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BUSINESS NEWS Technology

APPLE TO LET IPHONES ACCEPT CREDIT CARDS

Apple Inc is planning a new service that will allow small businesses to accept payments directly on their iPhones without any extra hardware, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

For payments to get accepted on an iPhone, retailers currently use payment terminals to receive money on their iOS devices that are connected via Bluetooth, such as Block Inc’s Square payment systems.

The new feature will instead turn the iPhone into a payment terminal, allowing merchants to accept payments with the tap of a credit card or another iPhone onto the back of their device, the Bloomberg report said.

The system will likely use iPhone’s near field communications, or NFC, chip that is currently used for Apple Pay, the report said, adding the feature may roll out through a software update in the coming months.

The company has been working on the new feature since around 2020, the report said, when it paid about $100 million for Mobeewave, a Canadian startup, that developed technology for smartphones to accept payments with the tap of a credit card.

Apple declined to comment on the report when contacted by Reuters.

According to the report, it is unclear whether the payment acceptance option will be branded as part of Apple Pay or if the company plans to partner with an existing payment network for the feature or launch it alone.

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BUSINESS NEWS

HEWLETT PACKARD WINS MASSIVE FRAUD CASE

US tech giant Hewlett Packard (HP) on Friday won its multibillion-dollar fraud case over its 2011 purchase of British software company Autonomy.

HP accused Autonomy of rigging its accounts, deliberately inflating its value and causing huge losses for the US company when the true situation emerged after the $11.1 billion (9.9 billion euros) sale.

It sued Mike Lynch, Autonomy’s British founder, and former chief financial officer Sushovan Hussain, for around $5 billion.

High court judge Robert Hildyard delivered a summary of his conclusions on Friday, saying HP and the other claimants had “substantially won” their claim.

His full judgment, in what is believed to be Britain’s biggest ever civil fraud trial, is due to be published later.

Hildyard said the amount of damages to be paid will also be dealt with at a later date.

HP claimed the two men “artificially inflated Autonomy’s reported revenues, revenue growth and gross margins… over a sustained period of time.”

The company announced an $8.8 billion write-down of the firm’s value just over a year after the sale.

Interior minister Priti Patel will have to decide on Friday whether to extradite Lynch to the US, where he faces separate criminal proceedings over the sale.

HP lawyer Laurence Rabinowitz told court that Autonomy used “a variety” of fraudulent devices to boost or invent revenue.

Lynch, from Suffolk in eastern England, claimed HP was making him “a scapegoat for their failures”.

A US court in 2018 convicted Hussain of fraud relating to the sale and jailed him for five years.

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BUSINESS ECONOMY NEWS

BITCOIN BOUNCES OFF SIX MONTH LOWS AS BUYERS STEP IN

Bitcoin gained on the day on Monday as buyers stepped in to buy the cryptocurrency, after earlier tumbling to its lowest level in six months on fears of a Russian attack on Ukraine and before this week’s Federal Reserve meeting.

The largest cryptocurrency was last up 2.5% at $37,250 after earlier dropping to $32,951, its lowest price since July 23. That took losses from its all-time high of $69,000 hit in November past 50%.

Bitcoin is now at a critical juncture where analysts say that further selling could reverse its long-term bull trend.

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BUSINESS ECONOMY NEWS

SBP RESERVES FALL $846MN TO $16.2BN

KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank fell 846 million during the week ending on January 21, according to the data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday.

Sharing a break-up of the foreign reserves position, the central bank said that foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $16.2bn, down $846mn.

Last week, SBP-held foreign exchange reserves were down $562 million, taking the cumulative fall to over $1.4 billion.

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BUSINESS ECONOMY

Rupee Recovers After US Dollar Demand Starts Decreasing

The Pakistani Rupee (PKR) posted gains against the US Dollar (USD) in the interbank market today. It gained five paisas against the greenback after hitting an intra-day high of Rs. 176.55 against the latter during today’s open market session.

It appreciated by 0.03 percent against the USD and closed at Rs. 176.63 today after losing a single paisa and closing at 176.68 in the interbank market on Monday, 10 January.

The rupee managed to post gains against the USD after the local demand for the greenback declined marginally after the decision taken by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to reschedule Pakistan’s Sixth Review under its Extended Funds Facility (EFF).

Moreover, the beginning of the new year is yet to post detrimental results since the local credit demand is struggling to pick up the pace. While the private sector advances — aided by a seasonal upturn in the demand and a rise in the input price — observed stimulation during the second half of 2021, a similar forecast is yet to materialize as most of the country’s economic sectors explore newer venues to avail additional financing.

Discussing the rupee’s near-term outlook earlier in the day, the former Treasury Head of Chase Manhattan Bank, Asad Rizvi, tweeted, “PKR ended flat yesterday, as demand for $ is thin. Due to [the] new year, credit request has not [been] picked & private sector activity is slow. While, SBP is confident that the ECO[nomy] will expand & attain 4%+ growth, but delay in rescheduling of 6th IMF review will slowdown pace of growth”.