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Today In Payments: Fed Plans New Facility For SMB PPP Loans; SBA Computer Crash Tangles PPP Loan Process

In today’s top news, the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department are collaborating to develop a new facility to help small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) stay afloat during the coronavirus, and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is experiencing setbacks due to technical issues and demand. Plus, regulators in Europe ruled that Mastercard’s plans to acquire part of Nets violate antitrust protections.

Fed Plans New Facility For SMB PPP Loans

The Federal Reserve is collaborating with the Treasury Department to develop a new facility to help SMBs stay afloat as the coronavirus pandemic continues. The new facility — which will be announced by the Fed this week — will enable lenders to extend additional loans backed by the Small Business Administration (SBA).

SBA Computer System Crash Further Tangles PPP Loan Process

The PPP introduced April 3 is experiencing more setbacks as the SBA works to solve computer system problems. Banks have been struggling to meet the demands of businesses seeking the SBA-backed loans. Myriad problems — including technical issues — have been ongoing since the program launched.

Mastercard’s Nets Takeover Hits Antitrust Snag

Based on information from six nations, including the U.K., regulators in Europe said on Monday (April 6) that Mastercard’s plans to purchase a portion of Nets presents a sizable risk to competition on the continent.

Safaricom, Vodacom Acquire M-PESA Payments Platform

Safaricom, Kenya’s telecommunications giant, and the South African mobile communications company Vodacom have completed the acquisition of the M-PESA brand, along with its product development and support services, from Vodafone Group PLC through a joint venture.

Banking APIs Give Businesses An eCommerce Push

Social distancing has changed eCommerce from a “want to have” to a “must have” for businesses, yet retailers could struggle to create convenient payment and refund experiences for their apps and websites, said Abdul Raof Latiff, head of DBS Bank's digital institutional banking group. In this month’s B2B API Tracker®, Latiff explains how banks can provide a timely assist via application programming interfaces (APIs) that integrate payments into those eCommerce platforms.

Bottomline CEO: How FinTech Gets Creative To Extend Coronavirus Relief

Not all businesses can produce masks or ventilators, but FinTechs are in a unique position to help extend relief to coronavirus-impacted SMBs. Bottomline Technologies CEO Rob Eberle told Karen Webster how his company came to launch a solution designed to ease the PPP loan-application burden and how B2B FinTechs can help more broadly as massive disruptions force firms to prioritize payments and finance digitization.

NFIB Survey Shows SMB Optimism Slips Amid COVID-19

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index slid 8.1 points in March, coming in at 96.4, the largest decline in the history of the survey. Firms reported that profits slipped during the latest survey, and 32 percent said that weakening was due to shakier sales, 26 percent on seasonal changes. Another 9 percent cited pricing changes.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: HOW WE SHOP – SEPTEMBER 2020 

The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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