Morning Brief 12.5.19: Amsterdam airport adds checkout-free retail

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Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn has opened a digital store at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, supporting checkout-free payments after using a contactless debit card to open the store's doors. The shoppers then pickup products, which are automatically registered and paid for.

The store also supports mobile apps such as Google Pay and Apple Pay, and is part of the grocery chain's strategy to extend autonomous payments, which are expanding globally given the buzz around Amazon Go and its checkout-free technology rivals.

Schiphol Airport, one of Europe's largest hubs, is also tech-friendly. The airport added a crypto exchange last year and has deployed face-scanning for boarding.

Toy room

Toys "R" Us has debuted the first location for its new concept store, which allows shoppers to buy toys after paying with them in rooms that are dedicated to brands such Lego, Nerf and Paw Patrol.

The 6,000 square foot store in Paramus, N.J., has interactive screens that allow online purchases, reports Gizmodo. Retailers are more directly tying shopping experiences to payments at retail stores to increase foot traffic and accommodate mobile commerce.

Toys "R" Us' parent company, Tru Kids Brands, is relaunching the retail store following Toys "R" Us' bankruptcy filing in 2017.

Visa exec heads to Google

Kate Johnson, who was head of global sponsorship marketing at Visa, is moving to Google to a newly created position leading partnerships for content and sports media.

Johnson, who won a Silver Medal in rowing at the 2004 Summer Olympics, was at Visa for six years and helped support Visa's deals with the IOC and NFL, as well as the card network's Olympic athlete sponsorship program, reports BizJournals.

Visa recently unveiled its roster of sponsored athletes for the 2020 Summer Olympics, including participants from 43 countries, according to BizJournals.

Ticket to ride

Paytm parent One97 Communications has made an undisclosed investment in Infinity Transoft Solutions, an Indian bus ticketing company.

Infinity works with bus companies and also offers related fleet management and technology that supports digital entertainment.

Paytm has added more financial services to its core payments app, and is trying to obtain a license in India to provide loans.

From the web

Is China's National Cryptocurrency a Threat to Tencent's WeChat Pay?
THE MOTLEY FOOL | Wed December 4, 2019
The People's Bank of China (PBOC) has been developing a state-backed cryptocurrency over the past five years. But unlike decentralized blockchain-based cryptocurrencies, which enable anonymous transfers, China's cryptocurrency is designed to tighten the government's grip on its financial system.

The World’s Fourth-Largest Economy Is Going Cashless
FORTUNE | Wed December 4, 2019
The world is moving towards cashless payment, and Asia is leading the charge with companies like Alibaba, Tencent, and Grab, and fast-growing mobile payment usage rates across the region. Southeast Asia's 11 countries combined make the world's fourth-largest economy, and the region has a high number of mobile and Internet users along with a speedy growth rate.

Remittance-dependent Tajikistan blocks Russian wire transfer service
REUTERS | Wed December 4, 2019
A Russian wire transfer service popular among Tajik migrant labourers has been cut off from the Central Asian nation’s banking system after Dushanbe rerouted all remittances into a new processing centre. More than a million Tajiks work in Russia, sending home about $2.6 billion a year or more than a quarter of the country’s gross domestic product, mostly through instant money transfer systems such as Koronapay and Western Union.

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