Morning Brief 8.18.20: Google's cloud beats Amazon, Microsoft among retailers

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Cloud tops

The Google Cloud Platform generally trails cloud services from Amazon and Microsoft, but does much better with retailers that are eager to embrace new shopping and payment technology while competing against Amazon.

GCP leads Microsoft, Amazon, Alibaba and IBM among retailers, reports TechCrunch, citing data from Canalys. Retailers are concerned about both funding Amazon and working on projects that could result in more customer data being sent to Amazon.

The rush to digital that's followed the coronavirus outbreak should boost Google's cloud share among retailers even more, as the crisis has drawn attention to not only digital shopping and payments, but mixing online and offline channels and changing customer experience quickly — services that are often supported by the cloud. Google Cloud's clients include Home Depot, Kohl's, Costco and Best Buy.

Small box retail

Philadelphia-based real estate investment trust PREIT has built a digital program that's a shopping mall version of the subscription-based boxes that standalone retailers use to package customized curated products.

Called sMALL Surprises, the system has stylists curate packs that cut across smaller retailers located in PREIT-managed shopping malls. These packs can be ordered and paid for online, then shipped to consumers' homes. An initial "box" focused on "back to school" shopping for K-8.

sMALL Surprises is PREIT's first e-commerce play, though it mixes online and offline shopping channels. Even before the pandemic, shopping mall operators were experimenting with new ways to embrace digital models to stay relevant as e-commerce takes a greater share of their business.

Attacking Canada

Canada shut down most of its online gateways after a mass hacking over much of the weekend, partly because people were reusing usernames and passwords.

There were as many as 300,000 attempts to access accounts on more than two dozen government systems, reports CNN. The attackers used botnets and stolen usernames and passwords from earlier unrelated attacks, and were able to access 11,000 personal accounts.

The Canadian government has become more of a target in recent months due to the increase in government payments for stimulus programs.

Sending a bill

TD Bank is trying to broaden its small-business share by integrating payment and accounting in the Cherry Hill, N.J.-based bank's online banking platform.

The bank will use Autobooks, an accounting platform that also settles credit card and digital payments directly in business checking accounts. Businesses are also able to accept payments from a text, email, social media and other automated channels.

Small businesses have been hit hard by the coronavirus' economic fallout, with technology designed to improve cash flow and digital delivery receiving more attention as ways to manage liquidity.

From the Web

China's Ant Group plans consumer finance firm in growth push ahead of IPO
REUTERS | Tuesday Aug 18 2020
Ant Group, Alibaba's fintech arm and China's dominant mobile payments company, plans to set up a consumer finance firm in the southwestern city of Chongqing, expanding its presence in the fast-growing domestic business, two sources told Reuters.

India’s OneCard credit card-maker FPL Technologies lands $10 million
TECHCRUNCH | Tuesday Aug 18 2020
A 20-month-old startup in India founded by a group of banking veterans that has built a mobile-first credit card and is improving the experience users have with credit cards has secured $10 million in a new financing round.

Carnival hit by ransomware attack, guest and employee data accessed
REUTERS | Monday Aug 17 2020
Cruise operator Carnival Corp said on Monday it launched an investigation into a ransomware attack on one of its brand's information technology systems.

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