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Speaking of Starbucks
Starbucks gets a huge share of business via its mobile app, and is often an early adopter of retail trends such as no-cash stores.

In South Korea, it's plunging into voice ordering. Starbucks Coffee Korea, a 50/50 venture between Starbucks and Shinsegae Group, have launched voice ordering through an integration with Samsung's intelligent assistant, Bixby.

The voice ordering feature is part of Starbucks Siren Order, the coffee chain's South Korean mobile order and pay app.

Starbucks is the first retailer to license Samsung's voice technology for full mobile order and payment, according to Samsung.

Bloomberg News

Spain's government turns up the heat on cryptocurrency
Following India and China, Spain's government is taking a heavier hand to cryptocurrencies.

Tax officials have asked 60 companies to turn over information on cryptocurrency investors, reports Coindesk, which cited local media reports. Tax authorities have also contacted 16 banks, exchanges, cryptocurrency ATM operators and more than 40 businesses that accept cryptocurrency for payments.

The government wants identities of clients, bank accounts, card details and exchange information, which could inform formal investigations and monitoring.

Tower of Walmart
Walmart has made many moves to compete with Amazon and digitize the way people shop and buy items, a strategy that includes a push to get people to order, pay and have groceries delivered via digital channels.

Part of that strategy is a dramatic expansion of its "Pickup Towers" or places insides stores where people can pick up online orders without interacting with staff. The Verge reports Walmart will add 500 towers this year, upping its total to nearly 700.

The towers are a good way for Walmart to counter Amazon, since it takes advantage of Walmart's larger network of stores, even accounting for Amazon's retail footprint from Whole Foods.

Deep Freeze
The SEC has received a court order freezing $27 million in trading proceeds from Longfin Corp.

The SEC alleges Longfin caused its stock and market cap to rise quickly by announcing it had acquired a cryptocurrency business. A handful of people associated with Longfin then sold unregistered shares while the price was up, collecting the $27 million that's now frozen.

These trades violate laws that restrict trading unregistered shares distributed to affiliates.

The coin is out there
The Royal Canadian Mint has introduced a new coin that recalls a famed UFO encounter in Canada in 1967.

Mysterious Universe reports the $20 coin has Stefan Michalak on one side, reaching toward the UFO. Michalak claims to have seen two glowing red objects, then getting caught in the exhaust when the "spacecraft" took off. Like most UFO and bigfoot tales, Michalak's believability depends on the reader's bias, but he became famous enough to get a book contract, and now a national coin.

An image of the Queen is on the other side of the coin.

From the Web

China may be leading in payments, but it is set for further growth in fintech
CNBC | Mon April 9, 2018 - The growth in China's financial technology industry may look like it's peaking given the wide usage of internet payments, but the sector has yet to reach its full potential, one fintech firm told CNBC on Monday. The world's second-largest economy already has one of the highest fintech adoption rates, according to a 2017 report by consultancy EY.

Amex Pay Mobile Payments Solution Launched in India
NDTV | Fri Apr 6, 2018 - American Express on Monday announced the launch of Amex Pay mobile payment service in India. The service allows American Express card users to make QR code-based and contactless payments through the Amex mobile app.

PayPal extends global push with new Kenyan partnership
MarketWatch | Mon Apr 9, 2018 - PayPal Holdings Inc. said it has entered a partnership with a Kenyan digital payments provider, in line with a general trend among financial-technology giants to gain exposure to new regions. The company’s new partnership will allow Kenyan consumers to transfer money between their accounts with PayPal and their accounts with M-PESA.

More from PaymentsSource

Brexit or bust? U.K. fintechs try to offset disaster
So far, U.K. fintechs' options range from relocating to other countries to finding ways to offset negative effects by attempting to “Brexit-proof” their businesses. The latter option can still be a substantial undertaking.

Artificial intelligence has a lot to learn about malware protection
AI relies on catching the malware itself at a later stage, once it begins to operate in the system, and that's not enough to combat breaches and payment systems, according to Mordechai Guri, chief science officer at Morphisec.

Walmart and payments: 10 things you need to know
Walmart is already a retail heavyweight, and it has never shied from innovative projects to change the way people pay.

Mastercard promotes Ann Cairns to vice chairman
Ann Cairns has been named vice chairman at Mastercard, effective June 1, moving on from her role as president of international markets for the card brand.