The Government Doesn't Like Cashless Stores

Regulations are preventing stores from going cashless, Accenture releases Q1 2019 issuer snapshot, and Checkers gets hacked

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Politicians are preventing stores from going fully cashless

Local governments are pushing back against stores becoming completely cashless and accepting digital payments only. Philadelphia is the first city to completely ban and even fine cashless stores, citing discrimination against people who are underbanked (those without a credit or debit card). San Francisco, New Jersey, Washington D.C., and Chicago are closely following behind with proposed legislation.

The argument on both sides is valid:

  • Those in favor of cashless stores - primarily the merchants themselves - bear the extra expense of having to accept cash, such as petty theft, reconciliation, time to deposit, etc.

  • Those against cashless stores - legislators and activists - argue that banning cash is discriminatory against lower income people who are underbanked and don’t have access to a non cash form of payment.

According to the FDIC, roughly 27% of US households are unbanked or underbanked, which is significant.


Credit card startup Brex is reportedly raising another round of funding at a valuation of >$2 billion

Brex, the credit card startup that launched less than 2 years ago, is raising their next round of financing at a valuation of more than $2 billion.

The credit card startup provides corporate credit cards to other startups and their employees. They raised their last round of funding just a few months ago at a $1.1 billion valuation, so this could be an indication of some serious growth.


Accenture releases their Q1 2019 US credit card issuer snapshot

Each quarter, the Accenture team compiles and releases metrics related to the credit card market in the US. The key takeaways from this report:

  • Chase, Capital One and Synchrony continue to lead issuers with purchase volume growth of over 8 percent YoY​

  • Alliance Data announced new programs with Houzz (PLCC, CB & Biz), Sephora (PLCC & CB), and Burlington (PLCC); Apple and Goldman Sachs announced the “Apple Card” (co-brand to launch in summer 2019); SYF announced a PLCC partnership with Fanatics (launch summer 2019)​

  • American Express renewed the Delta program through 2029; Synchrony renewed Payment Solutions relationships with P.C. Richard & Son, Rheem, and Suzuki; Synchrony moved the Walmart portfolio into held-for-sale; Affirm launched its partnership with Walmart in stores (February 2019), and online (April 2019)​.

  • Citi relaunched the Prestige card value proposition and launched the Rewards+ card

  • Instagram adds “checkout” purchase option in app (processed by PayPal); Chase launches “Secure Banking”, expanding access to underbanked; Kroger introduced “Kroger Pay”, Cross River announced a partnership with Stripe enabling “push-to-card” payments


Checkers gets hacked, credit card information stolen from over 100 locations

Malware was found on point of sale systems at over 100 Checkers stores in 20 states, allowing hackers to steal credit card information - card numbers, CVV codes, cardholder names, etc - from people who have made purchases there recently.

If you went to Checkers at any point in the last several months, it’s recommended that you take a look at your transactions and make sure your card wasn’t compromised.


Rewards News

American Airlines says dynamically pricing awards is coming, moving away from fixed mileage redemption - Link

American Express adds Qantas as new transfer partner - Link

American Express removes priority pass restaurant credits - Link

British Airways releases new partner awards chart - Link

Mastercard offering rewards and refunds to commuters who use their Mastercard on the new MTA contactless system - Link

Did I miss anything? Let me know on Twitter @anothercohen

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