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Visa takes a hand in Olympic payments: Visa frequently uses the Olympics to showcase new technology, and will use the upcoming Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea to push wearable technology. Visa and Lotte Department Store, a South Korean retail chain, are selling gloves with embedded Near Field Communication chips and stickers to power contactless payments. The gloves contain a dual interface chip and a contactless antenna that can make payments at about 1,000 Olympic venues and contactless readers in other markets. The mittens will have a prepaid value of KRW 30,000 or KRW 50,000 ($27 or $45). Visa will also offer four pins with the Olympic logo that can be used to make payments on site, and eight designed wearable stickers. In prior Olympics, Visa has tested payment rings in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and smartphone payments at the 2012 London Olympics through a partnership with Samsung. In each case, these deployments were a prelude to a broader rollout after the Olympics.
Payback time? Banks may have more liability for push payment scams under pending rules in the U.K. The country's Payments Systems Regulator is developing a model that will make it easier for victims to seek funds from their banks, reports The Independent. The consumer group Which? filed a complaint claiming consumers do not have rights to recover money from their bank after a "push payment" attack, or APP scams, in which people are tricked into sending funds to a crook. There have been more than $120 million in losses from this type of attack so far in 2017. A government review found banks in the U.K. are not approaching APP scams consistently, do not collect enough data to mitigate the attack threat, and most fraud detection systems cannot spot the scams. The new rules would base reimbursement on whether banks and payment companies had met standards on preventative techniques to respond to APP scams, as well the victim's level of personal care.
Stripe takes a stake in Monzo: Stripe's European expansion is well underway, and the company is adding to its presence in the region by taking part in an investment round in U.K. digital bank Monzo. Stripe is part of a group of investors that includes Goodwater Capital and Michael Moritz in a round of about $85 million, reports VentureCanvas. Monzo is also planning a crowdfunding campaign for 2018. While Monzo has had some technology glitches in the past year, it has also grown substantially to nearly a half million users from 100,000 at the beginning of 2017. Monzo is in the midst of a migration from is older prepaid card model, which the company said is expensive to maintain, to a new account structure that will support more diverse financial services. Monzo has set a goal of reaching profitability by the end of 2018 or early 2019, according to the company.
Mixed martial coins: The Ultimate Fighting Championship's pay-per-view site has been running a script from Coin Hive that forces computers into mining the Monero digital currency, reports The Register. The script generates alt-coins, earning funds for the party that installed the code. UFC did not comment on the installation, though The Register reports it's unlikely the fighting league installed the script given the lucrative revenue stream from its pay-per-view business. There have been more than 200 cases of sites installing Coin Hive's software, or having it installed by hackers. Such uncertainty about the source of the code is not unusual for Coin Hive. Earlier this year a similar script siphoned off as much of 60% of some users' processing time to mine Monero on the Showtime cable network's site, which streams programs such as Shameless and Homeland. The source of that incident was also unclear.
From the Web
Foreign payment card firms not required to establish JVs to enter local market: China central bank
Reuters | Wed Nov 8, 2017 - Chinese regulations do not require foreign payment card firms to establish joint ventures to operate in the onshore market, the central bank said on Wednesday. American Express and Visa have not submitted additional material required for review and the central bank cannot officially process their applications as of now, the People’s Bank of China said in a faxed statement to Reuters. Reuters reported on Tuesday that China was pressing foreign payment card companies to form local joint ventures for onshore operations, a move that would counter a pledge on market access that Beijing made to U.S. President Donald Trump.
Revolut is applying for a European banking license to become a true bank
TechCrunch | Tue Nov 7, 2017 - It’s hard to believe that fintech startup Revolut still doesn’t have a proper banking license. Many users will tell you that Revolut’s electronic wallets already feel like traditional bank accounts with an IBAN and a payment card. But the startup is finally applying for a proper banking license in Lithuania. This process is going to take a few months — the startup expects to get its license at some point during the first half of 2018. But if the company manages to convince the Bank of Lithuania that it deserves a banking license, Revolut will be able to offer credit and deposit services across the European Union thanks to the banking passport system. In other words, Revolut will become a bank.
Why investors need to start paying more attention to cryptocurrencies
Yahoo! Finance | Tue Nov 7, 2017 - Cryptocurrencies are essentially “New Money,” backed by independently operated computers and user faith in an open source algorithm, that runs on blockchain technology. According to MIT Technology Review, “A blockchain is a shared, permanent, encrypted dataset, created by a network of computers according to a set of software rules.” Understanding the operation of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies (e.g. bitcoin) can be daunting. Yet, they have become central to the discussion of investing and technology, so it’s time to dive in. Here are five reasons why cryptocurrencies are significant.
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USA Technologies to buy rival Cantaloupe Systems for $85 million
USA Technologies, a provider of payments technology enabling card and mobile payments at vending machines in the U.S., is buying Cantaloupe Systems, which has its own line of vending machine payments solutions in the U.S. and other markets, for $85 million.