Morning Brief 9.16.20: Starbucks adds payment options to its rewards program

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Starbucks has introduced new incentives that broaden the payment options available to accrue credit toward free items.

Consumers can use cash, cards and mobile wallets with the incentive program, which is linked to Starbucks' app. Previously the system was tied to the Starbucks gift card.

Starbucks first announced the change in its loyalty strategy in July, noting the program was performing well as other parts of its business struggled during the initial stage of the pandemic. Starbucks is also increasing focus on alternative store designs that are focused on take-out rather than its traditional cafe model.

Where is it?

WorldRemit is supporting real-time remittance tracking through an update to its mobile app.

Called The WorldRemit Transfer Tracker, it's available through the Google Play app store in Nigeria, India, Mexico, and Columbia, and will launch in 90 more countries on iOS and Android this month.

WorldRemit in August agreed to purchase Sendwave for a reported $500 million to extend its footprint in African remittance corridors.

Good friction

Barclays is adding a waiting period to its gambling locks for consumers who want more control over spending on gaming.

Called a "cooling off period," users have to wait 72 hours before making gambling payments, meaning any such transaction is automatically declined. The feature was developed after the bank's initial opt-in gambling block, which was introduced in December 2018, was used 570,000 times in the first year. The new feature adds the extra time when the core gambling block is turned off.

Barclays in a release cited research from the University of Bristol which said the "cooling off" period is a "positive friction" that gives people pause before making a risky investment or payment.

New markets

Australian fintech Airwallex has expanded card acceptance to the U.K and Europe, hoping to serve an expanding digital payment market in the wake of coronavirus shutdowns.

Airwallex, which uses an API to allow businesses to set up payment gateways, expects e-commerce growth in the U.K. to approach 18% in 2020, adding its own e-commerce payments revenue has seen double digital growth.

The fintech supports Visa and Mastercard payments, and has accounts in more than 15 currencies, allowing discount currency conversions and no-fee funds repatriation. By adding more markets, Airwallex hopes to reduce the need of its merchant network to maintain bank accounts in different countries.

From the web

Uruguayan Payments Company dLocal Valued at $1.2 Billion in General Atlantic-Led Deal
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL | Tuesday, September 15 2020
Payments company dLocal Group Ltd. became one of Latin America’s best funded venture-backed companies through a new deal that valued the business at $1.2 billion.

Apple's Subscription Services Bundle Is Already in Hot Water
GIZMODO | Tuesday, September 15 2020
Just hours after the reveal of Apple’s new services bundles, the tech giant has already taken criticism for evidently favoring its own apps over those with which it directly competes in its App Store.

Fiverr Business helps teams manage freelance projects
TECHCRUNCH | Tuesday, September 15 2020
Freelance marketplace Fiverr launched a new service today designed to help teams at larger companies manage their work with freelancers.

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