Morning Brief 5.20.20: Walmart grounds Jet.com

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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.

Checkout-free machine

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.

Network effect

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.

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