5.8.19 Your morning briefing

Register now

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

Go ahead
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.

Biometric pilot
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.

Mastercard has tested biometric payments in Italy and has developed a kit that enables consumers to register their own fingerprint on biometric cards.

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.

Co-op was a relatively early adopter of faster payments processing and artificial intelligence for security.

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.

More from PaymentsSource

To fully automate B2B payments, PayStand emphasizes receivables
More businesses are converting to electronic documents and management tools to streamline operations and cut costs, but those upgrades often skip the last part of that journey — how to accept B2B payments in a digital economy.

MyPINpad, Clik partner on Asian mobile payments authorization
Payment acceptance and secure authorization software provider myPINpad is partnering with payments aggregator Clik in Southeast Asia to offer merchants PIN-based security on mobile devices.

Amazon Go's New York store opens its doors — to cash
Caving to pressure from lawmakers who recently cracked down on stores that eschew cash, Amazon has altered its business model to accept cash at its newest Amazon Go convenience stores and bookstores.

AI can peer through the cracks of travel payment fraud
Auditing expense reports requires auditors to closely examine each expense to verify if the correct receipts are attached, and make sure the receipt matches the information input by the employee.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.