Morning Brief 8.5.30: Visa builds its services stack

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

Pivot point

New Zealand data management firm 9Spokes has entered a partnership with Visa to provide upgraded small business dashboarding technology.

Visa hopes to enhance the features its issuer network can offer to their own business clients, which are under pressure to make quick decisions to respond to the pandemic.

It's also another way for Visa to bolster its non-transactional services menu, an important source of revenue as the outbreak suppresses payment volumes.

Precious metals

Miami fintech Coro Global has launched a payment app to support buying, selling and other gold-based transactions.

Called CORO, the company hopes to take advantage of the rally in gold during the pandemic, a common move during an economic crisis as investors rush to stability. The price of gold recently passed $2,000 per ounce for the first time.

CORO positions itself a lot like a cryptocurrency wallet, enabling mobile payments for gold and easy digital exchanges into dollars or other traditional currencies to support retail payments. CORO also uses a distributed ledger called Hashgraph, which is designed to operate at high speeds.

Payment tracing

U.K. technology firm FinGo is piloting biometric vein mapping technology for a variety of purposes including age checks, payments and coronavirus contact tracing through the same app.

A bar called The Alchemist in Manchester is an initial merchant, along with universities in Denmark and sports venues. The biometric tech is an opt-in system that can prove age at a bar or for alcohol purchases, allow access, and also create a record of entry and payments for future use to trace infection.

Singapore has also tied biometrics, digital ID and transaction records to contact tracing, though the practice faces headwinds from data privacy rules, meaning most digital contact tracing will likely be decentralized.

Getting in touch

San Francisco-based technology startup Freetouch has introduced a product that allows people to use smartphones to remotely connect with shared touchscreens.

The firm contends this would eliminate any physical contact between ATMs, kiosks and other self-service point of sale terminals. It does this by adding a cursor overlay that turns the smartphone into a trackpad, or a remote control, for other displays.

The feature is accessed by snapping a QR code, and no app download or registration is required. Initial deployments include the Reagan Ranch Center, the former President's home that has been turned into a museum; and the observatory on top of the John Hancock Building in Chicago, which recently reopened.

Dining in-app

NCR Corp. has upgraded its core restaurant management platform Aloha to support contactless ordering and payment for dining rooms. Diners at restaurants with the feature can scan a QR code at the table to access the menu, order and pay within the restaurant’s app.

The technology links orders directly to restaurant kitchens for contactless dining inside restaurants and for curbside or restaurant pickup, NCR said in a press release.

The solution also supports new and existing loyalty programs and during the pilot phase restaurants reported increases in servers’ tip amounts of 2% to 3%.

Vesta invest

Vesta, a Portland, Ore.-based provider of payment fraud prevention technology, has received a funding boost from Singapore-based investment firm EDBI. Vesta will use the money to power Vesta’s expansion in the Asia Pacific zone, beginning with a new regional base in Singapore, according to a press release.

The amount of the new funding round wasn’t disclosed. It follows a $125 million infusion in capital from Goldfinch Partners in May. Ron Hynes, a longtime Mastercard prepaid card executive, is Vesta’s CEO.

From the Web

U.S. coronavirus fraud losses near $100 million as COVID scams double
REUTERS | Tuesday Aug 4 2020
U.S. losses from coronavirus-related fraud and identity theft have reached nearly $100 million since the pandemic emerged in March, while complaints of COVID-19 scams have at least doubled in most states, a consumer protection group said on Tuesday.

London-based Weezy raises seed funding for its 15-minute grocery delivery app
TECHCRUNCH | Wednesday Aug 5 2020
First there was same-day delivery. Then came one-hour delivery. Now a new London startup wants to make 15 minute delivery a thing.

Square Reports 600% Increase in Quarterly Bitcoin Revenue
COINDESK | Wednesday Aug 5 2020
The San Francisco payments company said revenue made from selling bitcoin to its Cash App customers in Q2 came to a total of $875 million – six times the amount in the same period in 2019.

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