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Top News In Payments: Shady Bitcoin Transactions Hit All-Time High; US Airlines Halt China Flights

PYMNTS Top News in Payments

In today’s top payments news, illegal activity involving cryptocurrency is at a record high, U.S. airlines are cancelling all flights to and from mainland China due to the coronavirus outbreak and Starbucks reported 17 percent mobile order growth in its Q1 2020 earnings report.

Shady Bitcoin Transactions Hit All-Time High

Illegal activity concerning cryptocurrency is at an all-time high, particularly involving drug sales and ransomware cyberattacks. New reports say 1 percent of all Bitcoin transactions involve criminal activity, and while this doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s almost double from 2018.

Airlines Follow British Airways‘ Lead In Halting China Flights

Following a move by British Airways, U.S. airlines are canceling all flights to and from mainland China due to the coronavirus outbreak, which had claimed the lives of 132 people as of Tuesday, Jan. 28.

BMO On Taking A Digital-First Approach To Retail Banking

Most customers still visit bank branches, but prefer digital in-branch experiences, pushing FIs to undergo digital transformations to provide the best customer engagement possible. In this month’s Digital-First Banking Tracker, Kyle Barnett, COO for personal and small business banking at BMO, discusses how these technologies have also allowed staff to focus on more complicated transactions, improving branch efficiencies and reducing costs.

Mastercard And TabaPay On Accelerating Instant Payments

Karen Webster sits down with Mastercard and TabaPay to delve into how Mastercard’s Accelerate program has led to cross-pollination of insight and technologies that use in-place rails to get money where it needs to go — instantly.

Starbucks US Order Ahead Volume Hits 17 Pct

Convenience is the formula of success for Starbucks, which saw 17 percent growth in mobile order and pay transactions in the U.S. in its first quarter earnings for the 2020 fiscal year. The company also added a record 1.4 million customers to its 90-day active Starbucks Rewards member base, ending the quarter with 18.9 million active members in the U.S., a 16 percent year-over-year rise.

eBay Teases Sale Of Classifieds As Q4 Earnings Slide

eBay continues its search for a new CEO, seeks new revenue from StubHub and possibly the sale of its classifieds unit, and awaits negative impact of online sales tax imposed by states in the U.S., according to company officials on a webcast on Tuesday (Jan. 28) following its Q4 earnings release.

Mastercard’s X-Border Volumes Gain 16 Percent

Mastercard expressed confidence that new payment flows such as instant payments and contactless payments will continue to uptick, as it posted fourth quarter results on Wednesday (Jan. 29) that showed increased spending on cards and across borders up double digits.

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LIVE PYMNTS ROUNDTABLE: MODERNIZING & SCALING FOR THE NEW NORMAL

The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.

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