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Cash App, Instant Payments, QR Codes Top This Week’s News

In this week’s news, we saw Cash App faults its clearing broker dealer for halting AMC and Nokia trading, new insight on instant payments and analysis on quick-response (QR) codes. The Weekender is here to catch you up.

News

Square’s Cash App Faults Clearing Broker For Suspending AMC, Nokia Trading

Trading of Nokia and AMC on Square’s Cash App started again after being temporarily halted by its U.S. clearing broker, according to a Cash App blog post on Tuesday (Feb. 2). “The clearing broker who processes our trades, Axos, has temporarily halted Cash App’s ability to complete purchases of AMC Entertainment ($AMC) and Nokia ($NOK). This was not Cash App’s decision,” an original post noted before an update was published.

Will The Dogecoin Frenzy Take A Bite Out Of Bitcoin?

In one of the newest installments in the Reddit vs. Wall Street story, a joke coin is making serious waves. Dogecoin, a digital currency, has recently surged hundreds of percentage points.

Alphabet’s Revenues Jump 23 Pct Amid Spike In Advertising

Alphabet Inc. recently reported as part of its Q4 and fiscal year 2020 results that revenues increased by roughly 23 percent for the quarter concluded Dec. 31 from the same quarter in 2019 as the Google parent’s advertising revenue jumped.

Simon Property Group, Wheels Up Get In On The SPAC Action

Simon Property Group created a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) called Simon Property Group Acquisition in an initial public offering (IPO) slated to raise as much as $300 million. And Wheels Up has unveiled plans to go public through a SPAC business combination with Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle Corp.

Face-To-Face V.2021: What Zoom Teaches Us About The Connected Economy

An article published in the Harvard Business Review in August 2009 present a question that a number of airline and travel industry chief executive officers are considering 11 years later: Will videoconferencing kill corporate travel? The answer in 2009 was, probably not. The answer this year is far less clear. 

Trackers and Reports

Taking The Swedish Approach To Instant Payments Ubiquity (Disbursement Tracker)

A number of banks and companies globally are looking at how tapping solutions like real-time or instant payments could help them process disbursements or transactions quicker — but for those entities still burdened by antiquated payment infrastructure, that is easier said than done. PYMNTS explores how instant payments in the Nordics are progressing and how this could influence the growth of instant payments worldwide.

How QR Codes Hook Restaurant Customers For Repeat Visits (QR Code-based Payments Tracker)

Eateries have implemented many tools to withstand the pandemic, but few have affected the vertical more than QR codes. PYMNTS looks at how this technology can fuel regular communication with diners to ensure return visits.

Best Western Australasia Sees Voice, Contactless Digital Identity Key To Reviving Hotel Industry (Digital Identity Tracker)

As the pandemic spread almost one year ago, Australia had just contended with putting out bushfires. The emergencies affected hotels like Best Western Hotels & Resorts Australasia, leading them to create contingency plans and harness tools in new ways to keep track of their guests. PYMNTS explores how the pandemic has affected the hotel sector and sped up the digitization of the customer journey.

Fun, Cool and Otherwise Interesting

Apple, Google Lead Connected Car Partnerships

Ford and Google kicked off the week with an announcement that they are collaborating to roll out a six-year partnership called Team Upshift, while Apple announced this year its plan to invest $3.6 billion in Kia for the manufacture of the collaboration’s new electric Apple cars.

Alcohol Delivery Goes Mainstream As Uber-Drizly Deal Begs ‘Who’s Next?’

Whether it’s people, food, medications or liquor, it’s clear that Uber is up for quickly delivering nearly anything you want to your door, as evidenced by its intended $1.1 billion purchase of Drizly that was announced this week.

Verizon Checks 5G Box With Virtual Super Bowl Fan Experience

Even though the stadium in Tampa Bay will be just one-third full, fans on-site will be able to play around with “Verizon 5G SuperStadium” in the NFL mobile program, a high-tech experience that will “bring fans as close to the game as possible” if they have an iPhone 12.

Jeff Bezos Steps Away As The Amazon Effect Intensifies

Jeff Bezos is stepping away. Following more than two and a half decades at the helm of Amazon, Bezos will be handing off chief executive responsibilities at the company he built to the leader of Amazon Web Services, Andy Jassy, and moving to the position of executive chairman beginning in Q3 2021.

In Reddit Rally Aftermath, Spotlight Is On Gamification Of Stock Trading

The vagaries and volatility of Dogecoin, GameStop, and other holdings were well-recorded. The trend in the direction of the “gamification” of financial services — in this case, investing — that devolved into an “us vs. them” mindset that eschews financial education and real-world experience for the thrill of battling hedge funds.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: BUY NOW, PAY LATER CONSUMER STUDY 

About: Buy Now, Pay Later: Millennials And The Shifting Dynamics Of Online Credit, a PYMNTS and PayPal collaboration, examines the demand for new flexible credit options as well as how consumers, especially those in the millennial demographic, are paying online. The study is based on two surveys, totaling nearly 15,000 U.S. consumers.

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