1.31.19 Your morning briefing

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The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the Web:

In the cards
Both Visa and Mastercard posted solid quarterly earnings, beyond some concern over sluggish cross-border payments and the potential economic impact of global political battles at Visa.

For the quarter ending Dec. 31, Mastercard reported net income of $900 million, or $0.87 per share, up from $200 million, or $0.21 per share the prior year when income numbers were lower because of tax policy.

Adjusted earnings per share rose to $1.55 from $1.14, which for Mastercard, was better than the FactSet analyst consensus of $1.52. Net revenue at Mastercard increased to $3.8 billion from $3.3 billion, in line with analyst estimates.

Mastercard did not report cross-border sluggishness, saying volume rolse 17 percent. Earlier in January, Discover reported solid earnings but higher delinquencies. Amex also recently reported higher earnings.

Bloomberg News

No password
Retailers, banks, governments and associations are working around the world to get rid of static identifiers such as passwords in favor of advanced ID that’s flexible, digital and transportable, but even they’d agree that a simple password is better than nothing.

Millions of consumer payment records, bank details and personal data have been exposed because the State Bank of India did not password-protect a server in Mumbai, reports TechCrunch, which attributed its reporting to a security researcher.

It’s unclear how long the server was accessible or how much may have leaked, though the service impacted covers requests such as “last five transactions” on cards.

Rage against the machinery
A U.K. payments company has sued Royal Bank of Scotland, claiming the bank locked the technology company’s accounts because of alleged fraud by a client.

The company, which was not named, says the account freeze deprived it of “the very machinery” it uses to do business, reports the Financial Times.

The incident that sparked the lawsuit happened in 2015, and involved two accounts for the payment company. The bank filed a suspicious activity report with the U.K.’s National Crime Agency. The FT also reports nearly 464,000 SARs were filed in 2018, causing criticism in the U.K. that banks are “protecting themselves” from prosecution rather than flagging suspected illegal activity.

Blockchain bills
Blockchain, cryptocurrency and distributed ledgers are often associated with digital transactions such as cross-border payments, but there is a physical use case.

Blockchain e-wallet company Tangem will issue a bank note for the Marshall Islands’ national digital currency, the SOV, which will join the U.S. dollar as the islands’ legal tender.

The physical currency will have a blockchain-enabled microprocessor inside, combining elements of traditional paper banknotes with blockchain technology.

New breach, new cards
Discover has issued new cards following a security incident that occurred in August.

There’s not a lot more information, such as as the number of people or the length of the breach, though Discover told California authorities the cards could have been involved in a breach, and that the breach did not involve card systems, reports SiliconAngle News.

The article said that is consistent with a third-party theft of card information that includes Discover customers.

From the Web

New Software Standards Aim To Slow Rampant Credit Card Theft
Forbes | Wed January 30, 2019 – Anything that could reverse, or even slow down, the rampant theft of credit card data would be a very big deal. And that is the goal of the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC), which earlier this month published the first major overhaul of its software security standards in more than a decade.

Judge rules for Heartland Payment in background check lawsuit
Reuters | Wed January 30, 2019 – A California job applicant does not have standing to sue payment processing company Heartland Payment Systems for alleged violations of a federal law on background checks because she did not show she was injured, a federal judge in New Jersey has ruled.

Mobile pay encouraging tourists to spend more
China Daily | Wed January 30, 2019 – Chinese travelers are spending more money than ever on overseas trips, with 60 percent of visitors to Europe identifying mobile payment as their first choice, a new study says. A Nielsen and Alipay report, titled 2018 Trends of Chinese Mobile Payment in Outbound Tourism, finds that the average budget for Chinese tourists traveling abroad increased to more than $6,026 per person in 2018.

More from PaymentsSource

What the iPhone’s slump means for the future of mobile pay
Apple’s recent smartphone revenue decline contrasts with strength in wearables and services, making these alternative venues increasingly important to Apple Pay’s continued success.

As legacy acquirers consolidate, Stripe racks up VC funds
Just five months after first reaching a $20 billion valuation, Stripe has attracted another $100 million investment that’s put it past $22.5 billion, allowing the fintech to put even more pressure on the legacy acquiring industry.

Returnly raises $8 million for online goods returns service
The U.S. e-commerce explosion is driving about $150 billion annually in returns, and Returnly is riding the trend with a service to eliminate the waiting time for consumers to receive funds from items they plan to return to the merchant.

Swift’s tech network tests links to e-commerce, trading, blockchain
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication is testing a link between e-commerce and trading platforms within its Global Payments Innovation network, with the first trial taking place on the Corda blockchain platform.

John Adams

John Adams

John Adams is executive editor of PaymentsSource.

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