Welcome to the PaymentsSource Morning Briefing, delivered daily. The information you need to start your day, including top headlines from PaymentsSource and around the Web:
Square gets vocal: As voice recognition starts to make its way into retail, a Square software engineer has built a way to embed voice commands into the Square card reader. The Verge reports the engineer, Pierre-Yves Ricau, is using Google Home to activate the Square Contactless Reader, which can accept an Apple Pay payment for a spoken amount. The technology uses various open systems, including Google and a cloud server, to communicate with Square's point of sale software. Ricau told the technology website he envisions baristas using the technology to "speak" transactions into Square's point of sale, skipping the step of swiping or inserting a card, or moving a mobile device over an NFC reader.
India's Yes wallet gets a bot: Fresh off deploying its first blockchain for supply chain payments, India's Yes Bank has added a payments bot through a collaboration with Payjo, a payments technology company. According to the Economic Times, the bot is designed to enhance service for Yes' digital wallet, and will include "conversational" answers to customer service queries and the ability to execute payments and other financial transactions, such as bill payment, through a chat function. The bot debuted on Facebook Messenger and Yes plans to expand it to other platforms including Skype, Slack and WhatsApp. Yes, which has already signed up more than a half million users for its digital wallet, may extend the chatbot to other financial services based on its success with payments.
HCE takes the bus: Nevis Technologies and Strathclyde Partnership for Transport in Scotland are collaborating to provide standardized ticketing for Lothian Buses, the U.K.'s largest bus company, Finextra reports. The two companies will introduced open ticketing and payments across different platforms that can be used on the buses, as well as other Scottish transportation systems such as the Glasgow Subway and Abellio ScotRail. The system uses Host Card Emulation, which is designed to enable contactless mobile payments without requiring access to a phone's secure element. The bus payments will also be compatible with the U.K.'s national open standard for smart ticketing, making the Lothian payment system similar to rail, subway and ferry services across the U.K.
Linked2pay sheds paper to sweeten ISO push: Digital payment company Linked2pay has added a system for instant creation of merchant accounts. The move is designed to allow ISOs and resellers to enroll in the company's bank network without requiring paper forms to register, underwrite and onboard merchants. ISOs can also integrate with third-party business analytics providers. The Oxnard, Calif.-based Linked2Pay hopes to bolster relationships with ISOs, which are looking to add more automation when competing with technology-driven startups that are disrupting merchant acquiring. Other merchant technology providers such as Aevi are adding mobile technology to help merchants improve marketing and advertising. Linked2pay's update allows the company to consolidate card, ACH and remote deposit capture through online, mobile, text, email, IVR, virtual terminals and point of sale systems. "This gives banks, ISOs and resellers everything they need to acquire a merchant, and instantly provides them the seamless onboarding of a complete payment solutions platform," said Chris McNulty, a linked2pay board member, in a March 21 release.
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