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The Green Sheet Online Edition

December 13, 2021 • Issue 21:12:01

News Briefs

2021 holidays blend digital channels, tech <- click to read full story

The 2021 Deloitte holiday retail survey, published for the 36th consecutive year, found waning pandemic anxiety and rising holiday budgets will likely lead to a 15 percent increase over last year's holiday spend. Oleksandr Yampolskyi, director, retail and wholesale group leader at Deloitte Ukraine, proposed early promotions could help jumpstart the season.

"We can already see a decrease in anxiety around health and safety that will stimulate the overall average spend," he said. "However, holiday shopping is not going to bounce back to the pre-pandemic levels just yet." Yampolskyi further noted that high-income consumers will drive a 5 percent boost in average holiday spend.

Fintech conferences open holiday season <- click to read full story

Money20/20 USA and the National ATM Council's annual gathering drew thousands to Las Vegas in October. That month also featured Sibos, a virtual conference focused on digital acceleration and ethical investing, and NY FinTech Week, an event designed for the fintech startup community.

Momentum continued in early November. Following is a sampling of recent virtual, hybrid and on-site gatherings. Co-hosted by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and InvestHK, Hong Kong FinTech Week 2021 was held both on-site and virtually to provide a collaborative platform for fintechs to share innovations, experience and regulatory and compliance trends.

Shopping changes are here to stay <- click to read full story

Changes in consumer shopping and payment habits, ushered in by the COVID-19 pandemic, are here to stay. "Upwards of 80 percent of the shift to digital will be permanent," said Emilie Kroner, senior vice president, retail and commerce at Mastercard. Kroner's remark, based on Mastercard research, came during a Nov. 3 briefing by Mastercard and the Food Marketing Institute.

FMI data indicated that about 14 percent of American consumers shop for their groceries online every week; 61 percent purchase groceries online occasionally. According to Steve Markenson, director of research and insights at FMI, the online share of grocery spend rose from 15 percent in February 2020 to 22 percent in October 2021.

Tokenization holds key to security, experts say <- click to read full story

On the threshold of the 2021 holiday season, experts indicated that technology advancements, universal standards and subscription-based models are bringing point-to-point encryption (P2PE) and tokenization to a broader segment of retailers.

Ryan Smith, vice president, global business development at Futurex, a cryptographic solutions provider, observed the need for broader, more robust key management in today's integrated and increasingly interoperable payments landscape, in which more parties are sharing sensitive data.

"With all these different applications sharing payment information, how do I encrypt data from point A to point B and minimize risk when my application is in use?" Smith said. "Ten years ago, retailers thought of P2PE in terms of hidden keys; today they have a better understanding of application keys, authentication keys and the role security plays in the transaction." 

JEC, ETA explore cryptoassets oversight <- click to read full story

The Joint Economic Committee held a hearing to explore regulatory approaches to bitcoin and various other cryptocurrencies. Noting that combined digital assets have lost $400 billion in the last seven days, JEC Chair Don Beyer, D-Va., expressed concerns about price volatility. "The mainstreaming of digital assets is laying the foundation for huge swaths of the economy to invest in this market," JEC Chair Beyer said.

"Increased crypto market volatility or a digital bank-run could disrupt more mainstream financial institutions like pension funds or mutual funds. And the underlying assets can create significant consumer protection issues given existing patterns of financial fraud, hacks, and market manipulation."

Clash of titans Amazon and Visa <- click to read full story

Amazon is taking on Visa over interchange fees. The ecommerce giant divulged on Nov. 17 that it will no longer accept Visa credit cards issued in the United Kingdom as of Jan. 19, 2022. "The cost of accepting card payments continues to be an obstacle for businesses striving to provide the best prices for customers," an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement provided to The Green Sheet.

"These costs should be going down over time with technological advancements, but instead they continue to stay high or even rise. With the rapidly changing payments landscape around the world, we will continue innovating on behalf of customers to add and promote faster, cheaper and more inclusive payment options to our stores across the globe."

Experts link new tech, new threats <- click to read full story

In addition to threats of phishing, malware, identity theft and compromised log-in credentials, experts have identified new threats stemming from emerging payment technologies and discussed ways to safeguard payments while also making them more convenient for shoppers.

Sam Ranieri, founder and CEO at Reach, mentioned that early cross-border solutions redirected ecommerce shoppers to payment pages, typically a less secure, less seamless approach than API-driven models.

"The premise of cross-border used to be accommodating the international shopper," he said. "Today, we need [to treat] international shoppers as if they're local and give them the same user experience as if they were buying [a product or service] down the street." end of article

This article contains excerpts from news stories recently posted under Breaking Industry News on our homepage. For links to these and other full news stories, please visit www.greensheet.com/breakingnews.php.

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