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Amazon's rewards infiltrate Whole Foods
Amazon is migrating Whole Foods incentive programs to Amazon Prime, meaning the grocery chain will be ending its own programs May 2. The grocery chain has already been pushing consumers toward Amazon Prime's incentive marketing for several months.
Business Insider reports Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos this week told investors the technical work to recognize Prime members at the point of sale is underway, making it possible to expand Prime benefits to Whole Foods shoppers.
Amazon's move places Prime more firmly in traditional brick and mortar, creating an e-commerce/in-store combo for Prime members that makes it even harder for traditional grocers to compete, as Amazon can now combine online shopping, brick and mortar, coupons and cash back, and delivery through the same account.
Visa and Mastercard's new button
Visa and Mastercard are planning a combined online payment button that could succeed Visa Checkout and Masterpass, according to MarketWatch, which cited an announcement at an industry event in Las Vegas Wednesday evening.
In interviews, executives from the two card brands told the Wall Street Journal there's too much clutter among online payment options, given the OEM Pays, PayPal and other options, which all serve the same general purpose of expediting checkout by not requiring consumers to rekey information for each purpose.
Mastercard and Visa didn't position their strategy as a competitive play against mobile apps, but likened it to a discontinuation of an older payment terminal in favor of something faster. Masterpass dates to 2012 and Visa Checkout launched in 2014.
American Express separately showed interest in a move to combine payment buttons, according to Morningstar.
Google jet set
Commercial airlines are increasingly supporting mobile payments, and the trend is extending to private carriers. Skyjet is adding Google Pay, making the app available for its mostly private aviation flights.
The private carrier also supports Apple Pay, enabling travelers to book and pay for private jet travel via mobile apps.
Skyjet's app also has a live chat feature and account management. Google Pay will be available for the carrier's premium and one-off passengers.
Shop in a snap
Fresh off of adding more support for restaurant ordering and payment technology, Snapchat is attempting to keep users inside its app by adding a shopping feature.
USA Online News reports the "Shop Now" button will allow issuers to install outside apps, watch videos and shop for products without leaving Snapchat.
The button is on an expanded version of Snapchat's lens product, called the "Shoppable AR" lens.
Emerging supply chains
CDC Group and Standard Chartered Bank will collaborate on a supply chain payment system for developing markets in Africa and South Asia.
The program will start in Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana and Kenya, where payments for supplies often lag for up to three months due to a gap in automation and B2B payments structure.
CDC and Standard Chartered will provide financing, with shared risk, that will allow suppliers and buyers to execute payments quickly.
TransferWise gets faster
TransferWise has drawn nearly $300 million from tech investors to enter new markets, but it's also expanding in its home market in the U.K.
It's the first nonbank to become a member of the U.K.'s Faster Payments scheme, opening a settlement account with the Bank of England, reports Finextra.
The bank extended direct access to nonbanks last year as part of an effort to encourage more financial innovation.
From the Web
Chevy will soon let you pay for gas from inside your car
Yahoo Finance | Wed Apr 18, 2018 - Refueling your Chevy car or truck is about to get a little easier with the launch of Chevy’s new in-dash payment system. The service, which is being beta tested in Detroit, Seattle and Houston, is part of General Motors’ Marketplace commerce platform and will allow drivers to pay for their gas from inside their vehicles via their infotainment systems.
Explainer: Ant Financial's $150 billion valuation, and the big recent bump-up
Reuters | Wed Apr 18, 2018 - Ant Financial’s rapid climb to become the world’s biggest super unicorn valued by some investors at around $150 billion showcases investor enthusiasm for the biggest Chinese tech companies and also how quickly valuations can shift. Just two months ago, bankers and investors were tentatively talking of a figure closer to $100 billion.
Didi Chuxing to accept cashless payments in Hong Kong cabs for first time
South China Morning Post | Thu April 19, 2018 - Hong Kong’s taxi drivers have frequently faced criticism for their refusal to move with the times and fully embrace electronic payments as an alternative to cash. That has not stopped some of the biggest players in the mobile payments game trying to capture market share in the hope that one day more customers will be reaching for their smartphones instead of their wallets to settle their cab fares.
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