Morning Brief 6.10.20: Visa completes checkout-free test in Russia

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Visa, Sberbank and Russian supermarket chain Azbuka Vkusa have finished testing technology that allows consumers to take items from store shelves and have payments drawn from an e-commerce account.

Similar to Amazon Go and checkout-free rivals, the Russian version uses an AI system to identify items, which are then linked to the consumer's bank account and Visa card. The bank has set up a Take&Go app to support the technology.

Consumers scan a QR code upon entering the store, and receive a receipt via email. The pilot successfully executed 200 purchases, with some additional fine-tuning expected before a full launch.

Cross-border in real time

The Swedish Bankers Association has formed a committee to oversee the upgrade of national payment rails to a system that ensures instant payments across the Nordic region.

Called P27, the project supports real-time, batch, domestic and cross-border payments for consumers and businesses in Denmark, Finland and Sweden. The banks include Danske, Handelsbanken, Nordea, OP Financial Group, SEB and Swedbank, which will support the project until it's financially sustainable.

The project is set for launch in 2021, reports Finextra, adding it will replace eight existing systems and will comply with the new ISO 20022 messaging standard.

Installment incentives

Point of sale credit firm Klarna plans to launch a points-based loyalty program called Vibe this summer, adding a rewards component to its installment payment model.

Consumers will earn points for each dollar spent using Klarna as the payment method, with Starbucks, Sephora, Foot Locker and Uber among the first retailers to support Vibe, reports TechCrunch.

Sweden-based Klarna has expanded to North America in recent years, drawing investors such as Ant, which acquired a minority stake in Klarna in March.

The fund crowd

P-to-P payment app Mezu has developed an in-app fundraising feature that supports real-time access for the recipients.

The feature is designed to draw from a circle such as friends, family or social media followers.

Mezu positions itself as a rival to Zelle or Venmo, offering an instant withdraw feature that, like the crowdsourced donation feature, does not charge fees. Mezu instead offers premium services that carry fees.

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