Morning Brief 9.18.20: Google Pay redesign puts loyalty near cards

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

Loyalty play

Fresh off its success luring banks, Google Pay is rearranging its interface in an attempt to make it easier to find and add cards and loyalty passes by locating more elements on the main screen.

The design removes the bottom tab menu, placing all options in the "hamburger menu" at the top of the screen, a reversal after de-emphasizing this design for the past few years, reports Android Central. There's also a floating action button that allows users to add cards and passes to the app.

Google Pay has undergone several redesigns over the years, and recently has gained ground in international markets such as India and adding the mobile wallet to other Google services including maps, transit tickets and loyalty cards.

Funding Affirm

As more consumers look for alternatives to credit cards, investors are flocking to point of sale credit firms, with Affirm raising a fresh $500 million.

GIC led the round with other investors including Lightspeed Ventures and Wellington Management Company. Affirm has raised more than $1.3 billion and is reportedly preparing an IPO that could value the company as high as $10 billion.

Affirm, which has a merchant network of about 6,000 retailers, is adding an interest-free biweekly payment option for transactions as low as $50, adding to its existing range of point of sale credit options.

Through the Wyre

BitPay has expanded its payments range, adding a new feature that allows users to buy cryptocurrency from within the BitPay Wallet App.

The crypto API company Wyre is powering the feature, which plans to add stablecoins, other cryptocurrencies such XRP and other wallets like Samsung and Google Pay.

BitPay also recently integrated bitcoin and cryptocurrency payments into Poynt's point of sale terminals to raise its profile among merchant.s

All that glitters

Coro Global and Dillon Gage are partnering to allow the mobile payment app Coro to transact in gold and U.S. dollars.

Consumers can exchange dollars for gold in the app, save gold and transfer the metal to other Coro consumers. The consumers' accounts are matched to the equivalent in physical gold, stored by Dillon Gage subsidiary International Depository Services Group.

Coro was recently released on Apple and Google Play in Florida, Arizona, Arkansas, Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Montana, Massachusetts, South Carolina and Wisconsin--with more states set to roll out in the coming months.

Government work

The Department of Homeland Security has put out a call for developers to build a digital wallet to manage and execute transactions.

The department's Science and Technology Directorate have offered $25,000 to build a user interface to go with the department's blockchain and decentralized identity work, reports Coindesk.

The winning designs — three finalists will receive $5,000 and the winner $10,000, will be included in the departments' blockchain project portfolio, which includes initiatives such as digital Green Cards.

Harvest

Online grocery Farmstead will make its in-house software available to other supermarkets to build delivery systems to counter Amazon's delivery-only Whole Foods store in Brooklyn.

Farmstead contends this feature, which it's calling a "grocery OS" would add scale for grocery delivery by improving fulfillment while allowing grocers to manage their own marketing, packing and delivery operations.

The San Francisco-based Farmstead expanded its business earlier this year after an early coronavirus lockdown in the Bay Area caused a sudden spike in order volume, even as the company partially closed some of its facilities.

From the web

Google removes Paytm mobile app from store over policy violations
REUTERS | Friday, September 18 2020
Alphabet Inc's Google on Friday removed the mobile app of SoftBank and Alibaba-backed Indian fintech firm Paytm from its Android store over violations of its gambling policy.

Apple to launch first online store in India next week
REUTERS | Friday, September 18, 2020
Apple Inc will launch its first online store in India on Sept. 23, the iPhone maker said on Friday, coinciding with the country's holiday season that brings some of the biggest sales for retailers every year.

Amazon Fresh grocery store in Los Angeles opens to the public
ENGADGET | Thursday, September 17, 2020
After a short period where you could only visit the store if you had an invite, Amazon's first Fresh grocery location is now open to the public. Starting today, anyone who wants to visit the Woodland Hills, Los Angeles store can do so from 7AM to 10PM PT daily.

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