It’s the end of a holiday week and almost the beginning of a new month. And the PYMNTS Weekender is here to make sure you didn’t miss anything — and that you start off December right, with the latest in payments and commerce news.
We have a deep dive on accounts payable (AP) automation, analysis on “Google Checking” and news on the T-Mobile data breach.
T-Mobile Data Breach Puts Personal Data Of 1M+ Customers At Risk
A recent data breach exposed the personal data of over 1 million prepaid T-Mobile customers. The data did not reportedly include password information, Social Security numbers or financial information. The cyber thief got a hold of users’ names, billing addresses, phone numbers, plan information, and account numbers.
Does ‘Google Checking’ Foreshadow Big Tech, FinTech Payments Changes?
Financial institutions (FIs) are engaging with tech players in new ways as together; they seek to create ecosystems that offer new value to consumers. That was one of the main messages from a recent PYMNTS discussion featuring Karen Webster and Vaduvur Bharghavan (who goes by VB), the president and CEO of Ondot Systems. PYMNTS caught up with VB in the wake of the news that Google plans to launch consumer checking accounts next year in partnership with Citigroup and the Stanford Federal Credit Union.
Silicon Valley Braces As VCs Pump The Brakes
Profits are being pushed over progress as Silicon Valley investors start reeling in the billions that startups have come to expect. Chris Douvos of investment firm Ahoy Capital told The Wall Street Journal, “We’ve been in the middle of a rollicking party that’s gone on for five years and someone has snapped on the light switch.” Douvos continued, “We are all adjusting our eyes and no one has any idea how the rest of the night is going to go. That’s how Silicon Valley feels right now.”
SoftBank, Ant Financial Back India’s Paytm With $1B Funding
Paytm, India’s mobile payments startup, said on Monday (Nov. 25) that it secured $1 billion in new funds from Japan’s SoftBank and China’s Alibaba affiliate Ant. The deal values Paytm’s parent company, One97 Communications, at $16 billion. Other investors include T. Rowe Price and Discovery Capital. The new funds will help Paytm expand its service offers to include insurance, investments, and loans.
eBay Agrees To Sell StubHub In $4.05B Deal
eBay Inc. has agreed to sell ticketing business StubHub to Viagogo Entertainment Inc. in a deal announced Monday (Nov. 25) that values StubHub at roughly $4 billion. The marketplace decided to look into selling StubHub after two activist investors encouraged the firm to leave businesses that were not related to its core marketplace.
Amazon’s Newest China Foray — And The Power Of Partnerships
Amazon has opened an online store, establishing a presence on Chinese online shopping site Pinduoduo. Amazon’s relationship with Pinduoduo takes shape as a three-day sales campaign begins as of Nov. 28, where promotions are tied to overseas items like Australian baby formula and Nintendo Switch consoles.
Trackers and Reports
Tackling AP Automation’s ‘Chicken-And-Egg’ Problem (Bottomline Next Gen AP Automation Tracker)
New automated accounts payable (AP) solutions promise to deliver several benefits for logistics providers like more seamless access to data and cost savings. But some logistics firms are not prepared to make the switch to digital payments and AP processes. In a feature story, Rich Wessels, treasurer for transportation management and logistics firm Transplace, explains the “chicken-and-egg” dilemma that logistics companies encounter when considering the potential benefits of AP automation.
How Spend Tools Feed Food Banks’ Need For Accountability (Bento for Business Spend Management Playbook)
The mission of some nonprofits is to ensure that those in need have access to warm, nutritious meals. The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) is among the nonprofits working to feed local communities this holiday season is the which provides food services to 190 towns as well as cities in the eastern Massachusetts region. In a feature story, GBFB’s Chief Financial Officer David Noymer explains how fuel and spend cards help the organization focus on its mission and win the “game of keystrokes.”
How Ticketmaster Uses AI To Sort Fans From Fraudsters (DataVisor Digital Fraud Tracker)
Music fans are a favorite target of fraudsters. Of the 94 million U.S. consumers who purchased concert tickets in 2018, approximately 11 million fell victim to some fraud. In a feature story, Ticketmaster’s Chief Information Officer Gui Karyo explains how machine learning tools, as well as other advanced tech, is enhancing the fan experience while keeping fraudsters in check.
Fun, Cool and Otherwise Interesting
Shattered Glass Incident Drives 200K+ Pre Orders For Tesla Cybertruck
Days after shattered glass embarrassed Tesla at the rollout of its so-called “cybertruck,” the pre-orders are coming in — approximately 200,000 as of midday Monday (Nov. 25) per Tesla CEO Elon Musk via his Twitter feed. Consumers can make a pre-order by putting down a $100 refundable deposit. The news comes after a product launch that was anything but smooth; however, it gained viral attention via YouTube video viewings.
Stubhub Sale Signals eBay’s Refocus On Core Business
eBay, faced with pressures on top-line growth for its core business and tepid growth in active sellers, and, has just taken a big step in its ongoing review of what’s working and what needs to change. The marketplace said Monday (Nov. 25) that it will sell its StubHub ticketing operations to online ticket reseller Viagogo Entertainment Inc. for $4 billion.
Cybercrooks Go Old School With German Jewelry Heist
Approximately 100 pieces of 18th-century jewelry were taken from the Royal Castle of Dresden in Germany. The theft has been termed “one of the most devastating jewelry heists in history,” and it’s not possible to put a value on what’s been nabbed. The thieves gained access after they broke a window, went down into the gallery (the Grünes Gewölbe), and then took three sets of Baroque jewels.
As Voice-Assisted Retail Gets Emotional, Privacy Issues Loom
Amazon, via its Alexa Skills Kit Blog, announced the debut of “two new Alexa capabilities that will help create a more natural and intuitive voice experience for your customers.” That means, according to Amazon, that Alexa users “can enable Alexa to respond with either a happy/excited or a disappointed/empathetic tone in the US.”