Morning Brief 5.26.20: Google tests voice-authenticated payments

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

Google voice

Google has begun testing the use of voice authentication to enable purchases from the Google Assistant.

The test is "early but limited," and works for only some in-app purchases and restaurant orders, Android Police reports. The feature is intended for home speakers and smart displays that support Google Assistant.

Google has also added support for payments through Windows Hello, the Microsoft service that allows alternative authentication. The addition is designed to allow fingerprints or facial recognition to approve purchases through Chrome, reports Neowin and other technology sites. When enabled, Windows Hello allows consumers to bypass CVC authentication.

Google has been evolving beyond the Payment Request API for several months, adding technology to allow one-click payment options on Chrome.

Pandemic recovery

Salesforce has built a series of packages designed to automate businesses quickly, covering food services wishing to implement curbside systems, B2B digital sourcing, order and pay ahead, and a service that allows non-food companies to store inventories online.

The package came after Salesforce noticed a "holiday level" surge in online commerce over the past two months, causing the company to upgrade its "best practice" materials for online commerce with tangible services, reports TechCrunch.

Salesforce's move comes as even digitally-focused merchant services companies like Stripe have adapted as more businesses move online.

Louisiana crypto

Legislation is advancing that would create a cryptocurrency license in Louisiana, joining states such as New York that provide virtual currency regulation.

The bill has passed the state house and is being considered by the senate, reports Coindesk. Businesses would have to apply with state banking regulators and provide details such as fingerprints and be prepared to vouch for their "experience, character and general fitness."

There's also a registration fee, and businesses that have crypto licenses in other states would likely not need a Louisiana license.

Competition exam

Indian regulators are examining the recent Zomato acquisition of Uber Eats' India business on potential anti-competition grounds.

The Competition Commission of India is concerned the Zomato/Uber deal could reduce consumer choice, reports MoneyControl, a local news site. Zomato contends the acquired Uber Eats business is not large enough for disclosure.

India's regulators often take a strict stance toward digital commerce and payment companies, and have been battling with U.S. card brands for years over data storage rules. The Reserve Bank of India has accused Google Pay of violating the country's United Payments Interface protocols.

From the web

Payment Companies Increase Efforts to Combat Coronavirus-Related Frauds
Companies such as PayPal Holdings Inc. and Western Union Co. have been closely monitoring early indicators of fraudulent activities and incorporating them into their investigation processes after the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network said it detected an increase in Covid-19-related scams.

Chinese Government Advisers Propose Regional Stablecoin for 4 Asian Countries
YAHOO FINANCE | Fri May 22, 2020
Top Chinese political advisers have proposed a regional digital currency describes as a “stablecoin,” that would be backed by the Japanese yen, Korean won, Hong Kong dollar and the yuan.

Thanks to mahjong and poker, HSBC’s e-wallet hits new milestone on pandemic-driven surge in online payments
HSBC’s digital payment platform PayMe reached the 2 million landmark last week, representing a 25 percent jump from a year earlier.

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