Author: PYMNTS

HOOD – Robinhood To Give Cash To New Clients

Robinhood, the low-cost brokerage some critics say has gamified stock trading so much that new investors may not realize they’re risking losing real money, has scheduled what the company is calling a “$100,000 summer giveaway sweepstakes” to attract new clients, according to an announcement.

Participants in the program don’t have to join Robinhood or use its services to qualify as contenders for one of 200 $500 prizes. They need only to apply for Robinhood brokerage accounts and link their bank accounts to Robinhood or refer someone else who applies successfully for a Robinhood account and links a bank account, the announcement stated.

Winners will be notified by Sept. 16, according to the announcement. They will then have 30 days to claim their cash rewards. They can invest the funds immediately or withdraw them as cash after 30 days.

Robinhood’s new promotional campaign comes less than after a week after the company released its first set of second fiscal quarter financial results since going public.

Read more: Robinhood Says More Than 60 Pct Of Funded Accounts Traded Crypto

Net cumulative funded accounts grew to 22.5 million from 9.8 million a year ago. Assets under custody grew to $102 billion year over year from $33 billion. Monthly active users increased to 21.3 million from 10.2 million a year ago. Total net revenue increased to $565 million from $560 million expected.

Crypto-related revenues surged to $233 million of the total $451 million in the transaction-related top line, a marked increase from the $5 million in crypto transaction-related sales seen a year ago.

The company warned that moving ahead, “for the three months ended September 30, 2021, we expect seasonal headwinds and lower trading activity across the industry to result in lower revenues and considerably fewer new funded accounts than in the prior quarter.”

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: 58 PERCENT OF MULTINATIONAL FIRMS ARE USING CRYPTOCURRENCY

 About: In spite of their price volatility and regulatory uncertainty, new PYMNTS research shows that 58 percent of multinational firms are already using at least one form of cryptocurrency — especially when moving funds across borders. The new Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Global Business survey, a PYMNTS and Circle collaboration, polls 500 executives looks at the potential and the pitfalls facing crypto as it moves into the financial mainstream.



PSFE – Paysafe Acquires Germany's viafintech, Boosts Its Alternative Banking, Payment Solutions

Specialized payments platform Paysafe will be acquiring Germany-based viafintech, which offers the biggest bank-independent payments structure in the DACH region (Austria, Germany and Swizerland), according to a press release.

Viafintech operates under the brands Barzahlen/viacash and viacash and offers an alternative to traditional banks, the release stated.

By acquiring viafintech, Paysafe will gain the ability to grow more in Germany as well as create more revenue-generating opportunities, being able to cross-sell viafintech’s products for alternative banking solutions to merchants globally, according to the release.

Viafintech, which was founded in 2011, integrates with digital banking apps to provide a way for customers to make deposits or withdraw cash from digital bank accounts at retail stores, much like an ATM would allow, the release stated.

“We are very excited to welcome a star player like viafintech into the Paysafe family,” said Udo Müller, CEO of Paysafe eCash and Open Banking, in the release. “We believe the team are perfectly positioned to take advantage of the shift away from the legacy banking system in Germany and beyond as more and more challenger banks enter the market and consumers opt to use mobile-based solutions for banking and payments.”

Meanwhile, viafintech Co-Founder and Managing Director Sebastian Seifert said in the release that the move “will enable us to build on our business achievements to date and accelerate our future growth as Europe’s No. 1, non-banking, cash-in/cash-out infrastructure, further fueling the shift away from legacy banking and driving more financial inclusion in general.”

This month, Paysafe also acquired SafetyPay, a Latin American digital payments platform. The company was founded in 2007 and lets eCommerce transactions happen at cash collection points, using open banking and eCash offerings.

Read more: Paysafe Plans To Buy eCommerce Payment Platform SafetyPay

The acquisition will help Paysafe establish more of a foothold in the region following the deal to acquire Peruvian payment service PagoEfectivo.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: 58 PERCENT OF MULTINATIONAL FIRMS ARE USING CRYPTOCURRENCY

 About: In spite of their price volatility and regulatory uncertainty, new PYMNTS research shows that 58 percent of multinational firms are already using at least one form of cryptocurrency — especially when moving funds across borders. The new Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Global Business survey, a PYMNTS and Circle collaboration, polls 500 executives looks at the potential and the pitfalls facing crypto as it moves into the financial mainstream.



NVDA – UK CMA Flags Competition Concerns Over Chip-Maker NVIDIA's Acquisition of Arm

Silicon Valley chip maker NVIDIA’s planned acquisition of the British chip designer Arm has been flagged by the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) over concerns that the acquisition would stifle competition. 

“The chip technology industry is worth billions, and is vital to products that businesses and consumers rely on every day. This includes the critical data processing and datacentre technology that supports digital businesses across the economy, and the future development of artificial intelligence technologies,” according to a statement by CMA CEO Andrea Coscelli on Friday (Aug. 20).

See also: Facebook/Giphy Merger Worries UK Competition Watchdog

The CMA expressed concern that with a combined entity, competition would be hampered due to NVIDIA’s rivals having reduced access to Arm’s intellectual property (IP). Currently, Arm’s IP is used by NVIDIA competitors that manufacture semiconductor chips and related products.

Coscelli said the agency is worried that if NVIDIA acquires Arm, competitors will have reduced access to central technologies that will end up “stifling innovation” in numerous marketplaces, such as data centers, gaming, the Internet of Things and self-driving cars, according to the statement.

“This could end up with consumers missing out on new products, or prices going up,” Coscelli said.

Read more: UK CMA Launches Probe Into Apple And Google Mobile Platform Duopoly

Although NVIDIA put forth a behavioral remedy, the CMA rejected it on the grounds that it didn’t address the competition watchdog’s concerns, and advised that the matter should move to a more in-depth Phase 2 investigation on competition grounds. 

“We look forward to the opportunity to address the CMA’s initial views and resolve any concerns the government may have. We remain confident that this transaction will be beneficial to Arm, its licensees, competition and the U.K.,” a spokesperson for NVIDIA told TechCrunch.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: 58 PERCENT OF MULTINATIONAL FIRMS ARE USING CRYPTOCURRENCY

 About: In spite of their price volatility and regulatory uncertainty, new PYMNTS research shows that 58 percent of multinational firms are already using at least one form of cryptocurrency — especially when moving funds across borders. The new Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Global Business survey, a PYMNTS and Circle collaboration, polls 500 executives looks at the potential and the pitfalls facing crypto as it moves into the financial mainstream.



TGT – Target To Open 4 Regional 'Sortation' Centers For Deliveries

Target will be debuting sortation centers to help boost the speed of business, according to a company blog post.

A sortation center is a site where teams can focus on sorting packages to be shipped to customers from the stores, the post stated. A pilot opened in Minneapolis last year.

There will be four new sortation centers debuting this fall in Houston, Dallas, the Philadelphia area and Lawrenceville, Georgia, the retail giant said in the post.

When an order is placed on Target’s website, teams at the store work on picking and packing everything up, according to the post. Sortation centers were introduced to retrieve packages as soon as teams are finished doing the sorting, at which time they’re routed for delivery.

The removal of the sorting process from Target’s backrooms saves time and allows for more orders to go through, the post stated.

The retail giant said in the post that it annually invests $4 billion into innovations for the company’s operations.

Meanwhile, Target posted strong growth in the second quarter with a glut of new traffic.

Read more: Target CEO Sees ‘Tremendous Resilience’ In Consumers Amid Renewed COVID Concerns

CEO Brian Cornell said even the rise of the COVID-19 delta variant had not deterred the company’s growth, with the customers seeming “optimistic.”

Target Chief Growth Officer Christina Hennington said the company is predicting that there will be strong showings for back-to-school and back-to-college sales as well.

Target has opened 19 new stores this year and is on track to open an additional 12 in the fall. There were also two new distribution centers opened.

“We’re so focused on investments that drive growth, and you can certainly see that in the improved productivity,” Chief Financial Officer Michael Fiddelke said.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: 58 PERCENT OF MULTINATIONAL FIRMS ARE USING CRYPTOCURRENCY

 About: In spite of their price volatility and regulatory uncertainty, new PYMNTS research shows that 58 percent of multinational firms are already using at least one form of cryptocurrency — especially when moving funds across borders. The new Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Global Business survey, a PYMNTS and Circle collaboration, polls 500 executives looks at the potential and the pitfalls facing crypto as it moves into the financial mainstream.



NCR – NCR Names COO As President

Self-service kiosk and point-of-sale (POS) company NCR Corporation has promoted Owen Sullivan to president of the company, according to a press release. This compounds on his existing role of chief operating officer.

As both president and COO, Sullivan will now be responsible for executing NCR’s growth strategy, customer satisfaction and service delivery as well as transforming the company into one led by software and services, the release stated.

“Since his arrival three years ago, Owen has helped accelerate the transformation of NCR, drive a significant increase in customer satisfaction, establish our Business Unit-led organizational model and successfully execute our business plan,” said NCR Corporation CEO Mike Hayford in the release. “I look forward to his continued leadership as NCR drives growth by taking care of our customers and our people, focusing on product quality and making it easier to do business with NCR.”

Sullivan’s previous work history includes executive leadership positions with Manpower Group, FinTech provider Metavante, and 14 years working at IBM, according to the release.

Earlier this week, NCR donated $200,000 to Elevate Together in an attempt to bolster restaurant recovery in Black and Hispanic communities.

Read more: NCR Donates $200K For Restaurant Recovery Efforts

Elevate Together is powered by Round It Up America (RIUA), a nonprofit giving participating businesses ways to let customers donate to charities. By using the NCR Aloha POS platform, customers can make donations via RIUA, and customers can select “Round It Up” while paying their bills to up the total to the nearest dollar. The difference then goes to the restaurant’s chosen charity.

NCR Foundation, which made the donation, is also a founding partner of Elevate Together.

SpotOn, a fellow POS provider, said that while influxes of funds can help, the best way to help the lagging restaurant industry is to install more POS integrations into everything a restaurant does, with recovery being spurred by more omnichannel, digital connectivity.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: 58 PERCENT OF MULTINATIONAL FIRMS ARE USING CRYPTOCURRENCY

 About: In spite of their price volatility and regulatory uncertainty, new PYMNTS research shows that 58 percent of multinational firms are already using at least one form of cryptocurrency — especially when moving funds across borders. The new Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Global Business survey, a PYMNTS and Circle collaboration, polls 500 executives looks at the potential and the pitfalls facing crypto as it moves into the financial mainstream.



AMZN – Amazon Warns Sellers About Congressional Antitrust Push

Amazon is reportedly warning third-party retailers on its site that potential antitrust rules in Congress could harm them, per reports from Wednesday (August 18).

Reportedly, Amazon has sent a letter warning of the alleged adverse effects to come.

In addition, the tech giant has been offering phone consultations about the legislation and its effects, though sources said it was unable to glean what would happen in said calls.

“We’re reaching out to a small group of our sellers to make them aware of a package of legislative proposals, currently in Congress, that is aimed at regulating Amazon and other large technology companies,” an email viewed by CNBC stated. “It is early in the process and the bills are subject to change, but we are concerned that they could potentially have significant negative effects on small and medium-sized businesses like yours that sell in our store.”

Amazon, upon being asked about this, told CNBC that it had sent an email. The company had been receiving inquiries from third-party sellers about the legislation.

The legislation was green-lighted by a House Judiciary Committee in June and consists of several measures to try and cut down on the power of Big Tech.

See More: Big Tech 6-Pack Of Antitrust Regulation Moves Forward In Congress

Big Tech has seen a glut of controversy lately as leaders around the world grapple with questions about its power and influence. U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota have introduced a bill allowing app developers to use third-party payment services.

Read More: Big Tech Compliance Tracker: Senate Bill Targets App Store Payments

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: 58 PERCENT OF MULTINATIONAL FIRMS ARE USING CRYPTOCURRENCY

 About: In spite of their price volatility and regulatory uncertainty, new PYMNTS research shows that 58 percent of multinational firms are already using at least one form of cryptocurrency — especially when moving funds across borders. The new Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Global Business survey, a PYMNTS and Circle collaboration, polls 500 executives looks at the potential and the pitfalls facing crypto as it moves into the financial mainstream.



DNUT – After Strong Post-IPO Sales, Krispy Kreme Taps Insomnia For eCommerce Growth

For Krispy Kreme, the future is looking pretty sweet. In its first quarterly earnings report since going public, the company reported that its revenue grew 43 percent year over year to almost $350 million, which the company described as a successful execution of its increasing focus on omnichannel availability.

However, for all this revenue growth, digital transactions represented only 19 percent of the company’s overall sales. For context, Starbucks’ mobile orders make up 26 percent of transactions, and Tim Horton’s digital sales account for over 30 percent. Still, Krispy Kreme describes its eCommerce business as “rapidly growing,” with the company planning to expand its online ordering and delivery availability in the months ahead. On a call with analysts, Krispy Kreme CEO Mike Tattersfield added that the company expects its eCommerce mix to grow in the quarters ahead.

“The power of eCommerce is clear,” he said. “In the full year 2020, 82 percent of U.S. eCommerce delivery transactions were incremental to sales, and eCommerce transaction values have increased as we expand our offerings into new areas like catering, gifting and dark kitchen expansion.”

In the SEC filing, the brand added that its 2018 acquisition of bakery chain Insomnia Cookies, known for its late-night deliveries, is part of this strategy, with the doughnut chain tapping the cookie brand for its digital expertise. In 2020, half of Insomnia’s sales were for delivery, and 54 percent were placed online. The cookie chain opened its 200th location during the quarter.

“I must highlight that Insomnia Cookies was a key component of our outstanding Q2 growth, a proven winner that has clearly grown beyond its college campus origins,” said Tattersfield. “The second quarter saw Insomnia continue to deliver in digital innovation, new product development and operations excellence.”

“We are an omnichannel business,” the company stated in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in June in advance of its public offering, adding that its channels include restaurants, a convenience store presence, packaged retail foods, and eCommerce. Regarding the latter, the filing added, “Our eCommerce platform and delivery capability are significant enablers of our omnichannel growth.”

See also: Krispy Kreme Files For IPO Amid ‘Indulgence’ Growth

Regarding the consumer-packaged-goods (CPG) part of the company’s omnichannel strategy, the company’s CFO Josh Charlesworth said on the call that the chain plans on its branded sweet treats business becoming profitable by the end of the year. In the summer of 2020, the packaged foods line launched in Walmart at 4,700 stores. Now, it has rolled out to more retailers, including grocery giant Albertsons Co. The line is part of the brand’s intention to reach a greater portion of consumers’ eating habits, pushing beyond the bakeshop.

Tattersfield added, “We believe the sweet treat line is scalable and will allow us to push toward wide distribution through grocery stores and convenience stores.”

The strong quarter comes after a rush of investor interest following the donut chain’s initial public offering (IPO). In the first day of trading, shares soared from $16.30 to $21, a 29 percent increase.

Read more: Krispy Kreme Ends First Trading Day At $21 After Opening Above $16

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: 58 PERCENT OF MULTINATIONAL FIRMS ARE USING CRYPTOCURRENCY

 About: In spite of their price volatility and regulatory uncertainty, new PYMNTS research shows that 58 percent of multinational firms are already using at least one form of cryptocurrency — especially when moving funds across borders. The new Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Global Business survey, a PYMNTS and Circle collaboration, polls 500 executives looks at the potential and the pitfalls facing crypto as it moves into the financial mainstream.



GRUB – Just Eat Takeaway Rules Out Mergers With Money-Losing Rivals

Just months after closing its $7.3 billion acquisition of Grubhub, food delivery giant Just Eat Takeaway said on Tuesday (Aug. 17) that it’s not interested in partnering with struggling industry competitors to boost its bottom line.

Speaking to analysts and investors during an earnings call, Just Eat Takeaway CEO Jitse Groen said he is willing to consolidate with similar meal companies, but that it doesn’t “make sense for a leading food delivery business to sell leading businesses” or combine with loss-making rivals. 

Related news: Grubhub Stockholders Approve Acquisition By Just Eat Takeaway

Groen’s remarks came at the heels of investor complaints regarding Takeaway’s plans to invest in logistics and groceries. Cat Rock, which owns about 5 percent of the Netherlands-based food delivery company, criticized its “broken communication” with investors, and has threatened a potential hostile takeover if Groen doesn’t explore a merger with global players such as DoorDash, Delivery Hero or Amazon.

Groen, who created Takeaway in 2000, has been making major moves over the last year, and is focused on cementing Takeaway’s place among the world’s largest meal delivery marketplaces. While the Grubhub acquisition launched the company into the U.S. market, the delivery service acquired Just Eat for $8 billion last year, making its first foray into the U.K. market and adding to its 20-plus subsidiaries in Australia, Canada and Latin America.

The company’s publicly issued financial results for the first six months of 2021 showed significant revenue growth and increased online share gains in markets like the U.K. and Australia, helped by investments in supply expansion, brand awareness and customer experience. Revenue grew by 52 percent to €2.6 billion (about $3 billion), compared with the €1.8 billion generated in the first half of 2020.

The Dutch company reported investing “predominantly in the historically underinvested legacy Just Eat markets,” while spending €142 million in restaurant support initiatives and COVID-19-related commission fee caps that were “unlawful” and “counterproductive,” adding that the company “will join the industry to oppose any extensions” into the second half of the year.

The company also said that it will consider monetizing its 33 percent stake in the Brazilian online food delivery portal iFood, “if an appropriate offer is made that reflects the size and superior growth of this asset.” The €2.3 billion bid received to date is below management expectations.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: 58 PERCENT OF MULTINATIONAL FIRMS ARE USING CRYPTOCURRENCY

 About: In spite of their price volatility and regulatory uncertainty, new PYMNTS research shows that 58 percent of multinational firms are already using at least one form of cryptocurrency — especially when moving funds across borders. The new Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Global Business survey, a PYMNTS and Circle collaboration, polls 500 executives looks at the potential and the pitfalls facing crypto as it moves into the financial mainstream.



TMUS – Hackers Reportedly Selling Data On 100M T-Mobile Users

T-Mobile is investigating claims that sensitive information from 100 million users is being sold on the dark web, Motherboard reported, citing contact with the seller and having seen data samples. 

The data includes information such as names and social security numbers; phone numbers and physical addresses; driver license details; and unique IMEI numbers, Motherboard reported. 

See also: T-Mobile: Hackers Accessed Customer Call Data

“T-Mobile USA. Full customer info,” the seller told Motherboard in an online chat. The seller added that they “compromised multiple servers related to T-Mobile,” per Motherboard.

The underground forum had a customer data set selling for 6 bitcoin — about $270,000 — packaged with 30 million social security numbers and driver license details, according to the report. The seller allegedly told the news outlet that the rest of the data was in the process of being privately sold.

See also: New Study: Consumers Will Now Drop A Merchant Over A Single Data Breach

“I think they already found out because we lost access to the backdoored servers,” the seller told Motherboard, referring to signs that T-Mobile possibly responded to the hack.

Despite losing access to the backdoor servers, the seller allegedly told the news outlet that the data had already been downloaded to local servers. 

“It’s backed up in multiple places,” they said.

See also: T-Mobile Hacked, User Data Stolen

T-Mobile said in a statement to Motherboard and other media outlets that the company is “aware of claims made in an underground forum” and it is in the midst of an active probe to scrutinize the “validity” of the allegations.

“We do not have any additional information to share at this time,” said the statement. 

The self-proclaimed hacker selling the data reportedly is a member of an international group that had access to the T-Mobile’s systems for two to three weeks until Saturday, according to govinfosecurity.com.

The seller claims that T-Mobile left a Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN) exposed to the internet, which was possibly used for testing, per govinfosecurity.com. 

“From there we pivoted through several different IP addresses and eventually got access to their production servers,” the person said in an instant message, according to govinfosecurity.com.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: 58 PERCENT OF MULTINATIONAL FIRMS ARE USING CRYPTOCURRENCY

 About: In spite of their price volatility and regulatory uncertainty, new PYMNTS research shows that 58 percent of multinational firms are already using at least one form of cryptocurrency — especially when moving funds across borders. The new Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Global Business survey, a PYMNTS and Circle collaboration, polls 500 executives looks at the potential and the pitfalls facing crypto as it moves into the financial mainstream.