It’s that time again — the time to deliver you the top stories of the day that are trending on PYMNTS. Stories that include where Peter Thiel is tossing his money, what John Oliver had to say about credit reporting companies, a possible Amazon Kindle leak, and the latest on unattended retail.
Here’s what’s trending today (so far):
With a $9 million funding round led by Valar Ventures — the investment firm perhaps most notable for the presence of Peter Thiel — Even is forging ahead with its financial services model geared toward lower incomes in the United States.
The company has been targeting “uneven paychecks for hourly workers” in light of the fact that many of those 77 million workers have less-than-consistent schedules, with wild swings in compensation. The customers are not charged interest on the loans but instead pay a flat weekly fee of $3. The average loan of $120 gets paid out by a little over 1.2 paychecks, the company said. The “give and take” of the money as it is lent out and repaid is automatic across the system.
“Measuring credit enables businesses to know who to lend to. It’s critical to our economy, and it always has been.”
Well, HBO’s John Oliver, who kicked off his segment about credit reporting agencies with that simple reminder dug into the industry to show why that vision has gotten skewed in recent years. But in Oliver’s scathing segment about the three big credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — and where there may be gaps in the system. Gaps that include mixing up identities, and in some cases, having credit scores and identities mixed up with the wrong people routinely.
No matter how cryptic Jeff Bezos may want to be, Amazon’s worldwide reach means that it’s not just Seattle that has to stay tight-lipped when a new product is close to dropping.
It seems as if China’s Tmall.com wasn’t able to keep the lid on the next version of the Amazon Kindle, and tech blogs Kindle Fere and The Digital Reader managed to grab screenshots of the device — called the Kindle Oasis — before the page was pulled down. At a glance, the Oasis measures both thinner (3.4 millimeters, at its thinnest) and lighter (131 grams) than the Kindle Voyage (7.8 mm and 180 grams, respectively) and boasts a similarly bright 330 dpi screen.
Those words come straight from the mouth of Vantiv’s Head of Developer Integrations, Matt Ozvat, who described the harsh reality of how many merchants view EMV at the 6 month mile marker. That’s why Karen Webster caught up with Ozvat to ask why, and how that’s influencing merchants and their POS integration decisions. What he told her might just surprise you.
Vending machines: You put in a couple of bucks, you grab a bag of pretzels. End of customer/brand transaction — right? Not anymore. Mike Lawlor, Chief Services Officer at USA Technologies, tells Karen Webster how your father’s vending machine has evolved into a next generation retail experience that meets consumers where they are – and builds robust customer relationships that offer an expanding range of products and services. Catch the conversation.