The December weather is turning cold but the payments industry is heating up. This week business and payments saw the launching of new opportunities for retailers and customers, and our latest Payments News Roundup has all of the details.
CVS Is Buying Aetna for $69 billion in 2017’s Biggest Deal
Business Insider | Sun Dec 3, 2017 — After months of rumored negotiations, CVS has announced that the Aetna deal is officially closing. CVS Health is purchasing Aetna, a healthcare company selling insurance plans and related services, for a whopping $69 billion. This is the biggest merger of 2017 and it could reshape the healthcare system like never before. This deal will create a new type of medical company that will provide a retail pharmacy, a health insurer and more. This move by CVS is also said to be a strategic move to get ahead of Amazon, who has also been rumored to be looking at getting into the pharmacy business.
Amazon’s Video Move Opens Yet Another Payments Lane
PaymentsSource | Mon Dec 4, 2017 — Amazon is always working to improve the lives of consumers within their e-commerce empire, and they are continuing that pattern with an upcoming new version of Prime Video. Prime Video, which is already a popular film and television streaming service, will soon be coming out with a free version that is paid for by advertisers. Not only is this a benefit for Amazon customers, but it is also a big win for advertisers and their clients. Supporting this new free offering means additional opportunities for companies to increase their business as the more frequent advertisements will give consumers more chances to shop and pay with advertising clients.
Target Launches Its Own Mobile Payments System With Debut of “Wallet”
Techcrunch | Mon Dec 4, 2017 — Following in the footsteps of Walmart, CVS and Kohls, Target has now launched their own mobile wallet. Target Wallet was introduced this week which will now allow in-store shoppers to check out with their smartphones while also being able to take advantage of Target’s Cartwheel digital coupons and discounts by simply scanning their barcode.
Cartwheel coupons were originally a part of the Target mobile app, but the difference now is that Target REDcard users can choose to pay using their cards along with the Cartwheel coupons. The main advantage for rolling out Target pay is a faster checkout experience for consumers, which is said to be up to 4 times faster than other payment types. In the future, Target Wallet will also be able to input Target gift cards for payments as well.
Holiday Bots Are Stealing Christmas, Driving Up Prices
USA Today | Mon Dec 4, 2017— Christmas shopping for the most popular gadgets and toys just got a little more competitive. There are now what retailers are calling “toy bots” or “Grinch bots” which are appearing on retailer websites and snatching up all of the hottest toys and gifts and selling them at higher prices on secondary websites. These bots are buying out stocks in massive quantities, leaving shoppers scrambling to pay the higher prices when they appear on the secondary websites like eBay or Amazon from other sellers. Retailers are being warned to crack down on these bots during the holiday season, as prices for popular items like Fingerling toys and Barbie Dream Houses go for $1,000 and $1,500, respectively. It is being recommended that a cap is set in place on how much of an item can be purchased in-store and online at a time in an effort to reduce the effectiveness of the bots and avoid potential fraud problems.
Here’s How To Use Apple Pay Cash, Apple’s New Venmo Competitor That Just Launched
CNBC | Tue Dec 5, 2017 — One of “the Pays” Apple Pay has taken a leaf out of the P2P payments book and launched a new service called Apple Pay Cash (also known as Venmo’s latest competitor). Apple Pay Cash is a new feature of iOS 11.2 that allows consumers to exchange money with friends Venmo-style. After first setting up a digital Apple Pay Cash card on your phone, this feature can be used in-stores just like any other credit card in Apple Pay. Consumers can also still use the debit and credit cards already existing in Apple Pay, eliminating the need to install a new app or create a new account.
This piece was written by Lauren Minning, Content Specialist for Payline.