It’s the end of the work week, and the PYMNTS Weekender is here to make sure you didn’t miss anything with the latest in payments and commerce news. We have deep dives on the pandemic’s digital shift, credit unions and stimulus funds.
IRS Stimulus Check Round 2, Will It Happen?
The first round of $1,200 stimulus funds, for the most part, has been delivered following a slightly rocky rollout. Americans have been spending the funds on things such as groceries, bills, rent and debt reduction. A new question, however, is arising: will there be more funds coming soon?
Republicans Reject Second Stimulus Bill
Republican leaders in Congress say they will examine the $2.2 trillion CARES Act’s impact before giving the go-ahead to new spending. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told reporters on May 19, “We need to assess what we’ve already done, take a look at what worked and what didn’t work, and we’ll discuss the way forward in the next couple of weeks.”
Mnuchin, Powell Testify CARES Is Working
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell praised the $2 trillion CARES Act in a Senate Banking Committee appearance. The panel of 25 members is conducting its first examination of spending under the large bailout that Congress had given the green light to in March.
Amazon Eyes JCPenney Buy
Amazon could be in discussions to buy JCPenney, according to a report on Monday (May 19). The clothing retailer officially filed for bankruptcy on Friday (May 15), concluding speculation as to its financial status.
Safety First As LA Fitness, Other Gyms Plan Reopenings
Georgia is the first state to roll out the proverbial gym mat to LA Fitness and other fitness businesses that had to shutter in March due to the pandemic. LA Fitness, for its part, has approximately 40 gyms in the Atlanta area and will start opening again on Friday (May 22).
Trackers And Reports
NEW DATA: Examining The Pandemic’s $158 Billion Digital Shift
The pandemic has disrupted the lives of millions of consumers, but not all areas of life have been shut down. Many consumers are participating in a lot of the same activities they engaged in prior to the pandemic just as often now — except they are doing them online.
NEW DATA: How Credit Unions Fare Against Challenger Banks
Brick-and-mortar presence used to provide a competitive edge to credit unions (CUs) over challenger banks that only existed online. The pandemic, however, has made many CUs limit their hours or fully shutter, leaving CU members to rely on digital banking options. How can credit unions work to differentiate themselves from their rivals when every bank is digital-first?
Igloo On Payments As A Strategy, Not Just A Way To Pay
It is important for retailers to enable seamless payment experiences — and this is particularly critical amid the pandemic when financially stressed shoppers are spending much less than usual. Retailers, however, must be careful not to overwhelm shoppers with too many payment choices at checkout, Brian Garofalow, vice president of marketing and eCommerce for cooler retailer Igloo, warned.
Fun, Cool and Otherwise Interesting
Restaurants Vs. Grocery Stores: Who Wins In a Post-Pandemic World?
The fact that supermarkets are comprehensively winning the race to keep the U.S. consumer fed shouldn’t be all that surprising, since supermarkets are by and large still open for business, and eateries have been forced to shutter in most places. But it’s not quite fair to say eateries completely closed — many have moved to digital services.
Why Consumers Embrace Life Lived Digitally — And 23 Pct Will Leave Offline Behind
Wholesale change always comes at a time that a tipping point is reached, when the previous method of doing things no longer makes sense or is feasible. This time around, amid the pandemic, the tipping point to a digital life has been reached because of two factors — we have the technology and there is no other way to get things done.
Moderna’s Coronavirus Vaccine Trial Could Offer Light At The End Of The Tunnel
A COVID-19 vaccine in development by Moderna, which is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is showing early signs of promise. This much-awaited bit of positive news in the fight against the novel coronavirus sent shivers of anticipation in the stock market.
What Walmart’s Earnings Teach The World About The New American Consumer
Walmart’s results are arguably about more than just the retailer itself. Areas where the firm exhibited strength and put the most energy to transform provide a clue to how American consumers are transforming their habits due to the pandemic.
Is Peet’s IPO Poised To Percolate?