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CIRCLE FOR IMESSAGE: MESSAGING MEETS OPEN GLOBAL SOCIAL PAYMENTS

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CIRCLE FOR IMESSAGE: MESSAGING MEETS OPEN GLOBAL SOCIAL PAYMENTS

Today we announced the availability of Circle for iMessage, which enables anyone using iOS 10 to send and receive social and personal payments without fees to anyone in the world directly within Apple’s iMessage. Customers can send dollars, euro, pound sterling and bitcoin to anyone directly inside of iMessage, and can fund payments and cash out using almost any bank in the US, UK and, soon, Europe.

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When we started Circle, we had a vision that “money should work the way that the internet works” — instant, open, global, free, and fun. We can share messages, experiences and photos and videos with one another; we can communicate in real-time with anyone on the planet; we can publish our news and opinions through any form of content, all in an instant, open, global, free and delightful way. Why shouldn’t money work the same way?

Mobile Messaging, App Design, and China’s Influence

“Working the way that the internet works” isn’t just a technical phrase about protocols and networks. It means blending with the behaviors we prefer when we engage with one another as humans. On mobile devices, this means messaging. We connect to our friends, family, and colleagues by sending messages across our devices, within apps, and on social networks.

The most recent era of mobile app design embraced messaging as mobile’s killer feature by building bespoke messaging features into a multitude of apps. But the new era of mobile app design flips that approach on its head: Many app experiences will be designed within a small number of familiar standard messaging platforms such as iMessage and Facebook Messenger.

China pioneered this trend. Through their dominant WeChat product, Tencent has for years supported social interactions, payments, games, media sharing, merchant services and other app experiences within the WeChat messaging app. In China, WeChat does not resemble an “app” so much as a container for other apps — a de facto operating system.

Companies like Tencent and Alipay also led the way in demonstrating the power of social payments integrated within messaging and commerce experiences. Half a billion people in China use social payment apps on a weekly or monthly basis, and have leapfrogged what we in the West think of as “retail banking” and “checking accounts” toward a world that depends increasingly on messaging digital cash.

But unlike China where social and p2p payments represent a ubiquitous consumer behavior, we in the West stand in the early stages of social payments adoption. And just as the integration of payments with messaging in China led to explosive growth, we believe that the deep integration of consumer payment experiences with messaging will likely define the retail finance franchise of the future.

Apple’s step to open up iMessage is one big step in that direction. It enables apps to feel less like echoes of shrink-wrapped standalone software purchased from a store and installed onto operating systems, and more like fluid, natural extensions of how we already interact with one another every day on our mobile devices.

How does Circle for iMessage work?

eur usdAny customer with iOS 10 can use Circle to send and receive payments directly within iMessage. Circle for iMessage will be available imminently, synchronous with the general availability of iOS 10 for iPhone customers.

Customers who want to send money can use the built-in iMessage app store to grab the Circle for iMessage app (if you already have the Circle iOS app, it will appear automatically within your installed iMessage apps), create an account, and link a debit card and send payments using dollars, euros, pounds and bitcoin to any other iMessage or SMS/MMS customer in the world.

Customers receiving payments who have iOS 10 will see an interactive app widget they can use to cash out their payment to any bank account or blockchain-compatible digital wallet within the Circle app. Those customers can then also send payments globally using their debit card.

Customers receiving payments using Android will receive a URL that they can use to cash out as well as send their own payments, as well as easily onboard into Circle for Android.

Customers of iMessage can send a Circle payment to any iMessage contact or mobile phone number in the world.

Customers outside of markets in which Circle supports local currency will receive bitcoin, and can cash out to their local bank account and currency using a regional exchange. Circle is continually working on adding new markets and currencies, including our previously announced effort to bring Chinese Yuan (RMB) into Circle’s service.

What’s Next?

These are the exciting early days of messaging-as-OS and app containers. Iterating on the best experiences for this new paradigm is a critical focus for us. At the same time, we will continue to polish our apps for iOS, Android, and Web, but realize that merely transporting those app experiences inside iMessage (and others) would be uncreative and ineffective. Please share your thoughts as we work toward surfacing the best experiences for this new open global financial system we’re all helping to create together — let us know how we’re doing!

Where to Get It

You can get Circle right now from the App Store:

[INSERT DEEP LINK TO iOS APP STORE]

Jeremy & Sean, Circle Co-Founders

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England soccer star Rashford nets younger buyers for Burberry

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England soccer star Rashford nets younger buyers for Burberry 1

By Sarah Young

LONDON (Reuters) – Burberry stuck to its full-year goals on Wednesday after a media campaign fronted by high-profile English soccer star and social justice advocate Marcus Rashford drew a younger clientele to the British luxury brand.

Higher full-price sales would boost annual margins and Asian demand remained strong, Burberry said, while warning that it could suffer more sales disruption from COVID-19 lockdowns.

Manchester United striker Rashford, 23, has won plaudits for his campaign to help ensure that poorer children do not go hungry with schools closed during the pandemic.

A first coronavirus wave last year cut Burberry’s sales by as much as 45% before a bounce back on strong demand in mainland China and South Korea, which continued in the last few months.

Shares in Burberry were up 5% to 1,825 pence at 0905 GMT, with Citi analysts saying that improved sales quality from fewer markdowns would drive full-year consensus upgrades.

Burberry’s 9% sales decline in its third quarter was worse than the 6% fall in the second, and the company said that 15% of stores were currently closed and 36% operating with restrictions as a result of measures to curb COVID-19’s spread.

“We expect trading will remain susceptible to regional disruptions as we close the financial year,” Burberry said, adding that it was confident of rebounding when the pandemic eases given the brand’s resonance with customers.

In the third quarter, comparable store sales in Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa declined 37%, hit by shops shut in lockdowns and a lack of tourists visiting Europe, but in the same period, it posted sales growth of 11% in Asia Pacific.

Burberry said that Britain’s new relationship with the European Union would cause headwinds, warning of a modest increase in costs to comply with new rules and also the impact of an end to a scheme for VAT refunds for non-EU tourists.

This would make Britain a less attractive destination for luxury shopping when tourism returns after the pandemic, Burberry said, adding that it would try to mitigate the effect.

(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Kate Holton, James Davey and Alexander Smith)

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Alibaba’s Jack Ma makes first live appearance in three months in online meet

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Alibaba's Jack Ma makes first live appearance in three months in online meet 2

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma met 100 rural teachers in China via a live video meeting on Wednesday morning, in the businessman’s first appearance since October, triggering a sharp jump in the Hong Kong listed shares of the e-commerce giant.

Social media speculation over the whereabouts of China’s highest-profile entrepreneur swirled this month after news reports that he missed the final episode of a TV show featuring him as a judge, amid a regulatory clampdown by Beijing on his sprawling business empire.

Ma had not appeared in public since Oct. 24, where he blasted China’s regulatory system in a speech at a Shanghai forum that set him on a collision course with officials, leading to suspension of a $37-billion IPO of Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Group.

Tianmu News, a news portal under Zhejiang Online, which is backed by the provincial Zhejiang government, first reported that Ma had met with the teachers via a live video conference on Wednesday.

The Jack Ma Foundation said that Ma participated in the online ceremony of the annual Rural Teacher Initiative event on Wednesday. Alibaba Group also confirmed that Jack Ma attended the online event.

Alibaba’s Hong Kong-listed shares jumped more than 6% after the reports of his reappearance, compared with a 0.64% rise in the Hang Seng index.

Ma’s public appearance comes as Alibaba plans to raise at least $5 billion through the sale of a U.S. dollar-denominated bond this month. Reuters reported the bond proceeds could reach $8 billion, which the e-commerce leader was likely to use for general corporate expenditure.

Alibaba is also the target of an antitrust investigation launched last month by Chinese authorities, who have in recent months accelerated a crackdown on anticompetitive behaviour in China’s booming internet space.

In the 50-second video, Ma, dressed in a navy pullover, spoke directly to the camera from a room with grey marble walls and a striped carpet. It was not clear from the video or the Tianmu News article where he was speaking from.

He addressed teachers receiving the Jack Ma Rural Teachers Award, who in previous years would have attended a ceremony organised by the Jack Ma Foundation in the Chinese seaside city of Sanya.

“We cannot meet in Sanya due to the epidemic,” he said in the speech, which did not discuss his whereabouts. “When the epidemic is over, we must find time to make up for everyone’s trip to Sanya, and then we will meet again!”

Xie Pu, founder of Chinese tech website Techie Crab, said the media and public had over-interpreted Ma’s move to lay low and that his step away from the public spotlight should not have been seen as a problem for Alibaba.

“We shouldn’t over-interpret his reappearance into public view this time, said Xie Pu, founder of Chinese tech website Techie Crab. “Alibaba still has a good governance structure — there are partners and a board of directors.”

(Reporting by Brenda Goh in Shanghai, Kane Wu and Sumeet Chatterjee in Hong Kong, Yingzhi Yang in Beijing; Editing by Tom Hogue and Gerry Doyle)

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ComplyAdvantage Releases State Of Financial Crime Report For 2021

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ComplyAdvantage Releases State Of Financial Crime Report For 2021 3

Designed as an must-have strategic roadmap for compliance teams, the comprehensive report covers financial crime insights related to fraud, cyber, and money laundering, the rise of crypto,

and the ever-changing sanctions landscape

ComplyAdvantage, a global data technology company transforming financial crime detection, today announced the availability of the firm’s much anticipated report The State Of Financial Crime 2021 Designed as a strategic guide for global compliance teams, the report lays out the many emerging threats that governments and financial institutions will face in 2021, along with prescriptive recommendations for implementing best compliance practices for combating financial crimes.

The research on which The State Of Financial Crime 2021 report is based was administered in November and December 2020. Interviews were conducted with 600 C-suite and senior compliance decision makers across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. The respondents represented enterprise banking, investments, crypto, insurance organizations, and fintechs.

One of the biggest challenges that compliance teams face is keeping current on the rapidly evolving regulations, and the advances of criminal behavior while balancing their organizations’ risk appetite.   Risk indicators are also becoming harder to spot as the amount of information available grows exponentially and the speed of change gathers pace.  This is why ComplyAdvantage has dedicated the company’s resources and  anti-money laundering (AML) expertise in order to help compliance executives mitigate regulatory risks related to the most extreme AML financial crimes.

The State Of Financial Crime 2021 delves into the most important financial crime trends that Compliance Officers are most concerned with in the coming year.  Specifically, these trends include increased fraud related to COVID-19 relief; risk vulnerabilities related to inconsistencies in global AML and counter financing of terrorism (CFT) system; the growth in sophistication of computer and mobile-enabled cybercrimes via payment systems; the continued use of sanctions as a tool of first resort and more.

A sample of key insights from the report include:

  • SARs filing was on the rise with 74% of respondents saying they filed more SARS in 2020 than the previous year
  • 93% of respondents stated that real-time AML risk data would improve their compliance operations
  • Cybersecurity and third party risk management were noted as organizations’ biggest compliance-related pain points in 2020. With 54% of respondents ranking cybersecurity as a top pain point.
  • 62% of respondents plan on upgrading their legacy systems in 2021.
  • 54% of respondents plan on replacing or upgrading their transaction monitoring system in 2021.

“Due to the massive economic, political and social disruption brought about by COVID-19, international crime syndicates, rogue nations, global terrorists and cyber-criminals have become increasingly more aggressive, “said Charles Delingpolefounder and CEO of ComplyAdvantage.  “Therefore, we felt it was imperative to prepare Compliance Officers and their teams for the potential onslaught of financial crimes driven by nefarious organizations.

Already the preferred choice of some of the world’s largest banks, enterprises and           high-growth fintechs, ComplyAdvantage uses machine learning and natural language processing to help regulated organizations manage their risk obligations and prevent financial crime. The company’s proprietary database is derived from millions of data points that provide dynamic, real-time insights across sanctions, watchlists, politically exposed persons, and negative news. This reduces dependence on manual review processes and legacy databases by up to 80% and improves how companies screen and monitor clients and transactions.

ComplyAdvantage releases The State Of Financial Crime 2021 a comprehensive report covering financial crime trends related to fraud, cyber, and money laundering.  #compliance #financialcrime #AML #antimoneylaundering #cybercrime

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