Morning Brief 7.28.20: Walmart boosts marketplace with Shopify's help
The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the web:
Walmart's attempt to boost its online marketplace through a partnership with Shopify is growing by leaps and bounds, demonstrating just how dramatic the coronavirus-era jump to digital shopping has been.
The big box retailer inked the partnership in June with the goal of adding 1,200 sellers by the end of 2020. Instead Walmart added 3,000 in June and should exceed 3,600 more in July, reports TechCrunch.
Walmart is adding sellers at triple the rate it was in January, partly due to the Shopify deal and partly due the increase in digital shopping and payments during that time. The pace is still well below rival Amazon, which adds thousands of sellers daily.
Private sector push
An IMF official is advocating for private bank involvement in the development of central bank digital currencies, which are gaining momentum as governments consider how to disburse stimulus finds.
Tobias Adrian, director of the IMF's Monetary and Capital Markets Division, said commercial banks could issue CBDCs and manage due diligence, digital wallets and distribution, reports Coindesk.
That public/private digital currency model is gaining steam among banks as an alternative to a fully public digital wallet that would enable consumers to directly access central banks.
London fintech Paysafe has agreed to acquire Openbucks, a payments company that supports retail gift cards as an alternative to credit cards.
The nine-year old Houston-based Openbucks has found a market for its technology in online gaming and esports. Openbucks partners with CVS and Dollar General to offer gift cards that can be redeemed at online merchants.
The Openbucks staff will transfer to Paysafe and will be part of the company's eCash division. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
China's largest payments organizations have supported plug-ins that will ease merchant acceptance in the U.S.
Santa Clara-based Citcon will supply the technology, allowing e-commerce merchants to accept Alipay, WeChat Pay and UnionPay without coding. That will make it easier for the Chinese firms to allow China's consumers to pay in their own currency, a major expansion play for all three companies.
The plug-ins will also work with Shopify, Salesforce, Magenco, SAP Hybris, Woo Commerce, API cloud and others.
Bitstamp will be the first cryptocurrency exchange to join the BCB Group's real-time payments network, which is designed to serve both digital and traditional currencies while reducing processing time.
Through the Liquidity Interchange Network Consortium (BLINC), BCB hopes to settle instantly in pounds, euros and Swiss francs, eliminating Swift and Sepa for transfers. Crypto, security tokens and smart contracts are all provided in the network with no fees.
BLINC's primary challenge is to build a system that allows immediate clearing and inter-counterparty settlement reconciliation for this diverse range that can additionally address scale via a blockchain, BCB said, adding it's targeting issuers, investors, financial institutions, brokers and administrators.
More from PaymentsSource
Contactless payments will miss the boat without 'in time' funding
Digital wallets arguably reached a tipping point this spring when contactless payments jumped 40% in response to concerns that cash and payment terminals were helping to spread the coronavirus, says Marqeta's Vidya Peters.
How a fintech born from the 2008 recession is navigating the pandemic
Bill Clerico created WePay during the last financial crisis, and sees a similar opportunity now. The coronavirus pandemic is affecting different markets in vastly different ways, and easing the flow of capital is just one way to provide help.
How checkout-free retail is building scale while many stores remain locked down
Checkout-free stores still feel experimental, but the coronavirus pandemic is pushing more retailers to contemplate how to reduce human interaction in larger settings.
TD hires Chase exec to drive fintech partnerships
TD Bank has hired Jyotsana “Jo” Jagadish to head commercial operating products and payment innovation, where she will oversee TD’s expanding fintech partnerships.
Wirecard surges after investors eye core business, U.S. unit
Wirecard AG rose the most since June after it revealed that more than 130 investors are eyeing the company’s assets.
Favoring payments innovation can bridge short-term revenue hits
What’s next for banks in this strange new world we find ourselves in? Forget the forecasts and predictions, we are in uncharted territory and the only honest answer is that no one truly knows exactly what is coming down the line.
Social data can weigh big in risk profiles
Factoring in customer behavior as an element in the risk profile can provide FIs with better assurances in their lending practices, says consultants Maria Arminio and Bo Berg.
Brazil is set to leap from cash to real-time digital payments
Payments in Brazil are about to make a significant pivot, turning a country in which consumers rely heavily on cash and remain skeptical about payment cards into the next region to pioneer faster payments.