3.5.19 Your morning briefing

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

Simpler scanning
Sam's Club plans to upgrade its item recognition technology to allow shoppers to scan the entire item instead of just the bar code.

The upgrade is designed to speed checkout by removing the requirement that the customer find the bar code, though there's still gaps that prevent the upgrade from being an Amazon Go-style no-cashier system. Sam's Club will use machine learning and computer vision to record the item and its price. The shopper pays for his or her entire shopping trip via an app, then shows a digital receipt to a Sam's Club employee before leaving the store.

The retail chain will test the technology this spring at its Dallas-area testing center, which Sam's Club set up in 2018 to find ways to counter Amazon's encroachment into retail. Walmart, Sam's Club's parent company, has also opened a similar center on Long Island.
From tabloids to shampoo
The newstands that dot the New York subway system will soon be as extinct as the redbirds, replaced by vending machines and kiosks that will sell travel-sized toiletries and on-the-go snacks instead of tabloid newspapers, reports the Daily News, which presumably will lose some of its own retail reach.

The replacement is due in part to the 40 percent vacancy rate for retail in the subway system, and matches a general trend toward digitizing transactions such as fare payments in the New York subway system.

Unattended retail has also proven to be a gateway to tech innovations such as cashierless stores in other transit systems such as Tokyo.

Another step away from passwords
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the FIDO Alliance have finished work on a specification for browser-based authentication, broadening the range of companies using a framework for digital non-static authentication.

Called W3C's Web Authn Recommendation, it is supported by Windows 10, Android, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Apple Safari web browsers, according to W3C.

This would allow apps, including financial and payment apps, to use standard functions to support biometrics and FIDO security keys to enable faster logins.

Ham and lightning
Two developers used ham radio waves to execute a cryptocurrency payment between Toronto and San Francisco.

Radio waves could provide a way to protect cryptocurrency from hacking or other interference such as censorship, reports Coindesk, adding radio provides an additional way beyond the internet to transmit the information required for a cryptocurrency transaction. The radios that can access the necessary frequencies cost about $200.

Satellites have also emerged as an alternative to the internet for cryptocurrency transactions, Coindesk reports.

From the Web

Outbound travel market may be best bet for Visa, Mastercard should they finally gain access to China
South China Morning Post | Tue March 5, 2019 - China’s transition towards a cashless and cardless society, with nine out of 10 internet users already paying for things with smartphones, means card giants will likely look to work with the country’s dominant mobile payments providers in key segments, such as outbound tourism.

Treasurers Consider Changes to Bank Accounts, Cash Pools Ahead of Brexit
The Wall Street Journal | Mon March 4, 2019 - A no-deal Brexit could force British and European treasurers to make changes to their bank accounts and cash pools to avoid higher fees and meet regulatory requirements. Various European frameworks governing the payments industry might no longer apply to the U.K. after it leaves the European Union on March 29, including regulation on the single euro payments area, or SEPA.

UK banks hit daily by IT failures halting payments, says Which?
The Guardian | Mon March 4, 2019 - British banks are being hit by IT or security failures that prevent customers from making payments at an average rate of more than once a day, according to Which? Money. In the most comprehensive analysis carried out since banks started disclosing serious IT glitches, the consumer group found there were 302 incidents that prevented customers from making payments in the last nine months of 2018.

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