8.28.19 Your morning briefing

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

Playing catch-up

Despite controversies regarding law enforcement usage, facial recognition for payments is taking off fast in China, leading WeChat to build a new point of sale terminal that relies on face scans for transactions.

Called the Frog Pro, WeChat demonstrated the technology at a Chinese conference in an attempt to build its offline payments reach, reports Technode, which adds WeChat can reach an addressable market that includes supermarkets and hotels, where facial recognition is widely used.

WeChat has been testing Frog Pro at thousands of retail locations. It trails rival Alipay, which has offered a "smile to pay" feature for about two years.

Envirocard

CaixaBank in September will begin releasing biodegradable cards, and plans to issue about 150,000 per year.

The bank is specifically targeting gift cards, which usually expire in two years, or the same shelf life of the biodegradable cards, which are made from materials obtained from corn starch. Biodegradable gift cards have also gained ground with merchants.

Traditional plastic cards derive from oil and decompose over a period of 100 to 1,000 years, according to the bank.

Reaching out

Facebook has launched a bug bounty for its Libra cryptocurrency project, offering up to $10,000 to external developers who spot a security issue or another problem, reports CoinDesk.

The move comes almost simultaneously as Facebook's CryptoZombies tutorial for external coders, another attempt to expand participation in Libra beyond Facebook and its 28 partners on the cryptocurrency project.

Facebook has faced almost constant pushback from regulators since announcing Libra, which has resulted in reports that the project's collaborators may leave the initiative.

QR train

Paytm has added QR code-based ticketing for the Deli Metro Rail Corporation's Airport express line, allowing riders to pay without being at the metro station. Riders instead enter the source and destination stations and make payments on their phones.

Google Pay earlier this year added support for transit payments in India, and transit systems globally have been quickly upgrading payments technology in the past year.

Payments in India are still largely cash-based despite myriad efforts to digitize transactions, and transit payments have served as a gateway to digital payments in other markets.

From the Web

Former PayPal executive joins crypto lending startup Cred as CFO
YAHOO FINANCE | Tue August 27, 2019
Cryptocurrency lending and borrowing startup Cred has hired former PayPal executive as its chief financial officer (CFO). The executive, Joe Podulka, worked as head of finance for PayPal Europe and PayPal New Ventures during 2010-2014. Podulka also had a stint at eBay in his 20+ years of experience.

The Gap Between Cash App and Venmo Is Getting Bigger
THE MOTLEY FOOL | Tue August 27, 2019
More people are downloading Square's Cash App than ever before. The peer-to-peer payments app hit a new record for monthly downloads in July, according to Instinet analyst Dan Dolev. Importantly, Square is consistently seeing more downloads per month than PayPal's Venmo, which popularized mobile peer-to-peer payments.

Globitex becomes the first Crypto business to join MasterCard’s program
COINGEEK | Tue August 27, 2019
Globitex, a cryptocurrency exchange based in Latvia, became the first crypto firm to join the Mastercard’s Lighthouse Development Program (LDP). According to the announcement, Globitex received LDP membership joining the select few in the program, which was launched in 2018 by MasterCard and NFT Ventures.

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