12.13.18 Your morning briefing

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All sizes fit all
One of the challenges in cashierless stores is matching the technology to the space, and there's lots of approaches.

The most well known contender, Amazon Go, has recently diversified its store size to fit larger locations and travel venues such as airports. While the new designs are generally seen as fitting the technology into larger stores such as Amazon's Whole Foods chain, the strategy also works in the other direction.

Amazon is testing a tiny, 450-square-foot Go location in the Macy's building in Seattle, where Amazon has offices. Geekwire reports Amazon wants to locate Go stores in hospitals and office buildings, and have a "kit" model in which a Go store can be up and running in very little time.
CU blockchain
CULedger is aggressively looking for blockchain use cases, particularly given the traditional credit union decentralized model gives it a head start.

The strategy's set for a jolt, as CULedger joins the R3 global blockchain ecosystem, which includes more than 200 financial institutions.

The move should boost interoperability for CULedger's technology sharing model, which includes its shared digital identity project MyCUID

Accounting for VC
Invoice and accounting fintech YayPay has raised $8.4 million from Birchmere, QED, Fifth Third Capital, Gaingels and the 500 Fintech Fund.

The company's hosted technology collects outstanding invoices, reports TechCrunch, which adds YayPay works with clients' accounting departments to analyze previous invoices to predict time of payment depending on the type of business and invoice.

YayPay operates in an increasingly crowded fintech space that serves B2B and corporate invoices, which remain largely manual.

German cryptobank
German startup Bitwala has formally launched its banking business, expanding upon is core business of blockchain-supported international transfers.

The banking service is debuting with more than 40,000 consumers for bitcoin and Euro deposit accounts, Finextra reports, adding it has a bitcoin wallet alongside traditional currency services.

Bitwala partners with solarisBank to support Sepa-compliant cards and other payment services.

From the Web

Providers are embracing digital payments amid billing woes
Business Insider | Wed December 12, 2018 - A new BillingTree survey reveals that healthcare providers and collections firms are investing in new digital payment solutions in order to combat challenges with billing that are dragging on revenue: 55% of respondents plan to add web payments within the next year, and 27% plan to add text payments over the same period.

Finablr's UAE Exchange, Ripple to begin blockchain payments by first quarter
Reuters | Thu December 13, 2018 - United Arab Emirates-based UAE Exchange and U.S. startup Ripple plan to launch cross-border remittances to Asia via blockchain by the first quarter of 2019, UAE Exchange’s group CEO said in an interview.

Lazada, Alibaba's Southeast Asia e-commerce business, gets a new CEO
TechCrunch | Wed December 12, 2018 - Alibaba has reshuffled the leadership at Lazada, its e-commerce firm in Southeast Asia, after CEO Lucy Peng — an original Alibaba co-founder — stepped down to be replaced by Lazada executive president Pierre Poignant after just nine months in the role.

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Mastercard turns to local tech to push digital pay options in the U.K.
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When U.K. banks ignored small businesses, startups swept in
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