Welcome to the new PaymentsSource Morning Briefing, delivered daily. The information you need to start your day, including top headlines from PaymentsSource and around the Web:

Amazon or alibi? Did Amazon's Alexa digital assistant witness a murder? Police in Bentonville, Ark., are seeking to comb through the memory of Amazon's Echo device - which listens for spoken commands to initiate purchases and control smart homes - to find evidence for a murder investigation, Engadget reports. The Echo is a smart speaker that listens for the trigger phrase "Alexa" to record and decipher commands such as reordering kitchen supplies or playing music. As Amazon, Samsung and other technology companies seek to embed payment and automation technology throughout the home, it is likely that their devices could provide more evidence - or, presumably, alibis - in police investigations. For example, Bentonville police claim that data from the homeowner's smart water meter indicates a surge in water usage that could mean the suspect attempted to wash away evidence, the Engadget article states.

Bloomberg News

Mobile money maker: Whether or not Alexa-powered devices can solve crimes, they are definitely getting around. Amazon reports that its Echo and Fire devices - which come equipped with the Alexa digital assistant - sold nine times as much during the 2016 holiday season as they did a year earlier. On the mobile front, Amazon reports that more than 72 percent of its customers shopped on a mobile device this holiday season; 56 percent used the Amazon app to shop; and Amazon customers used a mobile device to purchase about 46 gadgets per second and 36 toys per second on Cyber Monday.

Medical malware: Internet-connected medical devices, like anything else with a network connection, could be compromised by hackers, warns the FDA. In new guidance, the agency urges medical device makers to monitor the security of their products and issue patches to address any vulnerabilities, according to The Verge. The FDA says its concern stems from the existing trend of hackers trying to penetrate hospital networks, and the Internet-connected medical devices are the next logical place for hackers to go, the article states; however, The Verge notes, these guidelines are not legally enforceable.

From the Web (powered by Wiser)

India's public bank blocks largest mobile wallet, promotes its own
Mashable • Sohini Mitter
What happens when the country's biggest bank, state-owned, and its largest mobile wallet firm, privately-owned and backed by Chinese investors, cannot co-exist? India knows the answer.

M-wallet retail spends may see 4-fold jump in near term: Study
The Economic Times of India
"It is anticipated that market value of m-wallet transactions in India will grow at a CAGR of over 200 per cent to reach Rs 275 trillion by FY22 from Rs 206 billion in FY16," the study said.

Volkswagen acquires PayByPhone, a parking payment app used by 12.5M users in 300 cities
GeekWire • Taylor Soper
PayByPhone, which powers a parking payment app used by some of the world’s largest cities and private lot operators, has a new owner. Volkswagen Financial Services AG today announced the acquisition of PayByPhone, which employs more than 100 worldwide, including 65 in...

More from PaymentsSource

Softcard's former boss looks ahead
It’s been more than a year since Michael Abbott, former CEO of the ill-fated mobile wallet venture Softcard, moved on. Behind him is five years and millions of dollars spent by the major U.S. mobile network operators — and a wealth of experience that can benefit anyone looking to do better mobile payments' next chapter.

In the mobile age, the speed of 'instant issuance' is a must for cards
Consumers, particularly younger people, are placing an importance on being able to obtain a plastic card in a branch and use it right away.

Premium APIs could ease bank worries over PSD2 access
While European banks worry about losing revenue because of the new Payment Services Directive (PSD2) requirement for opening up access to application program interfaces (APIs), they will benefit from the coming marketplace of premium APIs.

Daniel Wolfe

Daniel Wolfe

Daniel Wolfe is editor in chief at PaymentsSource and a contributing editor at American Banker.