5.8.19 Your morning briefing
The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the Web:
The U.K.'s Competition and Market Authority has cleared Visa's $320 million acquisition of Earthport, a U.K.-based cross-border payments company. The CMA had been looking into the deal's potential impact on payment competition, but determined no further study was necessary.
Visa on Wednesday morning announced it has "acquired control" of Earthport. The deal will allow Visa to use Earthport for transfers that skip public and private wires, speeding international payments at a time when fintechs are making strides in that market. The acquisition of Earthport takes Visa "beyond the card," empowering the card brand to support payments through bank accounts around the world, said Bill Sheley, head of global push payments for Visa in the release.
Earthport’s technology will allow Visa to further expand and scale Visa Direct’s rapidly growing portfolio of use cases, including funds disbursements, P-to-P, cross border payments, marketplace payouts, and bill payments, according to Visa, which reports that over the past 12 months Visa Direct’s transaction count growth has continued to be over 100%.
Visa had been in a bidding war with Mastercard for Earthport, though Mastercard eventually withdrew its offer and acquired Transfast, a company with a similar business model to Earthport.
In the clouds
Deutsche Bank has added open hybrid cloud technology from Red Hat to support its Fabric application platform, which is at the center of the bank's efforts to quickly digitize payments and other financial services.
The bank manages more than 13 million payments totaling about $1.5 trillion each day, and clears about $700 million in payments each day, making it one of the largest payment firms in the world. It is trying to address pressures in cross-border transactions, mobile payments and supply chain finance through an "Everything as a Service" model that adds new features through diverse range of cloud structures.
Deutsche also recently invested in Modo Payments, a move designed to improve Deutche's ability to implement web connections to third party payment fintechs, as well as earn revenue from similar projects at other banks.
Out of school
Cyber crooks have gotten their hands on an undetermined number of card numbers by hacking the sites of more than 200 college campus stores.
The card skimmers uploaded malicious code onto a server accessed by the book and merchandise stores, according to Gizmodo. Card skimming has grown as a payment crime since groups have developed ways to rob e-commerce sites and online payment systems.
The names of the universities and the scale of the theft have not been disclosed.
Mastercard and business payment company Edenred are testing a biometric card in Mexico to support benefit transactions and other government disbursements.
The card has a fingerprint sensor that verifies the cardholder for in-store purchases and works at any EMV-enabled terminal. Mastercard is also partnering with Sonora, the Mexican state social support system, on the project.
CU digital relaunch
The credit union services organization Co-op Financial Services has relaunched its digital ecosystem to accommodate the fast growth of payments and general financial services technology.
The structure includes a specific vertical for credit, debit and prepaid products, along with digital wallets, fitness wearables and third-party Pay apps. Other verticals include tools for integration, analytics, security, consulting and digital services.
From the Web
Why bitcoin isn't a big focus yet at PayPal
Yahoo Finance | Tue May 7, 2019 - PayPal isn’t yet entirely sold on bitcoin being the future of payments. “We have teams clearly working on blockchain and cryptocurrency as well, and we want to take part in that in whatever form that takes in the future — I just think it’s a little early on right,” PayPal Chief Financial Officer John Rainey said.
FTC Sues Smart Backpack Crowdfunder Who Spent Proceeds On Bitcoin
CoinDesk | Tue May 7, 2019 - The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is suing a startup that promised its crowdfunding backers a smart backpack but instead spent its proceeds on bitcoin and credit card bills. The complaint states that Douglas Monahan and his company iBackPack of Texas, LLC, raised $800,000 from consumers to “develop a handful of products” including a smart backpack.
New identity theft protection program announced during Melaleuca convention in Salt Lake City
ABC News | Tue May 7, 2019 - A new identity theft protection program was announced during the Melaleuca Convention in Salt Lake City last week. Melaleuca made an announcement during the convention it will offer an identity theft protection program called InfoGuard to customers and the general public.
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