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Target's mobile AR move: Target is adding a feature to its mobile website that allows consumers to use their smartphone camera to see how furniture will look in their room. TechCrunch reports the option is limited to 200 "Project 62" brand products, but Target plans to add more, with thousands of products available by 2018. The feature is called "See it in your space," and has an option to add the product directly to a shopping cart. Target has been very aggressive in adding new shopping technology. It recently deployed Bluetooth beacons inside LED lighting in its stores to help consumers navigate the aisles to locate discounts and special offers. Target is also in the middle of a large mobile technology project that combines its Cartwheel deals app with its main mobile app. All of these features are expected to eventually combine in a single app that supports mobile payments at checkout.
Visa's strong quarter: Visa reported an 11% jump in net income to $2.14 billion in the fiscal fourth quarter, up from $1.93 billion from the prior year. Profits for the full fiscal year 2017 grew 12%, to $6.7 billion, from about $6 billion. Revenue for the quarter, which ended Sept. 30, was $4.86 billion, topping analysts' expectations of $4.62 billion, and profits per share were $0.90, also higher than analysts' expectations of $0.85 per share. CEO Alfred Kelly reported strong growth in payments volume, cross-border volume and processed transactions—which were bolstered by Visa's addition of Visa Europe and new card deals with Costco and USAA. "Economic growth has been strong, driving more e-commerce payments," Kelly said during the card network's earnings conference call on Wednesday morning. "Good economies around the world are spurring travel and positive moves by governments are driving card payment growth in less developed countries."
Fitbit Pay steps into the U.K.: Startup bank Starling is the first bank in the U.K. to support payments on the new Fitbit Ionic smart watch. Starling Bank customers can add Mastercard debit cards to the device, which can perform contactless payments. The fitness wearable has not made payments a large part of the marketing for its new smartwatch, which launched this summer. But it has picked up some early support from ANZ, Banco Santander, Bank of America, Capital One, HSBC, OCBC, RBC, UOB Cornercard and U.S. Bank. Fitbit acquired payments technology from Coin, giving it the means to compete against Apple Pay's availability on the Apple Watch. But polling has shown that most consumers do not yet view smartwatches as payments devices
Monzo goes mobile: Fresh off the introduction of a new card account, Monzo is adding support for Android Pay. The U.K.-based prepaid and mobile financial services startup will enable Android Pay enrollment by taking a picture of card details or entering the data manually. Consumers can also make Monzo their default card for Android Pay by dragging their virtual cards to the front of their Monzo Wallet. Monzo plans to deploy a feature that will allow consumers to add their cards to Android Pay from within the Monzo app. Monzo has had some technical glitches recently. It suffered outages that halted payments for a time this summer, and more recently ran out of cards amid a spike in orders.
Quickbooks gets on the faster payments train: Intuit often partners with payments companies that serve small businesses, and is now adding a one-touch invoicing option for small merchants through a Gmail integration. The product allows small businesses to create electronic invoices that are "payments enabled," which means a consumer can click a link to pay electronically, a process that enables the invoices to be paid twice as fast, according to Intuit. The invoices can be created in about a minute, including items such as hours worked, expenses and mileage. "Money is like oxygen for small businesses, but every day they struggle to get paid on time," said Jimena Almendares, vice president of payments at Intuit, in a release.
From the Web
Consumers warned as credit card rates hit 10-year high
BBC News | Tue Oct 24, 2017 - Interest rates on credit cards are at their highest for at least 10 years, according to the website Moneyfacts, despite low base rates. The average rate on credit cards, including store cards and so-called "credit repair" cards, is 23% a year. Consumers are being warned not to rely on interest-free introductory periods, as eventually they may have to pay the full advertised rate. Among the most expensive cards is HSBC's, which charges 29.9% a year. By contrast Lloyds Bank charges 5.7%, and Tesco 5.9%. Moneyfacts said the 23% average figure was the highest since their records began in 2006. Lenders charge more for credit cards because it is unsecured lending, which makes it more risky for them than a mortgage or car loan.
Jiko raises $7.7 million for debit card with cash back
TechCrunch | Tue Oct 24, 2017 - A lot of startups have been raising money for credit cards and other financing businesses lately. Now Jiko has debit card technology that has convinced Upfront Ventures, Radical Impact, Social Capital and others to invest $7.7 million in a Series A. The Oakland, Calif.-based business markets itself as a secure place to save your money, while also offering at least .5 percent cash back on debit transactions. Jiko calls itself a “personal bank,” although it operates differently than a traditional bank account. It’s not an FDIC-insured bank. Instead, money from Jiko accounts is invested into U.S. Treasuries, which co-founder and CEO Stephane Lintner hopes will result in the highest yield.
Mastercard’s boss just told a Saudi audience that ‘data is the new oil’
CNBC | Tue Oct 24, 2017 - The head of payment processing firm Mastercard has told an audience in Saudi Arabia that data could be as effective as oil as a means of generating wealth. Ajay Banga, president and CEO of MasterCard, was speaking at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, on a panel debating how business and society is coping with an explosion of digital information. "I believe that data is the new oil. I am saying it in this country because I believe that the prosperity that oil brought in the last 50 years, data will bring in the next 50, 100 years if you use it the right way," Banga said. He added that data had the additional advantage of not being a finite resource. Banga told the audience that Mastercard was using data to inform its clients how they can improve top-line business.
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