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Alphabet’s New CEO, Millennial Black Friday Spending And Digital Drivers’ Licenses Top This Week’s News

DATE POSTED:December 6, 2019

It’s the end of the workweek, and the PYMNTS Weekender is here to make sure you didn’t miss anything with the latest in payments and commerce news. We have a deep dive into Colorado’s digital driver’s license effort and news on Alphabet’s new CEO, as well as data on millennial Black Friday spending.

Top News 

UK Digital Bank Monzo Taps Visa Exec as US CEO

Monzo, London’s digital unicorn, has appointed TS Anil to head U.S. operations. Anil was the global head of payment products and platforms at Visa. The executive has more than 25 years of experience in payments, credit cards and banking, working globally across Europe, Africa and the Middle East as well as the Americas and Asia Pacific.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai Takes the Reins at Alphabet

Google CEO Sundar Pichai will take over as Alphabet’s new CEO, while retaining his job at Google. Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin wrote in a blog post, “Going forward, Sundar will be the CEO of both Google and Alphabet. He will be the executive responsible and accountable for leading Google, and managing Alphabet’s investment in our portfolio of Other Bets.” 

New Visa Alliances Help FinTechs Launch Payments Solutions

Visa is working with four global finance firms to help FinTechs issue digital and plastic payments. The four new partners — Euronet Worldwide, Episode Six, M2P Solutions and Global Processing Services— have joined the Visa FinTech Fast Track program.

Millennials Were Black Friday’s Big Spenders in 2019

Millennials were the big Black Friday spenders, shelling out an average of $509.50 on Black Friday purchases this year, compared to an average of just $382.40 last year. More millennials in the workforce mean more millennials with money to spend on holiday gifts.

Shift4 Payments Registers for IPO

Shift4 Payments has filed paperwork to go public. The company said on Tuesday (Dec. 3) in a press release that, in part, “the number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined.”

Trackers and Reports

Inside the Launch of Colorado’s New State-Run Digital Driver’s License (Jumio Digital Identity Tracker)

Colorado is one of 12 states developing a digital driver’s license program, with the launch of its myColorado app in October. In a feature story, PYMNTS spoke with Russell Castagnaro, director of digital transformation at the Colorado Governor’s Office of Information Technology, about the ins and outs of the functionality of myColorado.

Why Installment Payments Are Fashionable This Holiday Season (Buy Now, Pay Later Tracker)

Merchants would be wise to consider how consumers want to pay, and whether alternative payment methods such as buy now, pay later (BNPL) could help alleviate their holiday financial stresses, according to Nick Kaplan, president of plus-size fashion brand Fashion To Figure. In a feature story, Kaplan talks about how retailers can offer flexible payment offerings without overburdening consumers.

Trucking Payments Tools That Are In It for the Long Haul (Amex Next-Gen Payments Report)

Truckers need reliable, widely accepted payments instruments, convenient business spending and tracking tools to ensure their trips go smoothly, says America’s Service Line-employed driver Carmen Anderson, Castle Transport owner-operator Deb LaBree and Women In Trucking Association CEO and President Ellen Voie. In a feature story, the three gave PYMNTS an inside look at the financial tools and strategies that make trucking more seamless.

Inside Chipotle’s Decade of Digital-First Ordering Innovation (Paytronix Order to Eat Tracker)

Chipotle Mexican Grill was one of the first major restaurant chains to turn to mobile ordering technology to bolster customer dining experiences. Over 10 years later, Chipotle’s mobile investment has paid off, with approximately 18 percent of revenues originating from digital orders. In a feature story, Nicole West, Chipotle’s vice president of digital strategy and product, discusses how the company’s digital ordering menu is just as essential as its restaurant menu.

 Curing the $2.4T Manufacturing Sector’s Cash Flow Crunch (MSTS Playbook)

Packaging solutions and distribution company Rocket Industrial is tapping into order-to-cash (O2C) solutions to ensure timely payments from its customers. In a feature story, Traci Leffel, Rocket Industrial’s director of finance, tells PYMNTS how O2C solutions can offer distributors peace of mind when addressing various clients’ different payment needs.

Fun, Cool and Otherwise Interesting  

Report: Crypto Fraud Losses Reach $4.4B in Q3 2019 

The total volume of fraud tied to crypto shows losses in the range of $4.4 billion, as estimated by CipherTrace’s Q3 report for 2019. The CipherTrace report, however, noted that the total bilked from crypto exchanges, at $15.5 million, was the lowest tally seen in years.

Can Six Days Make (or Break) the Holiday 2019 Shopping Season?

Unlike last year’s preferred scapegoat of unpredictable weather for retailers that endured slower-than-expected sales, the 2019 calendar has been a long-anticipated problem among retailers. As early as March, Dollar Tree started warning investors on its earnings call that the six-day-shorter period would likely hurt year-end sales. 

Expedia Leadership Shakeup Shows Power of Travel Industry Disruption

Expedia CEO Mark Okerstrom, as well as CFO Alan Pickerill, have resigned following a conflict over the company’s strategy. Barry Diller, chairman of the board, and Peter Kern, vice chairman and director, will oversee the company’s executive leadership team.

Do Tencent, Alipay Have a Place in China’s Digital Currency Ecosystem?

If blockchain might be considered the rails that underpin cryptos’ journeys as they move between parties, China seems intent on limiting just what can ride those rails. And bitcoin, increasingly, is not likely to be in the picture (nor would a slew of other tokens) in a way that some may have hoped.

How 5G Will Power the Industrial Commerce Revolution

Robots and artificial intelligence haven’t yet taken over. Even so, machines still have human-like needs that, when fulfilled, can improve commerce as well as payments and, according to some, bring in what’s sometimes being called in smart circles a new industrial revolution. The key to that future is burgeoning 5G mobile network technology.