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Airbnb’s IPO, Amazon Pharmacy, Mobile Banking Top This Week’s News

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This week featured the redesign of Google Pay, Walmart earnings and restaurant loyalty programs. The Weekender is here to catch you up.


Grocers Set Purchase Limits, Walmart Restricts In-Store Customers as COVID Cases Rise

Retailers around the country are reinstating measures to limit shopping crowds and prevent product shortages, all intended to counter the spread of COVID-19. Stores such as Walmart, Kroger, Publix and Wegmans have placed purchase limits on certain everyday essentials.

PNC Advances $11.6B BBVA Record Purchase Deal

Digital is the way to go for banks looking to grab deposits and customers — especially here in the States. The PNC deal to acquire BBVA’s U.S. operations speaks volumes about how (and why) PNC wants to gain scale in banking done in bits and bytes.

Partners Against Crime: Visa Leads Effort to Fight Fraud With New Dynamic CVV Codes

The static CVV code is getting an upgrade. Visa and Keyno have pioneered a new effort to serve dynamically generated security codes to fight card-not-present fraud, called dCVV2. Visa Director of Global Chip Product Tom Rapkoch told PYMNTS that his company has seen evidence that the solution can be effective.

Five Takeaways from Airbnb’s IPO Filing

The pandemic hit Airbnb hard, but its S-1 filing shows that a shift toward domestic travel is underpinning its rebound. The company gave a peek into how it views its competitive landscape — and even drilled down into chargebacks.

COVID Crisis: What Happens if Most People Don’t Get the Vaccine?

The news of a COVID-19 vaccine on Nov. 9 was widely regarded as a bright light at the end of a very long, dark coronavirus tunnel. But a new PYMNTS study of 2,800 U.S. adults shows that fewer than 40 percent say they will get the vaccine. Karen Webster says it’s time for policymakers and payments innovators to get creative – and to educate and incent consumers in order to put COVID in our rear view.

Google Pay Redesign Heralds Rise of Plex, Google’s Smart DDA

The recasting of Google’s digital wallet as a super app launched on Wednesday (Nov. 18) in the U.S. on Android and iOS. Google’s Caesar Sengupta, general manager of payments, and Josh Woodward, director of product management, tell Karen Webster that the redesign sets the stage for a simplified way for consumers to do three things.

Top Trackers and Reports

Cash Out: PhonePe on India’s Mobile Payments Adoption

Accepting cash on delivery has long been an unavoidable part of eCommerce for international merchants doing business in India. But this is starting to change amid the pandemic-driven digital shift. In this month’s Smarter Payments Tracker, Karthik Raghupathy, head of strategy for digital wallet provider PhonePe, discusses how offering streamlined mobile payment experiences can convert cash-loving shoppers and ease merchants’ headaches.

Chipotle Personalizes Loyalty Program, Digital Ordering Experience

No two customers are alike, and the restaurant loyalty programs and digital ordering options they receive shouldn’t be either, Nicole West, vice president of digital strategy and product management for Chipotle, tells PYMNTS. This month’s Order to Eat Tracker explores how loyalty and ordering experiences can help QSRs attract customers with changing interests and concerns amid the pandemic.

NEW DATA: 43M Consumers Are Holding out on Mobile Banking Apps — Here’s How Banks Can Change Their Minds

Almost 120 million U.S. consumers actively use mobile banking apps, but another 43 million shy away from them, as they believe their banking apps’ security systems fall short. Giving banking customers more control over apps’ authentication procedures can boost confidence and drive engagement, however. PYMNTS’ latest Mobile Banking App Report: Tapping Authentication to Boost User Engagement has the details.

Fun, Cool, and Otherwise Interesting

FTC, Lawmakers Turn Sour on M&A: Could Innovation Suffer?

Via antitrust suits, or perhaps outright bans on mergers, regulators and lawmakers are sharpening their gaze on mergers in tech. All of that means innovation may become a casualty — to consumers’ detriment. Here’s what may be on the horizon.

Walmart Earnings Show Digital Momentum; Execs Back off Subscription Membership Numbers

With a 79 percent jump in eCommerce sales, Walmart seems to be fulfilling its digital promise. However, the company was light on details and future strategy pertaining to Walmart+, which launched late in Q3.

Amazon Takes on Pharmacies

Amazon launched a new Pharmacy storefront, where consumers will be able to manage medications and refills, store payments and insurance information, and order prescriptions with two-day shipping. The news sent ripples through the entire pharmacy ecosystem, particularly in the stock market.

College Towns Face Hard Choice Between COVID-19 Safety and Economic Ruin

Communities across the country that typically thrive alongside the colleges and universities they host are facing an array of COVID-19-era challenges. So far, the collegiate response to COVID-19 has been on a campus-by-campus basis, ranging from extreme to ambivalent.

Bidenomics: Four Things to Watch for Financial Services

When the Biden administration comes to the Hill in January, there are a number of economic priorities that bear watching. A stimulus bill — likely in the trillions of dollars — to combat the lingering economic headwinds from the pandemic is only one of those priorities. Here’s what else bears watching.

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