Today In Payments: Banks Brace For Forbearance Program Expiry Dates; Shopify To Launch Merchant Banking, BNPL Tools

Today in Payments

In today’s top news, banks brace for the end of their mortgage forbearance program, and Shopify launched a business account for merchants and POS credit system. Plus, bitcoin transferred over the dark web was up 65 percent in the first quarter of 2020.

Banks Brace For Forbearance Program Expiry Dates

The time is almost up for people who got mortgage forbearance under the CARES Act, but banks can’t predict how many will default of the $150 billion in loans currently on ice. In order to avoid an anticipated deluge of defaults, forbearance programs were quickly rolled out in March without requiring proof of hardship.

Shopify Launches Debit, POS Credit Tools For Merchants

eCommerce company Shopify announced the launch of Shopify Balance, a business account built for small, independent businesses and entrepreneurs, and Shop Pay Installments, a new buy now, pay later option.

Bitcoin Usage On The Dark Web Up 65 Pct YoY

Crystal Blockchain Analytics released a report that showed the value of bitcoins transferred across the dark web was up by 65 percent in the first quarter of the year to about $384 million. Crystal Blockchain has estimated that the total value of bitcoin transacted across the dark web rose by triple digits — roughly 340 percent — over the past three years.

Alibaba Boosts Investments In Voice Commerce

China’s Alibaba Group is putting $1.4 billion into the development of artificial intelligence (AI) for its Tmall Genie smart speaker. The upgrade and innovation will use proprietary technologies that combine AI and the Internet of Things (IoT). Expanded integration with mini-apps on the Alipay eWallet will be available as of July 1.

How PNC Is Fighting Pandemic-Fueled Financial Crime

Financial crimes are increasing amid the COVID-19 pandemic as fraudsters impersonate tax officials to steal personal data. And, automated systems or human intuition alone is not enough. In our inaugural Preventing Financial Crime Playbook, PYMNTS spoke with Debbie Gould, chief security officer at PNC Financial Services, about what financial institutions (FIs) must now do to help curb virus-centric scams.

Improving Conversions While Navigating The Great Digital Shift

The great shift to digital commerce will require merchants to rethink how they approach payments — and as a result, how they optimize revenues. In an interview with Karen Webster, Justin Benson, CEO of Spreedly, said payments orchestration can help improve the customer experience by offering preferred options across a broad range of payment types and geographies that boost conversions.

Democrats’ $3T Stimulus Bill Would Grant Cannabis Firms Access To US Banking System

U.S. House Democrats recently passed a $3 trillion HEROES Act, which included provisions for cannabis companies to get loans and access banking services, which are now closed to them because cannabis sales are still a criminal enterprise on the federal level.