3.21.19 Your morning briefing

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

Amazon signs with Worldpay
Worldpay, which is currently in the process of becoming part of FIS, has entered a deal with Amazon to become its first acquirer, TechCrunch reports.

The deal will give Amazon the ability to handle payments outside of its "walled garden," the article states.

It also gives merchants a way to tap into Amazon's data, such as enabling merchants to ship to addresses that Amazon already has on file.

Bigger phish
Spear phishing — a variant of phishing that targets specific people or groups — is getting more sophisticated. Eighty-three percent of spear phishing attacks impersonate a brand known and trusted by the victim, according to new research from Barracuda Networks.

While big tech brands such as Apple and Microsoft are often impersonated, one in five of these attacks involves the brand of a bank or other financial institution, Gizmodo says in its coverage of the study.

Another variant of this attack impersonates someone in the higher ranks of the company the victim works for. In such instances, the phishers hope the executive's rank and sense of urgency outweigh the victim's skepticism.

Google Pay makes headway
Google Pay is going big with 32 new financial institutions — with an emphasis on credit unions — added this week in the U.S., 9to5google reports.

This follows 11 banks added earlier this month, and puts Google on track to have 2,000 financial institutions supporting its mobile wallet within the next three months, the article predicts.

Google Pay is also expanding globally, having recently signed with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation will support Google Pay for ticketing and payments.

Picture imperfect
The security firm Imperva has found a vulnerability — which has since been patched — that exposed location history data in Google Photos.

Such data could help a hacker form a more complete profile of a victim, particularly as photo-sharing and payments get more tightly linked, such as through Instagram's addition of a purchasing feature.

Indeed, Facebook Messenger, which has a P2P function built-in, suffered from a similar flaw, Engadget reports.

From the Web
Square Is Staffing up for a New Cryptocurrency Unit, Says Jack Dorsey
Fortune | Wed March 20, 2019 - Square CEO Jack Dorsey said he wants to hire a few cryptocurrency engineers and a designer, to conduct work that will contribute to advancing an accessible, Internet-based financial system that benefits the greater community.

McDonald’s in the Philippines has partnered with Loyalcoin
Yahoo Finance | Wed March 20, 2019 - McDonald’s lovers in the Philippines can now nab themselves a free burger by signing up to the Loyalcoin crypto-rewards system.

PayPal urged to block essay firm cheats
BBC News | Wed March 20, 2019 - The education secretary is calling on payments firms such as PayPal to block transactions for essay writing firms, in a bid to beat university cheats.

More from PaymentsSource
Why the U.K. needs a different strategy for social media payments
There is a growing proliferation of social P2P technologies within the U.K. banking sector, but the market for such payments is vastly different from that in the U.S., where social payment apps have found a welcoming audience.

How the cashless crackdown will change Amazon Go
Legislation banning shops from refusing to accept cash has moved swiftly this year. But this trend is running head-on against retail models like Amazon Go, which are built from the ground up to operate without cash.

How biometric ATMs are entering mainstream use
Until recently, biometric ATMs were very hard to find in developed markets other than Brazil, India and Japan.

Customer-facing employees need to be held accountable in AML fight
With heightened scrutiny from regulators and the public for wrongdoing, financial institutions need to put more focus on preventing mistakes in the first place.

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