In this week’s news, we saw healthcare patients push for more clarity on payment options. And Paypal announced its super-app. The Weekender is here to catch you up.
PayPal’s New Super-App Positioned to Deliver Next-Level Connected Experience
PayPal announced Tuesday (Sept. 21) it’s launching its much-anticipated new super-app, which market watchers see as a defining moment in the progression of the fragmented app space and the rise of the connected economy.
Earlier this year, PayPal President and CEO Dan Schulman told PYMNTS CEO Karen Webster that “no consumer is going to have 40 or 50 apps on their phone,” adding “there must be super apps that come together to consolidate all of your financial instruments. And by the way, those financial instruments include rewards points, and the ability to choose buy now, pay later, or even use QR codes.”
Shopify Aims to Make Social Media ‘Digital Main Street’
Shopify’s recent collaboration with TikTok to add shopping features to the video-sharing app, announced last month, was no surprise to most industry watchers, saying eCommerce and social media are natural partners.
“Creators are paving the way for a new kind of entrepreneurship where content, community and commerce are key,” Harley Finkelstein, president of Shopify, said in a statement. “By enabling new in-app shopping experiences and product discovery on TikTok for the first time, Shopify is powering the creator economy on one of the fastest-growing social and entertainment platforms in the world.”
BNPL Company Affirm Rolls Out Adaptive Checkout
Buy now, pay later (BNPL) network Affirm on Wednesday (Sept. 22) launched Adaptive Checkout, which the company says allows merchants to give customers more choices when it’s time to pay.
The San Francisco-based company says Adaptive Checkout provides “optimized biweekly and monthly payment options for each transaction side-by-side in a single integrated checkout solution.”
Robinhood Pulls Fresh Growth Arrow From Its Quiver, Goes All in on Crypto Wallets
Robinhood is going all in on crypto as it faces regulatory challenges to its online investment and trading business, testing a cryptocurrency wallet it says will roll out next month.
Consumers would be able to send and receive digital currencies, including bitcoin, without having to convert the holdings to fiat currency (e.g. dollars). The features have been tied to a beta version of the company’s iPhone app — and there’s already a waitlist for the Robinhood wallet.
Trackers and Reports
New Report: Half of US Patients in the Dark About Healthcare Payment Options
Only 30% of consumers are able to access a cost estimate for healthcare services before making an appointment, according to PYMNTS research. With 64% of patients paying some out-of-pocket costs for healthcare or prescriptions after they visit their doctor, this lack of transparency in payments has become a key concern for consumers.
Consumers spent an average of $1,150 on out-of-pocket healthcare expenses beyond the cost of insurance premiums during the past 12 months, for example. Millennials and Generation Z consumers spent even more, paying an average of $1,400 in out-of-pocket costs.
New Data: Almost 25% of US Cross-Border Remittance Senders Use Crypto
PYMNTS research reveals that many consumers (24%) see the option to send funds in cryptocurrency as a key motivator in choosing a payment services provider (PSP).
In “The Digital Currency Shift: The Cross-Border Remittances Report,” a PYMNTS and Stellar Development Foundation collaboration, we found that 70% of consumers pay a fee to send money abroad, with variable fees averaging 6.2% and fixed fees set at $14.80.
The greatest percentage of peer-to-peer (P2P) payments were sent to friends or family experiencing economic hardship because of the pandemic (32%).
Lease-To-Own Options Can Help Durable Goods Merchants Reach 79 Million Retail Invisibles
Lease-to-own has become a popular option among consumers who are facing or have endured financial hardship.
According to Finding Retail’s Invisibles: Leveraging Flexible Digital Payments To Reach New Durable Goods Customers, a PYMNTS and Katapult collaboration, many consumers said lease-to-own options were the only way they could afford to complete a transaction (75%) and that it allowed them to obtain items they needed right away (73%).
Live Support Is Key for Credit Unions to Elevate Loan Application Process
PYMNTS research shows 84% more credit union members are securing second mortgages from other financial institutions (FIs) this year than in 2020.
Despite their lack of urgency, 85% of CU executives reported in PYMNTS latest Credit Union Tracker® that members refinancing mortgages at another FI would negatively impact their institutions’ profit margins.
Fun, Cool and Otherwise Interesting
Musk Calls on Dogecoin to Lower Fees for Consumers
Elon Musk, the well-known Tesla and SpaceX chief, said he thinks dogecoin fees should be reduced to make cheaper purchases for things like movie tickets.
The news comes after AMC recently said it was planning to allow other cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ethereum to be used to buy tickets and other things at its theaters. CEO Adam Aron then made a poll pondering whether he should include dogecoin in the list, which ended up seeing users vote in favor of it.
Twitter Adds Strike API for Tips Paid in Bitcoin
Digital wallet Strike announced the debut of the Strike API platform for marketplace and merchant businesses, according to blog post by Twitter Staff Product Manager Esther Crawford, announcing the global launch of Tips and the ability to tip with bitcoin using Strike.
Strike’s API will allow Twitter users to tip with bitcoin all around the globe with a Bitcoin Lightning wallet and let users in the U.S. and El Salvador — where bitcoin is now accepted as legal tender — bring in tips through their Strike accounts.
UK FinTech Monneo to Accept Crypto for Invoice Payments
European FinTech startup Monneo has teamed up with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase to enable payment of invoices in cryptocurrencies, UK Tech News reported on Wednesday (Sept. 22).
Monneo’s customers can monitor and control access to all their international bank account numbers with one log-in, while receiving and sending payments in more than 130 currencies worldwide.
Honda to Incorporate Google Features in Cars
Honda will team up with Google to build features for infotainment systems in future cars, according to a Google company blog post.
Google will be built into Honda models with numerous features, including Google Maps, Google Assistant and downloading apps with Google Play and more, the post stated. Google features can be found in Ford, General Motors, Polestar, Renault and Volvo models.