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Microsoft and Mastercard and the city
Microsoft and Mastercard are collaborating on projects to further smart cities, or projects that use mobile payments, global positioning and related technology to streamline parking, transit, building access and traffic—while finding new markets for their respective technology and payment businesses.

The two companies will share payment, data and cloud technology to build a global exchange of innovation for cities—with mayors, policy makers and urban planners among the target users—with a particular focus on open-loop ticketing for transport. Microsoft will also join City Possible, a Mastercard-driven global initiative to lobby private industry to create and scale urban technology.

In a separate move, Miguel Gamino, the former chief technology officer of New York, has joined Mastercard as executive vice president of global cities.

"From access to basic services such as transport and affordable housing to engaging arts and culture – locals and tourists expect that cities make good use of resources that already exist and harness emerging technologies," said Gamino in a release. "That’s why today we invite public and private sector leaders to join us in making tech truly work for people."

Microsoft Windows 10 branding
Bloomberg News

Google Pay's travels
Shortly after Google Pay came to the web, the app is loading additional travel and entertainment payment options.

Google Pay will have a Tickets section for accessing passes to venues, reports 9to5Google, which adds these passes can be grouped together when making purchases for family or friends.

The new features are an expansion of a transit payment feature that Google added to its payment app in March.

Blockchain remittance picks up steam in South Korea
Coinone Transfer has joined Ripple Net to power remittances, hoping to take advantage of an expanding market for cross-border payments from South Korea to other nations.

The remittance service will use Ripple's xCurrent to power cross-border payments and settlement, hoping to boost its $97 million per day transfer business.

The World Bank reports remittance flows from South Korea have been expanding steadily for the past decade, creating pressure on the market to find solutions that cut processing time and overhead.

Amazon loses twice
Amazon's strategy to battle Walmart for e-commerce dominance India by acquiring Flipkart failed as Walmart announced a $16 billion deal for Flipkart.

What's ironic is Flipkart's founders, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal (who are not related) were once interns at Amazon in the U.S. a decade ago. Sachin met Binny in India after not making a high enough grade at his college and after Binny got turned down several times for a job at Google.

The two left Amazon in 2007 without taking full time jobs (the Economic Times reports it was their choice to leave Amazon) to return to India.

They then founded Flipkart, initially as a price comparison site. A decade later, Flipkart is the largest e-commerce company in India, and will become part of Walmart. The Bansals are reportedly both expected to become billionaires as a result of the deal.

From the Web

Artificial intelligence could beckon new innovation wave: MasterCard exec
Fox Business | Wed May 9, 2018 - Artificial intelligence is an emerging field that provides new benefits and capabilities, according to Ed McLaughlin, MasterCard president of operations and technology. MasterCard as well as Amazon, Facebook, Google and Intel are among the close to 40 companies expected to attend a White House meeting Thursday on artificial intelligence. Topics will include the impact of artificial intelligence on the job market.

NYPD Testing New ‘Skim Reaper’ Device To Detect Credit Card Skimmers
CBS News | Wed May 9, 2018 - The NYPD is testing a new device, called the “Skim Reaper,” that’s designed to detect if an ATM or gas pump has been tampered with. Credit card skimmers steal more than $1 billion from U.S. customers each year, according to the Secret Service.

Will the e-payment war for Hong Kong taxis break new ground in the cash-reliant trade?
South China Morning Post | Thu May 10, 2018 - Hong Kong’s taxi drivers have often been accused of refusing to move with the times and embrace electronic payments as an alternative to cash. But from the end of last year, mainland e-payment operators WeChat Pay and Alipay began to crack the market, with QR code-based payments that have proved successful in mainland China.

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