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Super Apps, Healthcare Payments, Digital Disbursements Top This Week’s News

In this week’s news, we saw that Walmart hired away two executives from Goldman to join the commerce firm’s FinTech efforts, in addition to new insights on healthcare payments and digital disbursements. The Weekender is here to catch you up. News Walmart, Super Apps and the Rise of the New ‘Retail’ Bank Recent news that Walmart had hired away two executives from Goldman to become a part of the commerce firm’s financial...

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COVID-19 Relief: Senate Dems Trim Unemployment, Reject Minimum Wage Hike

Senate Democrats agreed to reel in jobless benefits and back off from a minimum wage hike in the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 pandemic relief package, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday (March 5). The new compromise reduces federal unemployment benefits by $100 weekly to $300, down from the $400 originally passed by the House, an unnamed Democratic aide told the WSJ. The duration of federal jobless benefits (which are in addition to...

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Restaurant Roundup: Jobs Come Back, QSRs Adopt New Technologies

This winter put the restaurant industry to the test, with cold weather placing major constraints on outdoor dining opportunities, and with many restaurants adopting costly solutions to gain back just a portion of their summer customer base. However, it seems as though the industry may be beginning to come back. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that the restaurant industry added 289,500 jobs during the month of February...

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Today In Payments: China Curtails Bank Loans; Plaid Launches New Income Verification Tool

In today’s top news, Chinese regulators have instructed banks to scale back loan amounts in 2021, and Plaid launched a new income verification tool. Plus, Amazon Alexa can now give users their health data from the fitness tracker Halo. Bubble Fears Prompt China to Curtail Bank Loans Chinese regulators are instructing banks to scale back loan amounts in 2021 to guard against risks that are starting to surface from bubbles in domestic...

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The Week In Payments: Super Apps, Food’s Future And The Expanding FinServ Frontier

Another week in payments ends, and per usual, there’s no shortage of things to discuss as vaccines go out, the road to recovery begins to widen and major players look to position and pivot to prepare for what’s next. It all adds up to a particularly challenging set of circumstances when no one knows exactly what “next” is going to look like, noted Emmalyn Shaw, managing partner at FinTech specialist Flourish Ventures, when she...

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China Aims For 6 Pct Economic Growth, Big Tech Investments

There was talk about making big investments in technology and aiming for 6 percent growth as China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress, met this week in Beijing. The announcements came despite the ongoing worldwide pandemic and warnings from Big Tech that China’s not far behind the U.S. in terms of technological advancement. Google’s former CEO recently told Congress that there is an urgent need to increase the pace...

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Mall Owner Washington Prime Caught Between Struggling Tenants, Angry Creditors

The owner of 100 shopping malls in more than two dozen states is under pressure following multiple news reports that Washington Prime Group (WPG) is set to file for bankruptcy protection. The reports not only cut WPG’s already beleaguered share price in half, but also extended a month-long slide that has reduced its market value by 75 percent, with a share price below $3, down from $170 in 2014. Although the Columbus, Ohio-based...

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Saks.com To Be ‘Separate But Related Sister’ To Saks Fifth Ave Brick-And-Mortar Stores

The parent company of Saks Fifth Avenue said Friday (March 5) it was splitting its eCommerce and 40 traditional retail stores into “separate but related sister companies” in a move it said would “redefine the luxury shopping ecosystem.” By establishing the Saks.com brand as a standalone eCommerce company, as well as receiving a $500 million investment and the digital expertise of Insight Partners, parent company Hudson’s Bay...