Wednesday , March 21, 2018

Amazon’s Voice Shopping and other Digital Transactions News briefs from 12/27/17

  • Mastercard Inc.’s latest SpendingPulse report says year-over-year holiday sales increased 4.9%, their best showing since 2011. Online sales grew 18.1%. The report for the Nov. 1-Dec. 24 period covers all payment types, including cash and checks.
  • Without being more specific, Inc. said “millions” of members of Amazon Prime shopped by voice during the holiday season on Alexa, the company’s service based on artificial intelligence that runs on its Echo devices. The most-purchased items were the Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, and TP-Link Smart Plug Mini.
  • Merchants’ Choice Payment Solutions, now part of Paysafe Group Ltd., and Woodforest National Bank are facing a class-action lawsuit filed by Webb, Klase & Lemond LLC over allegations of fraudulent business practices involving merchant accounts. The law firm said the case—Al’s Pals Pet Care, LLC, et al. v. Woodforest National Bank, N.A., et al.—was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, but case documents were not yet available in the court’s electronic filing system. Neither Paysafe nor Woodforest responded to a Digital Transactions Newsinquiry.
  • A 23-year-old Florida man faces a charge of criminal mischief after he allegedly punched an ATM’s touch screen at a Wells Fargo & Co. branch in Cocoa, Fla., causing at least $5,000 in damage, because the ATM gave him too much money. The man reportedly called the bank and apologized, saying he beat the ATM because didn’t know what to do with the extra money and was in a hurry to get to work, according to press reports.
  • Lulu Exchange, a London-based processor of cross-border remittances for consumers and businesses, has agreed to use an anti-money-laundering service from Fiserv Inc.
  • On Track Innovations Ltd., a provider of smart card and near-field communication technology, announced a deal worth more than $1 million to supply patient-information smart cards and biometric-identification technology to clients in Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, and South Africa.
  • Israel’s central bank, the Bank of Israel, is considering the issuance of a digital currency in order to promote faster payments and reduce the amount of cash in the economy, Reuters reported.

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