At the end of another busy week, it can pay to look back at some of the biggest recent news in payments and commerce. And this week was a meaty one for news: Mastercard and Visa made acquisitions, the Facebook payment proposition was dissected, new findings about payments and retail innovation emerged, and the pet retail segment gained a major new source of fuel.
Mastercard: Transactis Buy Speeds Bill Pay’s Digitization
Inefficient, but stubbornly entrenched, paper and cash dominate bill payments. With 44 percent of the 15 billion bills in the U.S. paid using those archaic payment choices, the move to digital payments is a shared effort amid companies, processors, billers and, of course, consumers. Mastercard is trying to better fuel that trend.
Visa Acquires Control of Earthport to Enable Account-to-Account Transfers
Visa said that with the acquisition, it will be possible for its clients to enable individuals, businesses and governments to use Visa to send and receive money through bank accounts. Earthport operates one of the biggest independent ACH networks in the world. The payments company said that before the deal, Visa-enabled payments could only be sent to and from other Visa cards.
Is Real-Time Payments a Threat to Credit Cards?
Faster, faster, faster – that’s the motto driving so much of payments innovation today. Real-time payments offers promise for both small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and consumers. In a PYMNTS interview, InstaReM CEO and Co-founder Prajit Nanu discussed with Karen Webster what that all means for payment cards and commerce in Asia, and talked about other aspects of the real-time push.
NCR Acquires Restaurant POS Firm
The move is a bid by NCR to further expand into the hospitality business. The management department of Texas P.O.S. will stay with NCR following the acquisition, as will the staff, according to the announcement. NCR now has 15 offices in the U.S., and three of those are in Texas.
Will Facebook’s Crypto Payments Rails Get a Big Like?
The notion that Facebook is going to launch and ignite a global payments network, at scale, based on its own branded cryptocurrency – and achieve global merchant and consumer acceptance – is as likely as the predictions a decade ago that bitcoin and blockchain would, by now, become the internet of money.
Why It’s Time to Rewire Payments or Fail
Imagine a race of fast cars, speeding along some racetrack at, say, 1,000 mph. Now, imagine having to change a tire on one of those cars. Sorry – there are no pit stops! That tire must be changed during the race, as no drivers want to give up an edge to their competitors, which would certainly result in losing that race. Now you know what payments innovation is like in 2019.
Trackers and Reports
The Checkout Features That Top-Performing eTailers Are Dropping
The new PYMNTS Checkout Conversion Index finds that checkout features like free shipping and rewards programs can help eCommerce retailers reduce cart abandonment and get a leg up on the competition – a major factor in their growth strategies. Yet, many market leaders have been dropping those features.
Why Citi Is Using Biometrics to Build Its “Security Perimeter”
The new PYMNTS Digital Identity Tracker™ highlights how biometrics are being embraced across a wide range of markets, including travel, financial services and enterprises. The report is extremely timely – in recent weeks, several companies have banded together to develop secure, seamless authentication tools.
Fun, Cool and Otherwise Interesting
Instagram’s High-Fashion Fakes Problem
The problem appears to be deeply entrenched in Instagram and its influencer-centric commerce culture. According to data, 20 percent of all fashion posts on the site feature at least one counterfeit item, and a study was able to find at least 50,000 accounts either promoting or directly selling counterfeit goods. That is a 171 percent increase from 2016.
Debt Collection, Done Digitally?
Unlimited texting? Perhaps. Nights and weekends – well, maybe not. The latest salvo of proposed rule-making that would change the debt collection landscape seeks to include means of communication that were not on offer decades ago.
Battle for Pet Retail Dominance Gains Fresh Fuel
Walmart is the latest example of the power of pets in retail – a power that is having significant influence among various merchants competing for the loyalty and dollars of pet owners. As well, if done well, pet retail can serve to increase foot traffic into brick-and-mortar stores at a time when it is dearly needed.