Welcome to What's Trending In Payments - a weekly look at the most popular, irreverent and important stories the payments industry had to offer over the past five days. Which companies grabbed the most headlines - for better or for worse - this week, and which topics have the industry abuzz with intrigue, laughter or disbelief? Featuring breakdowns from the PYMNTS.com staff and commentary by Karen Webster, here’s our take on what all of you payments peeps thought.
Can Pact Monetize Your New Year’s Resolutions?
Why It’s Hot Formerly known as GymPact, Pact hopes to encourage more consumers to wager that they don’t default on their diet and exercise resolutions. Pact pays users 30 cents to $5 for performing certain actions like hitting the gym or losing weight, but the catch is users have to pay up - $5 to $10 - if they don’t follow through.
Karen’s Commentary - The carrot and stick in an app! How clever. Now, if it could only reward me for each time that I didn’t buy new shoes, I’d really be golden, but I’m smart enough not to make resolutions about not buying new shoes.
PYMNTS Commentary - The company certainly has found a novel - and potentially lucrative - way to affect consumer behavior. We wonder if financial goals could be Pact’s - or another savvy company’s - next play?
Target Wins Mobile Crown Amid Security Issues
Why It’s Hot - In a welcome piece of bright news for Target, Mobile Commerce Daily recently named Target its 2013 Mobile Retailer of the Year. The media outlet lauded Target for a “multi-prong strategy” that included advertising its service via social media, encouraging in-store shoppers to interact with its app and rethinking the consumer experience on mobile.
Karen’s Commentary - And in the category of even more good news for Target, Piper Jaffrey says that Target is on track to deliver its biggest gain in a year in Q4 in sales in stores open at least one year. Whaddayaknow.
PYMNTS Commentary - Really? Will already security conscious mobile payments consumers cross the bridge to a more robust Tar-jey’s mobile commerce experience? Time will tell.
Samsung Data Questions Apple’s Tablet Supremacy
Why It’s Hot - The Apple-Android battle has been well-documented, with recent studies finding its more lucrative for developers to create with iOS. With Android lagging but gaining, Samsung’s rise could help give the platform a necessary boost.
Karen’s Commentary - Well, that is until they develop their own OS.
PYMNTS Commentary - While Christmas sales increases are encouraging, we’re betting more than a few consumers had “Samsung iPads” on their lists.