Apple Pay hits launch hurdles in India

After Amazon and WhatsApp, Apple orders ‘stop payment’ — The Economic Times — “Silicon Valley giant Apple has shelved plans to launch a Unified Payments Interface-based payments platform in India after landing in a regulatory grey zone that has stalled the full rollouts of similar products by Amazon and WhatsApp as well. Apple put the brakes on introducing Apple Pay in the country despite holding discussions with a few leading banks and the National Payments Corporation of India, which manages the UPI platform, said two people with knowledge of the matter.”


Tesco pilots ‘Scan Pay Go’ cashless supermarket concept

Tesco trials cashless ‘shop and go’ store at HQ — Essential Retail — “Tesco staff are trialling a completely cashless store at the grocer’s headquarters in Welwyn Garden City, including ‘shop and go’ technology similar to that used in the Amazon Go store in Seattle… The technology allows customers to scan and pay for their products via their smartphone before walking out of the store without visiting a traditional till point.”


Amazon to pilot sound-based payments for cash on delivery service in India

Amazon backs Indian startup to replace cash with contactless payments — Bloomberg — “Amazon.com Inc wants to pilot contactless payments to boost the adoption of its payment processing service, Amazon Pay, for offline transactions in India, two people privy to the development told BloombergQuint… Amazon is looking to roll out contactless payments in the next two to three months, one of the persons quoted above said. It may start with offering the service for its Prime subscription members.”


Amazon uses QR codes to let Prime members access discounts in Whole Foods Market stores

Amazon serves up new benefit for Prime members at Whole Foods Market — Amazon — “Prime members can now get an additional 10% off sale items, typically hundreds of products throughout the store, plus weekly deep discounts on select best-selling items… To get started, customers download the Whole Foods Market app, sign in with their Amazon account and then scan the app’s Prime Code at checkout. Or, customers can opt in to use their phone number to save at checkout.”


Amazon to open cashierless stores in Chicago and San Francisco

Amazon will open checkout-free stores in Chicago and San Francisco — Engadget — “Amazon has posted job listings for store managers in both Chicago and San Francisco, making it clear where the automated stores are headed next… Amazon has a building permit for a store in Chicago’s Loop, while a San Francisco Chronicle report claimed that a store would open near Union Square. An earlier Recode scoop asserted that Amazon would open as many as six more stores in 2018, with one possibly coming to Los Angeles.”


Amazon to offer discounts to merchants that sign up for Amazon Pay

Amazon offers retailers discounts to adopt payment system — Bloomberg — “Amazon.com Inc is offering to pass along the discounts it gets on credit card fees to other retailers if they use its online payments service, according to people with knowledge of the matter, in a new threat to PayPal Holdings Inc and card-issuing banks. The move shows Amazon is willing to sacrifice the profitability of its payments system to spread its use.”


Amazon begins delivering parcels to consumers’ cars

Buckle up, Prime members: Amazon launches in-car delivery — Amazon — “Millions of Prime members with Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac and Volvo cars can now use Amazon Key to have their Amazon packages delivered inside their vehicle parked at home, work or near other locations in their address book. In-car delivery is available at no extra cost for Prime members — customers simply download the Amazon Key App, link to their connected car and start ordering on Amazon.com; no additional hardware or devices required.”



Bain & Co explains how a Bank of Amazon could save the retailer $250m a year in interchange fees

Banking’s Amazon moment — Bain & Company — “Amazon could avoid more than a quarter of a billion dollars in annual interchange fees in the US alone. This estimate is based on three assumptions: Amazon achieves the bank account penetration our consumer research suggests; 15% of its e-commerce customers pay directly from their Amazon bank account instead of through a credit card; and those customers spend at the same level as Amazon Prime customers.”


Amazon plots move into mobile payments and financial services

Are you ready for an Amazon-branded checking account? — Wall Street Journal — “Amazon.com Inc is in talks with big banks including JPMorgan Chase about building a checking-account-like product the e-commerce giant could offer its customers, according to people familiar with the matter… Converting its shoppers into financial account holders could also aid Amazon as it ramps up its efforts in payments… The company is now trying to bring Amazon Pay to brick-and-mortar stores, according to people familiar with those plans. It is likely to begin with Whole Foods, which Amazon bought last year for roughly US$13.5bn.”



Amazon tests its own QR codes

Amazon is experimenting with its own QR code style ‘SmileCodes’ — Techcrunch — “Amazon has apparently been testing these codes in pop-up shops and Amazon Lockers in Europe for a few weeks now, but the company says these codes will make their US debut in a few different magazines (Cosmopolitan and Seventeen) come February… It’s probably safe to assume we’ll eventually see Amazon tinker with putting these codes on another massively common canvas: its own boxes.”



National Australia Bank integrates with Amazon Alexa

Hands-free banking: ‘Alexa, ask NAB if I’ve been paid’ — National Australia Bank — “The NAB skill for Amazon Alexa will allow customers, who have connected Alexa with their NAB account to ask their Alexa device questions like: ‘What’s my savings account balance?’, ‘How much do I owe on my credit card?’ or ‘Did I get paid this week?’… ‘In the future, we certainly see this experience turning into one where you can pay bills, make funds transfers or even purchase items at the command of your voice.’”




China’s JD.com to open hundreds of unmanned convenience stores

Chinese online retailer JD plans to open hundreds of unmanned shops, ahead of Amazon — The Telegraph — “Chinese online retailer JD.com has beaten Amazon to the next stage of the shopping revolution by announcing plans to open hundreds of ‘unmanned’ convenience stores. The shops have already been trialled with JD’s 10,000 employees at headquarters in Beijing and use facial and recognition technology to register payment and product identity, meaning that customers do not have to wait in a checkout line.”



Amazon moves closer to rollout of automated stores

Amazon’s cashierless store is almost ready for prime time — Bloomberg — “For the past year, Amazon employees have been test driving Amazon Go, an experimental convenience store in downtown Seattle. The idea is to let consumers walk in, pick up items and then pay for them without ever standing in line at a cashier… In a sign that the concept is almost ready for prime time, hiring for the Amazon Go team has shifted from the engineers and research scientists needed to perfect the platform to the construction managers and marketers who would build and promote the stores to consumers.”


Amazon Key to let delivery drivers and service providers into homes

Introducing Amazon Key, a new level of delivery convenience for Prime members — Amazon — “Available initially in 37 cities across the United States, Amazon’s innovative new service enables in-home delivery at no extra cost. Amazon Key also allows customers to grant secure home access for guests and, coming soon, tens of thousands of service providers, such as Merry Maids, Rover and professional services from Amazon Home Services. Amazon Key includes the Amazon Key app, a smart lock and the company’s newest device, Amazon Cloud Cam, an intelligent indoor security camera.”


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