Today in the Connected Economy: Amazon, Walmart Vie for Metropolis Partnership – PYMNTS.com

Today in the Connected Economy: Amazon, Walmart Vie for Metropolis Partnership – PYMNTS.com

Today in the connected economy, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd. looks for a strategic partner, and Amazon and Walmart are both reportedly in the running.
Also, Square joins forces with artificial intelligence (AI) firm SoundHound to integrate call-in orders fielded by SoundHound’s voice assistant into its point-of-sale system, and Amazon Pay and Amazon Web Services launch a UPI payments partnership with India’s RBL Bank.
Amazon, Walmart Duel Over Healthcare, Super App Looms in India
Metropolis Healthcare Ltd., a diagnostics chain that operates in India and Africa, wants to raise upwards of $300 million by selling a minority stake in its operations.
In doing so, the company would also forge a relationship with a strategic partner, with Amazon and Walmart (through its Indian retail operation Flipkart) both reportedly in the running.
While this deal may never materialize, the fact that both retail giants are considering it is another sign of how the companies are viewing the role of healthcare in their efforts to drive business and turn apps into super apps. 
Square Taps Voice Commerce
Point-of-sale system provider Square has teamed up with conversational artificial intelligence (AI) company SoundHound to integrate call-in orders fielded by SoundHound’s voice assistant into Square’s system.
“At Square, we are seeing sellers leverage the latest technology to meet customer demand regardless of size or complexity,” said Bryan Solar, Square’s head of restaurants.
“Our partnership with SoundHound allows us to offer innovative and cost-effective solutions to restaurants working with small profit margins and facing multiple challenges — including the high cost of rapid labor turnover and shortages. This integration provides our sellers with the tools they need to offer a consistently high level of customer service.”
RBL Bank Launches UPI Payments Through Amazon Pay
India’s RBL Bank, Amazon Pay and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are working together to offer unified payments interface (UPI) payments.
The partnership will see Amazon Pay issue the National Payments Corporation of India’s (NPCI) allocated UPI ID to RBL Bank to create a streamlined payments experience using RBL Bank’s cloud-based processing infrastructure.
The joint effort also expands RBL’s presence in the UPI space with its AWS-hosted payment processing platform and lets the bank connect with Amazon Pay’s increasing customer base and transaction volumes.
Nuvei Helps Swedish Sportsbook Betsson Launch in U.S.
Payments platform Nuvei and Swedish gaming company Betsson Group have teamed up to bring Betsson’s online sportsbook to the U.S.
The companies said in a news release that Betsson is now operating in Colorado under the name Betsafe and will use Nuvei’s instant bank transfer tool, which lets players instantly make deposits to their gaming accounts straight from their bank accounts.
“Players will also benefit from instant withdrawals, which enable them to receive their winnings straight into their bank account in real-time, 24/7,” the release said.
When the Driver Doesn’t Own the Vehicle, Who Pays Tolls, Tickets?
For years, if someone driving a rental or company car got a ticket, it usually meant that the owner of the vehicle, not the driver, would end up losing money.
“Before we were around, many of our customers just viewed this as a cost of doing business,” Steve Lalla, executive vice president of Verra Mobility’s commercial services business, said in an interview with PYMNTS.
His company’s commercial services firm deals with tolling and violations management by ingesting electronic data from tolling authorities, municipalities and the fleet operators’ enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to match the cost with the driver. And for municipalities that don’t collect tolls or fines electronically, Verra receives and digitizes the paper bills.
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