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After Paytm, Amazon starts physical KYC verification

After Paytm, Amazon starts physical KYC verification

Finance
BENGALURU: Deep-pocketed financial technology players are setting up physical infrastructure to provide know-your-customer (KYC) services for users, following the Supreme Court verdict restricting Aadhaar usage by private entities. Paytm has done it: It put a number of executives on-ground to nudge users to complete their KYC process after the verdict. Now, Amazon has started rolling out doorstep KYC services for its e-wallet users. Verifying user credentials physically is costly, but after the SC verdict, these companies have few options left to safeguard their existing user-base and add new ones. With Aadhaar, it was a simple matter of swiping a finger on a fingerprint reader. Physical verification involves submitting physical documents and having people verifying the authenticity of th...
CES 2019: Amazon and Google Assistant carve up tech expo

CES 2019: Amazon and Google Assistant carve up tech expo

Technology
At CES, there's no shortage of gadgets to talk to. Smart TVs, cars, pianos - and even a toilet - these are just some examples of devices that come with voice-activated helpers.No matter who makes the hardware, the virtual aide linked to or packaged inside is likely to be one of two: either Amazon's Alexa or Google Assistant.For ShadeCraft, the maker of a new device that lets garden parasols be controlled by voice, Alexa was simply more straight-forward to build in."It was much easier and simpler to integrate," explains chief executive Armen Gharabegian. "But we have been testing Google voice as well." Users can ask Alexa to open or close the sunshades mechanically, or pl...
Amazon uses dummy parcels to catch thieves

Amazon uses dummy parcels to catch thieves

Technology
Amazon has teamed up with police in the US in an effort to stop thieves who steal parcels left outside homes.Officers in New Jersey are planting dummy boxes fitted with GPS trackers, coupled with hidden doorbell cameras, at homes around the city of Jersey.The homes selected for the experiment were chosen using the city's own crime statistics combined with mapping data of theft locations supplied by Amazon.One box was stolen three minutes after it was "delivered". Amazon told AP: "We appreciate the increased effort by local law enforcement to tackle package theft and remain committed to assisting however we can."The US Postal Service expects to deliver about 900 million p...
Amazon rainforest deforestation 'worst in 10 years', says Brazil

Amazon rainforest deforestation 'worst in 10 years', says Brazil

Science
Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil has hit its highest rate in a decade, according to official data.About 7,900 sq km (3,050 sq miles) of the world's largest rainforest was destroyed between August 2017 and July 2018 - an area roughly five times the size of London.Environment Minister Edson Duarte said illegal logging was to blame.The figures come amid concerns about the policies of Brazil's newly elected president, Jair Bolsonaro.During the 2018 election campaign, Mr Bolsonaro pledged to limit fines for damaging forestry and to weaken the influence of the environmental agency.An aide for the president-elect has also announced the administration will merge the agriculture and environment ministries, which critics sa...
'How Amazon helped me transition to a woman'

'How Amazon helped me transition to a woman'

Technology
"I knew from a young age that I wasn't the same as the other children," says Sophie Roberts, a 34-year-old Amazon software manager based in Edinburgh."I realised at around 14 or 15 that I was transgender but I wasn't comfortable at that point in my life in being out about it."It was 20 years later that she took the decision to come out at work. Last month, after two years at Amazon, she started coming into the office as Sophie.She admits she was nervous that her transition would affect her professionally - the tech sector isn't exactly renowned for its diverse workforce.But her experience at Amazon may have lessons for other companies big and small."I did go into it thinking to myself, 'Is this going to be a problem?'" she told the BBC.However, for Sophie...