Today In Payments: 19 Firms Trialing China's Digital Yuan; Treasury Directs Public Firms To Return PPP Money

Today in Payments

In today’s top news, 19 firms are participating in a pilot program to trial China’s new digital yuan, and the U.S. Treasury ordered public companies to return Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. Plus, credit card companies are cutting customer spending limits in response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on the economy.

Starbucks Among 19 Firms Trialing China’s Digital Yuan

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) is launching a pilot program to trial its new digital yuan with 19 local businesses, including the U.S. chains Starbucks, Subway and McDonald’s. China is the first country to launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC) or digital currency electronic payment (DCEP).

Treasury Directs Public Firms To Return Small Business PPP Money

The Treasury Department issued new guidance on Thursday (April 23) directing publicly traded companies to return Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans by May 7 if they can’t prove they were eligible for a loan. The new guidelines require companies to certify with their lender that they need the loan and cannot access the money from other sources.

Card Companies Cut Credit Lines As Customers Skip Payments

Customer spending limits are being cut by top credit card companies as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic that is crashing the economy and taking away the jobs of millions of Americans. Discover Financial Services said in a regulatory filing that more of its customers are asking to skip payments. The company said it is decreasing the credit lines of some customers and also cutting back on its efforts to gain new customers.

Amazon Allegedly Poached Info From Sellers To Launch Competing Products

Amazon is facing charges that it violated its own policies when employees took data from its independent sellers to launch competing products, claims that the eCommerce company has vigorously denied. While Amazon insists that it restricts staff from accessing the data of its millions of sellers, more than 20 former employees said they accessed sellers’ information to determine which products the firm should make under its private labels.

Stripe’s John Collison On Improving ‘The Art Of Authorization' Amid A Digital Payments Boom

The global pandemic has been the catalyst for a massive shift toward digital everything, particularly commerce. But for many firms, their existing payment infrastructure cannot handle the shift. John Collison, co-founder and president of Stripe, sits down (virtually, of course) with Karen Webster to explain three new updates to its core payments platforms that improve the "art" of authorization for merchants for whom the digital game instantly got raised.

NEW DATA: How COVID-19 Is Driving CUs' Digital Leap

As the COVID-19 pandemic impacts banking operations across the U.S., credit unions (CUs) are innovating to digitize their products and services. Two-thirds of CUs are prioritizing voice assistant innovations, and half want to develop new peer-to-peer (P2P) offerings. But which innovations will their members actually use? PYMNTS’ Credit Union Innovation Playbook: New Payment Flows edition surveys 4,000 consumers, CU leaders and FinTech executives to learn which four products CUs must prioritize as they make the digital leap.

Amex T&E Spending Plummets In March And April Amid Coronavirus

American Express reported results that showed a marked decline in card spending tied to a worsening economic environment in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. CEO Stephen Squeri noted that strong performance in January and February were dramatically impacted in subsequent weeks, with volume slowing significantly in April.



The September 2020 Leveraging The Digital Banking Shift Study, PYMNTS examines consumers’ growing use of online and mobile tools to open and manage accounts as well as the factors that are paramount in building and maintaining trust in the current economic environment. The report is based on a survey of nearly 2,200 account-holding U.S. consumers.