How consumers can avoid fraud amid big sales week for Amazon, Walmart

  • With e-commerce surging during the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Day and the 2020 holiday season may be the perfect hunting ground for online fraudsters.
  • Business Insider spoke with Amazon’s former Director of Corporate Development Aaron Barfoot, who now serves as the chief financial officer of online security firm Forter. 
  • “Good online hygiene means paying attention and being alert,” Barfoot said. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

It’s a potential nightmare for anyone who’s ever shopped online: checking your bank account or credit card statement to find that a cybercriminal has stolen your identity and run up a huge bill.

During Amazon’s two-day Prime Day sales event and the upcoming 2020 holiday season, that’s a scenario that could become reality for more shoppers than ever before. Former Amazon Director of Corporate Development Aaron Barfoot — who now serves as chief financial officer for online fraud prevention firm Forter — said that 2020 may prove to be an especially risky year for online shoppers, thanks to the surge in online purchases during the coronavirus pandemic.

Forter estimates that transactions by first-time online shoppers have spiked from between 4% to 5% last year to around 10% to 14% in 2020. The overall increase in online transactions makes it “easier for a fraudster to hide,” Barfoot said. In its annual fraud report tracking e-commerce transactions, Forter also found that fraud pertaining to “buy-online-and-pickup-in-store” orders has already increased 55% year-over-year.

“More new customers are going online for the first time,” Barfoot told Business Insider. “Once those new customers are online, they are more susceptible to fraud.”

Those looking to prey upon the influx of inexperienced e-commerce shoppers — especially elderly customers and those without the digital savvy to create strong passwords — come armed with a playbook of fraudulent moves. Hussein Ahmad, CEO of digital

The AI partners Walmart is working with to become a software giant

  • Walmart is perhaps the best example of the commonly used mantra “every company is now a technology company”: The world’s largest retailer has invested heavily in building out its tech team to create new offerings, like express delivery. 
  • But it also partners with a slew of outside AI partners — some which it purchased — that help with operations like store cleaning, supply chain negotiations, and ad placement.  
  • “This is a company that had really focused on execution in more traditional ways of doing business and was a little behind the curve in the last few years. It’s significantly caught up,” UBS analyst Michael Lasser told Business Insider.
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No company embodies the ongoing digital push underway across corporate America better than Walmart. 

Walmart has transitioned into a software behemoth over the last several years as it strives to catch up to Amazon in e-commerce. For example, it has invested in emerging technology like artificial intelligence across the enterprise, from robotic cleaners in physical stores, to applications that autonomously manage the company’s intricate web of suppliers around the globe.

While Walmart relies on vendors for some of the tech, it’s also building much of it in-house through an army of thousands of data scientists and software engineers. The system for its recently-launched express delivery offering — which relies on AI to make real-time calculations based on factors like weather conditions and labor costs to figure out the fastest way to get products to a customer’s door — was all built internally.

“This is a company that had really focused on execution in more traditional ways of doing business and was a little behind the curve in the last few years. It’s significantly caught up,” UBS analyst Michael Lasser told Business

The Walmart version of Prime Day has arrived: A $98 Roku TV and $49 Instant Pot lead the best deals

This story is part of Amazon Prime Day, CNET’s guide on everything you need to know and how to make sure you get the best deal.

Amazon’s Prime Day starts on Tuesday, Oct. 13, but the cascade of sales have already started. Not to be outdone, Walmart is having its own blowout sale that runs now through Thursday, Oct. 15. The Walmart “Big Save” offers thousands of Prime Day and Black Friday-like deals, including electronics, home goods, toys, fashion and more. Walmart will offer free two-day shipping on orders over $35 for eligible items, and some orders will be eligible for next-day delivery or in-store pickup as well. (That’s if you haven’t already signed up for Walmart Plus, of course.)

Here are a few of the best deals you can take advantage of right now. Browse them below, but remember that there are more great deals to be had. We’ll be adding more of the best as we discover them, so check back often. 

JVC

JVC’s LT-50MAW595 is a 50-inch 4K TV with HDR. It’s built on our favorite smart TV OS, Roku TV, and features a trio of HDMI inputs. Regularly selling for $349, it’s 37% off during the sale, while supplies last. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Roku Streaming Stick Plus supports HD, 4K and HDR content from all the major streaming services, It includes Roku’s enhanced remote control with voice control, and adds thousands of streaming channels to your TV (but notably, still no HBO Max at the moment). You can save 24% during Walmart’s sale this week. 

For more details, read CNET’s review of the Roku Streaming Stick Plus.  

JVC

If you want to grab a TV for under $100, JVC’s LT-32MAW205 might be just the ticket. After all, this 32-inch HD TV (it has a

Can Reliance, Tata super apps beat Amazon, Walmart in India?



Natarajan Chandrasekaran wearing a suit and tie


© Provided by Quartz


From Flipkart versus Amazon to Uber versus Ola, and even Swiggy versus Zomato, India’s internet has so far been a battleground for young local startups and global tech giants—either fighting each other or among themselves.

But suddenly, legacy Indian businesses seem to have woken up to the online opportunity—and how.

The over 150-year-old Tata Group is reportedly developing a “super app” that would bring all its offerings—that include food and grocery, fashion and lifestyle, electronics, insurance, financial services, education, healthcare, and utilities—together on a single platform. The group is hoping to launch the app by January 2021, Tata Sons chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran told Financial Times in August.

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Meanwhile, Reliance Industries, the nearly 50-year-old oil-to-telecom major, has this year made massive investments in the internet space, besides bringing on investors such as Facebook and Google. The company, owned by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, is also reportedly planning to launch its own super app in partnership with Facebook. Ambani’s online ventures range from grocery delivery to lifestyle retail.

Despite being late to the party, these bigwigs have a good chance of winning, experts believe.

“Reliance and Tata are serious conglomerates who play to win, and there is a limit to how much money large companies like Amazon and Walmart (via Flipkart) can burn,” said Samarth Agarwal, co-founder and CEO at Delhi-based B2B e-commerce firm MaxWholesale.

Where do Ambani and Tata stand?

Reliance Industries’ big tech moves have been in the news for several months now. The company currently runs JioMart, a grocery delivery service in partnership with WhatsApp, besides its online lifestyle portal Ajio. Last month, it acquired e-pharmacy Netmeds and bought a 15% stake in online lingerie retailer Zivame.

Reliance Industries’ electronics retail arm, Reliance Digital, also has its own website. Apart from this,

Walmart to Redesign Stores to Better Integrate With App

Walmart  (WMT) – Get Report on Wednesday unveiled a new store redesign that works with its mobile app to help customers make contactless transactions.

“As part of the overall signage, the exterior and interior of the stores will reflect the Walmart app icon,” the Bentonville, Ark., company’s executive vice president and chief customer officer, Janey Whiteside, said in a blog post.

“As customers enter the store, they will see colorful iconography and a store directory that encourages them to download and use the Walmart app while they shop.

“Throughout the store, bold, dimensional typeface … directs customers to the exact section they are looking for, while aisles are marked with letter and number combinations to guide customers from phone to product.”

The company said it tested the design in select stores — it didn’t say which — and was pleased with the customer feedback.

The new store design will roll out across Walmart’s 200 Supercenters by the end of this fiscal year and at nearly 1,000 store locations by the next fiscal year., the company said. 

“We were inspired by airport wayfinding systems as best-in-class examples of how to navigate large groups of people,” Whiteside said.

The retail chain’s revamped stores will also feature contactless checkout and payments with access to Walmart Pay, and Scan & Go, which will enable customers to use their mobile phones to scan items and pay.

The news comes a day after rival Amazon  (AMZN) – Get Report launched palm-scan signatures for payments at its stores.

Last week Walmart said it will hire 20,000 temporary workers to help with increased demand during the holiday season.

Walmart will use drones to deliver coronavirus diagnostic kits to customers’ residences, the company also said last week.

Walmart’s stock at last check was up by