Today in the Connected Economy: Chase, Instacart Launch First Credit Card

JPMorgan Chase

Today in the connected economy, delivery service Instacart is set to launch its first-ever credit card through a collaboration with Chase.

Also, the Bank of Central African States looks at launching its own digital currency, and French digital bank Qonto looks to expand to Germany.

Instacart, Chase Team on Credit Card

Instacart and Chase have joined forces to offer an Instacart Mastercard that offers card holders unlimited cash back on groceries and day-to-day purchases.

“At Instacart, we’re always looking for new ways to provide value for our customers, and now more than ever we’re helping them maximize rewards on their everyday household shopping,” Heather Rivera, vice president of strategy, corporate development and partnerships at Instacart, said in a news release.

“We’re proud to partner with Chase for the first-ever Instacart credit card that will offer yet another way to access rewards both on and off the Instacart platform,” she said.

Africa’s BEAC Could Launch Common Digital Currency

The Bank of Central African States (BEAC), which serves Cameroon, Gabon, Chad, the Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea and the Central African Republic (CAR), could become Africa’s first regional bank to create a common digital currency.

BEAC was urged to make this move by its board of directors this week, and to take steps to promote regional financial inclusion.

Since Nigeria debuted its e-naira last October, several sub-Saharan African central banks have begun considering digital currencies or are already in the trial stages of a launch.

French Digital Bank Qonto to Acquire Penta

Qonto, a French digital bank that works with small businesses and freelancers, plans to acquire German rival Penta in an effort to expand into Europe’s largest small business banking market.

The deal, expected to close in the coming weeks, is the “natural next step” in Qonto’s long-term goal of to becoming the chosen finance solution for 1 million clients by 2025, the French FinTech said in a statement.

The announcement said Penta “is the leading German digital business finance solution” for small- to medium-sized businesses and freelancers.

Freight Marketplaces Load up Options for Keeping Trucks Full

Moving freight can be a complicated process involving shippers, logistics providers and carriers. And it’s a process that has primarily been manual, relying on things like phone calls and email blasts.

Thanks to these inefficiencies, carriers’ trucks travel empty 20% to 33% of the time, according to industry estimates.

“Primarily, it’s an issue of data,” said FleetOps CEO Chris Atkinson, who shared those estimates during an interview with PYMNTS.

“There are no truck drivers that have access to information on where all of the potential shipment options are, and there is no one moving shipments that has information on where all the potential trucks are that could move that shipment. Because of that data asymmetry, it’s extremely difficult to create any meaningful optimizations in the industry.”