U.S. COVID cases are falling, according to government data. And while the virus may not yet be under control, there are signs of optimism. "With consumer spending accounting for roughly two-thirds of U.S. gross domestic product, all eyes are closely watching shoppers’ ability to drive the economy," said Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist at the National Retail Federation.
Also, NPD Group reported that online and physical visits to fast casual restaurants during the 12 months ending Aug. 31, 2021, were up 8 percent over 2020, and were on par with August 2019 visits.
Stores of the future will be all about experience, according to Euromonitor. The market research firm hosted a virtual event with retail industry leaders to explore the future of the store in a digital world.
During the two-hour event, keynote speaker Michelle Evans, senior head of global digital consumer research at Euromonitor, predicted accelerated change in the retail sphere that will require a robust digital infrastructure that enables retailers to remain agile, adaptable and competitive. She also discussed emerging trends with a panel of experts.
The Electronic Transactions Association met with the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services to address a subcommittee hearing on how a cashless economy impacts disadvantaged communities and peoples.
The ETA wanted policymakers to understand its members' commitment to financial inclusion, according to Scott Talbott, senior vice president, government affairs at the association. In a letter to House Committee members, Talbott cited positive economic contributions ETA member companies make available to underserved consumers and urged policymakers to support payments industry growth and innovation.
The Federal Reserve and the Business Payments Coalition disclosed that 73 organizations joined an initiative to pilot a framework for exchanging electronic invoices, and another 42 organizations will pilot a similar exchange framework for electronic delivery of remittance information across all payment types.
The pilots are part of the Fed's faster payments initiative. Originally named the Remittance Coalition, BPC is a 10-year-old organization that represents hundreds of banks, payment providers, consultants and others focused on promoting electronic B2B payments.
FIDO Alliance hosted Authentication 2021, a conference focused on modern user authentication methods. The event offered insights on strong security and dynamic interactions for on-site and remote attendees, according to Andrew Shikiar, executive director and chief marketing officer at FIDO.
"Modern authentication systems and standards have emerged to provide more efficient ways for organizations to provide strong security and better interactions with their brands,” Shikar said. He further noted that the FIDO Alliance provides tools and resources to help organizations prioritize stronger security.
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