Week In Tech: Payments – Cryptocurrency, Cashless and Checkouts
Luckily Google Pay hasn’t put everyone else out of business yet! In the week that Stripe ditched its Bitcoin support we ‘checkout’ the biggest breaking payments stories.
Arsenal aren’t used to being first these days, but their latest signing at least shows intent if nothing else. The Gunners have become the first major football club to sign a cryptocurrency sponsorship deal after reaching an agreement with US gaming company, CashBet. The agreement will see the Premier League club promote the firm’s initial coin offering (ICO), CashBet Coin at the 60,000-seat Emirates stadium.
Coffee colossus, Starbucks, has announced it is trialling its first cashless store in Seattle. The store will accept only card and phone payments from customers. The initiative intends to speed up transaction times and also reduce the risk of theft by eliminating bank runs and getting rid of the physical exchange of cash.
As a challenge to shoplifters everywhere, Amazon has opened a supermarket without checkout operators or self-service tills. Instead, it has opted to use hundreds of ceiling-mounted cameras and electronic sensors to identify customers and track their items. Purchases are billed to customers’ credit cards upon leaving the store. Alongside speeding up time spent in-store, the supermarket serves as a stark reminder that technology will one day take all of our jobs, which is nice.
In a move to make eyes roll across the world, South Korea has added its two cents to the inundation of cryptocurrency stories in the news. This week, the country announced it will ban the use of anonymous bank accounts to make cryptocurrency transactions, in an attempt to stop virtual currencies being used for crimes such as money laundering. Holders of anonymous cryptocurrency wallets must now link them to bank accounts in their own name, and confirm their identities.