News

Kobe Bryant, Virtual Cards, Self-Service Technology Top This Week’s News

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 virtual card adoption and self-service technology, as well as a report on Kobe Bryant’s legacy.

Top News

Kobe Bryant’s VC Firm Holds More Than $2B in Assets 

Kobe Bryant, who died on Sunday (Jan. 26), was a prominent businessman and left behind a legacy of strong mentoring and smart investing. Bryant formed the Bryant Stibel venture capital firm in 2013 with Jeff Stibel, founder of Web.com. The firm has more than $2 billion in assets.

What U.S. Bank Is Doing to Drive Virtual Card Adoption

Accounts payable (AP) professionals and vendors still have reservations about adopting virtual cards despite their many benefits. U.S. Bank, however, believes it has the perfect weapon to counter such reluctance: vendor and client input. U.S. Bank’s Adam Kruis, senior vice president and manager of working capital consulting, and Jennifer Swenson, vice president of corporate payment systems, discuss how the bank ensures smooth implementation of virtual card solutions.

BMO on Taking a Digital-First Approach to Retail Banking

Bank client preferences have moved toward self-service technologies over branch visits in recent years because of ease of use and improved convenience. Banks such as BMO Harris Bank are heavily funding PIN authentication, real-time check scanning and ATMs to meet this demand, but they are discovering an unexpected benefit for bank staff as well.

Mastercard and TabaPay on Accelerating Instant Payments

Mastercard’s drive to scale digital payments across the ecosystem has led the payments network to find new ways to help FinTechs participate. In an interview with Karen Webster, Mastercard’s Executive Vice President of Digital Partnerships Sherri Haymond, TabaPay Co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer Manoj Verma and TabaPay Co-founder and President Rodney Robinson said that linking up through the Accelerate program has led to tangible benefits for both firms.

The Subscription Economy: What the 2020s Have in Store 

eCommerce promises to bring more subscription services as well as retail into our daily lives. It’s not just food, cosmetics or streaming media that will drive this. Subscription commerce also will grow to encompass such areas as gaming, high-end and luxury apparel, designer socks and even vehicles. Karen Webster caught up with Dan Burkhart, CEO and co-founder of Recurly, to get a keener sense of what’s to come with subscription payments and commerce.

Visa Logs 700M Visa Direct Transactions, Contactless Payments Surge

Visa’s fiscal first-quarter results displayed an acceleration of cross-border volumes, while contactless payments continued to gain traction in the United States and beyond. Visa Direct, for its part, has served business-to-business (B2B) and small business transactions with more than 700 million transactions in the fiscal first quarter of 2020.

Trackers and Reports

Managing Spend in a Sector Where Unplanned Expenses Are the Norm

Large events require planners to keep track of many minuscule details, and successful event planners have also learned to expect the unexpected. Managing these expenses requires flexible and easy spend management tools, as on-site event planners must be able to meet these needs and more without disrupting such events, according to Christine Altieri, founder of event management firm AE Events. The company uses flexible spend tools to ensure that events go as planned.

FICO’s Take on Debit Security

Old forms of cybersecurity are not sufficient to keep pace with fraudsters’ increasingly innovative attacks. Even customer behavioral analysis can fall short of sensing some thieves, according to Doug Clare, vice president of fraud product management at the consumer credit score, analytics software and fraud detection platform provider FICO. In a feature story, Clare explains why FIs have to take behavioral analysis beyond the customers’ activities to keep fraudsters at bay.

Unbundling the Travel Bundle

Airlines, hotels and other travel companies are contending with strong competition to bring in potential customers, and almost all of them are offering rewards programs and mobile payment options to entice them. These offerings, however, are often not enough to encourage customers away from booking aggregators. Splitty Co-founder and CEO Eran Shust recently talked to PYMNTS about why breaking up reservations to meet customers’ needs may be key to getting them away from the competition.

Fun, Cool and Otherwise Interesting

Why the Coronavirus May Dwarf SARS’ $40B Economic Toll

Each pandemic is different, and brings with it particular new challenges for medical professionals, governments and industries. But former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb stated in a CNBC interview that the coronavirus outbreak is more contagious but less severe than had been seen with SARS. It took two months for SARS to reach 456 individuals, per WHO data, but the coronavirus infected about double that amount in a month.

Amazon Hits 150M Prime Users, Commits Billions to One-Day Shipping

Amazon reported 150 million Prime subscribers at the start of this year — and counting. Amazon’s last official update was in April of 2018, when it reported more than 100 million members in the program. The eCommerce retailer pointed out that it shipped record levels over the holidays and quadrupled one-day and same-day deliveries during that timeframe.

Facebook Expenses Rise 51 Pct as Regulatory Pressure Increases

Facebook reported a 51 percent jump in costs and expenses for the full year of 2019, as the company encountered more questions from policymakers and regulators about its present and planned endeavors. The social media platform released its fourth-quarter earnings and full-year 2019 financials on Jan. 29, and reported that total costs and expenses hit some $46.71 billion during the recently completed year.

Can Harry and Meghan Make Canada an International Style Destination?

Canada generally has not emerged on the world stage as a destination for high style just yet. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, however, haven’t officially moved there. When they do, experts predict the move could provide a major lift to the country’s fashion industry, while potentially highlighting local brands that often miss global exposure.

Super Bowl Countdown Brings New Online Gambling Action

New developments are showing that when it comes to mobile and digital commerce, sports wagering and other forms of betting promise to produce much activity in the years to come. The latest news, by way of Bloomberg this week (Jan. 29), has Penn National Gaming Inc. spending some $163 million to buy a stake in pop culture and the sports blog Barstool Sports. Penn National reportedly will spend another $62 million or so over the next three years to increase its stake to half of Barstool Sports.

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