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Top News In Payments: Alexa Can Now Help Manage Medications, Facebook Bid Against Google For Fitbit

Top News In Payments

In today’s top payments news, Amazon Alexa users can now receive medication reminders and make voice requests for refills. Also, Facebook has reportedly been revealed as “Party A” in the attempt to acquire health tech company Fitbit. And profits are being pushed over progress as Silicon Valley investors start reeling in the billions that startups have come to expect.

Amazon Alexa Can Now Send Medication Reminders

Amazon Alexa users can now make voice requests for prescription refills and receive medication reminders. Medication management features are currently in testing with customers of the Giant Eagle Pharmacy chain, which is based in more than 200 supermarkets. The project is being launched in partnership with the Omnicell healthcare solutions firm.  

Facebook Bid Against Google in Attempt to Acquire Fitbit

Facebook has reportedly been revealed as “Party A” in the attempt to acquire health tech company Fitbit, per a report citing a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing. The social media company made multiple bids for Fitbit in October, with a final offer of $7.30 per share.

Silicon Valley Braces as VCs Pump the Brakes

Profits are being pushed over progress as Silicon Valley investors start reeling in the billions that startups have come to expect. Chris Douvos of investment firm Ahoy Capital told The Wall Street Journal, “We’ve been in the middle of a rollicking party that’s gone on for five years and someone has snapped on the light switch. We are all adjusting our eyes and no one has any idea how the rest of the night is going to go. That’s how Silicon Valley feels right now.”

Ant Financial Ramps up SEA Capital With $1B Fund

Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial is reportedly drumming up $1 billion to fund startups in India and Southeast Asia. The firm is said to have its eye on new companies in emerging markets that focus on online financing and payments. At a conference on Tuesday, Ji Gang, vice president of Ant Financial, told those in attendance that his company was “looking to raise a fund,” but reportedly didn’t mention details. 

How Ticketmaster Uses AI to Sort Fans from Fraudsters

Music fans are a favorite target of fraudsters. Of the 94 million U.S. consumers who bought concert tickets last year, approximately 11 million fell victim to some type of fraud. This trend puts pressure on ticket sellers to ensure their platforms are trustworthy and safe. In a feature story, Ticketmaster’s Chief Information Officer Gui Karyo explains how machine learning tools and other advanced technologies are enhancing the fan experience while keeping fraudsters in check.

What the UAE Is Teaching Global FinTechs About SMB Banking

It’s not easy being small — especially in business, and often when it comes to banking and payments. The bigger players often encounter fewer barriers to market entry and expansion. That can especially hold true in wealthy countries, as discussed in a PYMNTS interview with Evans Munyuki, chief digital officer of Emirates NBD, a UAE banking group. But that’s changing. The story he told PYMNTS was one of FinTech’s global impact, and how the contributions of SMBs are being recognized for their importance.

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Featured PYMNTS Study: 

With eyes on lowering costs to improving cash flow, 85 percent of U.S. firms plan to make real-time payments integral to their operations within three years. However, some firms still feel technical barriers stand in the way. In the January 2020 Making Real-Time Payments A Reality Study, PYMNTS surveyed more than 500 financial executives to examine what it will take to channel RTP interest into real-world adoption. Here’s what we learned.

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