Morning Brief 6.11.20: Starbucks accelerates mobile store concept

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

Picking up

Starbucks is accelerating its "pickup" store model, a nod to the impact of the coronavirus and the chain's growing mobile order and pay app. Starbucks pickup stores stress takeout rather than the traditional cafe model.

The chain tested stores in Manhattan and Toronto and will soon open a second New York location, followed by outlets in other major U.S. cities over the next few months — a faster pace for the pickup stores than originally planned, reports TechCrunch.

Starbucks, which reported 80% of U.S. transactions were for "on the go orders" before coronavirus shutdowns, will also retrofit some existing stores to comply with the pickup model while not entirely abandoning its traditional cafe model. Overall, new Starbucks locations will expand but at a slower pace as the firm absorbs the virus' economic shock. More than 90% of Starbucks locations are now open, up from 50% in April.

At the UN

Sudan has joined the Better Than Cash Alliance, a United Nations organization that encourages financial inclusion as a route to political and economic reform.

Digital payments will be the first project, as the Sudanese government will provide directly monthly digital transfers to about 80% of families. The measure is designed to to spur the economy and improve food security.

The government also hopes to build transparency through digital transactions, a strategy similar to India, which removed large amounts of cash from circulation in 2016, partly as a way to build a digital transaction trail for security.

In the mail

Diebold Nixdorf has signed an ATM "as a service" deal with Bank99, Austria's postal banking and financial services network, providing a way to streamline and ensure cash access as more transactions migrate online.

Under the six year, $20 million contract, Diebold Nixdorf will install and manage machines at post office and bank branches. It will also help Bank99 with cash management and will manage remote software over a network of about 500 machines.

Bank99 is 80% owned by Austria's postal service and 20% owned by Capital Bank, and is charged with ensuring cash and financial services access in rural and traditionally underserved areas. The expense of managing cash has become more of a challenge, even in countries that have postal banking, such as the U.K.

By the rules

The Libra Association has appointed financial crime prevention specialist Sterling Daines to be chief compliance officer, a key post given the regulatory pressure the Facebook-affiliated stablecoin product faces.

Daines is managing director and global head of financial crimes compliance at Credit Suisse, a post he will depart at the end of the year to join Libra. Daines' experience includes anti-money laundering, sanctions, anti-bribery and corruption mitigation. He earlier served in a similar capacity at Goldman Sachs.

Libra in May appointed former U.S. Treasury official Stuart Levey as CEO ahead of Libra's planned launch later in 2020.

Holding steady

U.K.'s fintech industry has faced both Brexit and the coronavirus, but appears to be holding up well.

London-based fintechs comprised 39% of VC investment in the U.K. so far in 2020, reports Finextra, citing research from Tech Nation and Dealroom for the Digital Economy Council. The overall technology sector had 90,000 job postings at the end of April, the top business category in the U.K. for job availability.

Fintechs drew about $2.5 billion between January and May, more than similar investments in Paris, Stockholm, Berlin and Tel Aviv combined.

From the Web

Amazon unveils small business credit line with Goldman in latest tie-up between tech and Wall Street
CNBC | Wed June 10, 2020
Small business owners who sell on Amazon will soon be receiving invitations from Goldman’s Marcus brand for revolving credit lines with a fixed annual interest rate of 6.99% to 20.99%.

iBanFirst raises $23.8 million for its borderless financial services
TECHCRUNCH | Thu June 11, 2020
French startup iBanFirst has raised a $23.8 million (€21 million) Series C round from Elaia and Bpifrance’s Large Venture fund.

Goldman Sachs’ Marcus digital bank has taken so many deposits in the UK that it’s pausing them
CNBC | Wed June 10, 2020
British customers of Goldman Sachs can no longer apply for an online savings account with its Marcus app.

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