Amazon’s announcement of Sunday delivery this week effectively turned the traditional e-commerce world upside down. It truly is a game-changer, not only for online retailers but also for brick-and-mortar stores that are battling for their share of sales this holiday season.
Amazon and the United States Postal Service (USPS) said that New York and Los Angeles customers using Amazon Prime’s free two-day shipping service can now receive packages on Sunday. Next, Amazon will roll out the service to other major cities including Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Phoenix, in 2014.
Hackers have developed sophisticated schemes to funnel money from banks and payment processors into their own pockets. The more processors know about their tactics, the more they can prevent these heists in the future.
Earlier this year, U.S. prosecutors unveiled a coordinated “Ocean’s Eleven”-type scheme in which hackers stole $45 million. They hacked into two processors of prepaid card accounts and compromised 17 accounts from two banks.
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Campus Nation Network and mobile commerce platform provider LoopPay formed one of the most genius partnerships this week. Together, the two companies will provide mobile digital wallets to university campus communities across North America.
"We share a vision to have smartphones act as a complete student wallet, which will host transaction payment cards and student IDs, thus eliminating the need to carry traditional wallets," said Will Graylin, CEO of LoopPay in a Campus Nation statement.
As retailers rush to get their online holiday offers out early, many are missing out on a major selling tool that drives web shoppers to buy: free shipping.
While nearly 35 percent of retailers polled by Shop.org said they offer free shipping all year, the majority do not. On a positive note, of the retailers that do not offer free shipping year-round, 16.3 percent said they would begin offering it as a holiday promotion the last week in October.
In a deal that will give MasterCard’s (NYSE: MA) MasterPass even more national exposure, J.Crew is teaming up with MasterCard’s digital wallet service to allow its online shoppers to checkout using MasterPass.
Already, Masterpass’s digital commerce platform is being used by Beyond the Rack, Currys, lastminute.com, Newegg and PC World. MasterCard also boasts that more than 20,000 retailers in the UK, US, Canada and Australia, utilize its digital wallet.
While Square signed a new merchandising deal with Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS), the payment processor may not be moving fast enough for Starbucks.
Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) CEO Howard Schultz said last week he is stepping down from Square’s board of directors. Schultz joined the board last year after Starbucks invested $25 million in the startup and said it would use Square to process its payments. While the coffee chain sells Square's portable card readers, it has not installed Square’s Square Stand hardware at point-of-sale.
Even though Google is making gains in mobile loyalty with Google Wallet, Apple Passbook is still the industry veteran and leader in the space, some analysts say.
While retailers spend millions of dollars annually to provide the latest and greatest rewards programs to shoppers, many consumers just don’t get it. Nearly a third (32 percent) of Americans say the privacy of their personal information is an important attribute of a loyalty program, according to a new survey from market research firm Mintel.
In addition, more than one in 10 of the 2,000 consumers surveyed expressed frustration or dissatisfaction with too much personal information being requested during enrollment. Ten percent believe they have a lack of control over the privacy of their information, Mintel’s “Retail Loyalty Programs 2013” report found.
PayPal (NASDAQ: EBAY) is telling global governments how they can better regulate technology companies--especially, of course, payment processors such as itself. Really.
“It’s a common refrain among technology leaders that regulatory processes are far too slow to adapt. The general sense is that government cannot keep up with the rapid pace of innovation and creativity that is at the heart of today’s successful business operations,” Brian Bieron, executive director of Global Public Policy for eBay, wrote on the PayPal Forward blog this week.
Photo banking may become more widely accepted by consumers, as U.S. Bank rolls out its latest photo banking product.
Starting in November, U.S. Bank (NYSE: USB) will offer Mitek’s (NASDAQ: MITEK) Mobile Photo Balance Transfer™ to its mobile banking customers. Here’s how it works: customers snap a photo of a credit card payment coupon using their mobile device and send it to U.S. Bank to apply for a balance transfer to a U.S. Bank credit card.
The financial giant launched mobile-enabled credit card balance transfers this week, as it continues to ramp up its photo banking strategy. U.S. Bank already offers remote check deposit via mobile phone users’ cameras along with Mobile Photo Bill Pay.
Wireless carriers’ lack of support for NFC mobile phones and consumers’ slow adoption of mobile payments have analysts worried about the future of m-payments.
Strategy Analytics recently lowered its NFC projections, saying that 115 million NFC handsets will be responsible for spending $48 billion via NFC phones by 2017, down from an estimated 158 million phones spending $53 billion in its July forecast.
Looking to generate awareness about its payment processing services, PayPal (NASDAQ: EBAY) is waiving the processing fees for some global startup businesses.
PayPal Vice President of Growth Stan Chudnovsky said the global payment company would waive up to $50,000 in processing fees in the first 18 months in its PayPal Startup Blueprint program.
“Every dollar matters when people are starting and running a new company. Every dime, every penny. Many of us here at PayPal have been there before: PayPal itself was a very small startup company just 15 years ago,” Chudnovsky wrote on the company’s PayPal Forward blog.
We are happy to hear the news that retailers’ use of mobile point-of-sale (POS) systems is expected to triple by 2018, according to a new survey.
While only 26 percent of retailers currently have mobile POS systems deployed, more than half of the 100 retail executives surveyed by Infogroup Targeting Solutions and Retail Touchpoints plan to implement the technology by 2018.
While Apple debuted its lighter, faster iPad Air tablet with much fanfare this week, tech analysts debate whether shoppers will make more transactions with Apple or Google’s Android platform in the future.
One of the main sticking points for some consumers is Apple’s price tag. The iPad Air starts at $499 and the iPad Mini 2 is $399, both of which are at the high end of the tablet market, Jan Dawson, chief telecommunications analyst at Ovum, a technology research and consulting firm, told Internet Retailer.
While Square officially launched its person-to-person (P2P) payment system, Square Cash, last week, Google is already providing P2P via Google Wallet.
With Square Cash, debit card users can quickly send funds by typing the dollar amount they wish to send in the subject line of an email and copying email@example.com as a recipient. The sender receives an enrollment email asking for his or her debit card number.
It seems that all major U.S. retailers – whether they are traditional, brick-and-mortar operations or Web-based – are stepping up their same-day delivery services and fulfillment systems before this holiday season. The move not only helps them extend the holiday shopping season by a few days, but also caters to busy holiday shoppers who don’t have time to grab groceries for holiday parties or family meals.
The most recent same-day delivery effort came from eBay, which said this week it is expanding its same-day delivery service to 25 cities next year after purchasing London-based delivery platform Shutl. The online retail giant’s eBay Now delivery service is already live in New York, San Francisco, and Chicago, and will be available in Dallas in a few weeks. Next year, cities such as London will receive the service, bringing the total to 25.
While credit card processors and retailers have made strides to combat credit card fraud, it is still rampant across the U.S. In fact, credit card fraud jumped 17 percent between January, 2011, and September, 2012, according to the most recent data from the FICO® Falcon® Fraud Manager Consortium.
Debit cards obviously have better safeguard measures in place, since debit card fraud rose less than 1 percent between January, 2011, and September, 2012. Plus, the average fraud loss per compromised account fell by 3 percent.
Finish Line’s (Nasdaq: FINL) approximately $85 million CapEx investment is wisely being spent by the athletic and apparel retailer this year to capitalize on holiday in-store and e-commerce sales. The retailer plans to invest the money in its core systems to improve Customer Relationship Management (CRM), improve inventory management, accelerate fulfillment, and enhance merchandising capabilities.
Finish Line was forced to rethink its CRM strategy to better compete with Amazon as well as its brick-and-mortar rivals. Plus, it suffered an e-commerce and CRM blunder last holiday season that it does not want to repeat. Soon after launching a new e-commerce platform last November, its web site was down for several hours at a time and suffered other problems. Because of the ensuing poor customer experience and lower-than-expected online conversion rates, the company suffered a loss of $3 million in its fiscal third quarter of 2012.
Even though Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq: WFM) is notoriously secretive about its retail strategies, it recently let the cat out of the bag on its new point-of-sale (POS) platform. With its move to a unified POS for its brick-and-mortar sales and e-commerce operation, WFM stands to benefit from greater customer transparency and improved customer relationship management (CRM).
With 365 stores in the U.S., Canada and the U.K., we are surprised that the mega-natural foods retailer has not streamlined its POS systems earlier. However, WFM is now in the midst of a Retalix POS installation, which could take around two years to deploy.