AP Automation, Subscriptions, PPP Top This Week’s News


It’s the end of the work week, and the PYMNTS Weekender is here to make sure you didn’t miss anything with the latest in payments and commerce news. We have deep dives on accounts payable (AP) automation, online subscriptions and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

Top News

$120B Still Available As Appetite For PPP Loans Slows

The PPP still has $120 billion obtainable as the demand for the forgivable loans decelerates. On April 27, round two of the program was rolled out with an additional $310 billion.

FedEx Imposes Limits To Stem Flood Of Deliveries

FedEx Corp. could be the first major delivery firm to restrict the number of items retailers can ship to keep its network safe from being overwhelmed during the pandemic. Nordstrom, Bed Bath & Beyond and DSW are among the two dozen retailers who have reportedly been told by the logistics company of the limits.

Confusion Reigns As PPP Loan ‘Guidance’ Grows, Deadlines Loom

The Trump administration has reported piled unclear and confusing guidance onto the ambiguous regulations of the PPP, heightening tensions throughout the business world. Confusion has reportedly grown over such issues as to whether public firms can take the funds.

Amazon Who? Independent Booksellers Find New Allies

Independent bookstores are finding new allies. The “nonessential” category is witnessing new life in the age of the pandemic due to two new eCommerce sites —  Bookshop, which rolled out in January of this year, and Libro.fm, which was born in 2014.

The Big Jump: Pandemics And The Connected Economy’s Bigger, Faster Future

The crisis has brought about a jump discontinuity that will mean dramatic effects for the evolution of the connected economy over the next 10 years and beyond. We are likely to see 2020 as the year in which the connected economy made a large jump into quicker growth, heightened activity and faster innovation.

Trackers and Reports

Argo Tea On Avoiding The Steep Price Of Invoicing Errors (Next Gen AP Automation Tracker)

Tea brands have to make payments for all sorts of expenses from tea leaves to bottle caps as well as café repairs. Smoothly handling all of those payments and keeping all parties satisfied necessitates that buyers find any and all invoicing errors that could lead to them being overcharged or the suppliers underpaid.

In a feature story, Argo Tea Vice President of Finance Eric Forry discusses how accounts payable (AP) automation tools such as three-way invoice matching can assist brands in discovering and looking into those issues before they turn into problems.

Using AI And Biometrics To Digitize Estate Planning (Identity Tracker Release)

The estate planning process has been traditionally heavily paper-based, and many archaic regulations are keeping it that way. Laws in most states require that consumers go to meetings in person and offer tangible ID documents to authenticate their identities prior to producing or changing their wills.

In a feature story, Trust & Will Founder and CEO Cody Barbo explains how the company is using artificial intelligence (AI)- and biometric-enabled ID verification to make the estate planning process more streamlined.

How Personalization Can Help Fuel The Subscriber Retention Buzz (Subscription Tracker)

Consumers are tapping into online subscriptions to receive their coffee, and creating trust, as well as building loyalty, requires more than delivering to their doorsteps monthly. In a feature story, PYMNTS talked with Trade Coffee CEO Mike Lackman on how customization and providing in-store-like purchasing experiences has become crucial to keeping customers.

Fun, Cool and Otherwise Interesting 

Why Larger Firms May Soon Face the Same (Cash) Pressures as Main Street SMBs

The conventional wisdom may be that larger companies, particularly those that are public, have the ability to handle the economic storm more adroitly than smaller firms. However, a groundswell of trouble might be brewing for other parts of the corporate world — larger firms, in particular, that have received PPP funds and could be giving the money back voluntarily by the deadline of May 14, if they haven’t taken that action already.

Variations On A Theme (Park) And What Disney Signals For Brick-And-Mortar Leisure

The (careful) reopening of Shanghai Disneyland Monday may offer a bit of a guide as to how Disney, as well as other leisure companies, can begin to bring back revenues as well as foot traffic. The first steps, however, are part of a bigger journey and raise the question: How will the new normal of theme parks unfold?

Uber, Grubhub Combo Would Create Restaurant Delivery Giant

There are many reasons to believe that Grubhub and Uber could benefit from a possible merger. Uber is a much bigger-scaled platform with a developed arm of drivers that has actively made the transition toward delivery driving, while Grubhub is well-versed in the food delivery space with a big listing of eateries already on its platform.

Does Less Traffic At China’s Mall Eateries Mean There’s Less Appetite For Retail? 

Look to the malls to get a sense of how China is reopening, and where the hurdles exist. Consumers have not been returning in droves in the first few weeks post-lockdown, which has led to eateries and retail outlets closing, or pushing back on rent at a minimum.