In today’s top payments news, SunTrust and BB&T have announced that they have received the regulatory green light to finish their merger to become Truist Financial Corporation. Also, Wells Fargo has launched an integration with the RTP network, letting its business clients send real-time payments. And Australian banking firm Westpac was accused of going against anti-money laundering (AML) laws 23 million times.
BB&T and SunTrust have announced they have received the regulatory green light to become Truist Financial Corporation. The merger is expected to be completed on Dec. 6 of this year. Truist will be the sixth-largest U.S. commercial bank, serving roughly 10 million U.S. consumer households as well as a variety of business clients.
Wells Fargo has rolled out an integration with the RTP network, letting its business clients send real-time payments. Corporate customers can send money immediately via an application programming interface (API). The bank introduced receiving payments over the RTP network for retail and wholesale customers last year.
Consumer spending shows mixed demand as the holiday shopping season begins. Weak sales at big-box stores such as Home Depot and Kohl’s were countered by a strong showing by discount retailers Home Goods and TJ Maxx. The largest retailer in the U.S., Walmart, displayed strong foot traffic. Jefferies Group analyst Randal Konik told The Wall Street Journal, “The winners keep winning and the losers keep losing.”
Westpac, an Australian banking firm, was accused of going against anti-money laundering (AML) laws 23 million times. The country’s reportedly largest money-laundering abuse could nail Westpac with up to $14 million in fines (A$21 million) for every breach — a potential $322 trillion (A$423 trillion) total. Last year, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia paid a record A$700 million in fines after allowing 53,750 payments that went against similar protocols.
Recent research has suggested that 56.2 percent of U.S. small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) regularly experience cash shortfalls, and trade credit is a contributing factor. Younger, as well as less profitable SMBs, are hit even harder, with 65.5 percent experiencing frequent cash shortfalls.
However, there are tools that can help businesses alleviate this financial strain. Immediate payment platforms, which offer cash-strapped businesses fast access to critical funding, are among these tools — and the companies that use them have many added benefits that extend well beyond the balancing of accounts.
One of the more unique players in the quick-service restaurant (QSR) space is Wahlburgers, which was started by the famous Wahlberg family. The chain recently became the latest entrant to the mobile order-ahead field with the WahlClub digital ordering app and rewards program.
In a feature story, Dan Wheeler, Wahlburgers senior vice president of marketing and innovation, explains how the QSR works to meet the security challenges inherent in the mobile order-ahead space by tapping into two-factor authentication and machine learning.