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Amazon Cash's big boost: Amazon.com has struck a deal to make Amazon Cash available at 7-Eleven, adding nearly 8,000 stores to Amazon Cash's network, which already includes CVS, Speedway, GameStop and some supermarket and convenience chains, according to TechCrunch. Amazon Cash allows consumers to add funds to their Amazon.com balance by presenting a bar code to a cashier at the retailer. The consumer tells the cashier how much to add, between $15 and $500, and the funds transfer immediately to an Amazon.com stored-value account. The service, which is similar to earlier efforts to allow cash loading at in-store networks such as PayPal's MyCash Card and Walmart's Pay With Cash, is part of Amazon's strategy to reach underbanked consumers. 7-Eleven is also a part of PayNearMe's network, which uses a digital code to enable electronic payments with cash.

Bloomberg News

All is full of cryptocurrency: Icelandic singer/songwriter Bjork's new album, Utopia, contains 100 audiocoins (or about $0.19) and an e-wallet that can be used to trade those funds into bitcoin or another currency, reports The Verge. Audiocoins are aimed at the music industry and are designed to allow recording artists to get paid without the need for an intermediary. Audiocoins use an algorithm to generate the virtual currency, and another to back smart contracts that allow content creators and consumers to exchange value. Blockpool, a London-based company, is facilitating the offer, and will also support the use of bitcoin, litecoin and dashcoin to buy Bjork's album. Consumers can also earn audiocoins through communicating with Bjork online, social media or at concerts. The model is similar to Patreon, a crowdfunding platform that also connects consumers directly with musicians and other artists, acting as a workaround to avoid record labels and other third parties.

Same-day pharmacy: Responding to yet another Amazon encroachment into traditional retail, in this case pharmacy delivery, CVS is launching same-day delivery in Manhattan on Dec. 4. The drug store chain will follow Manhattan with Miami, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco early next year, with a national deployment to follow. CVS will offer prescriptions and a curated menu of over-the-counter products for delivery at no extra cost. "People living and working in Manhattan have busy lives and there are days when they don't even have time to run down the street to their pharmacy to pick up a prescription," said Helena Foulkes, executive vice president of CVS Health and president of CVS pharmacy, in a release. "Same-day prescription delivery gives customers the easy option of having the pharmacy they trust deliver right to their front door at no cost." CVS also offers shipping with Instacart for front-store purchases and curbside pickup via in-app orders.

Faster payments pick up speed in Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Faster Payment System has selected Swift to provide the gateway and messaging system to support real-time payments in Hong Kong when its initiative goes live in September 2018. Swift will provide a single platform, ISO 20022 financial message standards, and an orchestration layer. The integration is also designed to make it easier for financial institutions to use APIs to connect to non-Swift networks and is available with real-time and batch processing capabilities. Swift already connects more than 200 banks to processing systems in Hong Kong and provides connections for existing or pending real-time payment systems in the U.S., Europe and Australia.

From the Web

Android security triple-whammy: New attack combines phishing, malware, and data theft
ZDNet | Mon Nov 6, 2017 - Attackers are combining credential phishing, credit card data theft, and malware into a single campaign targeting banking details. The attacks combine phishing with the distribution of the Marcher Android trojan, a form of banking malware which has been active since at least late 2013. Lures previously used to distribute Marcher include a fake software update, a fake security update, and a fake mobile game. Uncovered by researchers at Proofpoint, the latest Marcher campaign has been ongoing since January and uses a multistep scheme to target customers of Austrian banks.

Public transport alliances set to boost UnionPay
China Daily | Tue Nov 7, 2017 - China UnionPay is busy collaborating with public transportation systems nationwide to enable "tap and go" and "scan and go" entrances, a move that may propel the brand ahead of its mobile payment competitors. In the first 19 cities where UnionPay pilot mobile payment applications will be used in public transportation, UnionPay provides users with comprehensive solutions including mobile phone QuickPass, bankcard QuickPass and QR code payment, said China UnionPay in a statement. The service is compatible with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Huawei Pay, Mi Pay and other mobile phone payment tools, according to UnionPay.

French retail firm Auchan to open checkout-free shops in China
China Daily | Tue Nov 7, 2017 - Auchan, one of France's leading retail groups, announced Monday that it would open several hundred shops without checkout counters in China by the year-end. After scanning the products, they are automatically added to a virtual cart. The customer takes the products after paying them via Wechat Pay or AliPay and validating them by the mobile, the company added. Every Auchan Minute will offer 500 products for sale 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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