It’s the end of the workweek, 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 into treasury application programming interfaces (APIs) and buy now, pay later (BNPL), as well as a report on Robinhood’s trading app outage that occurred earlier this week.
Trading App Robinhood Sees Large Outage
Trading app Robinhood had a big outage on Monday (March 2). The outage occurred as the stock market as a whole was trying to bounce back from the biggest loss of value in stocks as of the financial crisis. The company told its clients on Monday that it was “experiencing a system-wide outage.”
UK Moves Closer to Big Four Accountancy Breakup
The British audit regulator, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), announced plans this week to break up the dominance of the largest four accounting firms: PwC, EY, Deloitte and KPMG. The plans, if put forth, would constitute a huge shake-up for the accounting industry in the United Kindom, and would, in essence, ask for the firms’ consulting and audit operations to be separated.
Fiserv Acquires MerchantPro Express
Fiserv, the global FinTech payments firm, announced on Tuesday (March 3) that it has acquired MerchantPro Express to help advance its business’ merchant services division. The acquisition will also help Fiserv grow its partner-based distribution. Financial terms of the transaction were not made known, per news earlier in the week.
Visa’s Former Innovation Chief To Begin Position as i2c President
Even with the innovations in the acceptance side of payments, there is a lack of issuer processor platforms that enable new payment products, payment flows and business models outside the world of pre-paid products. As Jim McCarthy told Karen Webster, solving that problem for those clients repeatedly led him to i2c, which ultimately led him to his new role as its president, reporting to Founder and CEO Amir Wain.
How the Digital World Will Soften the Blow of the Coronavirus
The connected digital economy — and the many players who enable business within and across the ecosystems that support it — is assisting enterprises, consumers and workers in continuing to interact and do business, even as the virus continues to spread.
Trackers and Reports
HSBC on the Next Phase of Treasury APIs (B2B API Tracker)
Middle-market companies are increasingly joining their larger enterprise counterparts in asking for banks to provide them with treasury application programming interfaces (APIs). In a feature story, Diane S. Reyes, global head of liquidity and cash management for HSBC, and Nadya Hijazi, the FI’s head of eCommerce for global payments and cash management and global trade and receivables finance, explain how the next stage of banking APIs could lead the way to thwarting faster payments fraud.
How DSW Is Using POS Financing to Boost Online Spend (Buy Now, Pay Later Tracker)
Shoppers today are seeking convenient ways to shop, and that includes low prices that can fit their budgets, something thatbuy now, pay later (BNPL) solutions may help to enable, according to Chad Miller, senior director of digital experience for retailer Designer Brands. In a feature story, Miller discusses how footwear retailer DSW is supporting its shoppers by integrating installment payment solution Afterpay into the checkout experience through its mobile and online platforms.
Fun, Cool and Otherwise Interesting
COVID-19 Triggers Medical Commerce Boom
Experts believe the coronavirus scare will both prompt more purchases of current real-time health monitoring offerings and spur demand for innovation of new capabilities in wearable devices. That might mean disinfectant features, temperature tracking, or even things as simple as push reminders to spur consumers to wash their hands with greater frequency.
eCommerce May Save Fashion Week Events in 2020
The business of fashion shows is struggling this week, but fashion retailing is not. eCommerce has already figured to play a large role in the various fashion events throughout the world this week and next, because of new technology and a willingness for designers to make their clothing more accessible. Now, eCommerce might turn out to be the saving grace for many events as the coronavirus scatters plans and people.
Libra’s Stumbles, Coronavirus Gains Show Pitfalls of a ‘Global’ Currency
International events — which include the coronavirus, now stretching across over 60 countries – make one’s mind cast toward what else might be on the global stage. In the age of Libra, in a new decade where at least some central banks are looking into their own fiat issued in bits and bytes, would a global currency set the stage for relative calm? Or would it prime the pump for disaster, particularly in the face of crisis, whether man-made or triggered by a microbe?
Gauging Coronavirus Ripple Effects (and Limitations) on Interest Rates — and Borrowing
This week has seen the twin impacts of policy and panic. The panic was tied to the coronavirus, of course, and policy via the Fed — in particular, monetary policy — meant to grease the rails of commerce that might otherwise be threatened by that panic. On Tuesday (March 3), the Federal Reserve said it has reduced its federal funds rate — which typically is used as a “benchmark” rate by lenders, who take that rate and layer on a premium by 50 basis points.