Walmart+, Amazon Pay, and The Battle For The Digital Consumer Top This Week’s News

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Labor Day weekend is here, bring us some welcome respite from a long summer. The PYMNTS Weekender has all the latest reading material on payments and commerce news you’ll need for the long weekend. We dive into PayPal’s installment options, consumer trust in digital banking, and Walmart and Amazon’s battle for the digital consumer.

Top News

PayPal’s ‘Pay In 4’ Expands Installment Credit Options For PayPal Users

Capturing consumers and getting them to convert at checkout will be more complicated and higher stakes this holiday season than ever before, according to Doug Bland, PayPal’s senior vice president of global credit. That’s why PayPal is rolling out its latest Pay Later option, ‘Pay in 4’ just in time for the holiday season. Here’s an inside look at how it works.

Hilton To Permanently Close Its Hotel In New York City’s Times Square

In a filing with New York’s State Department of Labor, the managing director of the Hilton Times Square said the 44-story hotel will close permanently next month and 200 jobs will be lost.

Amazon Pay Rolls Out Touchless Payments With Alexa At More Than 11,000 ExxonMobil Stations

Amazon Pay has teamed up with Fiserv and ExxonMobil to offer touchless payments using Alexa at more than 11,000 ExxonMobil stations nationwide in the U.S.

Walmart+ And The Changing Digital Commerce Landscape

Walmart Inc. has accelerated its rivalry with Inc. as it introduces a subscription that offers free delivery, no lines and discounts on fuel. Walmart+ will be available in the U.S. on Sept. 15, priced at $98 annually or $12.95 a month.

Airbnb Rejects Blank-Check Offer To Go Public

Airbnb Inc. has rejected investor Bill Ackman’s offer to merge with his newly formed blank-check company to go public, preferring a traditional initial public offer (IPO). Still, the online vacation rental marketplace has not ruled out a merger with Ackman’s Pershing Square Tontine Holdings Ltd.

Trackers and Reports

New Data: How Online Merchants Build Consumer Trust In The Digital 3.0 Economy (Inspiring Trust In The New Digital Economy Report)

Consumers are four times likelier to make retail purchases online than they were when the pandemic began, and this new digital default has merchants scrambling to stand out on the web. So how can retailers catch the eye of eCommerce shoppers spoiled for choice? In the Inspiring Trust In The New Digital Economy Report, PYMNTS surveyed 2,437 consumers to find out the 16 features key to gaining their trust and earning their business.

New Data: The Role Of Touchless Payments In Shaping Consumer Merchant Choice (How We Shop)

Half of the consumers that switched from shopping at brick-and-mortar stores to shopping online have no plans to change their shopping habits, even after the pandemic subsides. For these shoppers, not being able to pay how they want is a dealbreaker. In the brand new How We Shop Report, PYMNTS surveyed 2,163 U.S. consumers to identify the five features merchants need to meet their digital-first customers’ payment preferences.

DATA: More Than Half Of U.S. Consumers Say Trust, Not Features, Drives New Bank Account Openings (Digital Identity Consumer Survey)

In fact, nearly one third of consumers have opened new bank accounts over the past three months. For more than half of them, one factor was key in deciding where to open their accounts: trust in the financial institution. In the Leveraging The Digital Banking Shift, PYMNTS surveyed more than 2,200 consumers to reveal why banks must make trust and fraud concerns top priorities in the current economic climate.

Fun, Cool, and Otherwise Interesting

Walmart vs. Amazon: Pandemic Drives Battle For The Digital-First Consumer

The second quarter of 2020 was the worst of times for the U.S. as the pandemic rocked the country. And although their earnings and financial performance was stellar, it affected the world’s two most powerful retailers as they battled for digital and offline consumer spend and positioned themselves for the fourth quarter push.

New China/US Cold War Fought Over X-Border Deals

Only a few decades ago, the Cold War was fought between the United States and the former Soviet Union by speeches, spying and the looming threat of nuclear annihilation. Now, the adversary is China, and the weapons of choice are tied to tech, data, deal-making and very large price tags.

Last Lap For Q3; Three Factors To Watch In Q4

The reality of Q4 is that the balance of power has shifted from in-person to online. Given that fact, there are three factors to watch as retailing heads into the most critical Q4 of the digital era.

Utz And The (Public) Lure Of A Snack SPAC

The stock market has seen a recent swarm of IPOs from companies that have merged with special purpose acquisition companies. While most of these companies have been in the tech or financial industry, one stands out — snack maker Utz. But then again, in the age of the pandemic, consumers seek comfort. Where better than from comfort foods?

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