Morning Brief 10.29.19: U.K. threatens crackdown over payment outage glitches

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

Calling for a cleanup

Bank and payment processor IT failures in the U.K. are mounting, and banks and processors that can't keep their systems up and running may soon be paying fines.

Major banks in the U.K. suffer more than 10 online outages per month, reports the BBC, citing a Treasury Committee report that detailed consumers being left "cashless and cut off" as online payment systems freeze while cash support also declines. The report also blames cloud services and the use of third parties to support payments, and hints at higher levies on banks to cover the costs of outages.

The outages have covered banks, card companies and fintechs of all sizes, and have often resulted from the fast pace of deployment of new payment technology. Politicians have spurred some response in the recent past, as Visa released more information about a 2018 outage under parliamentary pressure.

Breach in Italy

UniCredit has reported a data breach that impacted about 3 million people in the country, including information that could contribute to ID theft and payment fraud, such as emails and phone numbers.
It's the third security incident in the past few years at UniCredit, Italy's largest bank, reports Reuters. The bank has spent more than $3 billion in the past three years to improve IT security, the wire service added.
An internal investigation is underway, and the bank did not disclose how the breach happened.

Product placement

NBCUniversal is piloting advertising technology that allows purchases of items featured in a television show that's currently airing.
The purchases use a QR code, which pops up on the screen during specific moments of a show. Viewers can point their smartphone camera at the code and be routed to a sponsor's e-commerce site, reports TechCrunch.
NBC has tested the technology in mostly unscripted programming such as sporting events, and plans to gradually add more shows in the coming weeks.

New exec

Mastercard has named Marla Blow as its North American Lead for the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, a new role designed to build programs that advance financial security and promote inclusive financial development in the U.S. and Canada.
Blow was previously CEO of FS Card, a credit card firm that specializes in financial inclusion and payment products for consumers who normally would borrow small-dollar loans.
She has also served on the board of FactorTrust, which provides consumer data for underbanked markets.

Adding partners

Citi's Treasury and Trade Solutions is expanding its pending institutional payments and financial services bundle by adding Global Payments' card processing and PPRO's access to local payment methods.
Called Spring by Citi, the service will use Mastercard's payments gateway to allow institutional merchants to support cards, e-wallets and digital transfers such as request to pay, instant payment and open banking.
Spring is part of Citi's effort to counter the fintech encroachment on B2B and supply chain services by pairing business payments with consumer services.

From the web

American Cancer Society’s online store infected with credit card stealing malware
TECHCRUNCH | Mon October 28, 2019
The American Cancer Society’s online store has become the latest victim of credit card-stealing malware. Security researcher Willem de Groot found the malware on the organization’s store website, buried in obfuscated code designed to look like legitimate analytics code. The code was designed to scrape credit card payments from the page, like similar attacks targeting British Airways, Ticketmaster, AeroGarden and Newegg.

Kenya issues smart ID cards to protect fishing and forests
REUTERS | Mon October 28, 2019
Fishing communities on Kenya’s north coast will be the first to benefit from “smart” identity cards aimed at distinguishing genuine fishermen and loggers from poachers who raid waters and cut down mangroves vital to ease climate change threats. Each government-issued Mvuvi card - the word means “fisher” in Swahili - features a photo and fingerprint taken from its registered owner.

IDnow pulls in $40M growth equity for its identity verification platform
TECHCRUNCH | Mon October 28, 2019
Identity Verification-as-a-Service (“IVAAS”?!) is a pretty tortuous phrase. But it’s now established as a key tech area for the tech industry as startups like Onfido, Jumio and others have proved with large funding raises in the last few years. Verifying ID is now also a key part of the gig economy.

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