Data Dive

Data Dive: The Deal Heard Round the World(pay)

A literal big deal, global in scope, dominates the Data Dive. Oh, and there was some hacking to boot. Of devices and cryptocurrency exchanges.  It was a short week, but not short on news…

If the Data Dive can be said to have a theme this past week, that theme would be mobile.  At least a bit, and at least in terms of two of the bigger headlines in the payments space. One was a big deal – literally…

Worldpay:  OK, we all know the price tag by now:  $9.9 billion.  That’s how much Vantiv is ponying up to boost its presence round the globe in payments, with an eye on the U.K. and on Europe, branching from its U.S. home base.  The move is one that puts Vantiv at the helm, strategically speaking, as that company and its holders will own a combined 59 percent of the merged entity.  Brexit be darned, in this case, as Vantiv wants to be where eCommerce is growing, perhaps inexorably, in places where revennue, as evidenced by Worldpay’s own results, are growing by double-digit percentages.  There’s life in the Old World yet.

Also across the Pond, Brexit has a bit of good news, at least as far as one industry group is concerned, and that industry would be grocers.  Previously, the biggest of the big players in the field had been posting year-on-year declines on their top lines – and this time around, grocery inflation is north of three percent, with some standouts, including salmon prices, up 14 percent.  Morrisons has seen roughly 3.7 percent sales growth in the latest quarter, with Tesco up 3.5 percent, and Asda (Walmart’s horse in the U.K. grocery race) up 2.2 percent.

Android devices were in the news but not on the heels of any new product refreshes, or apps, at least not initially.  True, Samsung posted initial numbers from its second-quarter results that show strong demand for memory chips, which is a positive read across for hardware in general, including Android phones.  But in this case the Data Dive dives into something a bit more sobering.  Think 14 million, as in the number of devices running the Google OS that were hit by a software campaign that was up to no good.  In what way no good?  The bad guys, who have yet to be definitively sourced, tried to make money off fraudulent ads and installations of apps – and no one knows just how much may have been made off of unwitting users.

Bitcoin: Lest you think Android was the only malfeasance of note this past week, the fourth-largest bitcoin exchange in the world, Bithumb, was hacked.  And as part of that hack, 30,000 customers had data compromised.  The South Korea-based firm said that an employee computer had been hacked, rather than office servers, but the damage done might be considerable, as “billions of won” were stolen from customers.

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