Today In Payments: Central Banks Frame Criteria For Digital Currency; Amazon India Gets $95.5M For Festive Season
In today’s top news, the Federal Reserve and seven central banks are collaborating on a framework for digital currency, and Amazon India prepares for its festive season with a $95.5 million boost. Plus, Affirm files for an IPO.
The Federal Reserve is collaborating with seven central banks and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) to hammer out a framework for digital currency. However, Jon Cunliffe, deputy governor at the Bank of England (BoE) said that he did not think any single approach to a central bank digital currency (CBDC) would end up dominating.
Amazon India got an infusion of 7 billion rupees ($95.51 million) in advance of the upcoming festive season, which kicks off with sales on Saturday, Oct. 17, ahead of Hindu festivals Dussehra and Diwali. Amazon is offering cash back and other perks to incentivize people to use Amazon Pay.
Buy now, pay later (BNPL) company Affirm has announced a filing for an initial public offering (IPO). The number of shares that will be offered and the price range have not been determined, according to a news release.
Bank of America is muscling into the payday loan business, minus the sky-high fees, with an offering called Balance Assist, aimed at customers in need of a few hundred dollars to make ends meet. Customers can apply for up to $500, in increments of $100, for a flat, $5 fee, with repayment in three equal installments over a three-month period.
Consumers are using debit cards to buy big-ticket furniture pieces online and transform their homes into home offices. In the Next-Gen Debit Tracker, Ben Groom, global chief digital officer for furniture retailer Herman Miller, explains how new tech will let consumers pay using funds on hand in their bank accounts without the fear of fraud.
The pandemic has been a boon for peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms that help consumers avoid handling cash, tip retail and restaurant workers and make charitable donations, according to Silvana Hernandez, senior vice president of digital payments at Mastercard. She tells PYMNTS that other use cases will likely emerge because P2P is all about three things locked-down that consumers value right now — helping other people, staying connected and interacting meaningfully.
Though predictions vary, the dine-in restaurant sector seems destined for a long and decidedly lean winter. In fact, some are going for hibernation.