Welcome to Five at Five, the late look at payments and commerce news that may have been missed. Today’s stories include a look at why grocery sales and online retail are working for Walmart, and the next change coming to Amazon’s Alexa. Square CEO Jack Dorsey has an idea about digital currency, PayPal might make a big move, and smart fridges are becoming tastier options for consumers.
Walmart managed to mostly exceed analyst expectations when it released its latest earnings figures earlier today (May 17), news that sent its stock up 1.9 percent in pre-market trading. In particular, the big-box retailer reported strength in sales, consumer spend, inventory reduction, eCommerce activity and growth in its grocery business.
The voices are being provided for free through Amazon Polly, a text-to-speech service that uses advanced deep learning technologies to synthesize speech that sounds like a human voice. Polly can speak in nearly 50 voices in 24 languages, but only eight voices synthesized to sound more human are available in the developer preview.
A week after iZettle said it planned to seek a listing on the Nasdaq Stockholm Stock Exchange, PayPal is reportedly far along in discussions to acquire the Swedish payment company. Sky News said the acquisition price is thought to be above the $1.1 billion valuation.
Square CEO Jack Dorsey thinks that the internet deserves a “native currency.” If that were to happen, he is rooting for one currency in particular.
Chef’d joins a lineup of products currently offered in Byte’s smart refrigerators, from sandwiches to salads and drinks. The machines, which allow consumers to buy items through credit card purchases day and night, are placed in workplaces, hospitals and apartments.