3.28.18 Your morning briefing
The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the Web:
Uber the money
Uber has applied for an e-money license from the Dutch central bank, a move designed to diversify the ride sharing app’s financial options and gain new revenue streams from its considerable enrollment base.
An Uber spokesperson told Sky News the license would “streamline” Uber transactions and expand its range of products. Uber’s international headquarters is in the Netherlands, and a subsidiary called Uber Payments BV is handling the application, reports Sky.
Uber’s long been a mixed bag of innovation, fast growth and scandal, but its relatively seamless order-and-pay model is a potential starting point for other transactions such as P2P transfers, a flexibility that’s already apparent through partnerships with companies such as Amex. And Asian ride sharing app Grab, has already built retail and P2P transactions into its service.
How Shyp sank
Shyp was to shipping what PayPal was to payments — so much so that both companies can credit eBay with their early success. But while PayPal quickly set its sights on small businesses, Shyp stayed focused on the consumer until it was too late to correct its course.
Shyp, which launched in 2014, shut down on Tuesday, CEO Kevin Gibbon wrote in a blog post that explained how things went wrong. According to Gibbon, the company was encouraged so much by comparisons to Uber that it failed to see the need to pivot until it was too late. Even a pact with eBay wasn’t enough to save it.
Its model for payments was also a factor, according to TechCrunch.
Much like Uber makes payments disappear in the background of its ride-sharing app, Shyp attempted the same with a $5 one-size-fits-all delivery fee structure, TechCrunch noted. When this proved unsustainable, the company added other fees for returns and larger shipments, making the payment process far more prominent and complicated.
A new face for Apple Watch
Apple Watch, one of the few smartwatches to support NFC payments in every iteration, will get a redesign this year, according to 9to5mac.
The new edition will have a 15% larger display and added health sensors, but the report does not address whether it will still support Apple Pay. Fitbit’s newest smartwatch, the Versa, dropped Fitbit Pay in its standard model but includes it in a version that costs $30 more.
Say ‘no’ to ICO
Five initial coin offerings have been halted in Massachusetts, under orders of the Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, who declared the coins unregistered securities.
Part of Galvin’s concern was that the five companies listed Massachusetts as their location but hadn’t registered with the state, Engadget reports. The move is meant to serve as a caution to potential ICO investors.
From the Web
Shares of retailer-turned-cryptocurrency play Overstock.com plunge on share offering
CNBC | Tue Mar 27, 2018 – Overstock.com shares plunge and are down more than 30 percent this year. The e-commerce company is offering 4 million shares of new stock, underwritten by Guggenheim. The company has moved into the cryptocurrency and blockchain space through its subsidiary tZero and is under investigation from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Your guide to cryptocurrency regulations around the world and where they are headed
CNBC | Tue Mar 27, 2018 – As demand for cryptocurrency grows, global regulators are divided on how to keep up. Most digital currencies are not backed by any central government, meaning each country has different standards. Every seemingly small regulation announcement has driven the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in 2018. Here’s your guide to where digital currencies stand with governments and regulators around the globe.
Vietnam May Soon Emerge As One Of Southeast Asia’s Blockchain Innovation Hubs
Forbes | Tue Mar 27, 2018 – Looking at financial inclusion alone, only 31% of adults in Vietnam have bank accounts. But smartphone ownership is on the rise, with 40% of the population expected to own these devices by 2021, which means app-based, blockchain financial services could bring the underbanked into the fold. Instead of struggling to secure credit or invest their money, more people could grow their wealth and establish financial histories.
More from PaymentsSource
When merchants prefer stale tech, what can innovators do?
There are still millions of merchants in the U.S. clinging to relic point of sale methods — and they are not easily swayed by fancy new touchscreens and mobile wallets. This means companies such as Verifone must go to greater lengths, just to meet them halfway.
Data: P2P’s got problems
Despite more bank and investor activity around digital P2P payments, consumer usage of P2P is a mixed bag.
A ‘dual message’ that puts issuers’ flexibility on the spot
Domestic debit networks’ dual-message transaction options have the ability to disrupt the customer experience, add complexity to back offices operations, and impact issuers’ contractual obligations to their global networks, writes Patrick Goodwin, president of SRM.
French supermarket Carrefour gets into mobile payments
French supermarket chain Carrefour has launched its own mobile wallet, making Carrefour Pay available to customers as part of its plan for a complete omnichannel experience.