1.10.19 Your morning briefing
The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the Web:
Walmart at the wheel
Walmart is collaborating with automotive technology company Udelv to test autonomous delivery in Surprise, Ariz., the latest move by the retailer to beef up its delivery and digital capabilities.
Udelv's van, called the Newton, can reach 60 MPH and carry up to 32 orders at one time, using sensors and driving software designed to support self-driving delivery.
Walmart has also tested its own staff to serve as delivery drivers, who stop at consumers' homes on their way home from work to delivery groceries.
In attempt to lure more consumers to electric cars by making it easier to recharge, Electrify America is collaborating with Hubject to deploy a plug-and-charge function to more than 2,000 charging stations by the end of 2019.
Both Electrify America and Hubject offer mobile technology that avoids the time-consuming process of charging electric vehicles, reports Engadget, which adds the normal process of downloading an app or making a phone call is replaced with "vehicle to grid" communications to authenticate and authorize charging sessions.
India's new digital push
The Indian government has asked Infosys chair Nandan Nilekani to lead an advisory panel for digital payments.
The Reserve Bank of India will also oversee the panel, which is charged with finding ways to use digital transactions to support financial inclusion and the general expansion of mobile commerce, reports Reuters, which adds the Indian government last year rejected a recommendation from a similar panel, which suggested an independent regulator to oversee electronic payments.
The Indian government has taken an active role in building and governing a digital payments market, including taking most of India's cash out of circulation three years ago, and more recently taking an isolationist stance against non-Indian payment companies.
While governments are paying a lot of attention to central bank digital currencies, there's not a lot of action.
Very few central banks are piloting digital currencies or project issuance in the near term, reports Finextra, citing research from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).
Central bank digital currencies draw opposing views, with IMF chief Christine Lagarde arguing digital currencies can guide the decline from cash, while the BIS argues there's an unknown risk, according to Finextra.
From the Web
Hands-on with Ledger’s Bluetooth crypto hardware wallet
TechCrunch | Wed January 9, 2019 - French startup Ledger unveiled a new hardware wallet at CES this week. While the device isn’t going to ship until March, the company let me play with a prototype version of the device. The Ledger Nano X feels just like using the Nano S, but on mobile.
German mobile bank N26 joins Europe's unicorn club with $2.7 billion valuation
CNBC | Wed January 9, 2019 - There's a new European unicorn in town. German fintech firm N26 said Thursday it has raised $300 million from investors in a round of funding — valuing the online lender at $2.7 billion.
Probe report on SingHealth data breach points to basic failings
The Straits Times | Thu January 10, 2019 - Staff who fell prey to phishing attacks. Weak administrator passwords. Not applying a patch that could have stopped the hacking. And an IT cyber-security team that could not even recognise a security incident.
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