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for more than 17 years. Glenbrook curates
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October 22, 2020

On The Web

Deals

Adyen alumni raise €2.6M seed to launch Silverflow, a ‘cloud-native’ card payments processor

TechCrunch

Silverflow , a Dutch startup founded by Adyen alumni, is breaking cover and announcing seed funding. The pre-launch company has spent the last two years building what it describes as a “cloud-native” online card processor that directly connects to card networks. The aim is to offer a modern replacement for the 20 to 40-year-old payments card processing tech that is mostly in use today.”

Domains

Instacart, in partnership with ALDI, will support SNAP EBT for online groceries

TechCrunch

Instacart is making its grocery delivery and pickup services more accessible to lower-income customers by offering customers the ability to pay for groceries using their SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits. This is the first time Instacart shoppers have been able to use government assistance programs when paying for groceries, and follows earlier moves by larger retailers, including Amazon, Walmart, and others in extending SNAP EBT to online grocery.”

Domains

Future of Tech: Gaming Predicted to Become Next Dominant Technology Platform

Wall Street Journal (paywall)

“Gaming is set to emerge as the next dominant technology platform much the way search engines, mobile phones and social networks redefined industries in previous decades, says Michael Wolf, co-founder and chief executive of consulting firm Activate Inc. Some games are transforming into digital hubs that offer people an array of services once only possible in real life, according to Mr. Wolf.”

Systems

Why Central Banks Want to Create Their Own Digital Currencies Like Bitcoin

Wall Street Journal (paywall)

“Central banks around the world are weighing introducing a new kind of money, known as digital currency. China has been at the forefront of such efforts. In April, Beijing said it would expand its pilot program for a homegrown electronic-payment system , which shares some features with bitcoin and other private cryptocurrencies, to a number of large cities. Even the Federal Reserve, which has long said it doesn’t have plans to launch a digital currency, plans to build and test a hypothetical design .”

Systems

Central Bank of Bahamas Launches Landmark ‘Sand Dollar’ Digital Currency

CoinDesk

“The Central Bank of the Bahamas has officially launched its national digital currency. The first of its kind in the world to have been fully deployed, the sand dollar is a digital version of the Bahamian dollar. Issued by the country’s monetary authority as a central bank digital currency (CBDC), the announcement of the launch came via a tweet on Wednesday.”

On The Wires

Companies

Mastercard Partners with Atlantis to Expand Digital First Program in India

“Addressing the growing demand for digital payment solutions for everything, from buying coffee to ordering groceries, Mastercard today in partnership with Atlantis announced the expansion of the Digital First Program in India. Mastercard is partnering with Atlantis, a financial technology company headquartered in Singapore, to provide users with a technology solution that will enable them to enjoy a best-in-class digital banking experience.”

Companies

Lyft is Making Paying for Rides Easier Than Ever with the Addition of Venmo

“To make paying for rides and getting around town even easier, Lyft riders will soon be able to pay with Venmo and easily split the cost of their ride. We’ll start rolling out this feature in October and will launch to all U.S. Lyft riders in the coming weeks. Sixty million active Venmo users already use the platform to split dinner with friends, pay for coffee or groceries, and stay socially connected. And they can now continue to live their financial lives on Venmo by easily paying for and splitting Lyft rides.”

Domains

Deel Rolls Out New Cash Advance Feature, Allowing Remote Workers to Determine When They Get Paid

Deel , a payroll and compliance platform enabling companies to hire anyone anywhere, today announced Deel Advance , a new feature that allows Deel users to access their earnings up to 30 days in advance, without interest rates or traditional credit scoring. The new feature is the latest addition to Deel’s suite of solutions that make remote work accessible and desirable.”

Providers

Alliance Data Selects Fiserv for Credit Processing Services

Alliance Data Systems Corporation (NYSE: ADS ), a leading provider of data-driven marketing, loyalty and payment solutions, today announced that its Card Services business, a premier provider of branded private label, co-brand and commercial card programs, has signed an agreement to transition credit card processing services to Fiserv (NASDAQ: FISV ), a leading global provider of payments and financial services technology solutions.”

Systems

Alacriti Announces Cloud-Native, End-to-End Solution for Real-Time Payments

Alacriti , a fintech company specializing in payments today announced its Cosmos for RTP solution, powered by the Orbipay Platform. Cosmos for RTP enables banks and credit unions to quickly and seamlessly connect to The Clearing House’s RTP® network and deliver innovative real-time payment services to their customers. Alacriti’s solution allows financial institutions to rapidly leverage the power and convenience of RTP to drive new revenue without the burden of significant infrastructure overhauls or capital investments.”

Systems

Netspend Named Official Jersey Sleeve Partner of Austin FC

“The agreement between the two Austin companies, grants Netspend, a Global Payments company (NYSE: GPN), the rights to be the Club’s Official Jersey Sleeve Partner and newest Founding Partner, in addition to becoming the Official Digital Payment Partner of Austin FC and the Official Prepaid Debit Mastercard® provider. Netspend products and affiliated technologies will also be integrated within the stadium to enhance the speed and safety of food, beverage, and merchandise transactions.”

October 21, 2020

TOP POST

Providers

ABA Urges America’s Banks to Offer Bank On-Certified Accounts

“The American Bankers Association called on every bank in the country to consider offering Bank On-certified accounts to expand access to banking services and reduce the number of unbanked and underbanked Americans. In urging all banks to join ABA in this financial inclusion initiative during his opening remarks at ABA’s Unconventional Convention, ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols also commended the nation’s core processors, which provide the operational backbone behind many banks, for committing to make it easier for their bank customers to offer the highly affordable accounts that meet the Bank On National Account Standards.”

On The Web

Companies

Amazon launches a program to pay consumers for their data on non-Amazon purchases

TechCrunch

Amazon has launched a new program that directly pays consumers for information about what they’re purchasing outside of Amazon.com and for responding to short surveys. The program, Amazon Shopper Panel , asks users to send in 10 receipts per month for any purchases made at non-Amazon retailers, including grocery stores, department stores, drug stores and entertainment outlets (if open), like movie theaters, theme parks and restaurants.”

Companies

PayPal to allow cryptocurrency buying, selling and shopping on its network

Reuters

“PayPal Holdings Inc joined the cryptocurrency market on Wednesday, allowing customers to buy, sell and hold bitcoin and other virtual coins using the U.S. digital payments company’s online wallets. PayPal customers will also be able to use cryptocurrencies to shop at the 26 million merchants on its network starting in early 2021, the company said in a statement. PayPal hopes the service will encourage global use of virtual coins and prepare its network for new digital currencies that may be developed by central banks and corporations, President and Chief Executive Dan Schulman said in an interview.”

Domains

JPMorgan Chase takes on Square and PayPal with smartphone card reader, faster deposits for merchants

CNBC

JPMorgan Chase is making a play to sell more services to millions of American small business owners, pushing into an area pioneered by fintech firms including Square , PayPal and First Data , CNBC has learned. The bank is rolling out a checking account that is paired with a new fintech-inspired service called QuickAccept, according to JPMorgan executives. QuickAccept lets merchants take card payments within minutes, either through a mobile app or a contactless card reader, and users will see sales hit their Chase business accounts on the same day .”

Domains

Stampli, an invoice management software startup, launches a payments product

TechCrunch

Stampli , a collaborative invoice management software company, introduced a payments product today called Stampli Direct Pay. The startup launched back in 2015 with a mission to simplify invoice management through collaboration (and a dash of AI). Interestingly, Stampli said it was uninterested at the time in providing a payments product alongside its collaborative suite, focusing instead on the process of procure to pay.”

Global

Paytm To Launch Credit Card; Aims To Issue 2 Million Cards In 12-18 Months

Entrepreneur India

“Vijay Shekhar Sharma-led Paytm on Monday announced that it’s building ‘Next Generation Credit Cards’ for the country to democratise its access. In a statement, the company said it is trying to transform the credit market by enabling ‘new to credit’ users to join the digital economy. The Noida-based company will be partnering with multiple card issuers to bring co-branded cards. It aims to distribute 2 million cards in the next 12-18 months.”

Systems

This digital card from the guys behind Samsung Pay lets you tap to pay without your phone

Android Police

“NFC payments are quick, easy, and less germy than swiping a card — but they aren’t as widespread as one might think. Samsung uses magnetic secure transmission (MST) technology to make Samsung Pay available at almost any payment terminal around the world , even if the merchant doesn’t support NFC platforms like Google Pay or Apple Pay. Now the people behind that tech are back with a new product that promises to simplify the payment process for everyone.”

Tech

Albertsons unveils contactless payment option at all stores

Supermarket News

“Albertsons Pay users can choose one of two new contactless pay options through the just for U app: Albertsons Direct, a safe and secure way for shoppers to pay through their bank, and Albertsons Cash, a stored-value account that can be pre-loaded and used across all Albertsons Cos. stores. After setup, customers simply show the QR code in their just for U app at checkout to apply their discounts, earn rewards and securely pay for their groceries.”

Tech

QR Codes Reach the Next Stage of Development for Payments: Fraud Detection

Digital Transactions

“With merchant adoption of contactless payment solutions accelerating due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Incognia, a provider of fraud-detection applications, announced an app Tuesday to detect Quick Response code fraud.  The application uses location behavioral biometrics to create a digital fingerprint for the consumer’s identity. It uses the buyer’s real-time and historical location behavior to protect against the scanning of fake QR codes for payment. The app follows a consumer’s movement on a daily basis, such as between home and the gas station and the local school to validate the user’s location.”

On The Wires

Companies

Visa Tap to Phone Transforms Payment Acceptance for Sellers Worldwide

“As the world increasingly turns to digital payments amidst COVID-19, a simple mobile app can help millions of sellers worldwide quickly and securely accept contactless payments, while improving the checkout experience for customers. After piloting Visa Tap to Phone over the past year, Visa (NYSE:V) today announced product availability in more than 15 markets with plans to expand to the United States and accelerate global product growth in the rest of the world via more than 35 new partners, including Visa Ready for Tap to Phone partners.”

Companies

Mastercard, IDEMIA and MatchMove Pilot Fingerprint Biometric Card in Asia to Enhance Security and Safety of Contactless Payments

“Mastercard has teamed up with IDEMIA, the global leader in Augmented Identity, and MatchMove, a Singapore-based fintech, on their first pilot in Asia of a biometric card that uses a fingerprint to authorize transactions at in-store payment terminals. The card, with the product name F.CODE Easy, takes the seamless and intuitive experience of biometric authentication from a smartphone to a smart card. It makes transactions more convenient, safe and secure by eliminating the need for a cardholder to provide a PIN number or signature, thereby reducing touch points in public places.”

Domains

MineralTree Introduces Automated Purchase Order Matching for Sage Intacct Users

MineralTree, an Accounts Payable (AP) and payments automation solution provider, today announced the addition of automated PO/invoice matching for Sage Intacct, a cloud-based accounting and financial management platform. The new capability equips MineralTree customers using Sage Intacct to automatically match incoming invoices against purchase orders or receipts and then insert them into users’ internal workflows for invoice approval and payment. As a result, Intacct users can save substantial finance staff time, reduce payment processing costs, and eliminate overcharges and double payments due to manual error.”

Providers

Jack Henry Joins ABA in Helping Bankers Promote Financial Inclusion

“Jack Henry & Associates, Inc.® (NASDAQ: JKHY ) is a leading provider of technology solutions and payment processing services primarily for the financial services industry. Its Jack Henry Banking ® division announced today that, as part of an American Bankers Association (ABA) initiative, it has committed to equipping banks nationwide with Bank On -certified accounts. These accounts are designed to serve the unbanked and underbanked population with modern banking services, including robust transaction capabilities such as debit or prepaid cards and bill pay – all at a low cost and without overdraft fees.”

October 20, 2020

On The Web

Providers

Monese and Mastercard enter strategic partnership to better serve the underbanked across Europe

AltFi

“Digital banking provider Monese has today revealed a strategic partnership with global payments giant Mastercard to enhance local banking across Europe.  The two companies are hoping to better serve the underbanked through the collaboration by providing greater access to banking services and electronic payments.  As part of the partnership, Monese will become a principal Mastercard issuer, joining the likes of Tide and Curve, giving its customers access to Mastercard’s extensive payment network.”

Providers

Household Access to Banks Improved But Could Be Driven Lower by Covid-19, FDIC Says

Wall Street Journal (paywall)

“The proportion of U.S. households without access to a bank account fell in recent years but could be driven up again by the coronavirus pandemic , according to a survey released Monday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The so-called unbanked rate declined to 5.4% in 2019 from 6.5% in 2017 , as some 1.5 million households saw at least one member open a checking or savings account, the FDIC said in the biennial report. That rate represents the lowest level since at least 2009, when the survey began.”

Providers

Trilo lets merchants offer rewards to customers choosing bank-to-bank payments

TechCrunch

“Open banking enables bank-to-bank payments, meaning that (in theory) merchants should be able to accept payments without having to hand over fees to Visa or Mastercard or other payment providers, such as Stripe. The challenge, however, isn’t just implementing open-banking based payments as a checkout option — there are are already a host of open banking tech providers — but persuading customers to switch to a new payment option they are likely unfamiliar with.”

Systems

Visa and Mastercard accused of charging ‘excessive’ fees

BBC

“The British Retail Consortium says the fees charged by payment firms have almost doubled in the last two years. They warn that retailers will be forced to pass on the extra costs to consumers, with credit card bills rising by another £40 a year. However, Mastercard questioned the BRC’s findings and said shops were paying less than five years ago.”

Systems

Fed Takes Cautious Approach to Possibly Issuing Digital Currency

Wall Street Journal (paywall)

“The Federal Reserve is in no hurry to issue a digital currency, Chairman Jerome Powell said Monday, citing unresolved concerns including the potential for theft and fraud. Central banks around the world are stepping up research on the costs and benefits of central-bank digital currencies, which could supplement existing national currencies. China is ahead of other nations, after rolling out a homegrown digital currency in April across four cities in a pilot program.”

On The Wires

Domains

Versapay and Solupay Merge to Create Enterprise B2B Payments Leader

“Versapay Corporation, the leader in Customer-Centric Order-to-Cash solutions, today announced that it has completed a merger with leading payment services provider Solupay, which will further strengthen its AR automation and integrated B2B payments offerings. The combined company will operate under the Versapay name and under the leadership of Craig O’Neill, current CEO of Versapay. Financial terms of the private transaction were not disclosed.”

Global

Worldpay from FIS Expands Operations in Argentina with Domestic Acquiring Capability

FIS ® (NYSE: FIS) today announced the latest expansion of its global footprint in the Latin American market by securing domestic card scheme acquiring licenses in Argentina. With the ability to offer local merchants in-country payment processing, Argentine sellers will have access to a broader set of Worldpay from FIS merchant solutions products and services for online commerce.”

Providers

i2c Joins Visa’s Fintech Fast Track Program As New Enablement Partner

i2c Inc. , a leading provider of digital payment and banking technology today announced that it has joined Visa’s Fintech Fast Track program as a new enablement partner in the US, Canada and CEMEA region, speeding up the process of integrating with Visa and allowing fintechs to more easily leverage the reach, capabilities, and security that Visa’s global payment network offers.”

Providers

Etsy enables millions of US shoppers to ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ with Klarna

“Klarna, the leading global Buy Now, Pay Later provider and shopping service, today announced that Etsy, the global destination for unique and creative goods, launched its `Buy Now, Pay Later’ solution. US buyers on Etsy.com, including many millennial and Gen Z shoppers, can now use this flexible payment option to shop for everything they love-from handcrafted pieces to vintage treasures created by millions of small creative businesses.”

Systems

ACH Network Volume Increases 9% in Third Quarter, as Commercial Payments Volume Rebounds

“The ACH Network had exceptionally strong growth in the third quarter of 2020, with a resurgence of commercial volume even as some government assistance payments have largely concluded. Volume on the ACH Network totaled 6.8 billion payments in the third quarter, a 9% increase from the same period in 2019. The value of those payments, $15.9 trillion, reflects a 13.1% increase. With one additional banking day in the third quarter of 2020 compared to the third quarter of 2019, ACH Network volume compared on a per-day basis increased by 7.3%.”

October 19, 2020

TOP POST

Glenbrook

Merchant Payments Operations: Accounting and Reconciliation

“A core component of Glenbrook’s methodology for assessing a merchant’s payments operations includes review of certain processes managed by the business’s accounting team, particularly the level of effort required to reconcile payment activity.  The business’s accounting team is responsible for a variety of fundamental financial activities, including record keeping and reporting, accounts payable and receivable, payroll, and financial audits and controls.”

On The Web

Deals

Kazakhstan’s Kaspi valued at $6.5 billion in London IPO

Reuters

“Banking and fintech firm Kaspi.kz’s KSPI.KZ initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange will be priced between $28.50 and $33.75, giving it an implied market capitalisation of about $6.5 billion, a bookrunner said on Thursday. Last month, the company, which controls the third-largest bank in Kazakhstan and operates a payments and ecommerce business, announced its listing plan, a year after it had abandoned the move.”

Deals

Regional lender First Citizens to buy CIT in $2.2 billion deal

Reuters

“First Citizens BancShares Inc FCNCA.O said on Friday it would buy peer CIT Group Inc CIT.N in a deal valued at $2.2 billion, creating a bigger regional player in the United States at a time when banks are grappling with low interest rates…The deal, which is expected to close in the first half of 2021, creates a combined entity with more than $100 billion in assets and over $80 billion in deposits, making it the 19th largest U.S. bank, First Citizens said in a statement.”

Deals

Alibaba Group will spend $3.6 billion to take control of Chinese supermarket giant Sun Art

TechCrunch

Alibaba Group said today it will spend about $3.6 billion to take a controlling stake in Sun Art, one of China’s largest big-box and supermarket chains. After the transaction is complete, Alibaba Group will own 72% of Sun Art. As in other countries, COVID-19 lockdowns increased demand for online food orders in China, drawing in shoppers who had still preferred to buy groceries in person. Even though lockdowns have lifted, many have continued to purchase online .”

Deals

Payments services provider Billtrust to go public via merger with blank-check firm

Reuters

“Payments services provider Billtrust said on Monday it will go public through a merger with blank-check firm South Mountain Merger Corp SMMC.O in a deal valued at $1.3 billion, including debt. Billtrust, which provides payment services for transactions between businesses, said the combined firm will list on the Nasdaq Stock Market and have a cash balance of around $200 million.”

Providers

Coronavirus Tanked the Economy. Then Credit Scores Went Up.

Wall Street Journal (paywall)

“Millions of Americans lost their jobs and skipped debt payments this year. You wouldn’t know it looking at consumer credit scores. While the coronavirus was pummeling the U.S. economy, Americans’ credit scores—a metric used in nearly every consumer-lending decision—were rising. The average FICO credit score stood at 711 in July, up from 708 in April and 706 a year earlier, according to Fair Isaac Corp. , the score’s creator. Early estimates suggest the average score has held steady through mid-October at the July level, which is the highest since FICO began keeping track in 2005.”

On The Wires

Companies

Mastercard expands Mastercard TrackTM in Asia Pacific with TrackTM Card to Account Transfer solution offering greater payment options for businesses

“Today, Mastercard announced a new business-to-business payments solution in Asia Pacific with the launch of Mastercard Track™ Card to Account Transfer, allowing businesses to use commercial cards to pay Suppliers regardless of whether they accept card payments. The new solution in the region will help businesses manage cash flow, eliminate manual work and expand payment options as Suppliers can receive card payments by Buyers directly in a bank account.”

Deals

Global Processing Services Continues International Growth with Visa Investment

“Leading payments issuer processor, Global Processing Services (GPS) has secured a strategic investment from strategic partner, Visa Inc., the world’s leader in digital payments. Backed by UK growth private equity firm, Dunedin, this strategic investment will accelerate GPS’ global expansion, following its success in launching new and innovative fintechs and digital banks in Europe and South East Asia, including Revolut and Starling Bank.”

Domains

American Express and Coupa Expand Partnership to Bring Virtual Card Payments to the U.S.

“First announced in 2019, Coupa (NASDAQ: COUP ) and American Express (NYSE: AXP ) are taking their partnership to the next level as U.S.-based customers can now use American Express virtual Cards as a payment option with Coupa’s business-to-business (B2B) payments solution, Coupa Pay. This news builds on the initial availability of American Express virtual Cards in the U.K. and Australia, and simplifies outdated, complex, and inefficient payment processes for businesses around the world.”

Providers

Introducing Varo Advance: Instant Cash Access up to $100

Varo Bank , the only digital national bank, is introducing Varo Advance, an innovative product that instantly advances up to $100 to qualifying customers and gives customers more flexibility and control over their finances. Designed to help customers proactively manage their finances, Varo Advance offers instant access to up to $100 cash right in the Varo Bank app.* With a fixed, transparent cost structure – no tips, no hidden fees, and no instant access fees – Varo Advance provides an advance of up to $20 for free, with a maximum charge of $5 for a $100 advance.”

Systems

Chase and Subaru Renew Private Label Agreement

“Chase Auto and Subaru of America announced today the renewal of their private label agreement, extending Chase’s role as the private label finance provider for the auto manufacturer. Since 2001, Chase Auto has provided customized retail, lease and commercial services as well as strategic support to more than 630 Subaru retailers in the U.S. Through the brand Subaru Motors Finance, Chase has financed nearly four million Subaru drivers.”

Systems

Sam’s Club and Synchrony announced a multi-year extension of their strategic financing

“Sam’s Club and Synchrony announced a multi-year extension of their strategic financing and credit card relationship that aims to drive incremental value to Sam’s Club Members by redesigning and enhancing the card rewards. As part of the extension, Synchrony will continue to issue, manage, and service the redesigned and recreated consumer and commercial credit card programs for Sam’s Club at the retailers’ almost 600 locations across the U.S. and Puerto Rico as well as on SamsClub.com.”

Tech

MagicCube Unveils i-Accept the World’s First Software-Based Replacement for Traditional Payment Terminals Supporting Tap&PIN for all four major card networks

MagicCube , the leader in the new category of Software Defined Trust (SDT), today announced the availability of i-Accept ™, a complete software-based replacement for traditional payment acceptance terminals. Through i-Accept™, acquiring banks and disruptive financial services institutions can now enable their merchants and retailers to accept contactless cards, including those from American Express®, Discover®, Mastercard® and Visa®, as well as capture financial PINs and other verification methods, without the need for additional hardware or terminals.”

October 16, 2020

On The Web

Deals

Nabis raises $5m Series A to grow its cannabis distribution platform

TechCrunch

“Nabis is a business to business distributor, handling logistics, payment, and warehousing. Instead of being a distributor for beer, snacks, or pet supplies, Nabis is a cannabis distributor. The company acts as a middleman between cultivators and retail establishments, providing both parties unique services. Since it’s illegal to ship cannabis through traditional means, most cannabis operators turn to private operations to transport goods.”

Domains

Pandemic Aid Swelled Savings of the Unemployed, Study Shows. Now They Are Running Low.

Wall Street Journal (paywall)

“Emergency pandemic relief doubled the savings of unemployed Americans over the spring and summer, but most of that cushion was depleted by the end of August, new research shows. In a study released Friday, economists at the University of Chicago and JPMorgan Chase Institute looked at how economic-relief measures enacted this year, including an extra $600 a week in jobless benefits and one-time $1,200 payments to most households, affected the savings and spending of unemployed workers.”

On The Wires

Companies

BBVA advances in the exploration of instant payments in the U.K., together with SWIFT gpi

“Since the moment that SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) launched its global payment initiative SWIFT gpi , BBVA was one of the first ten banks in the world to join . Since then, the bank has remained firmly committed to this new standard for interbank payments. Some of its benefits include greater speed, transparency, tracking from start to finish and access to additional information on the transfers.”

Systems

Stored Value Solutions Introduces Solutions B2B

“Just in time for the holiday season, leading gift card program manager Stored Value Solutions (SVS) introduces its Solutions B2B offering to retailers.  SVS Solutions B2B includes SVS acting as a sales agent and distributor for a number of large retailers including marquee household brands.”

Systems

The flipside of China’s central bank digital currency

“China’s central bank digital currency, known as ‘DC/EP’ (Digital Currency / Electronic Payment), is rapidly progressing and, if successful, would have major international implications that have not yet been widely considered by policymakers. DC/EP would have ramifications for governments, investors, and companies, including China’s own tech champions. It has the potential to create the world’s largest centralised repository of financial transactions data and, while it may address some financial governance challenges, such as money laundering, it would also create unprecedented opportunities for surveillance.”

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