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.
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).
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.