Morning Brief 5.8.20: Pro-cash groups push back against digital shift

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Money battle

The coronavirus has accelerated a move away from cash toward contactless and digital payments, partly because stores are closed and partly due to the perception that paper bills carry contagious germs. Nordstrom took it a step further by saying its reopened stores won't accept cash.

Not everyone's happy about that, as a group of vendors, trade associations and consumer organizations including DieboldNixdorf, the National ATM Council and the Consumer Federation of America are teaming up to fight for cash through lobbying and other PR efforts.

There are several laws that mandate cash acceptance, such as a state law in New Jersey and local ordinances in New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco. Amazon Go's checkout-free store also added cash following political pushback.

Delivery Target

Target has acquired assets from same-day delivery service Deliv to bolster its delivery options as more shoppers turn to e-commerce and rivals such as Walmart improve their delivery.

The deal follows an earlier acquisition of Shipt, which Target bought for $550 million. The Deliv purchase price was not disclosed but it's likely lower than the Shipt deal, according to TechCrunch, which adds Deliv has raised more than $80 million in venture capital funding.

Target earlier reported its stores are within 10 miles of 75% of Americans and handle 80% of its digital volume, laying the groundwork for an online order/delivery combination.

New card

Samsung Pay is working on a card with fintech SoFi, countering Google and Apple, which have also developed payment cards to accompany their mobile wallets.

Like Google, Samsung Pay's card will be a debit card, reports Android Central. That would allow Samsung to reach more users and provide another option for P2P transfers.

Apple's credit card, which is part of a partnership with Goldman Sachs, drew criticism over alleged bias in credit underwriting.

New installments

QuadPay has partnered with Stripe to enable QuadPay's consumers to access a buy-now-pay-later service at Visa-accepting merchants.

Stripe recently received a fresh $600 million investment to build new payment services, including new forms of credit, to help merchants recover from the coronavirus' economic impact.

In a separate deal, point of sale credit firm Klarna is collaborating with Sephora to build new shopping experiences, including an installment payment feature. Firms such as Klarna, Splitit and Affirm have attracted investors over the past year as point of sale credit gains steam in the U.S. after earlier success in Europe as a way to avoid revolving credit.

No contact

Supermarket chain Giant Eagle has opened a fully-contactless store in Pittsburgh, hoping to address the trend toward digital shopping and payments that's accelerated during the pandemic.

The digital experience includes curbside pickup, reports The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The chain operates 220 stores in Pennsylvania and four other states, with locations running from 30 to 100,000 square feet.

It's an older chain, but Giant Eagle has a history of embracing new shopping technology. It was one of the first supermarkets in Pennsylvania to support bar codes at cash registers, put ATMs in stores and is experimenting with checkout-free technology.

From the web

Credit card use dropped alongside coronavirus shutdowns, job loss in March
FOX BUSINESS | Thu May 7, 2020
On Thursday, the Federal Reserve released consumer credit data that showed revolving credit, like credit cards, fell at a 30.9 percent annual rate in March, which is the “biggest percentage decline since January 1989,” according to MarketWatch.

Square launches Online Checkout to take on PayPal
VENTUREBEAT | Thu May 7, 2020
With Square Online Checkout, the payments processor is looking to capitalize on this shift by offering companies an easier way to accept online card payments — this works on any website, social media profile, instant messaging app, or even SMS. Crucially, this sees Square challenge PayPal more directly in the online payments sphere.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge tolls to remain cashless
THE WASHINGTON POST | Fri May 8, 2020
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge is officially going cashless starting Tuesday, the Maryland Transportation Authority said. At the Bay Bridge, the E-ZPass rate for a two-axle vehicle is $2.50. The cash toll is $4, and the video toll rate is $6.

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