01.17.18 Your morning briefing
The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the Web:
‘All-in-one’ cards get another shot: Curve has debuted a card in the U.K. that allows consumers to switch a card used to fund a payment after they have left the store. Through the card’s “back in time” feature, card preferences can be changed for up to two weeks, a system the company is selling as a financial management tool. Curve, which is being offered for free with a $60 premium option with more rewards, works like a regular card and is usable anyplace that accepts Mastercard. While all-in-one cards have struggled to gain traction over the years, more than 100,000 people signed up during the card’s testing phase and spent more than $120 million, according to a release.
States’ rights: A group of 18 states is petitioning Congressional leadership to loosen federal regulations on marijuana, arguing that more legal protections for banks would make cannabis payments less cash-heavy and more reliant on bank transfers, and as such more taxable and easier to regulate. The states are requesting legislation that would provide a safe harbor for financial institutions that provide financial services for businesses that have laws and regulations to monitor the marijuana industry.
OnePlus’ fraud hit: Electronic equipment company OnePlus became the latest to get hit with card fraud, with consumers reporting unauthorized transactions and the company disabling credit card payments but still allowing PayPal transactions. The company is doing a complete audit of its systems and is looking for alternative payment options. Oneplus.net was built on the Magento eCommerce platform, though OnePlus says it does not believe this security issue is linked to Magento’s e-commerce hackfrom three years ago.
Ethereum’s runway: The private jet booking platform TapJets will support Ethereum as a form of payment. This will allow clients to instantly book and confirm private flights from their smartphones while the blockchaiin completes the transaction as the client is enroute to the airport. TapJets is also building technology that will use smart contracts to replace the jet cards that are normally used for private planes, according to a release from TapJets, which added bitcoin support in 2017.
China takes another bite out of crypto: China plans to support fintechs that serve the “real” economy, which is being seen as an attempt to curtail startups related to virtual currencies. Finextra quotes Jiang Yang, vice chairman of China’s Securities Regulatory Commission, saying fintechs should not benefit a “a small group of people.” This would negatively impact peer-to-peer lending and cryptocurrencies, which are not as heavily regulated as China’s other financial services, and are growing quickly, creating further challenges for regulators. China has taken other steps to crack down on cryptocurrencies in the past year
From the Web
Firms buy insurance ‘in mad panic’ as cyber-attacks soar
BBC News | Tue Jan 16, 2018 – Many firms feel like they’re under siege. Cyber-attacks are coming thick and fast and the tools at the hackers’ disposal seem to be getting more, not less, powerful. Estimated annual losses from cyber crime now top $400bn (£291bn), according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies. And the cost in lost productivity of last year’s WannaCry ransomware attack alone was estimated at $4bn. So many businesses are buying cyber insurance “in a mad panic”, warns Charl van der Walt of SecureData, a cyber-security company.
Amex tabs New York JFK’s Terminal 4 for luxe Centurion Lounge
USA Today | Tue Jan 16, 2018 – American Express is turning to New York’s JFK Airport for the newest of its luxe Centurion Lounge airport clubs. The two-level, 15,000-square-foot lounge will be located in JFK’s Terminal 4 and is expected to open “by early 2019,” American Express will announce Tuesday. The Centurion Lounge is the upscale line of airport clubs run by American Express, the first of which opened in Las Vegas in 2013. The addition of the JFK lounge will give American Express its tenth Centurion Lounge location. The lounges have been welcomed by frequent fliers, who have praised the clubs’ high-end aesthetics. The lounges are also not tied to any single airline or frequent-flier alliance. Entry is complimentary for Platinum Card and Centurion members.
As Bitcoin Prices Plunge, Overstock, Square Shareholders Also Hurt
Fortune | Tue Jan 16, 2018 – As Bitcoin’s price plunged near $10,000 Tuesday on news of a strengthening cryptocurrency crackdown in Asia, companies that have tied their fortunes to cryptocurrency and blockchain are also taking a beating along with their investors. Payments processor Square, which announced plans to allow for some Bitcoin buying and selling, lost 5%, or $90 million in market value on Tuesday. The company, led by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, ended regular trading valued at $15.1 billion. Meanwhile, shares in Overstock, the e-commerce company that allows customers to pay in cryptocurrency, fell 11%. It ended the day with a $1.8 billion market capitalization, a loss of roughly $200 million.
More from PaymentsSource
Gas stations see a smoother ride for EMV migration
Most U.S. merchants faced a 2015 deadline for EMV compliance, but gas stations have until 2020. Those extra years bring with them an assortment of new technology that can fundamentally change the ways motorists fuel up.
Where Plenti stumbled, Fuel Rewards has carved a niche
Even as more retailers dropped out of the Plenti multi-merchant loyalty program this month, the faltering American Express program does not represent a death blow for such collaborations.
Merchants are not immune to the dangers of Meltdown and Spectre
Payments security experts are warning of the risks to some merchants with payment systems that transmit cardholder data from the processor back to the point of sale from the Spectre and Meltdown computer chip flaws.
VC firm to buy Blackhawk Network
Gift card giant Blackhawk Network will be acquired by the tech investment firm Silver Lake, along with P2 Capital Partners, for $3.5 billion in a move underscoring investor interest in the shift to mobile digital technology, where Blackhawk devoted millions in recent years.