Welcome to Five at Five, your late look at the day’s payments and commerce news. Today’s coverage includes news about faster chip card transactions, along with brightening prospects for retail and technology in the U.S. Also, Lowe’s has made a payments move, and both bitcoin and Ripple are eyeing the future in their own ways.
The company said sellers in the U.S. can now process chip cards in just two seconds on Square Reader, for contactless and chip, and Square Register. Square reached the speed reduction by working with partners at the payment network to implement Quick Chip and M/Chip technology.
Some prominent hedge fund managers are feeling optimistic about the U.S. economy, especially when it comes to retail and technology.
An agreement with Synchrony gives Lowe’s access to infrastructure related to in-app payments, along with an in-store credit app. With the deal, Synchrony will run the retailer’s credit card programs for consumers and businesses, which can be used at 1,740 brick-and-mortar locations and online, and gives users a 5 percent discount on purchases, along with other promotional deals.
Bitcoin may be outperforming beleaguered cryptocurrency brethren, but look out below — at least for now. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong stated, according to Forbes, that even though cryptocurrencies are seeing a bit more adoption globally, it will not be enough to underpin prices.
If the company does enter the Chinese market, it’s reportedly not likely to focus on pushing its own XRP cryptocurrency, given that regulators in China have been cracking down on digital tokens and banned initial coin offerings (ICO) last year.