Welcome to the PaymentsSource Morning Briefing, delivered daily. The information you need to start your day, including top headlines from PaymentsSource and around the Web:
Target's tricky transition: Target is consolidating apps in an attempt to simplify its mobile strategy ahead of upgrades designed to make the retailer's mobile channel more transactional. TechCrunch reports Target has finished a previously announced integration of its Cartwheel savings app into the main Target app. The plan is to eventually close Cartwheel, and the integration allows consumers to use the main Target app to shop online and in-store, supporting lists, delivery, pickup and now couponing. The challenge for Target, according to TechCrunch, is the Cartwheel app is more popular, often a top ten favorite in the App Store's shopping category, and has been downloaded 40 million times. It has also saved consumers about $1 billion via coupons. After the integration, Target's Cartwheel users will have to download the Target app, as well as move their existing offers list and lifetime savings to the app. But Target is making to move to offer a mobile experience that will be more robust in time by combining savings with other shopping functions. For example, one planned feature will allow consumers to show a bar code at the the point of sale to receive Cartwheel savings and make a payment with a single scan. Target also recently agreed to buy fulfillment software company Grand Junction and is testing a grocery delivery system as it battles Walmart on the brick and mortar side and Amazon on the e-commerce site.
Out of orbit: A glitch with a satellite shuttered thousands of ATMs in Indonesia over the past several days. U.S. News reports PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia, a state-owned phone company, operates the satellite, which also serves government agencies and broadcast companies in addition to banks. The satellite suffered connectivity problems because of a mistaken shift in an antenna's direction, and the issue resulted in 5,700 Bank Central Asia ATMs and 300 Bank Rakyat Indonesia cash machines getting knocked offline, as well as sporadic outages at point of sale terminals. The banks are redirecting their ATMs to other satellites, but the problem may linger for several more weeks.
New P-to-P app in Singapore: OCBC Bank is offering an Android keyboard that supports person-to-person transfers from any app or mobile browser. MisAsia reports consumers download the keyboard app, then tap on a "Pay Anyone" icon from Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, Chrome and other apps to send money to anyone with a bank account in Singapore, OCBC's home market, via a mobile number. The model, which is designed to make P-to-P payments that occur within a bank network almost seamless, most closely resembles Zelle, an American bank-backed transfer app that also relies on mobile phone numbers or emails to execute transfers. OCBC has also integrated the Pay Anyone feature with Apple's Siri and iMessage.
Alipay gets fit: Alipay's North American strategy is to find merchants to build a network of locations that support payments, mostly for Chinese travelers or people inside China who wish to shop online at North American merchants. Its latest merchant is GNC Holdings, a fitness, wellness and nutrition chain. The partnership opens GNC's addressable market to 520 million registered Alipay users who can buy vitamins, minerals, herbs and other products through GNC.com. "Chinese consumers value health and wellness nutritional products from the U.S. because they trust the authenticity and quality of the product," said Souheil Badran, president of Alipay North America, in a release. China's vitamins and dietary-supplement market is expected to reach $29 billion by 2021, according to Euromonitor.
From the Web
Alipay and WeChat Pay may be dominating China, but cash is still king in the rest of Asia, PayPal study finds
CNBC | Mon Aug 28, 2017 - Asia Pacific has no dearth of digital-payment options as smartphone ownership picks up, but cash is still king in most of the region's major markets, according to a new study from PayPal. The report, titled "Digital Payments: Thinking beyond Transactions," found 57 percent of the respondents said they preferred cash for their day-to-day transactions. Another about 24 percent of the participants said they preferred using other traditional payment methods, such as bank transfer, internet banking and credit or debit cards. Only 12 percent said they frequently used digital wallets to make payments and a very small number of respondents said they preferred contactless methods using their smartphones.
Parents hit out at school online payments
The Times | Tue Aug 29, 2017 - A parents organization has criticized government plans to encourage families to switch to online banking and card transactions when making payments to schools. The National Parents Council Primary (NPC) said it would find it difficult to welcome new measures to facilitate the electronic transfer of money when it was opposed to the principle of many existing school payments. Áine Lynch, the NPC’s chief executive, said central funding should be used to cover costs for parents such as voluntary contributions and the purchase of textbooks.
Litcoin hits a record high and is up nearly 1,400 percent this year
CNBC | Tue Aug 29, 2017 - Litecoin, the fifth-largest cryptocurrency by value and rival to bitcoin, has rallied nearly 1,400 percent since the start of the year after hitting a record high price. On Monday, litecoin hit an all-time high of $64.2, marking a 1383 percent rise since January first where it traded at $4.33, data from industry website Coinmarketcap.com showed. The price pulled back slightly on Tuesday and was just above $62 in early trade. CNBC runs through the differences between bitcoin and litecoin, and what's driving the price.
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