Morning Brief 4.2.20: CaixaBank brings coronavirus-shuttered merchants to social media

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The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the web:

Getting social

CaixaBank has launched a feature that allows retailers to sell over social networks and messaging apps in an attempt to help merchants access an added digital channel if their doors are closed because of a coronavirus shutdown.

Called Social Commerce, retailers can manage online purchases through their own profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, Telegram and other networks, reports Finextra.

Consumers receive offers from the business's social profile and messaging app, and can buy items through a link to payment instructions. Another new feature, called PayGold, allows firms to receive payments by email or text message without requiring a website.

Small biz break

Online payments firms Skrill has extended free use of its wallet and digital checkout products globally through at least Sept. 30.

Skrill had previously waived fees for money transfers in Italy when the coronavirus began to accelerate in that country.

In an interview at the time, Skrill exec Lorenzo Pellegrino, who is from Milan, suggested the company would expand its fee waivers as the outbreak accelerated in other nations. Other fintechs and banks have waived digital transaction charges during the pandemic.

Uber supermarket

UberEats is expanding its grocery delivery business to accommodate increased supermarket deliveries during the coronavirus outbreak.

Uber has partnered with Carrefour in France with a goal of 30-minute delivery in Paris for food, toiletries and cleaning products, reports TechCrunch, adding Uber sees groceries as a way to offset softness in its other business lines.

In Spain, UberEats has partnered with convenience store chain Galp to support deliveries of food and over-the-counter medicines in 15 cities. Uber plans to add more supermarket chains in other countries.

Crypto jar

London fintech Mode Banking has built an interest-generating account that it has tied to an app that supports buying and storing bitcoin in the U.K.

Called the Bitcoin Jar, it's designed to be a hedge against cryptocurrency investing, which is subject to wide swings in value. The funds can be withdrawn at any time to make payments at crypto-supporting merchants or to convert to traditional currency.

Mode works through the New York-based Celsius Network, which lends bitcoin and other digital currencies, to generate interest for the Bitcoin Jar.

From the web

Amazon Prime allows in-app purchases for Apple users
BBC | Wed April 1, 2020
Amazon has begun allowing iPhone and Apple TV users to make in-app purchases and rent movies and shows from Amazon Prime. It is a change for Apple which will allow Amazon to use its own payment system.

China’s mobile payments to see rebound as offline vendors reopen after coronavirus lockdowns
Offline scan-to-pay transactions have grown 15 fold over the past three years, reaching US$1.3 trillion in the fourth quarter of last year. Offline merchants have been the major driver in China’s mobile payments boom because almost all accept QR codes or face scans to process payments.

Mobile payments firms in India are now scrambling to make money
TECHCRUNCH | Thu April 2, 2020
Despite on-boarding more than a hundred million users on their platform, payment firms are struggling to cut their losses — let alone turn a profit.

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