In today’s top news, Uber Eats abandoned its ghost kitchens program, Klarna announced a rewards program, and a slew of financial service firms have gone public in recent weeks, demonstrating that the Great Digital Shift is upon us.
Less than two years after Uber Eats leased kitchens in Paris to restaurateurs so they can prepare food for its online ordering and delivery platform, the San Francisco-based company has called it quits. Uber abandoned its “Eats Delivery Hub” initiative as part of its goal to cut costs.
Buy Now, Pay Later firm Klarna announced that it is rolling out Vibe, a rewards program that enables customers to collect points on every purchase that can be redeemed later for gift cards at Starbucks, Sephora, Uber and Foot Locker.
A spate of FinTech, InsurTech and investment firms rooted in financial services have gone public in recent weeks, doing pretty well with their IPOs. You wouldn’t think tech upstarts would go ahead with initial public offerings (IPOs) amid a U.S. recession, a global pandemic and social unrest, but it’s a nod to the sea change underpinning the financial sphere, and the recognition by investors that the Great Digital Shift is upon us.
Roger Hochschild, chief executive officer for Discover, said most of its customers no longer have trouble with making payments. Discover enrolled around $3.3 billion in card loans in its forbearance program through May, and Hochschild said the re-enrollment rate in the program was “relatively low” and that many people had only done it one time.
The global pandemic has forced consumers to double down on their use of digital retail channels, and physical retail to rethink how to engage those consumers across every touchpoint that defines their shopping journey. Blackhawk Network CEO Talbott Roche tells Karen Webster that means that new thinking about how to use digital payments to drive engagement and new economics for retail’s brick and mortar footprints — maybe even taking a page out of the Starbucks mobile payments playbook.
Building trust between freelancers and employers is a two-way street — and one that gig marketplaces must engineer. In the latest Gig Economy Tracker, Michael Brooks, CEO and founder of online freelance marketplace goLance, says employers can build trust with things like offering workers multiple payment options. Workers can return the favor by building robust profiles using information from platforms like LinkedIn.
In the battle between banks and FinTechs, the lines have been drawn around delivering services digitally, sometimes in an automated fashion. But according to at least some observers, the pendulum has been swinging toward the traditional behemoths of banking as the coronavirus and the recession have spurred individuals, families and enterprises to seek safe haven with big, time-tested firms.