Welcome to Five at Five, your late look at the day’s payments and commerce news. Today’s coverage includes the latest move by Walmart to gain on Amazon and its other retail rivals, along with news about Amazon’s speaker success. Visa backs EMV specs, Lyft makes some big tech moves and payment cards might play a role in tonight’s Mega Millions drawing.
Scott Hilton, chief revenue officer for Walmart eCommerce U.S., said that in addition to expanding the number of items that will get free two-day shipping, the retailer is simplifying the returns process for items purchased from marketplace sellers, including the ability to start the process at any of Walmart’s 4,700 stores.
Other findings from a new report revealed that when asked to name one brand they would choose for their next smart speaker, 54 percent of consumers choose either Amazon, Google or Apple. That leaves nearly half the market open to competitors, with Bose, Samsung and Sonos the most preferred alternatives.
Visa said the draft EMV SRC specification provides a foundation for digital transactions that gives consumers, merchants and issuers a single digital point of sale, resulting in a consistent, convenient and secure way to pay.
In addition to acquiring Blue Vision Labs, which focuses on augmented reality, Lyft will also unveil its first self-driving test vehicle with Ford, which will be the Ford Fusion Hybrid.
State rules vary, of course, and some states let retailers decide what payment methods to accept.