A PYMNTS Letter To Santa

Dear Mr. Claus,

We here at PYMNTS have hung up our stockings and strung up our lights. We set out the milk and cookies for your arrival. (There’s also some craft beer available in the off chance that’s your thing.) But before we don our nightcaps and dream of sugarplums, we wanted to reach out and say that we have a lot to be thankful for, so while we'd love for you to have our cookies and your beverage of choice, we don’t want any presents this year.

Hear us out.

We know people always write that they don’t want anything for Christmas when they really want to get on your good side to score an extra VR headset instead of sensible socks. But before you get suspicious and put us on the naughty list, we just have to say, Santa, to be honest, there are others out there who could use some holiday cheer more than us.

For instance, perhaps you could use your Christmas magic to give all of those cool new startup companies with a dream and a sleek-looking mobile app (the good ones, of course) an ignition strategy instead of more VC money. They really need the former before they get more of the latter. And if you can spare a bit extra, we’d like to see if you have anything in your bag of tricks to help millennials get a little more credit, even if it is only one transaction at a time.

And while we’re on the subject of magic — how about sharing whatever you use to keep your North Pole digs a secret to help us secure our private data from cybercriminals? You seem to be onto something. And whatever “that” is,  it certainly could have helped Yahoo and those 1.5 billion people whose identities are now for sale on the black market ... not that we have any hard feelings or anything.

Here's another idea. Instead of presents, is there any way that you could bring cheap internet access to the world? You know, like Facebook wants to do. We’ve seen how transformative the combination of smartphones, the internet and apps are, and we don’t want anyone to miss out. Maybe you could broadcast from your sleigh and get an app!

We’re not sure if this is asking too much, but we also know that retailers would sleep better if they had a little bit of a better handle on dealing with the coming retail reinvention driven in large part by Amazon. Just when it seems like Amazon offers everything, and is just about everything, they do something new. Grocery stores, logistics, two-hour delivery — what’s next? We’re sure you’re feeling the heat as well. After all, what would happen if Amazon decided to muscle in on your turf and roll out its own Prime version of Santa’s Workshop next year?

Yes, we know that even Amazon can’t deliver to everyone on Earth in one night — yet. But with drones and Prime Now ... well, Santa, we’re just saying that maybe instead of napping for the next 300 days you should look at this more closely.

Just a couple more things.

Is there any way, Santa, that you could help Uber sort out its regulatory troubles — so that they could stop bleeding cash? It's on a roll to lose $3 billion ... that's a lot of dough. Now, we get that there's always room for improvement,  but the service it provides the world is pretty nifty and has delivered an enormous value to many people. We’d really appreciate if you could put in a good word for it as you pass through Taiwan, Europe, the U.K. and the California DMV. Well, maybe not the DMV — there are places too desolate even for you to bring cheer.

Speaking of foreign places and people — we know this isn’t in your normal wheelhouse, but if there is anything you can do to make sure Brexit doesn’t wipe out London as a FinTech hub, that would be great. Otherwise, it would be the kind of disruption that not even tech innovators could love.

Also, if there’s some way to help all the companies working on drone delivery technology to get a move on, that would be swell. Maybe you could share your secret as to how you make your reindeer fly. We need that kind of precision for doorstep package dropoff the other 364 days of the year. We’ll even settle for chimney delivery. It’ll be like every day is Christmas! What could be better than that?

So, in the last nights before your worldwide overnight delivery run (an impressive feat, by the way), give this letter some thought. And if you just so happen to leave the PYMNTS team a couple tins of peppermint bark, an iPhone 7 (with some AirPods, because we know you wouldn’t cheap out and make us buy them separately), some Groupon deals and an NES Classic anyway, we won’t be too upset.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!




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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