Morning Brief 2.26.20: Amazon Go opens a full-sized store

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Go to market

Checkout-free technology has drawn lots of investment, but most of the stores that have opened have been relatively small, similar in size to a gas station convenience store.

Amazon has finally opened a larger version of its Go store in Seattle, selling most of the items that would be available at Amazon's Whole Foods chain, reports The Verge, adding the new Amazon Go location will use Whole Foods suppliers.

A successful deployment at a large store would be a breakthrough for checkout-free technology, expanding both the volume it can handle and the data that can be accumulated to inform inventory and sales.

Next gen

Venmo is testing a feature that would allow adults to open a debit card for their children, including a range of spend controls and interest-bearing accounts.

The move would put Venmo in the youth market, but the product is likely aimed more at the adults, reports TechCrunch, adding the card could draw more interchange revenue for Venmo and its parent company, PayPal.

Venmo is popular but has not been profitable. PayPal has diversified Venmo's product line in an attempt to generate more revenue.

Value add

Revolut's valuation has reached $5.5 billion, making it one of Europe's most valuable technology firms, though it is still not turning a profit.

Technology Crossover Ventures led Revolut's latest round of about $387 million, reports Yahoo. Revolut's roots are in digital payments, but the company has added other financial services, and plans to issue loans as part of a path to profitability. Revolut will also hire about 1,000 new workers, boosting its headcount by about a third.

Revolut's valuation puts it in league with Klarna among European fintechs. Klarna passed the $5.5 billion mark in August, as the point of sale credit firm enters new markets and plans a potential IPO.

Government leak

The Financial Conduct Authority has suffered a data breach that exposed the names and other personal data for more than 1,600 people who had complained to the agency.

The FCA published the data by mistake following a Freedom of Information Request, reports Finextra. The agency said payment card information was not part of the exposure, though addresses and phone numbers were — and these data points could be indirectly used to commit payment theft or fraud.

The authority said it is reviewing the extent of the information leaked. The data covers parts of 2018 and 2019.

From the Web

eBay to manage payments in the UK accelerating global expansion
VERDICT | Wed February 26, 2020
eBay has announced it is expanding its management of payments to the UK to create a more streamlined experience for customers. As part of the rollout, the company will offer buyers flexibility and choice in payment methods.

New Idex contactless biometric card technology to be integrated by global tier 1 partner
BIOMETRIC UPDATE | Tue February 25, 2020
Idex Biometrics has followed up the launch of its TrustedBio family of biometric-system-on-chip (BSoC) products by announcing a design win and supply agreement with a leading global tier 1 smartcard manufacturer, with plans to bring biometric payment cards to the mass market.

APAC shoppers still buy in-store, but more seek hybrid commerce
ZDNET | Tue February 25, 2020
Some 68% of consumers in Asia-Pacific say they made the majority of their purchases in physical retail stores over the past year, but 82% will turn to an app on their phone to research products before buying in-store. In addition, more are seeking out hybrid shopping options where they have the ability to buy online and pick up their purchases in-store.

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