In today’s top news, factory production in China experienced its worst decline in 30 years, and Apple Card users will be allowed to skip March payments without incurring interest. Plus, Karen Webster outlines what we can learn about the future of the connected economy, based on how the coronavirus is affecting it now.
Factory production in China experienced its fastest downward spiral in 30 years, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. In January and February, total retail sales of consumer goods dropped to 5,213 billion yuan, a year-on-year decline of 20.5 percent.
Apple Card customers were alerted via email that they will be allowed to skip their March payments without incurring interest charges. This gesture by Apple is a way to relieve some financial pressure that people could be experiencing as a result of the coronavirus.
On March 6, PYMNTS asked 2,128 U.S. consumers to tell us how the coronavirus has impacted how they work, travel, eat, shop and play. Karen Webster said their responses across these five key pillars of our connected economy provide an important baseline for understanding how those behaviors may shape the new normal when we emerge on the other side. Here’s what we learned.
One complication that quick-service restaurants face when revamping their apps is ensuring that loyalty and payment data is kept during the switch. In this month’s Mobile Order-Ahead Tracker, PYMNTS speaks with Adam Fox, director of digital experience for Mexican fast-casual chain Qdoba, about how the QSR ensured smooth data migration for its recently overhauled rewards program and ordering system.
The U.S. Federal Reserve is reportedly telling to lenders that there will not be dire consequences for those that go through their liquidity reserves while helping customers. Also, the Federal Communications Commission said that telecom providers agreed not to turn off service due to non-payment for the next 60 days.
Amazon has been extending an olive branch to other large retailers by offering to collaborate on cashierless, automated stores — but so far, rivals Walmart and Target haven’t been swayed. Many traditional brick-and-mortar stores don’t trust the eCommerce giant, and Walmart has resisted using Amazon’s cloud computing services, feeling that would give Amazon even more leeway in the market.
U.K. lawmakers are reportedly introducing a digital services tax of as much as 2 percent of revenues tied to business activities in the country. The government has estimated that the tax would bring additional income of as much as 515 million pounds to the government by the end of the fiscal year that ends in 2025.