Voters provide a path for gig, pot payments; Paytm adds contactless card

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The gig vote

As the presidential and congressional election counts continue, some key trends that impact the payments industry are emerging from referendums.

Californians voted against a law that requires a large portion of contractors, such as rideshare drivers, to be classified as employees — which is more expensive for companies Uber and Lyft. Both companies lobbied against the law.

As the gig economy grew, Uber and Lyft experimented with ways to deliver payments to drivers much faster, often relying on the debit-based Visa Direct and Mastercard Moneysend for express payments.

Other state referendums had good news for cannabis merchants, as more states legalized marijuana, thus creating political cover to support digital payments over cash and informal workarounds.

Pay back

The U.K. consumer group Which? is pressuring banks to reimburse victims of a scam that involves hackers taking over consumers' computers and installing remote access software to steal payment credentials, or trick consumers into making phony payments.

The hackers pose as IT workers, usually from a recognizable outside company "acting on behalf" of the bank, like Microsoft, which then dupes the victims into allowing the malware installation, reports Finextra.

The consumer group contends the banks need to provide better protection, and should compensate the victims, citing research from Action Fraud saying these attacks cost about $20 million in the past 12 months.

Expanding network

Apple Pay has been around for six years, but it's still adding support, in this case leaning into an Isreali government initiative to push contactless payments.

Apple will support Isracard, and Apple is also in talks with other credit card companies. Apple Pay also recently added Bank of Ireland as the app looks to round out its global reach.

Israel recently passed a law that requires all businesses to be ready to accept contactless payments by Nov. 30, reports 9to5Mac.

Tapping in

Paytm has partnered with SBI Cards and Payment Services to issue a credit card that's designed to bring new consumers into the credit market as well as encourage shopping practices that have expanded during the pandemic.

The card includes spend controls and management tools that are designed to build an incremental credit profile, reports the Economic Times. It's a tactic card issues often use for consumers that don't have a credit profile.

There is also a Tap to Pay option for Paytm customers, part of the payment app's appeal to consumers and merchants looking to reduce contact and cash handling during the coronavirus outbreak. Paytm is in the midst of a push to issue more virtual cards.

From the web

Vivid Money raises $17.6 million for its European challenger bank
TECHCRUNCH | Thursday, November 5, 2020
German fintech startup Vivid Money has raised a $17.6 million Series A funding round (€15 million). Ribbit Capital is leading the investment. Today’s funding round gives Vivid Money a valuation of $117 million (€100 million).

Ant's IPO fiasco set to clip its wings and dent its value
REUTERS | Wednesday, November 4, 2020
China's surprise suspension of Ant Group's record $37 billion listing is likely to delay rather than destroy its chances of a stock market debut though the financial technology giant's valuation and growth prospects are set to take a hit.

Someone has transferred ~$1 billion from a bitcoin wallet quiet since 2015
ARS TECHNICA | Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Wallet is likely tied to Silk Road, the underground crime bazaar shut down in 2013.

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