In today’s top news, Beijing is holding a $6.2 million lottery to pilot its digital yuan, and Mitek has acquired ID R&D to expand its identity fraud-fighting platform. Plus, Instacart is looking to open automated fulfillment centers to reduce costs and form stronger partnerships with grocery store chains.
China is holding a 40 million renminbi ($6.2 million) lottery in Beijing to continue its digital yuan pilot program. Beijing residents can apply by June 7 to be part of a lottery to win one of the 200,000 prizes worth 200 digital yuan (about $31). The digital currency can be used to make purchases at select retailers.
Digital identity verification company Mitek has acquired ID R&D, an artificial intelligence (AI)-based voice and face biometrics and liveness detection firm, a move that it says will help curtail the growing threat of identity fraud.
Instacart wants to build a nationwide chain of automated fulfillment centers, where robots would gather non-perishable items alongside humans handling produce and deli products. Some of these facilities would be part of existing supermarkets, while others would be bigger, standalone outposts. But the project has been delayed and the company has not yet signed up any supermarket chains to participate.
Truebill has raised $45 million to expand its financial management platform to help users gain more visibility and better control of their money. The platform has saved users more than $100 million since 2016, according to a press release.
Drive-thru service has been a savior for quick-service restaurants (QSRs) over the past year, but traditional drive-thru experiences no longer cut it for today’s digital-first consumers. In the Order to Eat Tracker, Portillo’s John Isbell dishes on merging mobile technologies with data analytics and geofencing to take drive-thru to the next level.
The construction industry is booming, but surging supply and demand don’t necessarily equate to healthy cash flow for industry players, especially small businesses. American Express Vice President and General Manager, B2B, Global Merchant and Network Services RJ Ancona explains the opportunity for firms on both the buyer and supplier side of the supply chain to boost financial health through optimized B2B payment technology.
SoFi’s IPO is the latest example of a new breed of digitally built banks and financial service companies that cater to specific consumer needs while lining the pockets of investors.