such as Square and Stripe for merchant share in Europe.
Not extinct, but special
There's plenty of speculation as to what will become of cash as digital transactions mature, ranging from a steep decline to a resilient power that will remain a major part of commerce.

The Reserve Bank of Australia's taking a middle ground, using current stats to predict the decline of cash, but saying specific use cases will emerge that will make cash a "niche" payment instrument, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.

The RBA is basing its prediction on the popularity of contactless payments, which now make up 60 percent of all digital payments in Australia. The RBA is more bearish on checks, predicting checks will become obsolete because the current rate of three checks per year per person will make it costly to maintain check processing.

Watch the train
Australia's embrace of transit payment technology is accelerating, with the most recent deployments providing guidance for projects in other countries.

Sydney's trains will soon adopt contactless payments, following a successful trial on the metropolitan area's ferries and light rail. Fare payments via contactless cards, mobile apps, smartwatches and wearables are all part of the project.

Cubic, the contractor that is upgrading Sydney's transit ticketing and payment systems, says it will export the technology to other cities where transit projects are underway, such as New York, Boston, and San Francisco.

Monzo's crowd
Monzo, the U.K. payments fintech that has expanded into banking, is seeking to raise about $30 million in a new crowdfunding campaign.

That follows a more traditional funding round of about $110 million. Monzo is unusually candid with its consumers, including profuse apologies for technology glitches and requests to minimizing use of an expensive app.

In 2016, it raised about $1.4 million in 96 seconds in an earlier crowdfunding campaign, reports Finextra.

Cyber wave
Cyber Monday was on pace to reach nearly $8 billion in U.S. sales, reports Reuters, which puts the figure well above 2017's Cyber Monday total of about $6.5 billion.

But Reuters did anecdotally report complaints about the volume of online ads promoting Cyber Monday sales, an increasing challenge as e-commerce marketing becomes more social and complex. The wire service also noted the volume of payments could stress existing systems, a common concern among merchant acquiring experts.

From the Web

USPS Security Flaw Exposes Personal Data of 60 Million People
Fortune | Mon November 26, 2018 - A security hole in a mail preview program from the U.S. Postal Service could have exposed the data of more than 60 million customers, giving third parties access to information including when critical documents and checks are scheduled to arrive in people’s mailboxes. An anonymous researcher discovered the weakness in the “Informed Visibility” service, noting that a web component called an API allowed pretty much anyone with a USPS account to view details of other users and, in some cases, to modify those people’s account details.

The only currency worse than bitcoin is Venezuela’s
The Washington Post | Mon November 26, 2018 - If nothing else, bitcoin was supposed to protect people from governments that were destroying their own currencies — governments such as Venezuela’s, where inflation is said to be somewhere around 49,000 percent right now. Lately though, bitcoin hasn’t fulfilled that mission.

Tencent partners with Line on mobile payments in Japan, heating up competition with Alibaba’s Alipay
South China Morning Post | Tue November 27, 2018 - Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings and Japanese messaging app operator Line are joining hands to provide payment services in Japan, the two companies announced on Tuesday. Through the tie-up Japanese merchants will be able to use an integrated payments system to serve local users of Line Pay, the Japanese app’s payment service, as well as Chinese tourists who use WeChat Pay, the payment system incorporated within Tencent’s messaging and social media app WeChat, according to a statement by Tencent.

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Venmo battles P2P fraud as the app becomes a star attraction at PayPal
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