Grace

Trilo lets merchants offer rewards to customers choosing bank-to-bank payments – TechCrunch

Open banking enables bank-to-bank payments, meaning that (in theory) merchants should be able to accept payments without having to hand over fees to Visa or Mastercard or other payment providers, such as Stripe. The challenge, however, isn’t just implementing open-banking based payments as a checkout option — there are are already a host of open banking tech providers — but persuading customers to switch to a new payment option they are likely unfamiliar with.

The solution, according to fintech Trilo, is to offer customers incentives, for using open banking, such as cashback or additional perks, coupled with a user-friendly payment flow. The U.K. startup is breaking cover today with the launch of its alpha.

Image Credits: Trilo

“Businesses lose out on so much of their hard-earned money whenever a payment is made with cards, their transaction fees can be up to and above 4% in some cases,” says founder

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Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop: A cheat sheet

Cloud-based DaaS offers several advantages to a remote workforce. This smart guide to Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop assesses the platform and what it can offer.

Image: iStock/DragonImages

Unprecedented conditions surrounding COVID-19 and the accompanying global pandemic have left many business enterprises scrambling to find ways to accommodate an increasingly remote and virtual workforce. Some businesses have discovered that workforce productivity is the same, if not better, under a virtual scheme. These enterprises are likely to adopt platforms like Desktop as a Service (DaaS) and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) going forward, even after the pandemic has subsided.

SEE: TechRepublic Premium editorial calendar: IT policies, checklists, toolkits, and research for download

Cloud-based DaaS and VDI services are offered by a number of vendors including Microsoft through its Azure cloud platform. Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop is offered as a free service to certain Microsoft 365 and Azure subscribers. Licenses for individual Windows Virtual

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Holiday tech gifts for under $25

Not everything in today’s tech has to cost a fortune, and there are plenty of great tech-related gifts for those on a budget, or for those who find their holiday list expanding.

You absolutely can be a thoughtful gift-giver, even if you’re on a budget. We took a look at tech-related gift items that cost $25 or less and there’s a surprising amount of fun and useful items to be had. These products will definitely come in handy for those who find their gift list growing longer. Here are some gifts that will be appreciated and still not break the bank.





Kami

A tiny indoor security camera, the Kami Mini includes AI facial detection, optional emergency response with support for up to five locations, Alexa and Google assistant compatibility, clear night vision, a two-way microphone, and high-accuracy human detection to prevent false alerts. To make the camera even smaller, it

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Alibaba Group will spend $3.6 billion to take control of Chinese supermarket giant Sun Art – TechCrunch

Alibaba Group said today it will spend about $3.6 billion to take a controlling stake in Sun Art, one of China’s largest big-box and supermarket chains. After the transaction is complete, Alibaba Group will own 72% of Sun Art.

As in other countries, COVID-19 lockdowns increased demand for online food orders in China, drawing in shoppers who had still preferred to buy groceries in person. Even though lockdowns have lifted, many have continued to purchase online. Alibaba’s new investment in Sun Art will be made by acquiring 70.94% of equity interest in A-RT Retail Holdings from France-based Auchan Retail International. A-RT Retail holds about 51% of the equity interest in Sun Art.

After the deal closes, Alibaba will consolidate Sun Art in its financial statements. Sun Art chief executive officer Peter Huang has also been named its new chairman.

Alibaba first invested in Sun Art back in 2017, spending

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VCs reload ahead of the election as unicorns power ahead – TechCrunch

This is The TechCrunch Exchange, a newsletter that goes out on Saturdays, based on the column of the same name. You can sign up for the email here.

It was an active week in the technology world broadly, with big news from Facebook and Twitter and Apple. But past the headline-grabbing noise, there was a steady drumbeat of bullish news for unicorns, or private companies worth $1 billion or more.

A bullish week for unicorns

The Exchange spent a good chunk of the week looking into different stories from unicorns, or companies that will soon fit the bill, and it’s surprising to see how much positive financial news there was on tap even past what we got to write about.

Databricks, for example, disclosed a grip of financial data to TechCrunch ahead of regular publication, including the fact that it grew its annual run rate (not ARR) to

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Pear hosted its invite-only demo day online this year; here’s what you might have missed – TechCrunch

Pear, the eight-year-old, Palo Alto, Calif.-based seed-stage venture firm that has, from its outset, attracted the attention of VCs who think the firm has an eye for nascent talent, staged its seventh annual demo day earlier this week, and while it was virtual, one of the startups has already signed a term sheet from a top-tier venture firm.

To give the rest of you a sneak peak, here’s a bit about all of the startups that presented, in broad strokes:


  1. ) AccessBell

What it does: Video conferencing platform for enterprise workflows

Website: accessbell.com

Founders: Martin Aguinis (CEO), Josh Payne (COO), Kamil Ali (CTO)

The pitch: Video has emerged as one of the prominent ways for enterprises to communicate internally and externally with their customers and partners. Current video conferencing tools like Zoom and WebEx are great for standalone video but they have their own ecosystems and don’t integrate

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