Today in the Connected Economy: Instacart Supplements Revenue With Ad Sales


Today in the connected economy, Instacart tries to boost revenues by offering ad solutions to the brands using its service, while Citi and ExxonMobil expand their credit card relationship. Also, Latin American super app Rappi expands its relationship with dLocal, and Block’s purchase of Afterpay heats up the super app race in the U.S.

Instacart Partners With WPP to Supplement Delivery Revenue With Ad Sales

Instacart is working with London-based multinational advertising and communications firm WPP to offer advertising solutions and analytics tools to consumer-packaged goods (CPG) brands using the Instacart marketplace. “Instacart Ads is designed to support brands of all sizes, helping them access the opportunity to deeply engage with their customers online,” Instacart Vice President of Sales Ryan Mayward said. “We’re excited to partner with WPP to continue delivering that experience and together equip brands to succeed in the digital aisles with robust insights capabilities and educational resources.”

Citi, ExxonMobil Expand Credit Card Relationship

Banking giant Citi and ExxonMobil have launched an extension of their long-standing credit card relationship, upgrading the existing ExxonMobil smart card with a new version called the “ExxonMobil Smart Card+.” The card gives cardholders in good standing instant savings at the pump at Exxon and Mobil stations around the U.S.

dLocal Will Let Rappi Customers Use Brazil’s Pix System

Latin American superapp Rappi has expanded its partnership with payment platform dLocal in an arrangement that will allow Rappi’s Brazilian customers use the country’s Pix payment system to make purchases. The deal lets Rappi’s Brazilian customers “make purchases with local credit card payments — including Mastercard, Visa and American Express cards issued by local banks — at the moment the service is available for ordering in restaurants, eCommerce and cash.”

As Block Scoops up Afterpay, Super App Race Heats up Right out of the Gate

The race among U.S. tech companies to launch a super app — a connected ecosystem where users navigate their online lives after entering one digital front door — has heated up. The reason? Block, formerly known as Square, closed its $29 billion acquisition of Afterpay. Block isn’t wasting much time, having unveiled a buy now, pay later (BNPL) product for its sellers, rolling out that functionality in the United States and in Australia.

Ripple, Modulr Partner on Easier Payments

Payments platform Modulr and blockchain payments firm Ripple are collaborating to offer seamless payments to customers in Europe and the U.K. “Together, the two leading FinTechs will make it easier than ever for businesses to run real-time payments internationally powered by Ripple’s financial technology, RippleNet,” the companies said. “With Modulr’s technology, global businesses have an alternative to legacy correspondent banking and can now make payments into the U.K. and Europe faster, more reliable and cost-effective.”

Payment Software Firm ACI Worldwide Teams With COMO

ACI Worldwide, a real-time digital payment software provider, has joined forces with COMO Global to support the company’s plans to expand into new markets. The partnership will see COMO using ACI’s Secure eCommerce platform to upgrade its payments gateway COMO World, “offering its merchant customers instant access to hundreds of local and cross-border acquirers, as well as new card, digital and mobile payment methods.”

First New National Carrier in 50 Years Targets eCommerce’s Middle- and Last-Mile Problems

Among the many lessons to be gleaned from the pandemic is the fact in logistics and shipping, the middle mile and last mile, haven’t kept up with the meteoric rise of eCommerce. In an interview with PYMNTS’ Karen Webster, Mark Lavelle, CEO of eCommerce shipping platform X Delivery, discusses the complexities of the national shipping landscape. It’s a space hampered by arcane and opaque processes that have not been updated in decades.

Regulators Walk Fine Line Between Protecting Consumers, Stifling FinTech Innovation

Big Tech, banks and FinTechs are in the crosshairs of regulators, perhaps more so now than ever before. As Jim McCarthy, president of i2c, told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster, there’s a thin line between creating rules to promote healthy competition and unwittingly hampering innovation through regulatory myopia. Competition through policy is no easy task, especially where the financial services world is concerned.