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Global sandbox
Running counter to Brexit and the gains isolationist political parties have made around the world, the fintech industry is pushing for more international collaboration and fewer barriers.

Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition for the U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority, gave a speech on Monday detailing the FCA's plans for a global fintech sandbox.

The FCA has long offered testing sandbox where startups can run programs with a temporary break from some regulations. The authority has long wanted to export that idea, and this week released more details about its goals, including work with partners in the EU, U.S. and Asia to build a blueprint for cross-border fintech testing, based on feedback from other regulators.

London at night
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Cryptocontraband
President Trump has banned U.S. citizens and other parties from using Venezuela's cryptocurrency, the Petro.

The energy-based Petro launched in February, and is seen as a way to get around sanctions from the U.S., which Venezuelan President Maduro refers to as "Superman." Maduro has touted sales of the Petro, but has not produced evidence to back his claims.

The Petro is also under pressure within Venezuela, as some members of the country's congress have called the currency unconstitutional.

Facebook aims at Patreon
The artist funding site Patreon has been successful enough to draw competition from other startups, but may be facing its largest rival yet.

TechCrunch reports Facebook is enhancing its Creator App, planning to add Android availability, and launching new tools. A beta program will enable social media "stars" to build new features, along with new monetization features.

Facebook will allow some users to register for subscription payments to creators in exchange for premium content, with Facebook taking a cut after an introductory period. The feature will also support in-app payments for content.

Different hats
Cryptocurrency rules are at best confusing, and often rely on perspective.

Finextra reports Mark Carney, in his role as chair of the Financial Stability Board, has written a letter to G20 finance ministers saying cryptocurrencies do not pose a risk to global financial stability.

That follows an early note from Carney, acting as Bank of England governor, which called for new rules on cryptocurrencies to protect the public and financial markets. Carney's letter to G20 did say that posture could change if cryptocurrencies become more entrenched in global markets.

From the Web

Macy's Ramps Up Tech Push With Virtual Reality and Personalized Online Shopping
Fortune | Mon Mar 19, 2018 - Following its announcement reported last week by Fortune that Macy’s would introduce mobile checkout at most stores by year-end, the department store chain said on Monday that it will update its shopping app and site this year so the merchandise it suggests to shoppers is more in tune with their interests. Macy’s is also introducing virtual reality to the furniture departments at 60 of its 650 stores.

Biometric payments are attractive for Singaporeans who just want to forget PINs and passwords
South China Morning Post | Tue Mar 20, 2018 - In a study conducted by Visa, 97 per cent of 500 Singapore consumers said they were interested in using biometric methods to verify their identity, while 96 per cent said they would like to use such methods for making payments. As many as 41 per cent also said that biometric authentication is more secure compared to passwords and PINs as they can better confirm individual identities.

Need cash? No debit card? No problem.
NBC News | Mon Mar 19, 2018 - Forgot your debit card and you need cash? No problem if you bank with Fifth Third. Monday, they announced card-free ATMs. You still have to go to the ATM but you use your phone and Fifth Third's mobile app to withdraw your cash. To withdraw money without a debit card, customers sign into Fifth Third’s mobile banking app, choose the account from which they want to withdraw the cash and then tap on the new "Cardless ATM" icon. Then they touch anywhere on a Fifth Third Bank ATM screen and scan the code that appears. Then, enter their PIN.

More from PaymentsSource

Four months later, what became of Real Time Payments?
The Clearing House expected to take some time to introduce its new network to financial institutions and play up its benefits.

Beyond data sharing, open banking boosts omnichannel payments
Throughout the “user journey” from shopping to payment, a consumer can make different decisions without leaving the digital environment, whether through his mobile, his computer, or a digital assistant such as Amazon Echo or Google Home, writes Ignasi Barri, who works on business development, innovation and digital transformation at GFT IT Consulting.

Google Pay, in a bid for open payments, takes transit fare out of the station
Mass transportation is experiencing an innovation wave similar to retail, as transactions migrate from fixed points of sale inside transit networks to an open system that encourages a more fluid, flexible rider experience.

Alipay expands U.S. acceptance with FreedomPay, First Data deals
Alipay has partnered with FreedomPay and expanded an existing deal with First Data to deepen U.S. merchant acceptance at key destinations for Chinese tourists.