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BANKING TECHNOLOGY, RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Weekly Global News Wrap Up: US banks launch mobile payments network; Qatari banks to boost deposit rates

And find out how Bitcoin is helping the pot business.

From New York Times via CNBC: The days of cash as king may be a step closer to ending. After six years of laying a foundation, major banks are ready to introduce Zelle, a digital payments network that will allow people to send money instantly through participating banks' mobile apps. But Zelle faces competition. Since the banks began experimenting with peer-to-peer mobile payments, several upstarts like Venmo entered the field, building a loyal following.

From Bloomberg: Some Qatari banks are boosting interest rates on dollar deposits to shore up liquidity as a Saudi-led campaign to isolate the gas-rich Arab state intensifies, people familiar with the matter said. The lenders are offering a premium of as much as 100 basis points over the London interbank offered rate to attract dollars from regional banks, two of the people said, asking not to be named because the matter is sensitive. That compares with rates of 20 basis points over Libor before the feud started on June 5.

From Bloomberg: Cannabis companies are turning to the world’s most popular digital currency in an effort to get rid of all that cash. The inability to access traditional financial institutions is one of the marijuana industry’s biggest impediments. Legal cannabis was a $6 billion industry last year and is expected to grow to $50 billion by 2026, according to Cowen & Co. But because pot is illegal under federal law, big banks and credit-card companies steer clear.

From Reuters: U.S. credit card losses are likely to rise at JPMorgan Chase & Co and across the industry, Gordon Smith, head of the bank's consumer businesses, said at a conference on Tuesday. Smith said the largest U.S. bank is being "surgical" in determining where to tighten credit standards but he added that lenders industrywide ought to be leaning toward stricter credit card lending standards rather than looser ones.

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