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A New York Times profile of President Joe Biden mentioned he has sent his grandchildren money on Venmo, prompting another media company to find Biden’s private social connections.
BuzzFeed News reports it used the app’s search tools and public friends feature to find a dozen Biden family members. It also produced a social web including the first family, senior White House officials and all of their Venmo contacts. The actual transactions were not public.
BuzzFeed added this information was quickly removed when it contacted the White House for comment. A Venmo spokesperson told PaymentsSource users have the ability to make transactions private and determine their own privacy setting in the app.
Pound for pound
The U.K. has accelerated work on a central bank digital currency, with Bank of England Deputy Governor Jon Conliffe saying it may be necessary to ensure the general public can access the financial system as traditional cash usage declines.
Coinliffe made his statement at a speech last week, reports Finextra, adding the growth of countries considering a CBDC, including the EU, makes a “Britcoin” a necessary and inevitable part of the future.
Given the age of the U.K.’s currency system, there are extra structural complications in building a CBDC that can co-exist with traditional money.
Cryptocurrency mining firm Argo Blockchain and cryptocurrency technology company DMG Blockchain Solutions are partnering with the Crypto Climate Accord to promote the decarbonization of the cryptocurrency industry.
The two companies will work on projects that reduce the energy required for cryptocurrency mining and increase transparency into energy use, estimating bitcoin miners use about 0.5% of all global power.
The CCA’s goal is to reach net-zero emissions for crypto electricity consumption by 2030, and build tools and standards to reach 100% renewably-powered blockchains by 2025.
Another cryptocurrency mining operation, Greenidge Generation Holdings, plans to counter its emissions with carbon offset purchases.
Greenidge uses natural gas to power its mining, which has drawn criticism in its upstate New York region, reports Coindesk.
The company will create a portfolio of greenhouse gas reduction projects for investment and will also invest part of its mining profits in green energy products in New York.
From the web
Indonesia’s Gojek, Tokopedia merge to create tech giant
REUTERS | Monday, May 17, 2021
Indonesian ride-hailing and payments firm Gojek and e-commerce leader Tokopedia have agreed to a merger to create a multi-billion dollar tech company called GoTo in the country’s largest-ever deal.
India’s Moglix valued at $1 billion in $120 million fundraise
TECHCRUNCH | Monday, May 17, 2021
Moglix, an industrial business-to-business marketplace in India, said on Monday it has raised $120 million in a new financing round at $1 billion valuation, becoming the 13th firm from the world’s second largest market to attain the unicorn status this year.
JD Logistics, China’s answer to Amazon’s logistics ambitions, to raise $3.4B in IPO
TECHCRUNCH | Monday, May 17, 2021
After operating in the red for 14 years, JD.com’s logistics subsidiary is getting ready for an initial public offering in Hong Kong. JD Logistics will price its share between HK$39.36 and HK$43.36 apiece, which could see the firm raise up to about HK$26.4 billion or $3.4 billion, according to its new filing.
More from PaymentsSource
MagicCube, Dojo offer contactless mobile PIN payments for U.K., Irish merchants
MagicCube’s software that converts Android devices into mobile point-of-sale terminals will be deployed in the U.K. and Ireland through a partnership with payments provider Dojo.
Merchant lending can help small banks battle fintechs
Even before the pandemic, almost half of SMB customers were being turned away by their own banks for a small business loan. Enter COVID-19, and banks and credit unions are still not keeping up with the surging demand for capital, says LendingFront’s Jorge Sun.
Stripe’s buys Bouncer to bring authentication pros in house
Stripe has upgraded its identity technology several times during its expansion, including its Friday acquisition of Bouncer, a firm that mitigates fraud during online transactions.
Square adds developer tools to boost sales and marketing
The payment company unveiled the new tools Friday at its developer conference, Square Unboxed. Snippets API, which is the first API that Square put on top of its Square Online platform, allows merchants to create online experiences such as digital content.
Atlanta Fed raises flags about fintech’s impact on financial inclusion
The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta has created a cross-industry group to bridge the gaps created between financial innovations and the underbanked.
Buy now/pay later can be a pricing tool for retailers
Buy now/pay later not only is a way to reach new consumers, it can also increase sales conversions for retailers.
Payments’ tech wave requires a more proactive customer experience
Customers’ familiarity and expectations for digital service have risen but customer service strategy needs to adapt to this new playing field, says Majorel’s Oliver Carlsen.
Why Diem chose to be regulated in the U.S.
The Facebook-affiliated stablecoin’s move from Switzerland brings it to a country where regulators are familiar with crypto and rival currencies have already debuted.
Inside FIS’s effort to build a global real-time payments network
When FIS bought Worldpay two years ago, it marked the biggest deal in a season of fintech megamergers, with FIS chief Gary Norcross rhapsodizing about the combination creating the industry’s broadest range of global financial solutions.
SPACs are here to stay, but with some caution
IPO or SPAC merger? That is the question I’ve been getting from a lot of private company leaders lately. And a lot of payment and fintechs are using both methods to go public.
JPMorgan Chase joins Bahrain digital currency pilot
The Central Bank of Bahrain is collaborating with JPMorgan Chase and Bahrain-based Bank ABC to test the use of digital currency to speed up cross-border payments.
Hackers using text messaging to target retailers
It’s more common in retail than in other industries for the attacker to use text messaging to trick a retail employee into initiating a money transfer, according to the 2021 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report.
A new standard will bust open the door to artificial intelligence
ISO 20022 prioritizes speed and security, creating a runway for major new innovations like machine learning, says NICE Actimize’s John Buzzard.
Financial firms confront the threat of central bank digital currencies
Government digital currency projects have the potential to displace banks and fintechs from the payment process. But three major participants — Accenture, Ant Group and Swift — argue that incumbents have a role to play.
Silvergate Bank to issue Diem stablecoin
The Facebook-affiliated Diem stablecoin is shifting its primary operations from Switzerland to the U.S., a move that includes a deal with a regulated American bank and a withdrawal of the project’s application for a Swiss payment license.
Alliance Data to spin off loyalty unit that operates Canada’s Air Miles
Alliance Data Systems, which operates private-label and cobranded credit card and loyalty programs, plans to spin off its loyalty operations this year to improve the parent company’s performance.
Credit card balances slide again even as consumer spending rebounds
U.S. households again reduced their credit card balances in the first quarter, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Wednesday, even as vaccinations and reopenings were helping to rekindle consumer spending.
B2B automation is the low-hanging fruit for accounts payable
Traditionally, finance and accounting teams live in a world of numbers, overseeing spend management and aiming to keep every department on budget.
Digitization can improve more than just financial lives
The urgency to streamline processes during the pandemic accentuated how digitization can also drive diversity, fairness and better environmental outcomes, says Microsoft’s
Fiserv, Jack Henry find new markets for faster payments
Legacy vendors are competing more aggressively to modernize payroll, insurance payouts and data sharing.
Apple defends app review, payment system to deflect Epic claims
Apple provided in-depth detail on how many apps it rejected last year and why its iPhone payment system keeps customers secure, seeking to deflect claims from Epic Games that its review process and purchase system is a deterrent to competition.
TikTok begins testing in-app shopping to challenge Facebook
ByteDance’s TikTok is working with brands including streetwear label Hype to test in-app sales in Europe, a move that will intensify its competition with Facebook Inc. and further blur the line between social media and online shopping.
Arkose Labs raises $70 million in funding round
The San Francisco-based technology provider raised $70 million in a Series C round this week, bringing its total funding to $114 million.
The Most Influential Women in Payments: Next
This year’s honorees are women under 40 who have demonstrated a strong talent for leadership and an expertise in their respective fields. They also took on crucial responsibilities to help their organizations navigate the complexities of the pandemic, and set their companies on a path for continued growth.