Morning Brief 8.17.20: Amazon expands payments reach in India

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The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the web:

Taking a pill

Amazon has won a patent in India for technology that authenticates mobile transactions based on location and proximity to a preset merchant location. The technology can be used to speed contact-free authorization, reports MoneyControl, and it gives Amazon a boost for a range of initiatives in India. Amazon has also pushed its mobile payment app in India as a way to enroll consumers.

Amazon also plans a digital pharmacy in Bangalore. Called Amazon Pharmacy, it's being marketed locally as a way to execute pharmacy orders and payments without going to the drug store. The e-commerce giant is looking to diversify its product and market reach in India to support a $6.5 billion investment in the country, reports TechCrunch.

Amazon, which has recently received clearance from Indian regulators to support alcohol and food delivery, is trying to counter Walmart, which outbid Amazon to acquire Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart. Facebook is another competitor, investing nearly $6 billion in Indian e-commerce firm Reliance Jio.

Saving up

Payments fintech Wyre has released a savings account that accrues interest in crypto, adding several workarounds to reduce volatility.

Wyre will use MakerDAO, Compound and two centralized crypto lenders to manage the funds, which the company contends will stabilize rates, reports Coindesk.

Cryptocurrency's market swings have long been a barrier to mainstream use, such as retail payments. Wyre will limit its work to cryptocurrency lenders with lending licenses, internal control audits and licensed custodians.

Making a point

German semiconductor company Infineon Technologies and biometric technology firm Fingerprint Cards are collaborating to scale a payment card with a fingerprint sensor to enable contactless payments.

The card is designed to remain in the cardholder's hands through the full transaction, eliminating the need for PINs or signatures to authorize payments.

The companies are addressing the increase in contactless payments during the pandemic while improving biometric authentication to address the trend.

Digital zoo

Point of sale credit company Klarna plans to build a virtual shopping experience in Animal Crossing, Nintendo's social simulation game.

Klarna hopes to extend its reach into digital gaming, which has grown during the pandemic as more consumers stay home. It also gives Klarna another way to reach millennial and Gen Z shoppers by supporting "shoppable entertainment."

The Swedish company has made new retail experiences part of its strategy to reach consumers amenable to credit card alternatives, partnering with experimental stores and alternative shopping experiences.

From the Web

Hammock collects £1M seed for its current account for landlords and property managers
TECHCRUNCH | Monday Aug 17 2020
Hammock, a U.K. fintech/proptech helping landlords and property manages gain better oversight on the financial health of their rental properties, has raised £1 million in seed funding as it readies the launch of a current account.

German watchdog launches Amazon investigation: report
REUTERS | Monday Aug 17 2020
Germany's antitrust authority has launched an investigation into Amazon's relationship with third-party traders selling on its site, its head was quoted as saying on Sunday.

Brazilian Fintech SuperSim, which focuses on Microlending, Secures $5.6 Million via Debt Financing
CROWDFUND INSIDER | Sunday Aug 16 2020
Brazilian Fintech firm SuperSim, a microlending startup based in São Paulo, recently secured R$30 million (appr. $5.6 million) in capital through debt financing, so that it can improve the South American nation’s credit market.

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