Five At Five: Google’s P2P Move; Whole Foods Does Robotic Farming

Five at Five: Payments News

Welcome to Five at Five, your late look at the day’s payments and commerce news. Today’s coverage includes a possible P2P payments offering from Google, along with virtual reality becoming airplane entertainment. Whole Foods gets cozy with robots, Sears tries again to stay alive and banks fight back on blockchain.

Google P2P Payments Via QR Codes in the Offing?

With the addition of QR codes, users would be able to send money by scanning each other’s smartphones. Leaked screenshots show that people will be able to see the QR code option in the “Send” section of the Google Pay app.

First-Class Perks Include VR Tech on Alaska Air

The program makes Alaska Air the first airline in North America to trial the technology as an in-flight entertainment device.

Whole Foods Supplier Embraces Robotic Farming

The first phase of construction will bring grow centers that can make products such as kale, culinary herbs and microgreens. Then, three more phases could follow. In all, the facility could grow to over 150,000 square feet — or roughly 3.5 acres.

Sears CEO Wants to Restructure Debt, Sell Assets

CEO Edward Lampert is seeking to restructure the retailer’s roughly $1.1 billion in debt that will be due in 2019 and 2020. In addition, he wants the retailer’s board to sell $1.5 billion in real estate assets, and is seeking to have the retailer divest $1.75 billion in assets such as Kenmore and Sears Home Services.

75+ Banks Now Part of JPMC Blockchain Payments Initiative

The Interbank Information Network, a blockchain initiative, now has more than 75 of the world’s biggest banks as members as they aim to fend off threats from payment startups.



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.