Morning Brief 7.23.20: Wendy's adds incentives for digital payments

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

Burger and carrots

Wendy's has launched a points based loyalty program, joining Starbucks in upgrading incentives to boost digital traffic as a no-contact alternative.

Consumers can use Wendy's app or a QR code to accumulate points, which are tied to food purchases, reports CNN, adding Wendy's gets about 5.5% of its orders through its app.

Wendy's also reports digital customers visit more often and buy more items than dine-in customers.

Green plastic

Mastercard is trying to boost usage of sustainable materials in cards through a program that encourages recycled, biodegradable materials and other alternatives to non-biodegradable plastics.

About 60 banks have agreed to issue the cards, including Santander, Credit Agricole and Mauritius Commercial Bank. The initiative expands on a partnership between Mastercard and card manufacturers such as Gemalso, Giesecke+Devrient and IDEMIA.

Mastercard also recently extended its partnership with bunq to issue a sustainable card in more than 30 European countries.

UPI Alphabet

Google told the Delhi High Court its payment app in India is not a payment system operator, but a third-party application provider.

The distinction, if Google's argument wins, matters because it would not need authorization from the Reserve Bank of India. Google, which is aggressively adding payment services in India, is countering complaints that it's operating Google Pay without proper credentials, reports Economic Times.

Google Pay processes the majority of the digital payments on the UPI network, which is India's national digital payments scheme. Google contends it's the UPI network that's the authorized party, giving Google cover to operate in India.

Financial inclusion

Facebook's WhatsApp is trying to recruit Indian banks to reach more consumers in rural areas as it attempts to expand its digital payments feature.

WhatsApp has more than 400 million users in India and has existing partnerships with ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank, enabling automated text messages. The WhatsApp payments service launched two years ago and is awaiting regulatory approval for a full-fledged launch, reports Reuters.

The move follows Facebook's investment in Reliance Industry's digital arm, improving Facebook's position in e-commerce in India.

From the Web

Affirm, Shopify partner for new interest-free, zero-fee online shopping option
CNBC | Wed July 22, 2020
“Shop Pay Installments” — a new option that Canada-based Shopify is rolling out later this year, will give approved Shop Pay customers this option at checkout, with their total purchase split into four equal, bi-weekly payments, which will be processed and handled by Affirm.

Uber Eats to Waive Restaurant Fees for the Rest of 2020
THE MOTLEY FOOL | Wed July 22, 2020
Uber Eats said it was launching a number of new products and services including restaurants not having to pay any commissions to Uber when they add online ordering to their site that allows for Uber Eats delivery.

Alibaba payments arm Ant launches new technology brand to help speed up digital transformation of traditional industries
SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST | Thu July 23, 2020
Ant Group, which operates the online payment platform for the world’s largest e-commerce company Alibaba, launched AntChain solution on Thursday based on the company’s blockchain technology, which has been used in more than 50 use cases in IT leasing, shipping, insurance claim processing, cross-border remittances and charitable donations, according to a company statement.

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