Facebook’s Sh*tcoin Could be a Blessing in Disguise for Adoption of Cryptocurrencies

https://thefintechtimes.com/facebook-shtcoin-cryptocurrencies/

On Yavin, blockchain data strategist, CEO and founder of Cointelligence, says that Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra is not a real cryptocurrency, and yet, it could have a positive impact on the crypto market. However, the arrival of Facebook Coin hasn’t had as much of an effect on the market as Mr Trump’s trade policy according to Luno.
 
“The new Facebook coin is a fake cryptocurrency. They are calling it cryptocurrency because it is a buzzword. It may be a digital currency, but it is not a cryptocurrency. It is a crap coin,” says On Yavin. 
 
On believes that Libra is not a real cryptocurrency because of three main factors: A Facebook digital currency will by definition be largely centralised; Facebook has a huge trust problem after its poor track record in securing its users’ personal data; and Facebook is partnering with big companies such as Uber, Paypal, Vodafone and Visa to create Libra. In essence, this means that big corporations will continue to control the system and exploit users. “That is the opposite of what a real cryptocurrency should be,” says On.
 
However, regardless of the future of Libra, its launch has exposed huge numbers of people to cryptocurrencies and the world of blockchain. Because Facebook has now officially stepped in, crypto may start to be viewed as more serious and credible.

“I think that the positive side is that Libra will get so many people introduced to the new generation of digital payments and some of them will want to learn more about real cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum.” 

Up to this point, conversations about cryptocurrencies have been nearly exclusive to technologists. Now with the launch of Libra, Facebook is practically making cryptocurrency available to its two and a half billion users at once. “I think that the positive side is that Libra will get so many people introduced to the new generation of digital payments and some of them will want to learn more about real cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum.” 

Marcus Swanepoel, CEO at Luno, is less convinced of Libra’s power to influence the crypto market for better or worse;

“Cryptocurrencies are neutral as the financial markets debate Libra

Facebook’s planned launch of the Libra token has put the focus back on digital currencies, but left Bitcoin and Ethereum in the trading range they have had for the last few days.  As the markets debate the old arguments about the relative merits of centralised versus decentralised financial systems and whether a coin is a currency or a security, altcoins have seen reduced volumes.  BTC is currently holding around the US$9,300 level and ETH is around US$270.

Today the UK Bank of England rate decision is expected to remain unchanged however in the US President Trump appears to want to start devaluing the dollar and start a ‘currency war’ which could lead to more liquidity going into altcoins.”

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https://thefintechtimes.com/facebook-shtcoin-cryptocurrencies/

KoinWorks Closes $12M In Series B Funding Round

https://www.pymnts.com/news/investment-tracker/2019/koinworks-closes-12m-in-series-b-funding-round/

KoinWorks announced that it has raised $12 million in a Series B funding round. The round was co-led by EV Growth and Quona Capital, with participation from existing investors. The funding will be used to expand the KoinWorks team and partnerships, as well as further develop the company’s systems and technology.

Founded in 2016, KoinWorks is now Indonesia’s largest peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform, registered and supervised by OJK. The company brings together borrowers and lenders via its platform, which provides access to financial services for small businesses (SMBs) that have historically been unbanked or underbanked by traditional financial institutions (FIs).

“When we started KoinWorks, we set out to democratize finance in Indonesia while fostering financial inclusion,” said KoinWorks Co-founder and Executive Chairman Willy Arifin in a press release. “In just a few short years, we’ve grown to have the largest retail investor base in Indonesia, with more than 300,000 users. The round was oversubscribed, which means that the money raised only represents the amount of liquidity that existing shareholders were willing to make available, and does not reflect the true appetite of investors in KoinWorks.”

Benedicto Haryono, KoinWorks’ CEO and other co-founder, added, “For the past three years, we have served the majority of Indonesia’s retailer market for the distribution of productive loans. Our rapid growth is supported by increasing public awareness of the importance of early investment.”

More than 60 percent of the investor-funders in the KoinWorks platform are millennials, with 70 percent revealing that KoinWorks is their first investment product.

“KoinWorks shares Quona’s mission of financial inclusion, and has had a dramatic impact on businesses in Indonesia as a result of their commitment to responsible lending,” said Ganesh Rengaswamy, co-founder and partner at Quona Capital. “Their role in enabling resources, catalyzing [SMB] growth, cannot be overstated. We are thrilled to support KoinWorks as they consolidate their market leadership.”

KoinWorks previously raised funds in a Series A funding round last year from investors Mandiri Capital Indonesia, Convergence Ventures, Gunung Sewu, Beeblebrox and Quona Capital.

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Latest Insights: 

The Payments 2022 Study: Building A High-Performance Payments Team For Fraud Detection, a PYMNTS collaboration with Stripe, examines how digital platforms of all sectors and sizes plan to develop their anti-fraud teams as part of their their broader growth and development strategies. Drawing from an extensive survey from approximately 250 payments heads at digital platforms in the U.S. and abroad, our study analyzes how poor anti-fraud capabilities can harm platforms’ long-term growth strategies, and how they can build high-performing teams to tackle these challenges.

https://www.pymnts.com/news/investment-tracker/2019/koinworks-closes-12m-in-series-b-funding-round/

Bitcoin Daily: Walmart China Uses Blockchain For Food Sales; Would-Be Fed Member Moore To Create His Own Crypto Bank

https://www.pymnts.com/blockchain/bitcoin/2019/walmart-china-blockchain-food-sales-moore-crypto-bank/

Bitcoin startup Lolli announced that it has struck a new partnership with Hotels.com, joining Lolli’s existing partners Booking.com, Priceline, Hilton and Marriott.

“We are leveraging our Hotels.com and Booking.com partnerships to begin international expansion in the coming months,” Lolli CEO Alex Adelman told CoinDesk about his company’s plans for the next six months. “Canada has been in high demand, and we think that’s going to be a great test market for us. That will help us expand to other countries as well.”

Lolli allows its users to earn bitcoin rewards for online purchases. For trips that cost customers several thousand dollars, some Lolli users have earned more than $100 in bitcoin rewards.

“We want that number to grow,” Adelman said. “Now we’re starting to test content for teaching people what ‘stacking stats’ means. … Hopefully, someday 90 percent of our customers will be new because we want to make the market bigger.”

In other news, Walmart China, China Chain Store & Franchise Association (CCFA), PwC, Inner Mongolia Kerchin Co., Ltd., and VeChain, have announced the launch of the Walmart China Blockchain Traceability Platform, built on the VeChainThor blockchain.

In addition, the first batch of 23 product lines that have been tested and launched on the platform have been revealed, with another 100 product lines set to be released by the end of the year.

“As the world-leading enterprise public blockchain platform, VeChain aims to empower enterprises in the large-scale digitization process by providing safe and mature blockchain deployment solutions and promoting the wide application of blockchain technology. We achieve this while putting forward new insights for the development of the businesses’ ecosystems. The launch of the Blockchain Traceability Platform by Walmart China, the world-class retail giant, is of great significance to the commercial application of blockchain technology. VeChain will work with Walmart China to actively take heed of the call of the government, by utilizing technology to promote the traceability of fresh food, and to provide innovative solutions for the traceability platform through digital technology, so as to generate more transparent and reassuring consumption experience,” Kevin Feng, chief operating officer of VeChainThor, said in a press release.

And economist Stephen Moore, who recently lost out on a bid to join the board of the Federal Reserve, wants to launch his own mini-Fed through the creation of a cryptocurrency product that aims to be “the world’s decentralized central bank.”

Moore joined a group of entrepreneurs who are creating what is being described as a new type of central bank that aims to stabilize cryptos like bitcoin.

“I’m really excited about doing this,” Moore said, according to FOX Business. “I hope it makes me rich.”

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Latest Insights: 

The Payments 2022 Study: Building A High-Performance Payments Team For Fraud Detection, a PYMNTS collaboration with Stripe, examines how digital platforms of all sectors and sizes plan to develop their anti-fraud teams as part of their their broader growth and development strategies. Drawing from an extensive survey from approximately 250 payments heads at digital platforms in the U.S. and abroad, our study analyzes how poor anti-fraud capabilities can harm platforms’ long-term growth strategies, and how they can build high-performing teams to tackle these challenges.

https://www.pymnts.com/blockchain/bitcoin/2019/walmart-china-blockchain-food-sales-moore-crypto-bank/

ClearGlass Announces New ‘Exceptional Transparency’ Asset Managers

https://thefintechtimes.com/clearglass-asset-managers/
ClearGlass, the independent technology and analysis company that is making full cost transparency a reality, is pleased to announce the next ‘exceptional transparency’ asset managers to be added to a list that already includes Baillie Gifford, Legal & General Investment Management, Majedie Asset Management and MFS Investment Management.

These new managers, which include private markets and non-domestic managers, are Adam Street Partners, New Forests, Partners Group, PIMCO, Sands Capital Management and T. Rowe Price International Ltd.

Each has distinguished itself in unique and outstanding ways:

  • Adam Street Partners, a global private markets investment manager, has until now supplied fee data using the ILPA (International Limited Partners Association) private equity template. Recently, Adam Street mapped its ILPA-compliant data to the CTI (Cost Transparency Initiative) Private Equity template in order to supply data to ClearGlass. This should become the model for all managers already providing ILPA-level data.
  • New Forests is a sustainable real-assets investment manager and, in keeping with its strong ESG credentials, supplied data in less than seven days from initial request using the newly-released CTI templates. Additionally, from Australia and therefore not subject to the same standards felt by domestic managers, New Forests has clearly demonstrated its desire to meet client requests.

  • Partners Group has supplied data using the CTI Private Equity template, released only 3 weeks ago. ClearGlass being able to accept, process and analyse data using this new format was a pre-condition of Partners Group supplying the data so quickly. Partners Group is a global private markets investment manager investing predominantly in illiquid asset on behalf of its clients, and its ability and willingness to provide data using the new template distinguishes it from even the majority of managers managing liquid assets.
  • PIMCO has assigned a single dedicated relationship manager to handle all requests from ClearGlass. This single dedicated point of contact has significantly reduced the lead-time between data request and data submission.
  • Sands Capital Management has also allocated a dedicated relationship manager to deal with data requests via ClearGlass and is not based in the UK, demonstrating a strong desire to meet the needs of its clients despite not being subject to the transparency precedent in the UK.
  • T. Rowe Price International Ltd. has opted for the maximum level of granularity on all submissions, a unique step. One of the tenets of the IDWG was that managers should gain credit for willingness to give data not just to the minimum requirements, but for full and complete transparency. By supplying non-compulsory data, T. Rowe Price meets and exceeds the expected standards.

The full list of exceptional managers now stands at:

  • Adam Street Partners
  • Baillie Gifford
  • Legal & General Investment Management
  • Majedie Asset Management
  • MFS
  • New Forests
  • Partners Group
  • PIMCO
  • Sands Capital Management
  • T. Rowe Price International Ltd.

Radha Kuppalli, Executive Director, Investor Services at New Forests said, “Transparency and accountability with our clients and stakeholders is a core value of New Forests so we are delighted to be included as an exceptionally transparent asset manager by ClearGlass. We aim to provide our clients with timely and robust information to support their interests and support long-term, productive investment relationships. We look forward to continue working on reporting with ClearGlass.”

Chris Sier, ClearGlass Chairman said, “The fact that these managers started their transitions long before the templates were formally released shows outstanding vision, as well as a clear desire to do the right things for clients irrespective of the prevailing regulatory environment.

“At ClearGlass we measure success in how quickly we can obtain data from asset managers. All of the managers on this list have significantly reduced the lead-time to get data as a result of their firm-wide stances on transparency. What is becoming apparent is that culture within a manager has a significant role to play when it comes to being transparent. Consequently, if transparency and client service are important selection criteria for the provision of asset management services, these managers are a very good starting point for any shortlist.”

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https://thefintechtimes.com/clearglass-asset-managers/

Illinois Passes Marijuana Legalization Bill

https://www.pymnts.com/news/regulation/2019/illinois-passes-marijuana-legalization-bill/

The governor of Illinois signed a marijuana legalization bill on Tuesday (June 25), making it the 11th state to legalize pot.

In addition, Illinois has become the first state to legalize the selling of the drug. Governor J.B. Pritzker, who advocated for legalization during his 2018 campaign, signed the bill in Chicago with the plan’s lead sponsors, Representative Kelly Cassidy (D-IL) and Senator Heather Steans (D-IL), in attendance.

“Today, we’re hitting the ‘reset’ button on the war on drugs,” Cassidy said, according to the Associated Press.

Residents 21 and older may purchase and possess up to one ounce (30 grams) of marijuana at a time, while non-residents are permitted to have 15 grams. The law — which goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020 — allows cities and counties to prohibit sales, but not possession, within their borders. In addition, personal growing will only be legal for medical use. Possession will remain illegal until Jan. 1, said a spokesman for Senate Democrats.

“The war on cannabis has destroyed families, filled prisons with nonviolent offenders, and disproportionately disrupted black and brown communities,” said Pritzker. “Law enforcement across the nation has spent billions of dollars to enforce the criminalization of cannabis, yet its consumption remains widespread.”

During his campaign, Pritzker claimed that taxation of marijuana could generate $800 million to $1 billion a year, while dispensary licensing would bring in $170 million next year. However, Cassidy and Steans recently lowered those estimates to $58 million in the first year and $500 million annually within five years.

Illinois’ 55 medical-cannabis dispensaries will be the first to apply for licenses because they’re proven businesses, Cassidy said. They can apply to dispense recreational pot at their current stores, as well as request a license for a second location.

So far, 10 other states and the District of Columbia have legalized the smoking or eating marijuana for recreational use. Additional states, including New York and New Jersey, have considered legalization in their legislatures this year, but none of the proposals gained any traction.

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Latest Insights: 

The Payments 2022 Study: Building A High-Performance Payments Team For Fraud Detection, a PYMNTS collaboration with Stripe, examines how digital platforms of all sectors and sizes plan to develop their anti-fraud teams as part of their their broader growth and development strategies. Drawing from an extensive survey from approximately 250 payments heads at digital platforms in the U.S. and abroad, our study analyzes how poor anti-fraud capabilities can harm platforms’ long-term growth strategies, and how they can build high-performing teams to tackle these challenges.

https://www.pymnts.com/news/regulation/2019/illinois-passes-marijuana-legalization-bill/

UK regulator’s concerns about the resilience of neobanks

http://www.linklaters.com/en/insights/blogs/fintechlinks/2019/june/uk-regulators-concerns-about-the-resilience-of-neobanks

Some banks are so large that regulators worry about the impact their failure could have on the financial system. Most banks are not that big. But some, typically newer digital banks, are growing fast and so attract increasing scrutiny of how they manage risk. A recent review by the UK prudential regulator highlights the risk controls that it thinks all banks should have in place.

What has happened?

The Prudential Regulatory Authority has reviewed 20 neobanks to test their financial resilience and has set out its findings in a letter to CEOs.

The review looked at these banks’ ICAAP stress testing, asset quality reviews, and funding and lending analysis.

What did the PRA find?

The PRA was reassured about the resilience of this fast-growing part of the banking sector. But its review did find several issues for neobanks to work through. The PRA stresses that firms’ governance and risk management functions should be tailored to their business model and risk appetite.

Stress testing

  • According to the PRA, some firms have been too optimistic about the impact of a stressed scenario on their business. They were not able to demonstrate a proper understanding of the underlying issues or the practical actions that they would take in the event of a stressed scenario.
  • The PRA expects senior management and boards to engage with, and challenge, stress testing exercises.
  • The review found that neobanks tend to have concentrated exposures to higher-risk market segments. This should be considered when provisioning and stress testing.
  • Firms should closely consider management actions proposed in their ICAAP stress tests. The PRA will be sceptical, for example, of firms which expect to raise new capital during a market-wide stress scenario.

Asset quality reviews

  • The review found that some neobanks take commercial lending decisions too quickly.
  • The PRA encourages firms to have sufficient data and management information available in relation to their loan portfolios.
  • The letter reminds firms that risk management functions should be adequately resourced and provide appropriate challenge to, and oversight of, the business.

Funding and lending analysis

  • The review found that many firms are too reliant on funding from short-term, fixed rate deposits.
  • The PRA calls on firms to consider, for both baseline and stressed scenarios, how they will price their borrowing and their lending, having regard to the spread between these and how that compares to the broader market.
What happens next?

The PRA plans to provide further feedback in July. Neobanks can also expect engagement from their supervisory contacts on the findings of the review.

http://www.linklaters.com/en/insights/blogs/fintechlinks/2019/june/uk-regulators-concerns-about-the-resilience-of-neobanks

Getaround Acquires Nabobil For $12M

https://www.pymnts.com/news/partnerships-acquisitions/2019/getaround-acquires-nabobil-for-12m/

Carsharing leader Getaround announced that it is expanding its global footprint with its $12 million acquisition of Nabobil.

Founded in 2015, Nabobil has built a strong user base in Norway. The acquisition will boost growth, and improve the user experience in the Nordic region through the integration of Getaround’s connected car technology.

“This is an exciting moment for our company, made possible by the incredible work of our founders and team,” said Nabobil CEO Even Heggernes, in a press release. “Joining Getaround, the world’s leading carsharing platform, gives us the power to invest in keyless, connected-car hardware, and grow the Nordic organization.”

Getaround, which launched the connected carsharing marketplace in 2013 with its Getaround Connect device, will now operate in seven European countries: Norway, France, Germany, Spain, Austria, Belgium and the U.K. The entire Nabobil team will join Getaround to continue operations and oversee expansion in the region.

“We are excited to welcome the Nabobil team to Getaround,” said Getaround Founder and CEO Sam Zaid. “We are building an exceptional global organization, and the tremendous experience, drive and values that the Nabobil team bring[s] to Getaround will help drive us forward in our mission to empower people to carshare everywhere.”

Christian Hager, Jacob Tveraabak and Karl Munthe-Kaas, representing the three original co-founders and the board of Nabobil, added, “We are very pleased that the world’s leading carsharing platform has acquired Nabobil — and that we will be part of Getaround‘s journey onward. We cannot imagine a better match, and, with the new solid owners, the access to capital for Nordic growth is ensured. For Nabobil’s customers, this secures better services and improved technology on a sustainable platform. This is a great recognition for Nabobil’s loyal users, employees and shareholders.”

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Latest Insights: 

The Payments 2022 Study: Building A High-Performance Payments Team For Fraud Detection, a PYMNTS collaboration with Stripe, examines how digital platforms of all sectors and sizes plan to develop their anti-fraud teams as part of their their broader growth and development strategies. Drawing from an extensive survey from approximately 250 payments heads at digital platforms in the U.S. and abroad, our study analyzes how poor anti-fraud capabilities can harm platforms’ long-term growth strategies, and how they can build high-performing teams to tackle these challenges.

https://www.pymnts.com/news/partnerships-acquisitions/2019/getaround-acquires-nabobil-for-12m/

Securing The Self-Serve Store

https://www.pymnts.com/automated-retail/2019/securing-the-self-serve-store/

Consumers want the immediacy of brick-and-mortar shopping without sacrificing eCommerce convenience. They may enjoy strolling the aisles of physical retail, but many customers still want support features that enable them to quickly and easily find and buy items, through self-serve offerings and other automation technologies.

Today, most automated retail models tend to follow either an Amazon Go-style, cashierless store or an intelligent cabinets approach. The June Automated Retail Tracker charts all the latest developments and deployments of these models and more.

Around the Automated Retail World

Renewable materials and connected packaging provider Stora Enso recently delved into the intelligent cabinets space, with an offering that enables customers to unlock and pay for removed items through compatible apps. The intelligent cabinets are intended to provide speedy food and beverage purchases.

In India, meanwhile, eCommerce-focused fashion company Myntra followed a different automated retail model, and opened a new cashierless store, selling items from its Roadster outdoor lifestyle brand. The venues rely on radio-frequency identification (RFID)-technology and self-checkout.

Pizza company Domino’s is looking to bring automation to new parts of the retail process by piloting a driver-free delivery service. The company will deliver meals with robotics company Nuro’s self-driving cars, and is slated to test the service in Houston this year.

Find these and all the latest headlines in the Tracker.

Inside Farmhouse Market’s Staff-Free Organic Food Store

Filling a small city’s retail gaps can be daunting work for would-be entrepreneurs who have limited time and resources, but automation lessens those burdens. Farmhouse Market Co-founder Kendra Rasmusson launched the remotely monitored, staff-free grocery store to bring organic food to her hometown.

In this month’s feature story, Rasmusson explained what it took to secure the 24/7 accessible, automated store against shoplifting, while avoiding the introduction of payment frictions. Get the full story in the Tracker.

Deep Dive: Obstacles to the Adoption of Mobile Payments in Automated Retail

Mobile payments have yet to displace cash or card payments in the U.S., with both merchants and consumers seeming wary of shifting their practices to support this payment method. Retailers don’t want to invest their limited budgets in technologies unless they are certain that consumers will be receptive, and consumers may need some convincing before they see the point of changing their existing payment habits.

This month’s Deep Dive explores the obstacles to greater uptake of proximity mobile payment, the potential benefits of its use (such as quick, secure checkouts) and the offerings that retailers may need to provide to encourage consumer adoption. Read more in the Tracker.

About the Tracker

The Automated Retail Tracker, powered by Worldnet Payments, serves as a bimonthly framework for the space, providing coverage of the most recent news and trends, as well as a directory that highlights the key players contributing to the segments that comprise the expansive automated retail ecosystem.

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Latest Insights: 

The Payments 2022 Study: Building A High-Performance Payments Team For Fraud Detection, a PYMNTS collaboration with Stripe, examines how digital platforms of all sectors and sizes plan to develop their anti-fraud teams as part of their their broader growth and development strategies. Drawing from an extensive survey from approximately 250 payments heads at digital platforms in the U.S. and abroad, our study analyzes how poor anti-fraud capabilities can harm platforms’ long-term growth strategies, and how they can build high-performing teams to tackle these challenges.

https://www.pymnts.com/automated-retail/2019/securing-the-self-serve-store/

Blockchain’s Real-Time Payments Use Case

https://www.pymnts.com/blockchain/2019/blockchains-real-time-payments-use-case/

Players in payments and commerce keep trying to get their heads around blockchain technology, seeking out use cases and striving to determine if the reality can ever live up to the hype. Answers are relatively slow in coming, and skepticism abounds. However, in Canada, real-time payments, energy and incentives have combined in a way that includes blockchain, which would pave the way for other such efforts.

That’s the story told by Oscar Roque, AVP of innovation, research and emerging solutions at Canadian payments network Interac, in a new PYMNTS interview. He spoke about how the organization has found a potential, new payments-related use for blockchain, how it can be used to bridge together previously independent organizations and what might come next based on that push, as Interac continues to innovate in the FinTech space.

Pilot Push

For a three-month pilot that ended in May, he said, Interac worked with Alectra Utilities to offer real-time disbursements to consumers using Interac e-Transfer (Canada’s leading P2P and B2B digital money movement service). Roque said Alectra made the offers to several consumers and, by using blockchain, was able to “incentivize” consumers based on their “climate-friendly” behaviors, an example of how Interac is looking to innovate with social purpose.

More specifically, the program applied to Alectra customers with solar panels, batteries and/or electric vehicles, who could earn real-time disbursements by, say, not charging those vehicles during peak periods, or taking similar conservation steps. The program also involved a relationship with IBM for what Alectra described in a statement as a “flexible compensation plan.”

“The marketplace provides a single, permanent ledger that is trusted across the network, and blockchain enables the energy transactions to be settled, and digital assets exchanged, among all stakeholders,” the utility said.

According to Roque, the pilot produced consumer feedback that “was absolutely tremendous,” and could inform future blockchain and payment efforts involving Interac and other organizations. The real-time disbursement aspect led to changes in consumer behavior that promoted them to be climate-friendly, he said.

Roque noted that, in addition to learning how to incentive consumers, and the importance of innovation with social purpose, “the pilot provided significant learnings around multi-party governance on blockchain, trust and consensus models, and new business modeling through the creation of new business networks.”

Hot Topic

Blockchain is certainly a hot topic when it comes to digital payments and commerce, and more authorities and organizations are trying to gain an edge when it comes to the technology. A recent example of that comes from Nevada.

As PYMNTS recently covered, Governor Steve Sisolak signed the following bills into law: SB161, which creates a regulatory sandbox for emerging tech companies through a program in the Department of Business and Industry; SB162, which develops a definition for “public blockchain” within Nevada Revised Statutes, and requires government agencies to accept electronically certified documents; SB163, which authorizes businesses to store and maintain corporate records on blockchain; and SB164, which defines virtual currencies as intangible personal property.

That said, blockchain is no silver bullet, to put it mildly. Much confusion, and even false promise, surrounds the technology, which is often primarily associated with the world of cryptocurrencies.

Blockchain Problems

For instance, when it comes to blockchain technology, the crux of many of its purported benefits for the enterprise is its decentralized nature, which, proponents of distributed ledger technology (DLT) have said, promotes visibility and makes it more difficult for data to be manipulated. The security benefits of decentralization make blockchain an attractive fit in corporate finance. Popular use cases that have emerged in recent years include blockchain’s potential to securely transmit remittance data along with payments in cross-border B2B transactions, enable companies to use smart contracts to enforce business agreements in B2B trade and mitigate the risk of fraud in supply chain transactions.

However, the lack of a central authority can make enterprise development, and the implementation of blockchain-based solutions, extremely difficult and friction-filled. For example, corporates often go it alone when creating a blockchain solution, and that lack of a central intermediary can make it difficult for companies to find guidance.

In talking about potential future use cases of blockchain with PYMNTS, Roque offered optimistic realism about the technology, avoiding hype. He discussed how blockchain — assuming it is attached to relevant, pragmatic use cases — can add incremental value to a business or other organization. That said, the promise of blockchain “is probably overstated with banking,” at least when it comes to the ability of the technology to “significantly disrupt banking.”

In fact, in Roque’s view, the excitement about blockchain has subsided over the last two years or so. “The hype has started to die down. We are now in the trough of disillusionment,” he said. However, that’s not all bad for the further development of blockchain, he added, as “in the trough is where the real work gets done.”

Blockchain is a massive work in progress — a technology in search of solid use, if not eventual mainstream acceptance. When applied correctly, it has the ability to significantly change the way organizations do business with one another. As Interac has shown, use cases are out there, and more research and validation is on the horizon.

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Latest Insights: 

The Payments 2022 Study: Building A High-Performance Payments Team For Fraud Detection, a PYMNTS collaboration with Stripe, examines how digital platforms of all sectors and sizes plan to develop their anti-fraud teams as part of their their broader growth and development strategies. Drawing from an extensive survey from approximately 250 payments heads at digital platforms in the U.S. and abroad, our study analyzes how poor anti-fraud capabilities can harm platforms’ long-term growth strategies, and how they can build high-performing teams to tackle these challenges.

https://www.pymnts.com/blockchain/2019/blockchains-real-time-payments-use-case/

Payments Execs Weigh In On Innovation For The Roaring 2020s

https://www.pymnts.com/news/payments-innovation/2019/payments-execs-weigh-in-on-innovation-for-the-roaring-2020s/

A decade is a nice, round number — a convenient marker for what has come and what is coming. We as humans tend to measure our lives in decades, referring to ourselves as children of the ’60s, perhaps, or pining wistfully for the synthesized pop sounds of the ’80s.

In payments, 10 years is a long time — where everything can change, and where once fanciful notions can become ubiquitous new ways of transacting. That said, we are now at the six-month mark of 2019, and a new decade looms. Call it the sunsetting of the 2010s, an opportune time to preview everything from eCommerce to artificial intelligence (AI), from A to Z — here, we can term it APIs to Zelle.

To get a sense of the most significant seismic shifts that have pushed payments innovation inexorably ahead through the past 10 years, as well as what lies over the horizon, PYMNTS queried 29 C-level executives with a collective thumb on the pulse of innovation. Each of these men and women were asked to name the single, most important innovation that has had a ripple effect through the ecosystem. The answers were varied, spanning from blockchain to instant payouts.

The particular innovations spotlighted were varied as well, tied to, say, consumer-specific or B2B-specific cases. However, common threads that ran through the tapestry lie with technology’s transformation, marked by speed, intelligence and mobility.

It can be argued that the consumer experience has been leading by example through the past few years, giving merchants and financial institutions a roadmap of what to do and what not to do when it comes to satisfying demand and creating as frictionless a commerce experience as possible.

The flip phones of earlier in the millennium are, largely, a memory. Now, smartphones can help one shop whenever and wherever, transacting by tapping. Machine learning and AI can help merchants tailor relevant offers, real time and in context.

Technology has also proven invaluable in the ongoing fight against fraudsters, who are increasingly moving online, as consumers are doing the same. One laggard has been catching up a bit: B2B, where the paper chase is becoming a bit more streamlined and digital as transactions move across borders, currencies and time zones. No matter the application, risk analysis is crucial, especially in an age when know your customer (KYC) is as much a mandate as it is good business sense.

If there is one constant in innovation, especially payments innovation, it is that it’s constantly evolving. We may look back on the relative clunkiness of what went before and chuckle, and say it was “obvious” that we’d wind up where we are now, given the road we’ve traveled. Past is prologue, as they say, even if it is not a specific predictor. Hindsight may be 20/20, but it’s crucial as we get ready for 2020. Read on.

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Latest Insights: 

The Payments 2022 Study: Building A High-Performance Payments Team For Fraud Detection, a PYMNTS collaboration with Stripe, examines how digital platforms of all sectors and sizes plan to develop their anti-fraud teams as part of their their broader growth and development strategies. Drawing from an extensive survey from approximately 250 payments heads at digital platforms in the U.S. and abroad, our study analyzes how poor anti-fraud capabilities can harm platforms’ long-term growth strategies, and how they can build high-performing teams to tackle these challenges.

https://www.pymnts.com/news/payments-innovation/2019/payments-execs-weigh-in-on-innovation-for-the-roaring-2020s/

The AI Ethics Conundrum – How to Mitigate Bias

https://thefintechtimes.com/the-ai-ethics-conundrum/

As the pace of AI uptake increases, it’s clear that it will have a considerable impact on the future of business, finance and our wider society. While flourishing AI innovation is a positive thing, we must also manage the potential risks and do our part to ensure that it advances in a responsible way.

In fact, our new research shows that ethical and responsible AI development is a top concern, with 94% of IT leaders believing that more attention needs to be paid to corporate responsibility and ethics in the application of AI.

Much evidence shows that the insights AI offers can be highly beneficial, however we must also recognise its limits in providing perfect answers. Data quality, security and privacy concerns are real and thus the AI regulation debate will continue.

A key threat to effective use of AI is the phenomenon of AI bias. This occurs when an algorithm delivers prejudiced results based on incorrect assumptions in the AI development process. These are often ‘built-in’ through the unconscious preferences of the human being who created the process or selected the training data. They can also reflect issues in the data gathering stage where weighting procedures cause incorrect conclusions to be made about certain data sets.

As we become increasingly reliant on AI, it’s essential to eliminate biases as much as possible because it can often cause undesirable decisions and outcomes. Legal cases have already taken place where groups have forced the disclosure of how algorithmic processes take decisions. Many have won compensation when either the algorithm or the underlying data has been found to introduce bias. A recent example involved teachers who were not paid performance bonuses, and won damages when it was realised that the algorithm assessing eligibility for the bonus did not take into account class sizes – a factor found to be highly significant in pupil attainment.

As we become increasingly reliant on AI, it’s essential to eliminate biases as much as possible because it can often cause undesirable decisions and outcomes.

How does AI perpetuate bias?

Bias can enter the system at any stage of the learning process and it’s not always related purely to training data. It can emerge at any time throughout the deep learning process, whether that includes collecting data, setting objectives or preparing the data for training or operation.

The most commonly acknowledged bias concerns the initial process of collecting, selecting and cleaning data. Here bias can arise in training data if decisions around rejecting outliers, or data that is perceived as irrelevant, is not tested and then accidentally introduces prejudices. This can result in certain factors being mistakenly favoured by the AI in place of others that could be more relevant to the desired outcome.

Take for example a growing male-dominated business looking to use AI to screen candidates. If the AI was trained on the CVs and employment data of current successful employees, it is likely that it will develop a bias towards selecting male applicants for interviews as they fit the pattern of the company as it exists. Simple fixes like removing the sex of the employees from the training data may not work as the AI algorithm may identify patterns of male-dominated hobbies as indicators of desirable employees, for example.

Secondly, in setting objectives for a deep learning model (i.e. what the designers want it to achieve) the objective needs to be set in context in order for recommendations to be correctly computed. For example, if the objective is to increase profits without context and boundaries set relating to maintaining customer satisfaction, the output will be skewed. The AI could seek to achieve the goal by making short term decisions that achieve the objective of profit, at the expense of the long term viability of the business.

The most commonly acknowledged bias concerns the initial process of collecting, selecting and cleaning data.

Lastly, bias can be introduced during the stage where data is prepared for processing. This often results in certain attributes for the algorithms being prioritised over others. The choice of which attributes should be considered or ignored will have a significant impact on the accuracy a model can predict. It’s therefore imperative to grade and rank them correctly. It’s also important to avoid dropping data that is hard to process. Designing a data pipeline that can handle exceptions well is essential to ensure there is sufficient data for good training outcomes.

The above processes highlight that in many cases, bias can easily leak into the system. It’s often only discovered when a system goes fully live, by which time the issue can become far more difficult to address. Therefore, testing the system against expectations as it develops and involving a diverse group of stakeholders in the evaluation is critical.

So how can we mitigate bias within AI?

There are many examples of how the industry is working towards addressing the bias conundrum. Most have involved revisiting and updating data after the event when bias is discovered, and it’s often the human element (or the personalities that feed into the underlying systems) which were the source of bias.

Once the human factor is addressed, developers need to thoroughly check the underlying data. This is to ensure the data is fully representative of all factors that could inform the business decision where a lack of or erroneous data might impact the algorithm in a negative way. As an example, would rejecting data from subjects who did not include a mobile phone number or email address matter? That decision may make future sales contact easier, but could it mean that a generational bias had been introduced skewing the analysis?

It’s important to ensure that the algorithms that feed into an AI system’s underlying data minimise bias as much as possible. Those involved in AI research and implementation have had considerable success in addressing the bias challenge. Many have created algorithms that can effectively detect and reduce bias. Progress has also been made in the regulatory environment to help mitigate the potentially negative effects of bias on AI.  

The EU’s GDPR regulation, for example, gives consumers a right to explanation on how automatic decisions have been made based on their data. How much impact this has had to date is unclear, but those rights, and the penalties for not recognising them, should be a factor in ensuring efforts are made to design out bias.

Testing the system against expectations as it develops and involving a diverse group of stakeholders in the evaluation is critical.

A problem from the top

There’s also an argument that we need to rethink AI and how it’s often approached from the top of the global status hierarchy. It is too heavily influenced by the biases of first-world cultures. This results too often in AI systems outputs reflecting those biases to the detriment of the less well off in society. Recent real world examples include the high profile facial recognition issues of a certain blue chip tech company. Situations like this should be addressed to ensure the inclusion of a widely diversified spread of society. Incorporating inputs from a wider, more globalised and diverse data set can address this.

Additionally, building AI models from original data can help to eliminate bias. This allows far more scope for ideas and actual evidence to feed into AI systems that can evolve to offer insights beyond the typical first-world perspective. This inversion of the scientific principle, looking for patterns of interest to explore rather than testing a hypothesis, remains a powerful application of data science for identifying new behaviours and groups of customers.

This data driven approach would also build far more flexibility and responsiveness into AI systems and open them up to a far more comprehensive and diversified set of global considerations and imperatives.

Breaking down the data silos

However to be data-driven, and make use of the greatest possible diversity of data, it is essential to focus on developing systems that break down data silos and enable the integration of the broadest possible range of data sets. The tools already exist to rapidly configure integrations between a huge range of systems – without heavy lifting by software developers, so data teams have this diverse data within their grasp.

Businesses need to consider new sources of data and new ways of interpreting and understanding it. Ultimately those who invest in ensuring they can access a wide diverse pool of data will benefit the most by identifying the true value of AI.

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https://thefintechtimes.com/the-ai-ethics-conundrum/

India’s SME fintech sector flourishing – Facebook and Tiger Global take stakes

https://dailyfintech.com/2019/06/26/indias-sme-fintech-sector-flourishing-facebook-and-tiger-global-take-stakes/

The convergence of simplified business banking with accounting is happening at a phenomenal pace.

The latest player to get the global investment market excited is Indian neobank startup Open, which recently announced a $30 million funding round, led by Tiger Global.

Today the neobank allows new customers to seamlessly link or open a new business current account online, powered by Indian bank ICICI. From within the online banking platform, they can then issue simple invoices and receive payments, streamlining how the banking and accounting arms of their business interact with each other.

The approach taken by Open is almost identical to UK neobank Tide, which now claims 1 in 12 new UK business accounts’ is opened via its platform.

Open isn’t the only neobank in India worth watching.

InstantPay plays in a similar space to Open, minus the accounting bundling, with its suite of services extending beyond SMEs to corporates and individuals.

NiYO wants to own the banking relationship with salaried employees in India, offering 50% salary advances via its platform, at 0% interest. It also has a multi-currency Visa travel card and a tax-saving feature for employee expense management. Bank owned challenger brand Yono by SBI is also going after the consumer market.

Tiger Global aren’t the only US firm doubling down on Indian fintech. Facebook, who see opportunity in the tangential social commerce space, have taken a stake in Indian startup Meesho.

Meesho are effectively redefining the definition of a SME, enabling a new generation of Indians to establish home run businesses, reselling goods via its marketplace. Suppliers list goods, and resellers then market those goods out to their community of Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram connections, setting their own margins. Collectively, resellers have access to 7 million customers on their platform, so a big carrot for suppliers to access.

The influence of cultural norms on how fintech’s develop is fascinating, and demonstrates the gulf that is expanding between how the west and the east think about innovation. Many take from the other (Open arguably from Tide), but undoubtedly some of the most interesting and novel applications in finance, like Meesho, are happening in the developing nations. There is no doubt in my mind this innovation will accelerate economic parity with more developed countries, and possibly even place western nations at a disadvantage from a financial infrastructure perspective, in the not too distant future.

Daily Fintech Advisers provides strategic consulting to organizations with business and investment interests in Fintech. Jessica Ellerm is a thought leader specializing in Small Business and the Gig Economy and is the CEO and Co-Founder of Zuper, a new superannuation startup in Australia.

I have no commercial relationship with the companies or people mentioned. I am not receiving compensation for this post.

Subscribe by email to join the 25,000 other Fintech leaders who read our research daily to stay ahead of the curve. Check out our advisory services (how we pay for this free original research)

https://dailyfintech.com/2019/06/26/indias-sme-fintech-sector-flourishing-facebook-and-tiger-global-take-stakes/

JPMorgan To Test Crypto Coin By End Of Year

https://www.pymnts.com/cryptocurrency/2019/jpmorgan-to-test-crypto-jpm-coin/

JPMorgan plans to test its proposed cryptocurrency, the JPM Coin, by the end of the year, according to reports.

Umar Farooq, the head of digital treasury services and blockchain at the company, said the firm will run a pilot of the coin with select customers near the end of 2019, if regulators allow it.

Since revealing plans for the coin in the middle of February, the bank has seen interest from customers all around the world. Many clients are interested in the coin’s ability to potentially speed up bond and securities transactions.

Farooq has said the cryptocurrency could make bond delivery instant, and that a number of stocks will become fully digital in the next five to 20 years. He also said he thinks the possibilities for blockchain are “endless.”

In other JPMorgan news, the firm has shut down its youth-focused endeavor called Finn. The pilot program began in October 2017, and a nationwide rollout began in June of last year. The Wall Street Journal reported that the company started telling clients on June 5 that it was shuttering Finn, which had been rolled out as no-fee banking app. According to the financial publication, those customers are having funds transferred to other Chase accounts, across savings and checking options.

The move comes as banks are bringing digital offerings (especially mobile ones) to their portfolios, as physical banks are on the decline. The Finn offering is seen as a hybrid offering, as it revolved around a digital app and also offered branch access. In one feature set, Finn consumers had free access to a partner network outside of the Chase ATM network. Beyond that, the competitive landscape had been marked by Goldman Sachs and Ally Financial, among others, noted for offering higher interest rates on their accounts.

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Latest Insights: 

The Payments 2022 Study: Building A High-Performance Payments Team For Fraud Detection, a PYMNTS collaboration with Stripe, examines how digital platforms of all sectors and sizes plan to develop their anti-fraud teams as part of their their broader growth and development strategies. Drawing from an extensive survey from approximately 250 payments heads at digital platforms in the U.S. and abroad, our study analyzes how poor anti-fraud capabilities can harm platforms’ long-term growth strategies, and how they can build high-performing teams to tackle these challenges.

https://www.pymnts.com/cryptocurrency/2019/jpmorgan-to-test-crypto-jpm-coin/

Regulators Say Facebook’s Libra Will Need Scrutiny 

https://www.pymnts.com/cryptocurrency/2019/regulators-facebook-libra-fca-fsb/

More financial regulators are talking about Libra and saying that Facebook’s recently announced cryptocurrency won’t launch without close scrutiny, according to a report by the Financial Times

The international Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have now both spoken publicly about the issue. 

Facebook wants to alter the financial landscape with the introduction of Libra, and it has said that payments with the currency will happen instantly and cost almost nothing. The company teamed up with Uber, Mastercard, Visa and others on the endeavor. 

Facebook execs want to be able to introduce and operate Libra without the same stringent regulations on traditional payment companies and banking institutions, but that doesn’t seem to be how things are lining up. 

The FSB and the FCA have joined with the Bank of England (BoE) and the G7 in speaking out about the currency and its need for regulation. 

FSB Chair Randal Quarles spoke about the issue in a letter to G20 before a summit in Japan this weekend. 

“Though crypto assets do not currently pose a risk to global financial stability, gaps may occur where crypto assets fall outside the scope of regulators’ authority or from the absence of international standards,” Quarles said in the letter. “A wider use of new types of crypto assets for retail payment purposes would warrant close scrutiny by authorities to ensure that they are subject to high standards of regulation. The FSB and standard setting bodies will monitor risks very closely and in a coordinated fashion, and consider additional multilateral responses as needed.”

Andrew Bailey, head of the FCA, said he and the FCA were in talks with the U.K. Treasury and BoE about regulating Facebook’s Libra.

“We will have to engage domestically and internationally, with Facebook and this other [Libra] organisation. They are not going to walk through authorisation without that,” Bailey said.

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Latest Insights: 

The Payments 2022 Study: Building A High-Performance Payments Team For Fraud Detection, a PYMNTS collaboration with Stripe, examines how digital platforms of all sectors and sizes plan to develop their anti-fraud teams as part of their their broader growth and development strategies. Drawing from an extensive survey from approximately 250 payments heads at digital platforms in the U.S. and abroad, our study analyzes how poor anti-fraud capabilities can harm platforms’ long-term growth strategies, and how they can build high-performing teams to tackle these challenges.

https://www.pymnts.com/cryptocurrency/2019/regulators-facebook-libra-fca-fsb/

BofA Debuts Digital Debit Card

https://www.pymnts.com/news/payments-innovation/2019/bofa-digital-debit-card/

Bank of America (BofA) announced on Tuesday (June 25) that it’s launching a digital debit card, according to a release by the company.

It’s also making other additions to its banking app to help customers handle their finances while they’re on the move.

“This digital debit card has the same protections and benefits of a physical debit card and is immediately available to use in the mobile app. Through the mobile app, eligible clients can request a digital debit card for a new or replacement debit card,” the company said.

Customers can use the card to pay online or in stores using a mobile wallet, shop online with all the card details already in the app and get cash as well as make deposits at BofA ATMs.

“Our goal is to bring never-before-possible convenience to clients,” said David Tyrie, head of advanced solutions and digital banking at Bank of America. “With our new digital debit card, clients can transact immediately and avoid waiting for their permanent card. This feature is one of several new digital offerings that reinforce our commitment to making clients’ financial lives easier.”

The bank is also introducing Mobile Orders, which lets customers place orders for foreign currency through the app.

With Mobile Orders, “Clients traveling internationally can plan ahead and easily order foreign currency, choose a specific financial center for pickup or have it delivered to their home, and receive notifications every step of the way — all through the mobile app,” the bank said. “Small business clients can take advantage of Mobile Orders to preorder bills and coins in the denomination they need to keep their business moving. Clients can select a specific financial center for pickup and track their orders with real-time alerts and updates.”

BofA was also named “Best in Class” by Javelin Strategy & Research, in its 2019 Mobile Banking Scorecard and Online Banking Scorecard. BOA was named a leader in ease of use, security empowerment, financial fitness, customer service and account opening. 

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Latest Insights: 

The Payments 2022 Study: Building A High-Performance Payments Team For Fraud Detection, a PYMNTS collaboration with Stripe, examines how digital platforms of all sectors and sizes plan to develop their anti-fraud teams as part of their their broader growth and development strategies. Drawing from an extensive survey from approximately 250 payments heads at digital platforms in the U.S. and abroad, our study analyzes how poor anti-fraud capabilities can harm platforms’ long-term growth strategies, and how they can build high-performing teams to tackle these challenges.

https://www.pymnts.com/news/payments-innovation/2019/bofa-digital-debit-card/

Ocrolus Reels in $24 Million Investment

https://finovate.com/ocrolus-reels-in-24-million-investment/

Automated document analysis platform, Ocrolus, has raised $24 million in funding in a Series B round led by Oak HC/FT. The new capital will help the company develop workflows for new document types, as well as improve the company’s analytic and fraud-detecting capabilities.

Ocrolus puts human empowered automation to work to help financial services firms and other companies make back office operations more efficient. Ocrolus’ technology leverages pattern recognition, crowdsourced data verification, and fraud detection to automatically analyze financial documents, digitize the data, and input it directly into the firm’s credit models. Even poor quality data scans from e-statements and smartphones can be effectively read by the technology and transformed into 99%+ accurate, validated datasets.

“Sometimes humans are better than robots,” Ocrolus CEO and co-founder Sam Bobley said. “We combine machine processes with live human intelligence to provide customers with a complete solution.”

Also participating in the round were FinTech Collective, and existing investors including Bullpen Capital and QED Investors. The investment takes the company’s total capital to more than $30 million.

Ocrolus demonstrated the Perfect Audit feature of its platform at FinovateFall last year. Perfect Audit provides cash-flow analytics from financial documents that have been digitized and analyzed by the Ocrolus platform. These analytics function as superior credit model inputs that enable lenders to price risk more effectively.

“Ocrolus is a unique company providing a rare combination of smart automation, analytics, and accuracy in its solution,” Oak HC/FT Venture Partner Dan Petrozzo said. “By combining its tremendous technology with an added human touch where required, the platform delivers amazing results for its customers.”

Last month, Ocrolus teamed up with inFactor to enhance the underwriting process for the small business financing platform. In April, the company partnered with fellow Finovate alum BlueVine to help accelerate financial application processing. Founded in 2014, Ocrolus is based in New York City.

https://finovate.com/ocrolus-reels-in-24-million-investment/

Walmart To Accept EBT Cards For Online Groceries

https://www.pymnts.com/news/retail/2019/walmart-snap-ebt-cards-online-groceries/

Walmart will now accept SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) to pay for online grocery orders at all of its pickup locations, according to a report.

Walmart started testing the program in 2017. On Tuesday (June 25), the retailer announced it was expanding the program to all of its more than 2,500 pickup locations.

Placing an order with SNAP is just like ordering with a debit or credit card. A customer enters their zip code on the ordering site to find the closest store, and then at checkout they simply pick the EBT card option for payment. When the customer gets to the store, they give their EBT card to a store associate.

Walmart has been adamant about the need to cater to low-income customers, saying that online shopping is not a luxury. The retailer aims to eventually expand the SNAP option to more than 3,100 stores by the end of 2019.

In April, Walmart announced it was participating in a USDA pilot program to test SNAP payment acceptance on stores’ websites. Amazon, Dash’s Market, Safeway and others also participated. Walmart is also running a pilot to charge a subscription fee for grocery delivery, at $98.

In other Walmart news, the company recently said it was planning to use self-driving cars to transport products between warehouses in hopes of slashing costs and boosting efficiency. Spokeswoman Molly Blakeman told CNBC the retailer is working with partner Gatik, a self-driving vehicle startup, to test a vehicle that will travel the two-mile route in Bentonville, Arkansas between two stores.

“We are working with city and state officials to obtain the approval we need to operate and plan to start the pilot program this summer, with the aim being to learn about the logistics of adding AVs into our ecosystem, operation and process changes, and more opportunities to incorporate this emerging technology,” Blakeman explained.

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Latest Insights: 

The Payments 2022 Study: Building A High-Performance Payments Team For Fraud Detection, a PYMNTS collaboration with Stripe, examines how digital platforms of all sectors and sizes plan to develop their anti-fraud teams as part of their their broader growth and development strategies. Drawing from an extensive survey from approximately 250 payments heads at digital platforms in the U.S. and abroad, our study analyzes how poor anti-fraud capabilities can harm platforms’ long-term growth strategies, and how they can build high-performing teams to tackle these challenges.

https://www.pymnts.com/news/retail/2019/walmart-snap-ebt-cards-online-groceries/

Mastercard, Nordic bank consortium in partnership to allow real-time and batch payments

https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/news/mastercard-nordic-bank-consortium-in-partnership-to-allow-real-time-and-batch-payments/

Mastercard, Nordic bank consortium in partnership to allow real-time and batch payments

Javier Perez, president Europe at Mastercard, Claus Richter and Lars Sjogren, COO and CEO of P27

Mastercard and P27 Nordic Payments Platform AB, which is owned by the six largest Nordic area banks, announced a partnership to provide what they say is the world’s first platform to move real-time and batch payments across the region, according to a company release. 

P27 Nordic Payments Platform, which is jointly owned by Danske Bank, Handelsbanken, Nordea, OP Financial Group, SEB and Swedbank, will work with Mastercard to allow instant payments between individuals and businesses across the region to replace the existing payments infrastructure with a faster, safer and more secure payment system. 

“This exciting partnership will build a world first in terms of a cross region and multi-currency faster payments area,”Javier Perez, president Europe at Mastercard, said in the release. “It is also evidence of Mastercard’s vision to drive real choice by being the trusted provider of new payment experiences and broadening our reach into fast bank account flows.”

The payment platform is subject to government approvals and final investment commitments. 


Topics: Mobile Banking, Mobile Payments, Money Transfer / P2P, Region: EMEA, Regulatory Issues

Companies: MasterCard


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https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/news/mastercard-nordic-bank-consortium-in-partnership-to-allow-real-time-and-batch-payments/

Tijuana Flats taps DoorDash for delivery expansion

https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/news/tijuana-flats-taps-doordash-for-delivery-expansion/

Tijuana Flats is partnering with DoorDash to expand delivery options and celebrate the partnership with free delivery fees on orders of $15 or more through June 30.

The Tex-Mex fast casual will offer made-to-order items from its original extensive menu via the service at over 100 locations, according to a press release.

“From our famous seasoned chips to our bangin’ chicken, and everything in between, our brand has always been committed to providing fresh food and fast,” said CEO Brian Wright in the release. “So, it only makes sense that we provide our guests with their Flats’ favorites when, where and how they want.”
 
 Tijuana Flats also offers delivery services to its guests via Postmates and Uber Eats.

 


Topics: In-App Payments, Mobile Apps, Mobile Payments, Restaurants

Companies: Tijuana Flats


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https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/news/tijuana-flats-taps-doordash-for-delivery-expansion/

G20 Finance Board: Libra Will Need To Be Watched Closely 

https://www.pymnts.com/news/regulation/2019/g20-finance-board-facebook-libra-regulation/

Randal Quarles, chair of the Financial Stability Board (FSB), said there won’t be a specific item on the agenda about Facebook’s Libra at the G20 summit in Japan, but that regulators will need to closely watch the proposed cryptocurrency, according to a report by Reuters.

Quarles said there is no current global threat from crypto in terms of affecting stability, but that there could be gaps that fall outside the scope of regulators’ power, which need to be scrutinized.

“A wider use of new types of crypto assets for retail payment purposes would warrant close scrutiny by authorities to ensure they are subject to high standards of regulation,” Quarles said. “The FSB and standard-setting bodies will monitor risks very closely and in a coordinated fashion, and consider additional multilateral responses as needed.”

In March of last year, G20 finance ministers and central bankers said they would monitor crypto, but that they wouldn’t take any sort of concrete action. However, the FSB did acknowledge that if Libra is successful, they would have to take a different approach.

The FSB said it met with Facebook about Libra, but the meeting was based on generalities and not about anything too detailed.

A central bank forum in Switzerland, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), said lawmakers need to come together quickly and coordinate a response to new cryptocurrencies like Libra.

The FSB was instrumental during the financial crisis 10 years ago when governments bailed out lenders; it mostly focuses on ensuring that rules are followed.

One concern is that worldwide capital markets are being separated by national regulators, which is prompting some banks to keep huge amounts of capital locally in case they go under. The FSB called that “prepositioning” and said the topic would be on the agenda. The goal is to find an agreement that ensures banks are comfortable that they have enough capital, but not so much that it affects the worldwide financial market.

——————————–

Latest Insights: 

The Payments 2022 Study: Building A High-Performance Payments Team For Fraud Detection, a PYMNTS collaboration with Stripe, examines how digital platforms of all sectors and sizes plan to develop their anti-fraud teams as part of their their broader growth and development strategies. Drawing from an extensive survey from approximately 250 payments heads at digital platforms in the U.S. and abroad, our study analyzes how poor anti-fraud capabilities can harm platforms’ long-term growth strategies, and how they can build high-performing teams to tackle these challenges.

https://www.pymnts.com/news/regulation/2019/g20-finance-board-facebook-libra-regulation/