Today in the Connected Economy: Amazon Goes After India’s 1B Movie Watchers


Today in the connected economy, Amazon brings Prime movie and TV rentals to India in an effort to tap into a hugely popular streaming market. Plus, Amazon works with hearing aid maker Starkey to help customers who have the Fire TV Cube better hear their streaming programming, and digital payments company Aeropay forms a partnership with cannabis sale platform Flowhub.

Amazon Prime Debuts Indian Movie Rental Service

Amazon Prime Video has launched a movie rental service in India, with the goal of releasing more than 40 original movies and TV series over the next two years. Amazon Prime launched in India five years ago, and the tech giant has said it wants to more than double its investment in Prime Video, as it competes with Disney and Netflix for the streaming market in the world’s second-most populated country.

Amazon Pairs Fire Cube, Starkey Hearing Aids

Amazon is working with hearing aid maker Starkey to help customers who use its Fire TV Cube streaming device better hear their TV shows. The collaboration makes the Fire TV Cube the first streaming device from a U.S. tech firm that can essentially transform a hearing aid into a Bluetooth headphone calibrated to the user’s hearing needs.

Aeropay, Flowhub Team to Offer ACH for Cannabis Sales

Digital payments provider Aeropay is partnering with cannabis sale platform Flowhub to offer automated clearinghouse (ACH) payments at more than 1,000 dispensaries that use Flowhub’s software. Retailers who use Flowhub can now offer cashless payments at checkout, which can improve sales by more than 25% for each transaction.

W2, Visa Team up on UK Business Compliance Tools

Regulatory compliance software platform W2 is working with payments giant Visa to offer “enhanced compliance solutions and tools for U.K. Platinum and Infinite business cardholders,” the two companies said. The new offering means businesses operating in regulated sectors — such as payments, FinTechs and professional service providers — who use Visa Platinum and Infinite business cards get access to W2’s customer onboarding and monitoring compliance tools at a highly discounted rate.

American Express, Billtrust Partner on Virtual Card Payments

American Express is collaborating with accounts receivable (AR) automation firm Billtrust to make it easier for suppliers to accept payments made through Amex’s virtual cards. The companies said the integration lets suppliers automate and accelerate virtual card payments from customers, while also getting a real-time view of their outstanding invoices and cash flow.

P97 Networks, Viva Energy Partner on Contactless-Payments App for Australian Trucking

Mobile commerce platform P97 Networks and Viva Energy Australia have teamed up to launch Shell Card Go, an app that lets fleet managers and drivers make contactless mobile payments. The app lets drivers buy fuel at Shell, Liberty and Coles Express sites and allows users to find stations, view site details and earn rewards.