Welcome to the PaymentsSource Morning Briefing, delivered daily. The information you need to start your day, including top headlines from PaymentsSource and around the Web:
Former BofE officer to lead Visa in Europe: Visa has named Charlotte Hogg to head its European operations. Hogg was formerly deputy governor at the Bank of England and was seen as a potential successor to BofE governor Mark Carney, but was forced to resign after not disclosing her brother's position at Barclays, a lapse that was discovered during a Treasury Select Committee review into Hogg's appointment as deputy governor, according to Finextra. Hogg joins Visa's European unit about a year after it was formally absorbed by Visa and as it takes on several large technology projects. "Charlotte's depth of experience and outstanding accomplishments in the European financial services market will be a great addition to our merchant and financial relationships," said Al Kelly, CEO of Visa, in a release. "She will lead the effort to expand our merchant and financial institution relationships, and capitalize on the tremendous growth opportunity in the European region."
Alipay in fashion: Alipay is aggressively targeting merchants to build its business in the U.S., a strategy that includes a collaboration with Rebecca Minkoff Partners to enable payments for the global lifestyle brand. The launch coincides with New York Fashion Week, and like most Alipay partnerships will add to the number of places Chinese travelers can make purchases while in the U.S. In the case of Rebecca Minkoff, Alipay's mobile wallet will be supported at stores in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and online. "By accepting Alipay, Rebecca Minkoff is able to target the right shopper through our Discover platform to ensure that the Chinese consumers can enjoy the best experience in-store or online without any language or payments barriers," said Souheil Badran, president of Alipay North America in a release.
Voice of ANZ: ANZ will deploy Voice ID on its mobile banking app, powering payments for higher-value transactions of more than $1,000 without having to enter added passwords, PINs or visiting a branch. The Australian bank will use voice biometric technology from Nuance to authenticate users. ANZ tested the program over the past few months, and announced it will make voice payments available initially on its Grow by ANZ app with other channels to follow. The bank envisions small businesses will be among the early users of the feature. "This is a significant security update that will make it easier for our customers to complete high value transactions on their smartphones," said Peter Dalton, managing director of customer experience and digital channels for ANZ, in a release.
Investors shine on Italian card alternative: Mobile payment company Satispay has closed a funding round of about $25 million that comes from a variety of technology investors. Former Google Wallet and Money 20/20 co-founders Jonathan Weiner and Ray Iglesias are among the investors, as are Giuseppe Donagemma, former vice president of networks for Samsung Electronics; and industrial partner and investor Iccrea Banca, according to an announcement from the startup. Another investor, Banca Etica, has also signed a distribution agreement. Satispay does not use credit or debit cards, instead relying on WhatsApp! Messages to execute transfers.
From the Web
'Serious' security flaws found on official UK tax site
BBC | Fri Sep 8, 2017 - The UK tax office must improve its handling of website security problems, says an expert who spent 57 days trying to report a bug. The researcher, called Zemnmez, found two separate flaws on HMRC's online tax service. He said finding who to report the issues to was more challenging than finding the bugs. HMRC said it had addressed the problems and was looking at improving ways for people to get in touch. Zemnmez said exploiting either flaw could have let attackers view or modify tax records or harvest key details from Britons. "I spent days reaching out to half a dozen different government social media accounts attempting to find where the right place to go was and got nothing meaningful in response," he told the BBC. The UK's National Cyber Security Centre - contacted through friends with intelligence connections - was key in helping get the security problems solved, he added.
The promise of managing identity on the blockchain
TechCrunch | Sun Sep 10, 2017 - Blockchain, the secure distributed ledger technology first created to track bitcoin ownership, has taken on a number of new roles in recent years tracking anything of value from diamonds to real estate deeds to contracts. The blockchain offers the promise of a trusted record that can reduce fraud. Some industry experts say that over the coming years, it could be used to control identity information in a more secure fashion. The argument goes that if our identity were on the blockchain, it would give us more control over this information, and with proper applications allow us to present just the minimum amount of information a given party needs to identify us. That could be your date of birth at a bar, your credit score at a bank or a unique identifier to access an online service. It’s unclear if the blockchain can be that identity panacea that some have suggested, but there are a range of opinions on the matter.
Blockchain Startup R3 Sues Rival Ripple Labs
Fortune | Sat Sep 9, 2017 - New York-based blockchain startup R3 has sued rival company Ripple Labs over a contract to purchase Ripple's digital currency XRP, according to a lawsuit filed in the Delaware Chancery Court on Friday. R3 and Ripple are two of the most well known blockchain companies and are both backed by large banks. In September 2016 the two companies had entered an agreement giving R3, the right to purchase up to 5 billion XRPs at a price of $0.0085 per unit at any point by September 2019, according to the lawsuit. In June 2017 Ripple's chief executive Brad Garlinghouse attempted to terminate the options contract through an email to R3's chief executive David Rutter, according to the lawsuit. R3 alleges that the contract does not give Ripple the right to terminate it unilaterally and is asking the court to declare that it is entitled to all its rights, including purchasing the XRP anytime over the next two years.
More from PaymentsSource
First Data, struck by storms, turns a hotel into a distribution center
First Data is one of many payments companies working to get its customers back up and running in the wake of the severe storms, but it's also a victim — its center in Sugarland, Texas, suffered flooding, causing the Atlanta-based company to set up temporary operations at a hotel in Houston for 400 staff.
PayThink 'Gig' economy payments beat B-to-B hands down
Beneath the elegant interface of the "gig economy" that makes it so easy to hail a ride on a busy Friday evening, or order takeout from that Thai fusion restaurant, is a sophisticated set of APIs that power the payments for both Lyft and Postmates.
Zelle says 4M users have enrolled since June launch
More than 4 million people have enrolled in Zelle, the mobile phone-based payment network backed by many of the nation’s largest banks, since its launch in June.
The Equifax breach: A much needed catastrophe
In a shockingly understated comment on what is probably the largest data breach in history, Equifax’s CEO Richard Smith said, “This is clearly a disappointing event for our company, and one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do. I apologize to consumers and our business customers for the concern and frustration this causes."