Today in PYMNTS’ data, the cash-dominated pot industry is still unable to access other financial tools, blockchain could save governments billions, payroll solutions are helping small businesses revamp their accounting practices, technology gives a boost to those living paycheck-to-paycheck and Germany’s got the sixth-highest cash share in Western Europe.
Here are the numbers:
$7 billion | Value of the legal marijuana industry, one that is dominated by cash use, as digital payments have largely been a no-go. The substance’s status as a Schedule 1 narcotic means federally chartered banks, card networks and traditional payments ecosystems have made it clear they’d like to steer clear of helping finance companies that deal in or create cannabis and its associated products.
$1.5 billion | Approximate amount of money blockchain could save the government in Dubai every year. Recent reports have said the city aims to have all visa applications, government bill payments and license renewals facilitated through blockchain technology. The processes amount to more than 100 million documents every year, and Dubai is working with Smart Dubai to explore other potential areas of government that could be transformed by the tool.
$2 million | Value of revenue financing that payroll startup Wagepoint received from TIMIA Capital Corporation, funds which will be used to scale and to focus on product development, like the company’s B2B payments apps. Wagepoint CEO Shrad Rao has said small business owners who suddenly find themselves in charge of payroll struggle to acclimate quickly to the process, a system that can be both complex and confusing. Wagepoint’s offerings aim to alleviate some of that stress.
70 percent | Portion of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, according to Even CEO Jon Schlossberg. His company made headlines this week when it was disclosed that Even’s platform is behind Walmart’s real-time pay program. In an interview with PYMNTS’ Karen Webster, Schlossberg said living paycheck to paycheck is a condition that colors every decision a person makes, limits his or her operations and forces choices that often dig an even deeper financial hole. American consumers pay nearly $100 billion a year in interest and fees for payday loans, overdraft and late fees because their cash flow isn’t sufficient to meet their needs at a particular time.
20 percent | Germany’s cash share as of 2016, the sixth-highest cash share of countries in Western Europe and higher than neighboring countries like Belgium (15.4 percent), France (7 percent) and the Netherlands (7.1 percent), according to the recent PYMNTS Global Cash Index Germany Analysis. The country’s GDP grew by an average of 1 percent per year between 2007 and 2016, bringing its total GDP to €3.1 trillion and making it the number one economy in Europe. All told, German consumers spent roughly €649.6 billion in cash last year.