Post-holiday rush, it’s not uncommon for consumers to find themselves in possession of well-intentioned, but unwanted, gifts. There are so many of these unwanted items that about $90 billion in merchandise is returned to retailers each year. But in the sharing economy, one person’s holiday gift trash could be another person’s treasure, a trend that opens new revenue opportunities.
The January PYMNTS.com Disbursements Tracker™, powered by Ingo Money, looks at how new disbursement services are creating more opportunities for people to make money, helping companies deliver funds quickly and reinventing old concepts, like payday.
Around the World of Disbursements
New disbursement tools are not only working to #KillTheCheck – they are also making the weekly or biweekly wait for a paycheck a thing of the past.
One of the biggest retailers in the U.S. is using new tools to help its employees avoid the financial trouble caused by taking out risky and costly payday loans. Walmart recently announced the availability of a new service called Even, which allows its 1.4 million employees to access a portion of their wages before payday. The smartphone-accessible service is designed to enable employees to better manage their finances.
Walmart is not the only big name to offer a new payment tool. Apple also debuted its new peer-to-peer service, Apple Pay Cash. The service, which became available with a recent iOS 11.2 system software update, allows iPhone 8 and iPhone X smartphone holders to quickly send money to contacts. And on the corporate stage, the new tool signals that Apple is diving in to compete with other players in the P2P space, including Venmo and PayPal.
In Australia, the travel industry is considering a new tool of its own, aimed at improving corporate trips. Travel commerce platform solutions provider Travelport and virtual card company Conferma plan to integrate Travelport’s Smartpoint point of sale (POS) with Conferma’s solution. The combined solution will be used to address booking billbacks by automating the hotel payment and reconciliation process.
It’s a good time to be looking into the travel business. Recent data indicates that 2017 was a strong year for the industry. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) reported a 7 percent rise in international travel between January and August 2017, compared to the same period the previous year.
The January Disbursements TrackerTM includes a Deep Dive on trends that are driving up travel, and the opportunities that are arising for the industry to abandon unpopular payment options – like paper checks and vouchers – in favor of adopting more efficient payment tools.
Upgrading the Sharing Economy
Not every holiday gift is a winner. Some unenthused recipients could re-gift their unwanted or less-than-useful wares – but that’s a move that could risk offending someone. In the sharing economy, however, unwanted items can be rented for a fee, allowing owners to make money off of their own stuff.
For our January feature story, PYMNTS speaks with Rentah founder Anup Desai about the peer-to-peer rental marketplace and how they are aiming to reinvent a business model once dominated by Craigslist. Desai discusses the lessons he took from the Occupy Wall Street movement to start the company and opportunities he sees to upgrade the sharing economy.
About The Tracker
The PYMNTS.com Disbursements Tracker™, powered by Ingo Money, is your go-to resource for staying up to date on a month-by-month basis on the trends and changes in the digital disbursement space.