Self-Driving Cars, Product Drops, Loyalty Programs Top This Week’s News

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In this week’s news, BMW, Magna or others might team with Apple on self-driving cars, while product drops and exclusive sales bolster retailers’ bottom lines. Plus, loyalty programs change occasional diners into restaurant aficionados. The Weekender is here to catch you up.

News

BMW, Magna Or Others Could Partner With Apple On Autonomous Cars

After Hyundai dropped out of the race of making a self-driving car for Apple, other contenders could include Magna and BMW, according to a published report.

CEOs Of JPMorgan, Walmart, Lowe’s And More Meet At White House

JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Jamie Dimon was among multiple executives to meet with President Joe Biden this week to talk about Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan.

Musk’s Tesla Latest Public Company To Go All In On Crypto

News came this week that electric automaker Tesla has purchased $1.5 billion of bitcoin and that, according to its annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), that it anticipates accepting the crypto as a payment option “in the near future.”

Stay-At-Home Economy Cuts Both Ways For Disney

The Walt Disney Company’s newest quarterly earnings report displayed the strength of the stay-at-home economy. But it also cut the other way as the firm’s theme parks were negatively impacted by the pandemic.

Could DoorDash’s Latest Acquisition Herald The Automated Future Of Food Prep?

This week, DoorDash announced its purchase of automated food preparation firm Chowbotics. The latter company is the creator of Sally, the salad- and food-bowl-making robot.

Trackers and Reports

NEW DATA: How Product Drops And Exclusive Sales Boost Retail’s Top Line

PYMNTS research shows that over three-quarters of consumers are “extremely” or “very” satisfied when they take part in product drops, flash and private sales events. So, what do merchants need to do to harness consumers’ increasing demand for these unique sales experiences?

NEW DATA: Loyalty Programs Convert Occasional Customers Into Restaurant Aficionados

Twenty-one percent of occasional diners indicate that the availability of loyalty and rewards offerings would best convince them to heighten their meal budgets, and 19 percent of convenience diners says digital ordering options would do the same.

How Half Of All Businesses Are Closing The Receivables Cash Flow Gap

Accounts receivable (AR) functions that were conducted in physical workplaces at one time now have to be conducted remotely, presenting unique hurdles for the 49 percent of firms that keep depending on non-automated workflows. These hurdles drive firms to adopt technologies that no longer hold them back from progressing with their digital transformations.

Just Press Buy: Buy Buttons Impact Retail Performance During Q4

Buy buttons have stayed almost ubiquitous among top merchants since PYMNTS started tracking them in 2016. But the past year saw a dramatic shift with a record 76 percent of all merchants providing them in Q4 2020.

Fun, Cool and Otherwise Interesting

Affirm Hits 4.5M Users, Shoots For Everyday Payment Expansion

Affirm, the buy now, pay later (BNPL) platform, held its inaugural earnings call as a public company this week, showcasing strong metrics for 2020 and a case for its ongoing growth this year.

Ghost Kitchens Ramp Up To Meet Takeout, Delivery Demand

As eateries’ physical presence plays a smaller and smaller role in consumers’ dining decisions, a number of eateries have been favoring ghost kitchens and virtual kitchens. In one case, Nathan’s Famous, Inc. just opened up its 100th ghost kitchen since June.

Valentine’s Day Will See Fewer Retailers Coping With More Demand

Even though research shows that the count of retail flower shops in the U.S. has decreased by 40 percent during the last 15 years, the pandemic’s economic downturn has sped up that decline and left a fragmented vertical where the 50 biggest flower sellers account for under 10 percent of total sales.

After Q4 Loss, NCR Looks To Cardtronics Acquisition To Lift 2021 Performance

NCR completed Q4 under expectations and reported a loss where it had reported a profit a year prior. President and CEO Michael Hayford said that even with the rough ride through 2020, the company enters 2021 with formidable fundamentals along with the addition of the Cardtronics ATM platform.

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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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