Squats: The Bitcoin For The Rest Of Us; Guantanamo For Bankers

Welcome to What’s Trending In Payments – a weekly look at the most popular, irreverent and important stories the payments industry had to offer over the past five days. Which companies grabbed the most headlines – for better or for worse – this week, and which topics have the industry abuzz with intrigue, laughter or disbelief? Featuring breakdowns from the staff and commentary by Karen Webster, here’s our take on what all of you payments peeps thought.

Sochi Olympics To Leverage New “Currency” As Promotional Tool

Why It’s Hot: Move over bitcoin, here’s a currency that pays for your subway ride, is sure to increase your sex appeal, and, doesn’t require any form factor at all to use. Well, not exactly because it does require good form. It’s the “squat”—introduced by the Russians to pay for subway rides. To get into the subway all you need to do is 30 squats.

Karen’s Commentary: Wonder how many squats for those new Manolos? Not to brag, but with this currency, I could retire. Russia, here I come.

PYMNTS View: We love it. A two-fer … new currency PLUS gets the country physically active. And, it’s much more egalitarian than bitcoin. Smarter bitcoin miners can mine more. But, hey, any slug with strong quads can compete here.

Top Tweet – @tynewearsport – Building up to #Sochi2014 commuters can ride the #Moscow Metro for free if they do 30 squats 

Is Payments Ready For A President Warren?

Why It’s Hot: The Harvard Law Professor who gave us the CFPB that’s breathing down the necks of every business that provides consumer financial services and wants to put bank CEOs in jail sitting in the White House is hotter than hot if you are in financial services, payments or anything close.

Karen’s Commentary: Well, I guess we know what’s next for Guantanamo.

PYMNTS view: Hey, Jamie, watch out for those drones.

Top Tweet – @cjwerleman – This is why the next U.S. President will be Elisabeth Warren: … @SenWarren #noHillary

China’s Singles Set Single-Day eCommerce Record

Why It’s Hot: The Chinese have discovered how to unleash massive buying power from lonely singles and a way to use their one-child only policy to stimulate the economy.

Karen’s Commentary: So, the big problem in China is a scarcity of girls since, funny thing, under the one-child law Chinese parents don’t seem to be cranking out very many girls. Funny how biology works over there. But, what a great idea to unleash the frustrations of Chinese bachelors who can’t find a date because of the girl shortage.

PYMNTS View: The guys at PYMNTS don’t think shopping is a very good substitute for girls. But, at least the alternative could be cheaper.

Top Tweet – @ghoshworld – Who needs love when you can go shopping? China’s singletons blow $5.7bn online in one insane day via @TIMEWorld 



Digital transformation has been forcefully accelerated, but how does that agility translate into the fight against COVID-era attacks and sophisticated identity threats? As millions embrace online everything, preserving digital trust now falls mostly on banks and FIs. Now, advances in identity data and using different weights on the payment mix afford new opportunities to arm organizations and their customers against cyberthreats. From the latest in machine learning for fraud and risk, to corporate treasury teams working in new ways with new datasets, learn from experts how digital identity, together with advances like real-time payments, combine to engender trust and enrich relationships.

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