In today’s top news, Wells Fargo began taking loan applications, saying it will disperse $10 billion to nonprofits and small businesses, and Apple bought voice assistant startup Voysis. Plus, the European Union began investigating Facebook’s marketplace as part of its antitrust probe.
Wells Fargo announced it will begin taking loan applications on Monday (April 6) as part of the Paycheck Protection Program and will disperse $10 billion to nonprofits and businesses with fewer than 50 employees. The country’s fourth-largest bank said it anticipates that its loan capacity will be maxed out under the program since it is operating with the current asset cap limitations.
Siri is getting an assistant, sort of. Apple acquired artificial intelligence (AI) startup Voysis to improve its natural language technology, according to a Bloomberg report on Friday (April 3). Headquartered in Dublin, Voysis has been concentrating its efforts on enhancing digital assistants that are integrated with shopping apps.
The European Union is targeting Facebook’s Marketplace in the next leg of its antitrust investigation. Investigators are asking the social media giant’s competitors to fill out a 14-page survey focused on Facebook’s impact on rival classified ads businesses.
The Visa Foundation announced that it is pledging $210 million to fund two different programs that will support small and micro enterprises that have been financially disrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic. Money from the Visa Foundation will offer capital to non-government organizations and investment partners that assist small and micro-businesses.
In the last 22 days, Americans have shifted, en masse, from living in a digital-often world to one that is largely digital-only — and PYMNTS’ third study of more than 2,000 U.S. consumers during the course of the global pandemic offers compelling new data as proof, including a tripling in the number of consumers who buy groceries online. Karen Webster said the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in a quantum jump in the connected economy, and faster growth. The tragedy is that many traditional physical businesses appear to have lost the possibility of a soft landing, or of gradually transitioning themselves to this digital-only world. Here’s the data and the details.
On the rare occasions when consumers venture out to shop for necessities amid the COVID-19 pandemic, they naturally seek to limit physical transactions as much as possible. Yet, according to PYMNTS’ Mobile Wallet Adoption 2020 report, of 3,230 consumers who shopped in a physical store in early March, just 5 percent of in-store shoppers are using their mobile phones to pay at the register. Here’s why.
Larger firms are seemingly muscling into the federal loan program designed to help small businesses through the coronavirus crisis, which may squeeze some of the smallest firms that need capital now from getting lifelines.