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Top News In Payments: US Backers Rain Money On Savvy Startups; Toyota Designs Japanese Smart City

In today’s top news, 2019 is on track to be the second-best year after 2011 for startups worth over $500 million, Toyota unveiled plans for a smart city in Japan, and ExxonMobil and Fiserv have teamed up to let people pay with Alexa at the gas pump.

 

US Backers Rain Money on Savvy Startups

U.S. investors are still hot to bankroll up-and-coming companies, despite headline-grabbing debacles. 2019 is on track to be the second-best year on record after 2011 for startups worth over $500 million backed by venture capital.

Toyota Engineers Blueprint Japanese Smart City

Plans for a hydrogen-powered city of the future near Mt. Fuji were unveiled by Toyota at the Computer Electronic Show (CES) on Jan. 6. The Woven City will be a “living laboratory” for residents and researchers to create and pilot new technologies like autonomy, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).

Alexa Payments Coming for ExxonMobil Customers

ExxonMobil and Fiserv have teamed up to let people pay for gas with Alexa at the pump. Users who have cars that are Alexa-enabled, or who use Echo Auto or other Alexa-enabled devices, will simply be able to say “Alexa, pay for gas” when the service rolls out later this year.

Alphabet Shares Soar Despite Regulator Scrutiny

Investors seem to be unconcerned about the numerous looming competition and antitrust investigations into Alphabet and Facebook, as both tech giants closed out at high share prices on Jan. 6.

Why 64 Pct of Merchant Services Providers Want a Payments Overhaul

In the Key To Optimizing Merchant Services Playbook: Leveraging Core Processing Systems, PYMNTS explores how merchant service providers are dealing with the technical aspects of supporting value-added services. Our research found three essential strategies to update systems that pre-date the digital era.

At CES, Voice Plus Vehicles Jump-starts the Connected Economy

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) started today in Las Vegas, and connected car technology is sure to be at the forefront. PYMNTS research and Karen Webster provide a deeper look at the lucrative connected vehicle ecosystem and what the emerging connected economy will look like.

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Featured PYMNTS Study:

More than 63 percent of merchant service providers (MSPs) want to overhaul their core payment processing systems so they can up their value-added services (VAS) game. It’s tough, though, since many of these systems date back to the pre-digital era. In the January 2020 Optimizing Merchant Services Playbook, PYMNTS unpacks what 200 MSPs say is key to delivering the VAS agenda that is critical to their success.

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