In today’s top news in digital-first banking, U.S. consumers seem to be regaining their appetite for auto loans and leases, while SWIFT rolled out a service that lets banks check a recipient’s account information prepayment. Plus, the Visa U.S. Spending Momentum Index (SMI) registered a June 2021 reading of 111.7.
U.S. consumers seem to be getting their appetite back for auto loans and leases, personal loans and credit cards. The demand for these offerings soared by 39 percent year over year in April, and up 11 percent from April 2019, as per a published report that cited Equifax data. By comparison, consumers by and large weren’t interested in personal loans or credit cards in 2020.
SWIFT launched a service that allows banks to verify a recipient’s account data prepayment in a move that eliminates a point of friction in international transactions. The entity, which is based in Belgium, says the payment pre-validation offering is an essential part of its plan to power “instant and frictionless transactions” around the globe.
The Visa U.S. Spending Momentum Index (SMI) registered a reading of 111.7 for June 2021, signifying a slight decline from May’s 123.3 reading. “Consumer spending continues to hold up well,” Wayne Best, Visa’s chief economist, said in a press release. “Although there remains a lot of unevenness between regions, the SMI’s solid reading again in June reflects a continued broadening of the spending recovery across regions of the country.”
Square is reportedly at work on a hardware wallet for digital currency and is assembling a collection of engineers to kick off the process. “Our next step is to build a small, cross-functional team,” Square Hardware Lead Jesse Dorogusker tweeted in a Q&A session. The Q&A was a follow-up tweets by Square CEO Jack Dorsey that floated the concept of a hardware wallet.