global payments news

This week’s global payments news roundup starts with Amazon’s launch of a new delivery option called Counter and partnering initially with 100 Rite Aid locations. Kount AI is a new fraud detection program built on artificial intelligence that simulates a skilled fraud analyst. Coresight Research says there are 6986 US store closures in the US to date with as many as 12,000 anticipated by year-end. MasterCard Digital Wellness is another AI-enhanced payments and security program aimed at small business.

Also, in the payments news corral, we’ve got Alibaba’s launch of a new Tmall English language portal. Walmart will now take SNAP payments or food stamps for online groceries. Home Depot’s CEO hopes to minimize the impact of US tariffs on hardware product prices. Amazon competitors are gearing up to compete online with the annual Prime Day sale with cool offers of their own. Finally, we wrap up with a fascinating look at Seattle’s fintech future. You’ve got everything you need for your reading pleasure on this first full weekend of the summer. Do enjoy it!

Amazon further disrupts the delivery world

Amazon Counter launches

Today, Amazon announced a new delivery option called Counter, that lets shoppers pick up purchases at specialized counters starting with 100 Rite Aid stores immediately and adding more than 1,500 Rite Aids by year end. Delivery to a Counter location is available for tens of millions of products sold on Amazon and works with same-day, one-day, two-day or standard shipping. The service is available to all customers at no extra cost. Read more… 

Kount AI raises payments fraud protection potential

Kount AI fraud protection

Fraud protection firm Kount has launched a next-generation artificial intelligence (AI) platform that could be an effective new weapon to combat the dramatic growth of payments fraud. Kount AI simulates the decision-making process of a skilled fraud analyst, built on analysis from Kount’s universal data network that includes billions of transactions over 12 years for 6,500 customers in more than 180 countries and taking place on multiple payment networks. Read more… 

Shopping list of US retail store closures grows

12,000 US retail stores closing

Coresight Research tracked 5,524 US store-closures in 2018 compared to a record 8,139 closures in 2017. The company says at the end of May, the number of store closures announced in 2019 is up to 6,986 already with as many as 12,000 possible by the end of the year. If you want an even more stunning statistic, investment bank UBS research projects more than 75,000 retail store closures by 2026. Read more… 

Mastercard enhances small business digital payments & security

Mastercard B2C

With the launch of its MasterCard Digital Wellness program, the payments giant is making some smart moves to enhance digital payments and security for the small business sector. The new AI technology and suite of resources helps small and independent businesses offer online customers password-free, online checkouts that are more secure for cardholders. Read more… 

Summer sales are in their Prime: Competitors have been diagnosed with early-onset FOMO

Amazon Prime Day

It all started with Prime Day. Amazon’s hosted its Capitalist Christmas in July every year since 2015 when it was a mere celebration for its 20th year in business. Amazon’s extending the bargain parade to two days this year, July 15 and 16, because it’s good for business: Amazon doesn’t disclose Prime Day sales figures, but it said Prime members purchased over 100 million products during the 36-hour event last year. Read more…

Alibaba launches Tmall Global in English portal for sellers

Tmall English portal launches

Alibaba’s Tmall Global has launched its first English-language website to attract more merchants and businesses from around the world to join the Chinese cross-border online shopping platform. The Tmall Global in English portal already features 20,000 international brands in more than 4000 categories from 77 countries and regions. Read more…

Walmart now accepts SNAP for online grocery orders at 2,500+ pickup locations

Walmart accepts SNAP (food stamps)

In fall 2017, the retailer began a small test allowing customers to pay for online grocery orders using their SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits — more casually known as food stamps. Today, Walmart says SNAP is now accepted for online grocery orders at all of the company’s 2,500-plus pickup locations. Read more…   

Home Depot CEO says company hopes to cut costs to reduce impact of tariffs on consumer prices

Home Depot

Home Depot CEO Craig Menear said the company aims to minimize the impact that potential tariffs will have on prices by cutting costs elsewhere along its supply chain. The company makes 70% of its goods domestically, which also lessens the effect, Menear said in an interview. “Some of it has to get passed through,” he said but added that it was too early to know exactly where the impact would land. Read more… 

Can Seattle become a financial technology hub? Why some tech leaders are banking on it

Amazon head office Seattle

Wait, what? Can that be right? After all, Seattle is thousands of miles from the country’s largest financial centers. The region’s hometown national bank, Washington Mutual, disappeared as a standalone institution during the financial crisis a decade ago. And the volume of investment in financial tech startups in the Seattle region pales in comparison to New York and Silicon Valley. Read more…