Today in the Connected Economy: Sabre Ends Deal With Russia’s Aeroflot

Today in the connected economy, airline software maker Sabre joins the sanctions battle against Russia by ending its deal with the country’s biggest air carrier. Also, AutoZone and invest in new digital tools as more drivers get back on the road post-pandemic, and FinTech platform Airwallex forms a partnership with investing app Plum.

Sabre Ends Aeroflot Deal, Cripples Russia’s Largest Airline

Airline software maker Sabre has stopped its distribution agreement with Aeroflot, a move that hampers Russia’s largest air carrier’s ability to sell seats.

Sabre provides reservation and ticket distribution services for a number of airlines. In cutting off business with Aeroflot, the company ensures the airline’s flights won’t show up on online travel agencies or third-party sites.

With this move, Texas-based Sabre joins air industry companies like Boeing and General Electric in taking action against the Russia’s airlines in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine last week. The U.S. and Europe have also restricted Russian access to their airspace.

Auto Parts Stores Add Digital Tools as More Cars Return to the Road

As auto parts distributors and retailers work to meet the growing demand for car parts as drivers return to the road following the pandemic, they’re also implementing new technology.

AutoZone has added new technology to speed deliveries of parts to its commercial customers and is seeing the results, President and CEO Bill Rhodes said during a recent earnings call. He said AutoZone has enhanced how it interacts with consumers online, gained a stronger understanding of delivery times and gave staff handheld devices to ensure the right products are picked up for delivery.

FinTech Airwallex, Plum Partner to Offer Stock Investing

Global FinTech platform Airwallex has joined forces with investing app Plum to support its cross-border payments and foreign exchange (FX) needs.

Airwallex said Plum chose it to serve as its global payments and FX partner to support the launch of Plum’s new stock investing feature. The tool will allow customers to trade in more than 500 U.S. stocks, and collect, hold and convert funds in multiple currencies.

‘Micro-Fulfillment’ Model Brings Same-Hour Delivery to Pharmacies

American pharmacies dispensed more than 4.4 billion prescriptions last year, and most of them were picked up by people who waited in line for their meds. Why didn’t these people just use delivery? Ironically, 50 or so years ago, many (possibly most) local pharmacies offered home delivery.

Bringing back the good old days of personal-touch pharmacies — safely and at scale — is the mission NowRx is on, especially as major retail chains like CVS announce plans to close numerous locations, and with demographic shifts favoring growth in prescription delivery.

Taking a page from the ridesharing playbook and adding its own ideas around logistics, NowRx CEO Cary Breese told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster the idea of same-day and even same-hour medication delivery “painted a picture of a microfulfillment strategy where we have a fulfillment center, but it’s not in some faraway state or some faraway place, but local. We can get out there and deliver same day and even same hour because sometimes medications are quite urgent.”

Pay-With-Face Identity Verification Seeks New Users in Need of Rapid, Secure Payments

Biometrics boomed during the pandemic, with the use of temperature scans before entering buildings, and thermal cameras, but facial recognition either wasn’t trusted or didn’t work well. But 2022 might give the technology a second chance at providing digital ID services, with new approaches and ambitious plans for the face to become the ultimate form of digital identification.

As PopID CEO John Miller told PYMNTS, “We don’t use the [term] ‘facial recognition’ to describe our platform. We use ‘face verification.’ Recognition refers to technologies that are actively surveying people, watching people. Our technology requires you to first enroll in the platform. You opt in on your phone and say, ‘I want to have the ability to pay with my face.’”