Morning Brief 1.30.20: Will techies bolt the U.K. because of Brexit?

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

Talent drain

As Brexit is finalized, the U.K.'s fintech talent shortage is heightening, as payment and financial professionals relocate or seek jobs in the U.S. or continental Europe.

Without a coordinated effort from financial firms, the government and educational institutions, the U.K. could fall dangerously behind, according to the Financial Services Taskforce, which bemoans the lack of a common vision despite the number of payment and fintech firms that have started in the U.K. in recent years.

About 17% of London's financial services workforce is from the EU, according to the taskforce. The U.K. faces a concerted effort from EU countries to attract fintechs because of the political uncertainty in the U.K.

Breach damage

Crooks that stole credit and debit cards during a hack of convenience chain Wawa are now selling the accounts on the internet.

There are potentially millions of cards up for sale, reports Fortune, explaining a well-known hacker called Joker Stash has posted card data on the dark web.

Wawa told the magazine it is working with law enforcement and security partners to monitor previous and current security threats tied to its payment system.

Fee free

A group of Australian retail trade groups is lobbying to dump transaction fees for contactless payments.

Called the Fairer Merchant Fees Alliance, it's targeting regulators, banks and elected officials to change processing, reports ChannelNews.

An $A100 payment draws a fee of about 40 cents, which is four times more than an average EFTPOS fee, the Australian paper explains.

CBDC on the march

More countries are considering central bank digital currencies as a way to counter the influence of large companies like Facebook and to encourage financial inclusion.

India's pending national strategy for distributed ledgers proposes a digital Indian rupee and a national blockchain, reports Cointelegraph. The digital rupee should be issued by India's central bank and managed directly by the government, according to the proposal. The draft also includes a call for more regulatory clarity in cryptocurrency and the fintech industry.

India's proposal comes as the World Economic Forum develops an international guide for central bank digital currencies.

From the Web

Coinbase wants to make it easier for global institutional clients to store their crypto
CNBC | Wed January 29, 2020
The company on Wednesday announced that it would set up Coinbase Custody International, a new entity based in the Irish capital, to further expand its institutional efforts abroad. While it already acts as a custodian for clients based in Europe, Coinbase claims the new unit will be more localized to suit their needs.

EU eyes phasing out smallest euro cent coins
REUTERS | Wed January 29, 2020
The European Commission is considering a proposal to phase out 1-euro cent and 2-euro cent coins, an EU document showed, in what would be a cost-saving move as the coins’ production and handling costs often exceed their face value. Among the 19 euro zone states, the Netherlands, Finland, Ireland, Belgium and Italy have already passed rules that require or encourage rounding cash payments in an attempt to reduce the use of the two denominations.

Bankin’ and Bridge launch payment API using bank transfers
TECHCRUNCH | Wed January 29, 2020
French startup Bankin’ has introduced Bridge Pay this week, an API that lets you initiate payments using bank transfers from your app. Think about it as a sort of Stripe, but for bank transfers. The API currently covers 12 major French banks, which represent around 90% of retail bank accounts in France.

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