Welcome to the Five at Five, your late look at the payments and commerce news of the day. Coverage includes MoviePass holding off on a rate hike, in favor of a limit for free movies. Also, Facebook talks with banks about sharing data, Walmart enters a meal kit deal with Gobble, Starbucks clarifies its plans to emphasize no purchases with crypto and China blocks demonstrations related to the country’s P2P market.
MoviePass has reportedly put the brakes on a planned fee increase for its monthly subscription. However, it put limits on the number of movies that can be seen by customers. The firm, which allows consumers to buy access to unlimited movie theater visits for $9.95 a month, decided to shelve plans to raise the fee by 50 percent, and now limits customers to three free movies per month. Customers looking to watch more movies will get a $2 to $5 a month discount per ticket.
Facebook has been talking with banks about sharing customer data, such as checking account balances and card transactions, according to a new report. The social media company has been exploring ways to incorporate that type of data onto its site by potentially allowing members to check their balances or get fraud alerts.
Walmart entered an agreement with meal kit company Gobble as part of an expansion of its 2,000 stores, according to a report. The meal kits, which range from $8 to $15 a piece, will be available for customers to cook in less than 15 minutes. Walmart has become one of the most important retail outlets for meal kit companies, as it offers a large assortment of fresh produce in-store and delivers to customers’ homes.
Starbucks said it will not begin accepting cryptocurrencies as a payment method for its products, despite reports that led to speculation about its policies. The company announced plans to work with the International Exchange’s planned digital asset firm Bakkt. The coffee chain said today (Aug. 6) that it continues to speak with customers and regulators as the space evolves, but there are no plans right now to accept bitcoin for drinks or any other service.
China has locked out protesters, affecting investors and others in the Beijing financial district, after the P2P lending market has come close to collapsing. Hundreds of police and security guards have gathered near financial regulators, financial institutions and nearby subway entrances, checking identification cards and blocking access to prevent organized demonstrations.