8.19.19 Your morning briefing

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

Who's "smartest"?

Voice assistants are starting to catch on as a venue shopping and payments, with fast growth projected for the next three years.

So far, it appears Google Assistant is the best at understanding shopping and payment related commands, even though Amazon, which has Alexa, is more closely tied to retail as a core business. Google Assistant correctly answered 92% of commerce questions, such as ordering, reports CNBC, attributing its reporting to Loup Ventures. That's better than Alexa, which answered 71% correctly, and Siri at 68%.

Overall, Google Assistant answered 93% of the questions correctly, with Siri answering 83% and Alexa answering 80% correctly, which CNBC reports is an improvement for all three.

Grocery hack

Grocery chain Hy-Vee suffered a security compromise at fuel pumps, drive-thru coffee shops and restaurant card readers.

The chain did not disclose the scope of the breach, but said it does not believe point of sale systems inside grocery stores, drug stores and convenience stores were impacted because the systems use higher end-encryption, reports The Omaha World-Herald, the local paper near Hy-Vee's headquarters.

Hy-Vee detected the unusual activity in its payment processing systems in late July, and hired a cybersecurity firm to investigate. It also notified law enforcement and the card networks.

Shared space biometrics

All Work & Social is collaborating with Fingopay to support biometric payments at the shared workspace company's facility in the U.K.

Fingopay removes the need for cards and passwords, instead linking a customer's stored vein pattern to its cloud matching system. Fingopay scans the user's hemoglobin as part of its ID analysis.

Early deployments for the company's technology include a Costcutter supermarket location near Brunel University and the Copenhagen Business School.

Contactless charity expands

London is installing contactless donation points in the financial district to raise funds to combat homelessness.

People can tap contactless cards at four locations to donate to the Beam charity for a three month test, with more locations added if the trial is successful, reports Finextra.

Contactless charitable giving has been gaining momentum in the U.K. as a way to counter the decline of cash, which has hurt donations that rely on pedestrians.

From the Web

Santander to Connect Latin America to Ripple-Powered Remittance Service
CoinDesk | Mon August 19, 2019 - Spanish megabank Santander Group is expanding its use of Ripple’s technology. The bank is building a “payment corridor” that would let customers in Latin America send money to the U.S. instantly for free via One Pay FX, a mobile app that uses Ripple’s xCurrent software.

Discover and Verve Mark Launch of Verve Global Card With First Transaction Event
Yahoo Finance | Fri August 16, 2019 - Verve, a payments technology company and Interswitch’s card scheme in Africa, and Discover Global Network, the payments brand of Discover, held an event to launch the Verve Global Card. Cardholders will now have the ability to use their Verve Global Cards on the Discover Global Network which provides acceptance at millions of merchants globally.

Alibaba Buys NetEase's Kaola In $2 Billion Deal, Caixin Says
Forbes | Fri August 16, 2019 - Chinese internet giant Alibaba has agreed to buy NetEase’s cross-border e-commerce unit Kaola for $2 billion, as it seeks to bolster its efforts to cater to local demand for quality products from abroad, reported Beijing-based business publication Caixin.

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