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Amazon takes cue from Uber, will pay consumers to deliver packages

BY Dan Berthiaume

SEATTLE — Watch out Uber, Amazon may just steal away your drivers.

The online giant is launching an Uber-like program, called Amazon Flex, which uses on-demand independent contractors to deliver Amazon packages. The service is currently available only in Seattle (and only to members of Amazon’s same-day delivery service Prime Now), but the company  expects to  roll it out  to other cities where Prime Now is offered, including Manhattan, Baltimore, Miami, Dallas, and Chicago.

“There is a tremendous population of people who want to work in an on-demand fashion,” Dave Clark, Amazon senior VP of world-wide operations, told the Wall Street Journal. “This is another opportunity for people to work with the company.”

To qualify to deliver packages for Amazon, drivers must provide their own car, own an Android smartphone, and pass a background check. Amazon bills Flex as a way for workers to “be your own boss” by setting the hours they want to work.

“You can work as much or as little as you want,” according to the Amazon site.

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Daily Diversion: Magic with Malala

BY DSN STAFF

Malal Yousafzai is pretty accomplished for an 18-year-old. Yousafzai, who is from Pakistan, is the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate — an honor she received at 16 years old after she continued to push for women’s education in her home country and around the world, even after being targeted and shot by the Taliban in 2012 for doing so. In 2013 she published her book, “I Am Malala” and there is a forthcoming documentary about her life called “He Named Me Malala.” 

As it happens, Yousafzai si also a pretty good magician. She performed a card trick for Stephen Colber When plugging her movie on “The Late Show,” the video of which is embedded above. 

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Walgreens ahead of the curve on new chip-and-PIN payment tech

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Credit cards with “EMV chips” are now being accepted at all of the more than 8,200 Walgreens retail stores nationwide, ahead of the Oct. 1 deadline for retailers to begin accepting the new cards, Walgreens announced Tuesday.  
 
Most financial institutions and card issuers are sending their customers chip cards that require signatures for verification, rather than PINs.  While both types of cards improve security, PINs protect against forged signatures and are more secure. 
 
Instead of swiping the magnetic strip, the card is inserted in a slot at the terminal during the payment process and left there until a screen prompt tells you what to do next.
 
Most major retailers, including Walgreens, will be equipped to accept PINs or signatures and are urging card issuers to offer customers chip-and-PIN technology.
 
Walgreens has been ahead of the curve on this for some time, as Alex Gourlay, EVP Waglreens Boots Alliance and president of Walgreens, supported chip-and-PIN technology as part of a White House cybersecurity summit panel in February. "We're all paying for what's happening as bad actors come in and basically take goods and services and money from us individually and collectively," Gourlay said. "So as you reduce fraud, again I'll go back to the example in Europe where fraud has been reduced by something like 40% since the adoption of Chip and PIN, it means that the consumers pay less and the banks pay less as well in terms of interchange fees to the merchants." 
 
Walgreens began transitioning stores to the new technology more than three years ago when it installed new point-of-sale terminals.  The company was able to complete its preparation for chip cards this year with the retail and financial industries’ adoption of standards for chip card acceptance.  The upgrade involved approximately 60,000 point-of-sale terminals in 8,200 stores.
 
Even after the transition to chip cards, Walgreens stores will continue to accept older magnetic strip swipe cards as well as chip-and-pin and chip-and-signature cards.
 
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