Federal Trade Commission to investigate Equifax data breach

FTC probes Equifax, top Democrat likens it to Enron — Reuters — “The US Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday it was investigating Equifax Inc’s massive data breach, and a top Democrat suggested the credit monitoring company’s corporate leaders might need to resign… Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer compared Equifax to Enron, the US energy company that filed for bankruptcy in 2001 after revelations of a widespread accounting fraud.” 


US Senator asks Apple CEO to clarify Face ID privacy concerns

Sen Franken presses Apple to address privacy concerns over iPhone X’s ‘Face ID’ technology — Senator Al Franken — “Substantial questions remain about how Face ID will impact iPhone users’ privacy and security, and whether the technology will perform equally well on different groups of people. To offer clarity to the millions of Americans who use your products, I ask that you provide more information on how the company has processed these issues internally, as well as any additional steps that it intends to take to protect its users.” 


More than half of consumers in US, Canada and UK expect to abandon cash in next two years

Consumers to abandon cash by 2020 — Paysafe — “In Canada and the UK, contactless has paved the way for this new era of payments, with three out of five consumers regularly using it for purchases, 62% citing it as more convenient than cash, and 44% stating they preferred to shop in places that take contactless… However, it is America that is very much leading the way in new payment methods with nearly a third (31%) using mobile wallets and one in seven using cryptocurrencies.” 


UBS backs Car eWallet project that lets vehicles make their own payments

Secure payments ‘on the go’ with blockchain technology from ZF, UBS and IBM — IBM — “Auto manufacturers, technology companies, suppliers and mobility service providers are all driving the development of driverless cars. To support autonomous driving, however, these vehicles require a digital agent that can independently carry out tasks and authorize payments without the owner or user having to be active themselves.” 


Venmo moves into merchant payment processing

Venmo will allow users to pay at merchants like Williams-Sonoma — Recode — “Venmo oversaw US$8bn in transactions in Q2 of 2017, double what it did the year before, but has yet to find a way to monetize since the regular service is free. Merchant processing fees from partnerships like Williams-Sonoma would be the first step in making money from transactions… Earlier this year, Venmo started testing a physical debit card in which Venmo customers could use their balance toward purchases at all retailers.” 



Google to enter mobile payments market in India

Google to launch payment app ‘Tez’ in India — The Ken — “Google is expected to partner ‘several large private banks in India’ for its payment product, Tez. Besides its own UPI-based service, Google is expected to integrate third-party payment wallets such as Paytm and MobiKwik among others on its platform.” 


Rambus provides insight into the new EMVCo tokenization specifications

What EMV tokenization 2.0 means for the payments industry — Rambus — PARTNER NEWS — “One particularly positive development is the inclusion of a common set of definitions and terminology in the framework. This may sound simple, but it gives the ecosystem a way to communicate effectively and avoid confusion and delays. Players can now easily understand both the similarities and differences in supporting and implementing EMV tokenization with each of the international and domestic payment schemes.” 


Apple Pay to launch in UAE with support of six banks

Pay with your iPhone in UAE before end of the year — Gulf News — “The American tech giant confirmed on Wednesday that Apple Pay is scheduled to roll out in the UAE before the end of the year and will be made available to debit and credit card customers of Emirates NBD, Mashreq, HSBC, RakBank, Standard Chartered and Emirates Islamic.” 


Apple demos Face ID on iPhone X

Unlocking an iPhone X with Face ID

The new, tenth anniversary iPhone X will not include support for Touch ID and owners will instead use a combination of face recognition and a double click of an enlarged side button to make Apple Pay purchases, the iPhone maker has revealed. More


Apple launches Watch Series 3 with electronic SIM and tap-to-connect GymKit support

Apple Watch Series 3

The latest edition of the Apple Watch will come with a version that includes built-in support for cellular communications, enabled via a built-in “electronic SIM”, Apple COO Jeff Williams has revealed. The device, which will run watchOS 4, also supports GymKit, an API that lets users “connect to their favourite cardio equipment and experience two-way synchronization of data with just a tap.” More


Standard Chartered turns merchants into ATMs

No ATM needed: Standard Chartered partners startup SoCash on 400 cash withdrawal points — The Straits Times — “Instead of having to look for an ATM, Standard Chartered Bank customers now have the option of getting cash through SoCash, which has been integrated into the SC Mobile app… They simply key in the amount they want to withdraw and collect the cash from any outlet of a participating merchant. Withdrawals can range anywhere from S$20 (US$14.84) to a maximum of S$500 (US$371.09) daily.” 


UK challenger bank unveils open banking marketplace

Starling Bank’s Marketplace goes live — Starling Bank — “The Starling Marketplace is a brand new concept in banking whereby products from other fintech providers — and in the future lifestyle products — can sit within an easily browsed ecosystem all from within the app. These partners integrate with Starling Bank using their Open Banking and PSD2 compliant APIs… Starling is the first bank to have fully open, PSD2-ready APIs that allow collaboration between fintech companies.” 


Retailers ready to pay more for payments services that add value

Majority of EMEA retailers plan to increase investment in payments — ACI Worldwide — “55% of retailers and merchants in the EMEA region are planning to increase their investment into new payment capabilities in the next 18 to 24 months… 66% say they are willing to pay more for a broader range of payment services if they add value to their business. 89% say they would expect increased operational efficiency and 88% enhanced customer experience from their investment.” 


Finland’s central bank reports on the economics of Bitcoin

Monopoly without a monopolist : An economic analysis of the bitcoin payment system — Bank of Finland — “Owned by nobody and controlled by an almost immutable protocol the Bitcoin payment system is a platform with two main constituencies: users and profit-seeking miners who maintain the system’s infrastructure… We explore the future potential of such systems and provide design suggestions.” 




Citi Bot to answer customer queries via Facebook Messenger

Citi launches first Facebook Messenger banking chatbot in Singapore that provides customer account information — Citigroup — “Citi Bot will be able to address a range of common customer needs, including account-specific enquiries such as checking of account balances and transactions, providing credit card bill summaries, rewards and points balances and answering frequently asked questions… The second phase of the Citi Bot will introduce more new features such as card activation, ability to lock and unlock credit cards and transaction alerts for cards.” 



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