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Industry Views: Baby, Please Don’t Go

Experts from Blackhawk, Cachet, Arroweye, i2c and more explain what loyalty strategies are moving the needle with consumers and why.


Target Aims for Its Own Mobile Payment System

Add Target to the retailers stepping up their mobile payments game: The retail chain plans to improve at least one of its mobile apps by enabling in-store payments through it. What that means is that consumers could use their smartphones and Target app to pay for purchases inside the chain’s stores instead of relying on Apple Pay, Android Pay or other providers’ digital payment systems.


FIS and Verifone Help Consumers Redeem Loyalty Points

2016 Pay Award winners FIS and Verifone are working together to make it easier (and instantaneous) for consumers to redeem loyalty points, some $16 billion of which are left on the table annually in the U.S., the companies said.


Texas Republican Meets with Trump for CFPB’s Top Job

A Texas Republican under consideration to lead the CFPB met with President-elect Donald Trump last week, Trump Spokesman Sean Spicer confirmed on a Jan. 12 call with reporters, according to The Huffington Post. Former U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer, a long-time critic of the bureau and a proponent of repealing the Durbin Amendment and other aspects of Dodd-Frank, could please financial services providers, while putting retailers on edge.


Want Consumers to Spend More? Make Sure They Have Gift Cards.

Gift cards are very good for business, and getting better: 75 percent of U.S. consumers using the payment devices in 2016 spent more during their shopping trips than the value stored on those cards, according to a First Data study. That compares with 69 percent in 2015. The average extra spending stands at $27.74 more than the value of the card, the report said.


PayPal Acceptance Deals Continue with Discover Pact

Discover and PayPal have reached a deal that will expand PayPal’s POS presence while making Discover a more visible payment option within the PayPal mobile wallet. Under terms of the pact, PayPal will gain access to Discover’s tokenization services, enabling U.S. PayPal customers to use their Discover cards within the PayPal wallet app to make contactless purchases at contactless-enabled merchants that accept Discover.


U.S. Supreme Court Hears Credit Card Surcharge Case

Credit card surcharges came before the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 10, in a case that concerns how much freedom retailers have in telling consumers they are being charged extra for the payment method. Comments from justices suggested that the Supreme Court might send the case back to New York for further review, though it was unclear when a decision would be announced, according to news reports.


Walmart and Visa Make Peace in Canadian Payments Dispute

A major payments battle has come to an end: Walmart Canada and Visa said they have reached a deal that enables consumers to use Visa-branded payment cards at retail locations in that country.


Digital Payments and Retail Score Another Christmas Victory

E-commerce accounted for 21.3 percent of U.S. holiday retail sales this past season, up from 15.4 percent from 2015, according to First Data, a further sign that consumers continue to switch their buying and payments away from traditional retail stores. By contrast, full season holiday spending, excluding gas purchases, increased 4.7 percent from last year—still well behind the growth rate for e-commerce but better than the measly 1.8 percent growth booked in 2015.


Will Starbucks Make Bitcoin Mainstream?

Bitcoin, which has long nursed an outlaw persona, seems to be transforming into a yuppie. In the latest sign that the digital currency is moving into the mainstream, iPayYou, a U.S.-based bitcoin platform, said its technology now will enable coffee and food purchases at Starbucks, a chain typically associated with middle- and upper-class urban and suburban lifestyles.