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Fake Pikachus can't fool Amazon: Amazon Go, the e-commerce giant's cashierless concept store, has had technical glitches that have delayed its formal launch, but apparently its ability to catch thieves is working fine. Three Amazon employees who are part of the company's internal tests of the store were unable to rob the store by dressing as Pikachus, The Verge reports. The staffers, while in their costumes, nabbed sandwiches, other food and drinks, but the store's sensors correctly identified the employees and accurately charged their Amazon accounts. Amazon uses machine learning, high-tech cameras and sensor technology that's similar to self-driving cars to identify people who enter the store and log items taken off of shelves while shopping. Amazon then bills the consumer's Amazon account for the purchases. The technology has had problems with larger crowds of people, particularly in cases where small children, who are shopping with families, grab "impulse" items off of shelves and quickly put them back.
Cyryptocoin's circular economy: Cryptocurrency sales are playing an increasing role in emerging business models, including a Dutch company that plans a token sale to fund open technology workspaces. Primalbase has opened its first office in Amsterdam, funded by the Primalbase Token (PBT). People use PBTs to share, sell or rent office space that will mostly be used to develop new use cases for blockchain and cryptocurrencies. The company hopes the cyptocurrency culture will lure like-minded people who will work together and share ideas for startups and other development. Primalbase's ICO, which sold out in 24 hours, drew entrepreneurs, researchers, consultants, and executives from startups and established businesses. Primalbase plans to open additional offices in Berlin, London, New York and Singapore in the coming months, according to a release.
Bango gains ground in Africa: Bango recently partnered with Amazon to introduce its carrier billing service to Japan, and is following up with another collaboration with 9mobile to power payments for Google Play users. Consumers can pay for media, games, apps and digital content without needing a credit card or bank account. The market combines two factors that provide potential for carrier billing; there are 150 million mobile subscribers in Nigeria, or a penetration rate of more than 80%, and more mobile internet users than any other country in Africa. Nigeria also has a larger unbanked population in which e-wallets are distributed primarily through mobile network operators.
Patreon gets more competition: As artist crowdfunding site Patreon battles changing YouTube ad policies, it's also operating in a more crowded market Kickstarter is relaunching Drip, an artist funding site it acquired last year from Ghostly International, a record label. Kickstarter has aggressively pushed Drip since the acquisition, but is now engaging in an outreach program and a beta test of new services, according to TechCrunch, adding Drip is directly targeting Patreon and other similar sites such as Flattr and Steady. Kickstarter is offering incentives for early adopters and offering priority signups for the new service, which will focus on continued funding and recurring payments for content creators over less regular crowdfunding campaigns (existing Drip accounts will be discontinued, according to TechCrunch). An initial beta will include choreographer Stephen Petronio, cartoonist Spike Trotman, writer Darian Symbol Harvin, artist Shantell Martin and illustrator Elizabeth Haidle, followed by a broader rollout in early 2018.
From the Web
PayPal will report small business owners' income to CRA
Yahoo | Thu Nov 16, 2017 - According to PayPal, Canadians who use PayPal for business transactions will need to disclose their earnings to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), or face the consequences. “We received a Federal Court order which requires us to disclose information to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) about PayPal Business Account holders that sent or received a payment between January 1, 2014 and November 10, 2017,” a spokesperson from PayPal said in a statement to Yahoo Canada Finance. “We have informed affected customers and they can contact us if they have any queries. We have also shared information on our Help Centre to help them understand our reporting obligations. PayPal business account customers are responsible for making sure they file taxes with the CRA as applicable to their business.”
Singapore puts fintech in spotlight with AI investment, global partnerships
ZDNet | Thu Nov 16, 2017 - Singapore has announced a slew of initiatives aimed at driving the development and adoption of new technologies in the financial sector, including a S$27 million (US$19.85 million) investment in artificial intelligence (AI). The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said the monies would go towards a new AI and Data Analytics (AIDA) grant to facilitate the deployment of these technologies amongst financial institutions operating in the country. These organisations would be able to tap the grant to subsidise up to 50 percent of the cost of projects that used AI and data analytics to glean insights and and support their decision-making process. These could include techniques such as machine learning, natural language processing or text analytics, and neural networks.
Forever 21 tells customers that some credit card numbers may have been stolen
TechCrunch | Wed Nov 15, 2017 - This week, the clothing retailer Forever 21 disclosed to customers that it was hacked earlier in 2017. While the company has not yet offered many details about the intrusion, we know that it is looking into a portion of credit card transactions between March 2017 and October 2017 that were conducted over machines that appear to have been insecure.
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Can a data-sharing model satisfy retailers as well as banks?
U.K. startup Flux has signed up a few banks for its platform that delivers real-time receipts to mobile banking apps. The problem is that few retailers are interested, and experts say that’s not likely to change any time soon.
Blockchain's a bold new weapon to battle data breaches
The advent of blockchain technology may prove to be disruptive to traditional credit reporting agencies by decentralizing data aggregation and allowing consumers to take ownership of their data through a personalized wallet they could share with prospective lenders, writes Alexander Koles, CEO, founder and managing director of Evolve Capital Partners.
Data: The surprising role of ICOs
Beyond the Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) — a fundraising process, similar to an IPO, in which blockchain companies sell crypto tokens instead of shares — and myriad science projects, is there anything substantive occurring with blockchain?
Cordray to leave CFPB by end of month
WASHINGTON — Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray sent an email to staff Wednesday announcing that he is leaving the bureau.