Morning Brief 10.7.20: Macy's invests in point of sale credit firm Klarna

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Shopping spree

Department store giant Macy's is doing some shopping of its own, making an investment in Swedish point of sale credit firm Klarna.

The size of the investment was not disclosed, but Macy's will also support Klarna's installment payments in stores. Point of sale credit companies have grown quickly during the pandemic as consumers look for alternatives to credit cards for larger purchases.

Klarna has drawn several rounds of financing over the past couple of years as it plots its expansion in the U.S. and other markets, recently passing the $10 billion mark in valuation.

Taking the LED out

Gaming and consumer technology firm Razer is testing a prepaid Visa card that's designed to mimic its other LED-laden hardware by glowing green when it's used.

The glowing card is a premium option, and uses LED lighting, reports PC Gamer. There's also an option for a virtual card and payment app.

Razer is debuting its card as other firms such as Revolut and Venmo release new cards that rely on creative design. In Venmo's case the design seems more functional, as the cards sports a QR code for accessing the user's Venmo account.

Small biz recovery

Mobile ordering company Ritual has partnered with PayPal on a campaign to push contactless ordering and payments for small businesses in Los Angeles.

The companies hope to do this primarily through economic incentives, with Ritual providing its digital ordering platform to businesses in the city at no cost through the end of 2020. Called Ritual One, the platform does not charge commissions, making the service entirely free for the next three months. PayPal will provide $1 million to fund product discounts for purchases on Ritual One.

The campaign is similar to fee waivers in Europe early in the pandemic, such as Skrill's discounts for money transfers to Italy.

On target

The European Central Bank and Sverige Riksbank are investigating how Europe's real-time payment rail can support transactions in different currencies.

Target Instant Payment Settlement (Tips) settles payment in real time, and supports euros. The test is part of a plan to diversify the mix of currencies to support international e-commerce, reports Finextra.

Sweden's central bank, one of the world's oldest, will start work on the project this month with the first settlements in kroner scheduled for May 2022.

From the web

Nivelo nabs $2.5M seed to reduce risk in digital ACH payments
TECHCRUNCH | Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Nivelo, an early-stage startup from a former JP Morgan executive, wants to take the risk out of ACH transactions; today the company announced a $2.5 million seed investment, which closed in mid-August.

Google is beefing up password security on mobile versions of Chrome
ENGADGET | Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Chrome 86, the version that lands today, will support Safety Check on Android and iOS, Enhanced Safe Browsing on Android, and improved password-filling on iOS.

Torn U.S. tech investors debate buy or sell in wake of shakeout
REUTERS | Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Investors are grappling with how to play heavyweight U.S. technology shares, which are trading well above long-term valuations despite a sell-off last month that took some air out of the stocks.

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