Morning Brief 12.11.19: Walmart tests driverless delivery in Houston

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The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the web:

R2 unit

Walmart is ramping up its autonomous delivery, adding Houston through a partnership with Nuro, a robotics company.

The big box retailer will use Nuro's custom-built R2 driverless delivery car to deliver groceries to consumers who opt into the service, reports TechCrunch. The deployment is mostly a test to determine how Walmart's customers respond to driverless delivery. The R2 vehicles have two compartments that fit six grocery bags each.

Walmart is also testing driverless delivery in the Phoenix area through a partnership with Udelv. Walmart started its general online order and delivery service in 2018.

Green deal

Mastercard has expanded its partnership with fintech Doconomy to offer carbon footprint tracking, with payments data contributing to a broader Bank of Aland climate index.

Nordea and Bank of the West will also contribute transaction data to the index, reports Finextra. The Aland Index links payments to the underlying impact on the environment.

Mastercard made an investment in Doconomy as part of the project, which the card brand detailed at a climate conference in Madrid. Doconomy is a partner of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

German play for Apple

Apple Pay has upped its support in Germany with several banks, giving the app a boost in a country in which cash is still dominant.

Apple has lined up Commerzbank, Norisbank and Sparkasse, a brand that covers more than 400 mostly non-profit financial institutions that are owned by local jurisdictions or charities, reports 9to5 Mac.

The support covers Visa and Mastercard credit cards, with debit card support expected to come in 2020.

Token's open bank sale

Open banking firm Token.io has spun off its digital money product to form M10 Networks, which will build a transfer and remittance service aimed at multinational banks.

Token will focus on PSD2 compliance and related technology that supports connections between financial companies.

Its partners include Mastercard, which recently signed a deal to use Token.io to strengthen the card brand's open banking hub. Apple Pay and Google Pay signed deals with payment gateway Worldline earlier this year to boost NFC support among merchants in Germany.

Restaurant guide

Japanese international payment brand JCB has introduced incentive marketing to connect travelers to restaurants that adhere to Muslim guidelines such as pork-free preparation or a prayer room.

JCB hopes to serve visitors from nearby markets that have a large Muslim population, such as Malaysia, where travel to Japan has jumped 12% in the past year, with JCB basing those statistics on the Japan Tourism Agency. Travel from Indonesia has spiked 30%.

JCB also entered into a recent partnership with Greece's Viva Wallet to extend its profile in Europe.

From the web

Gojek near US$120m deal for mobile payment startup
THE BUSINESS TIMES | Wed December 11, 2019
Indonesia's ride-hailing giant Gojek is close to acquiring a mobile point-of-sale startup called Moka for at least US$120 million, as it aims to become a leading player in the country's digital payments industry, according to people familiar with the talks.

Wayv launches Payments, the first all-digital payment solution for the cannabis market
TECHCRUNCH | Wed December 11, 2019
Wayv is taking a big step towards mainstreaming the cannabis industry. Wayv Payments is said to be the first digital, compliant payment solution for the cannabis supply chain. This solution should reduce the entire industry’s reliance on stacks of cash by providing a credit-card like transaction to all.

JPMorgan Blockchain Payments Network Eyes January Japan Launch
COINDESK | Tue December 10, 2019
JPMorgan Chase’s blockchain payments platform looks to be expanding to Japan, and soon. The U.S. banking multinational is eyeing a launch for its Interbank Information Network (IIN) in the East Asian nation possibly in January, executive director Daizaburo Sanai said.

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