Today In Payments: SEC Launches Probe Into SPAC Craze; Ruth McCartney Brings Rock History To The Blockchain

In today’s top news, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched a probe into the recent surge of special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), and a class-action lawsuit against Mastercard for a record $19 billion will be heard today by a London court. Plus, music industry veterans Ruth McCartney and Mey Pang discussed NFTs with PYMNTS.

SEC Launches Probe Into SPAC Craze

The SEC is launching a probe into the wave of startups going public via SPACs. The Commission has asked four Wall Street banks for details about the number of active deals and the associated fees and how the investments are being managed internally.

London Court to Decide on Class Action Suit Against Mastercard

A class-action lawsuit against Mastercard for a record £14 billion ($19 billion) will be heard by a specialist London court on Thursday (March 25), and the court will decide if the case should proceed. The 2016 suit, brought by former financial ombudsman Walter Merricks, accuses Mastercard of overcharging more than 46 million people across nearly 16 years, and could entitle every adult in Britain to about £300 pounds each.

MoneyGram Launches Enterprise Platform Including Digital G-Coin

Cross-border payments firm MoneyGram is launching a new solution that will make its API-powered platform available to third-party vendors and new businesses, while also opening it up to G-Coin.

Fed Chair Powell Remarks Draw Brighter Line Between Cryptos, Digital Dollars

Senior administration officials are seemingly at odds with bitcoin’s (ostensible) place as a store of value and its use in commerce. On the other hand, digital dollars may be (slowly) getting ready for prime time.

NPP Australia Takes Real-Time Payments to Next Level

Transaction volumes with Australia’s real-time payment system may exceed two million daily, but it was a long road to enable the widespread use cases seen today, said Katrina Stuart, head of engagement at New Payments Platform Australia (NPPA). In the Real-Time Payments Tracker, Stuart reflects on how payment system operators can foster innovation, and how NPP’s forthcoming immediate authorized pull payments capability could be an eCommerce game changer.

Digital Media Veteran Ruth McCartney Brings Rock History to the Blockchain

Most people know her through her famous stepbrother, who made his living playing with a notable Liverpool-based rock-and-roll band. But Ruth McCartney has been a branding and media star in her own right for years, and now she’s bringing non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to the market. McCartney’s first project will involve the photos of John Lennon’s paramour and artist May Pang. The two of them talked to PYMNTS about their new venture.

New Data: Restaurants’ Post-Pandemic Future Sees ‘First Returners’ in Key Role

PYMNTS’ recent COVID-19 compendium contains new insights into how consumers will – or won’t – return to restaurants. We can expect more drinks, more order-ahead and more attention paid to “first returners.”

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