9.18.18 Your morning briefing

Register now

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

That settles it?
Visa and Mastercard agreed to pay between $5.54 billion and $6.24 billion to settle a long-running merchant lawsuit over card fees, according to a court filing Tuesday.

The conflict dates to 2005, when merchants accused the card networks (then owned by banks) of antitrust violations. The parties reached a $5.7 billion settlement in 2013, but that was rejected by an appeals court.

The Tuesday settlement focuses just on monetary damages; the earlier settlement also included changes to Visa and Mastercard rules.

On the Go
Amazon has been slow and steady in developing its cashierless technology, but there are signs its expansion is picking up.

The first Amazon Go store outside of Seattle has opened, in Chicago's Loop. That joins the three Amazon Go locations in Seattle, with others planned for New York and San Francisco.

The Chicago Tribune reports the new location is in an existing Amazon-occupied office building, and is about 2,000 square feet.

Sea cruise
Six Payment Services has launched an in-app mobile payment option for cruise or ferry companies to embed in their own apps.

The feature will allow passengers to book and pay for trips and other expenses while on board within the same user experience. Six is adding the technology as it prepares to expand outside of its European footprint to the U.S.

Similar to airlines, cruise companies often have a hard time deploying mobile payments because the supporting technology was designed for use on land.

No contact
Europe has jumped into the lead on contactless transactions among global regions, with the technology's share of in-store transactions reaching 50 percent.

The technology is also still expanding quickly, with a 97 percent jump so far this year, according to Mastercard.

Transportation systems are driving the growth in contactless payments, as many cities adopt the option for mass transit and other modes, Mastercard reports, adding that in nations such as Poland, 80 percent of transactions are now contactless.

Smart city
Singapore has debuted a federated QR code to ensure interoperability for more than two dozen payment schemes.

The Singapore Quick Response Code will include PayNow, Nets, GrabPay and Singtel Dash, covering ride sharing, retail and mobile commerce, reports The Straits Times. It also includes Alipay, WeChat Pay, Visa and Mastercard.

Singapore has launched several mobile projects designed to share payments with other activities, such as parking and building access.

From the Web

Ripple hints its cryptocurrency product will go live 'in the next month or so'
CNBC | Mon September 17, 2018 - Blockchain start-up Ripple could launch a commercial application of its cryptocurrency-focused product "in the next month or so," an executive at the company said. Sagar Sarbhai, head of regulatory relations for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East at Ripple, said Monday that the firm was making significant headway with its xRapid product, which is aimed at helping banks speed up transactions by using the cryptocurrency XRP.

Americans prefer cash over credit for small purchases
Fox Business | Mon September 17, 2018 - Nearly half (45 percent) of consumers who own a rewards credit card say they prefer using cash for purchases under $10, according to a new survey from CreditCards.com. Debit cards (30 percent) are second and credit cards (23 percent) rank third as the methods Americans prefer to use when buying cheaper items. The most popular reason for avoiding credit card use, even with the incentive of getting cash back or travel miles, is that other payment methods are easier or quicker for items under $10.

Fund transfers between Alipay and WeChat Pay around the corner as Hong Kong launches faster payments service
South China Morning Post | Mon September 17, 2018 - Hong Kong customers of Alipay and WeChat Pay, the two dominant cashless payment operators in China, the world’s largest internet market, will be able to transfer funds from each other for the first time, through the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s Faster Payment System. The service will be available from September 30, but the customers of 10 e-wallet operators as well as 21 banks – including HSBC, Hang Seng Bank, Citibank, Standard Chartered Bank, Bank of East Asia and Bank of China Hong Kong – can now start registering for the service.

More from PaymentsSource

As more fraudsters target phone centers, technology answers the call
With technology tightening defenses against account fraud, scammers increasingly turn to what they view as the weakest link: the human being at a call center.

Refund checks sent to more than 430,000 NetSpend prepaid card users
The payments, which total more than $10 million, stem from a 2017 settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. The agency charged that NetSpend deceived consumers by advertising that they could get immediate access to their funds.

Stripe Terminal addresses blurring of e-commerce, physical POS
Stripe is making a Stripe Terminal available to its e-commerce clients, looking to unify online and physical point of sale payment streams.

China UnionPay to offer virtual corporate cards in Europe
In a continued effort to expand beyond China's borders, China UnionPay will reportedly work with a U.K. company to issue issuing virtual corporate cards next month in Europe.

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