Welcome to The Axis, your late look at payments news from around the world. Coverage includes Sonect obtaining an eMoney license in Lithuania. In addition, Sainsbury’s rolled out a till-free London brick-and-mortar store in the United Kingdom, and Alipay is working with food and travel marketplace HarkHark for mobile restaurant ordering in Australia.
Swiss location-based FinTech platform Sonect has obtained an eMoney license in Lithuania, the company said in an announcement. Sonect says it has become the biggest network for cash withdrawal in Switzerland, and it is ready to come to new European markets (as well as those “beyond”). Sonect Founder and CEO Sandipan Chakraborty said in the announcement that the license “is a strategic move that perfectly sets us up to expand across the European market quickly. Our success in Switzerland showcases the need for a solution like Sonect to bring cash withdrawals to the next level. We are looking forward to replicating our success in other European markets soon.”
In the United Kingdom, Sainsbury’s rolled out a till-free London brick-and-mortar store, according to reports. The grocer will reportedly experiment with its technology at the location before fine-tuning it and bringing it to a broader range of stores. “We know our customers value their time and many want to shop as quickly as possible — technology is key to that,” Sainsbury’s Group Chief Digital Officer Clodagh Moriarty said in an announcement, according to reports. “This is an experiment rather than a new format for us — it hasn’t been done in the U.K. before and we’re really excited to understand how our customers respond to the app experience.”
And Alipay has teamed up with HarkHark, an online marketplace for food and travel, in Australia to provide a mobile platform, itwire reported. The company is looking to bring over 2,000 restaurants into the effort in the months to come, and 500 eateries have reportedly already signed up for the program. With the program, consumers can pull up a digital menu by scanning a quick-response (QR) code in the restaurant and order as well as pay for their food. Currently, merchants numbering in the tens of thousands offer Alipay in Australia. At the same time, the report pointed out that Chinese visitors brought $11.5 billion to the economy of Australia in the year that concluded in September 2018.