Morning Brief 5.20.20: Walmart grounds Jet.com
The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the web:
In the hangar
Walmart is shutting down Jet.com, an e-commerce company Walmart purchased for $3 billion in 2016 as part of strategy to counter Amazon. The big box retailer announced the move as part of its first quarter earnings, during which Walmart reported a 74% hike in online buying as a result of the coronavirus. It was also one of the few retail chains to post solid earnings, though like most companies Walmart withdrew its forward guidance.
It's not a strategic shift as much as a marketing adjustment. As a brand, Jet.com has not been a major cog in Walmart's rivalry with Amazon, as Walmart has instead focused on online strategies that tie more directly with its more recognizable brick and mortar store network and website, reports Engadget.
Walmart has also focused on online order/delivery, innovation hubs and other acquisitions, such as its purchase of Indian e-commerce company Flipkart, to compete with Amazon and other retail rivals such as Costco and Target.
Standard Cognition has acquired Checkout Technologies, a Milan-based software firm that uses artificial intelligence to build point of sale systems.
The San Francisco-based Standard Cognition also recently acquired Explorer.ai to add robotic mapping to Standard's checkout-free technology, which aims to counter Amazon Go's no-cashier model.
Standard Cognition is among the firms competing to convince brick and mortar retailers to adopt checkout-free technology, generally using cameras and other technology to recognize items as shoppers place them in a cart, then automatically charge an e-commerce account.
MoneyGram will work with South Korean transfer and fintech firm E9Pay to bolster MoneyGram's presence in South Korea while providing E9Pay greater access to more than 200 countries and territories.
The two companies will focus on Southeast Asia, Russia, and the Commonwealth of Independent States, which are E9Pay's primary markets.
Crypto for gamers
The Litecoin Foundation has entered a partnership with Atari to promote Litecoin's eponymous cryptocurrency and a pipeline of joint ventures.
The iconic video game brand will support the use of Litecoin across gaming platforms and will also create joint merchandising campaigns.
Litecoin users will also be able to invest in the pending Atari Token, which will be usable for purchases in the Atari ecosystem and the recently announced Atari Casino.
Corporate card funds
Lone Pine Capital and DST have led a $150 million investment round in payment fintech Brex.
Brex, which offers a card and digital payment products for startups, will use the funds to bolster its balance sheet as the coronavirus outbreak creates economic challenges for the company's customer base, reports Finextra, adding Brex may also pursue "small" acquisitions.
The two-year-old Brex also offers incentive marketing, and uses internally built technology to monitor clients accounts to determine credit limits.
From the web
EasyJet admits data of nine million hacked
BBC | Tue May 19, 2020
EasyJet has admitted that a "highly sophisticated cyber-attack" has affected approximately nine million customers. It said email addresses and travel details had been stolen and that 2,208 customers had also had their credit card details "accessed," including the three digital security code - known as the CVV number - on the back of the card itself.
WooCommerce launches native WooCommerce Payments feature
TECHCRUNCH | Tue May 19, 2020
WooCommerce Payments, powered by Stripe, lets users control payments directly in the WooCommerce back end.
India’s Khatabook raises $60 million to help merchants digitize bookkeeping and accept payments online
TECHCRUNCH | Tue May 19, 2020
The new financing round, Series B, was led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital.
More from PaymentsSource
Lifting lockdowns could bring a second wave of coronavirus-related fraud
As many countries and U.S. states now begin to lift stay-at-home orders, fraudsters too are being unleashed to return to familiar targets such as bank branches, ATMs and retail stores.
Live streaming's an added retail option in the post-coronavirus world
The sessions are interactive, and viewers can purchase products at any time during the session by clicking on a small product window and making a purchase with an app such as Alipay, says Azoya International's Franklin Chu.
How the massive FIS-Worldpay merger became key to its coronavirus survival
Jim Johnson paused for a moment, pondering what might have been had the coronavirus hit at another time — the time before modern data management, digital payment rails and remote connectivity. As bad as the crisis has been, it’s revealed a way forward that may not have been possible a decade ago.
Visa says majority of employees will work from home rest of year
Visa Inc. Chief Executive Officer Al Kelly said he expects a majority of the firm’s employees will continue working remotely through the end of the year.
Coronavirus' contactless wave pushes PayPal to QR payments
As consumers dump cash and traditional point of sale hardware for contactless payments, PayPal has added support for QR codes in 28 countries.
Can digital ID work without AI, blockchain and consumer ownership?
Getting rid of passwords is easier in concept than practice, with hundreds of initiatives designed to build something more digital, flexible and transportable. But none have taken hold, causing one developer to try an approach that rejects most of the prevailing methods.
The coronavirus has boosted mobile pay, but heightened fraud risk
Mobile payments have been gaining popularity, especially among younger consumers, with a 41% jump in volume from 2018 to 2019. Now there are urgent reasons for more consumers to pay with their phones. As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, mobile checkout and online banking apps are helping millions of people take care of business while they’re stuck at home.
Bitcoin halvings are becoming more symbolic than earth-shattering
Every four years, the U.S. has a presidential election, but in that same timeframe another event captivates the world of cryptocurrency, bitcoin’s halving.