In today’s top news, the U.S. savings rate surged in March due to the shaky coronavirus economy, and big banks have processed almost 500,000 applications for the second round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. Plus, Visa reported earnings that show a strong shift to contactless payments.
The shaky coronavirus economy has prompted people to save at levels not seen since 1981. A Bureau of Economic Analysis report released on Thursday (April 30) indicated the savings rate escalated to 13.1 percent in March — compared to the February rate of 8 percent in February. Collectively, people have stored away $2.17 trillion.
JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America said they processed almost 500,000 applications totaling roughly $46 billion as part of the Paycheck Protection Program intended to help small businesses that are struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic. Less than 30,000 loan applications from both banks combined have been approved by the Small Business Administration.
Visa posted fiscal second-quarter results that showed a plummet in spending amid the coronavirus pandemic, offset by a switch to contactless payments.
CEO Jeff Bezos wrote in the Amazon earnings press release that he plans to spend all Q2 profit, roughly $4 billion, on coronavirus pandemic response and testing.
Over 38 percent of consumers are now buying retail goods and groceries online more often than they did before, and 11.3 percent plan to keep it that way even after the stay-at-home mandates end. Yet less than a third of Main Street small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are adapting their operations to meet consumers’ post-pandemic expectations. In Main Street On Lockdown: Reinventing The Road To Recovery edition, PYMNTS surveys 437 Main Street SMBs to learn why they are resisting consumers’ shift to doing commerce online.
The coronavirus pandemic and tightening of consumer purse strings has created nothing short of a “wild ride” for Tradesy, a peer-to-peer marketplace that sells luxury clothing, shoes and accessories to mostly millennial women. CEO and Founder Tracy DiNunzio tells Karen Webster there have been plenty of lows, but also more recent highs — and an interesting trend that she says could offer a glimmer of hope about reopening the economy and the end of #stayathome: Louboutin shoes are flying off the virtual shelves.
As the pandemic continues to take root in the U.S., banks are reserving tens of billions of dollars against potential credit card and loan defaults. They’re eyeing risk exposure while at the same time trying to help consumers get back on their feet. In an interview with Karen Webster, Mastercard Senior Vice President and Head of Brighterion Sudhir Jha said that advanced technologies — specifically artificial intelligence (AI) — can help FIs weather the storm.