While payments and fintech insiders have long been familiar with blockchain, cryptocurrency and the potential role of crytopayments, it has only been recently that the broader public has become aware of and, in some segments of the population, eager to use cryptocurrency as a payments vehicle. This issue's lead article, the first in a two-part series, provides an overview of blockchain technology, cryptocurrency and crypto payments. In our second February issue, we'll delve further into the role of cryptopayments.
Merchants are asking about cyrptopayments, too. One reader, after a merchant inquired about bitcoin acceptance, asked what the benefits to bitcoin really are. Our response, which appears in this issue's Reader Speak, lists five potential advantages.
Another hot phenomenon these days is buy now, pay later (BNPL), a topic delved into by one contributing author, who explains what's behind the CFPB's order to five companies offering BNPL to collect information about the risks and benefits of BNPL loan programs. Other areas explored by industry experts include how to gain maximum benefit from the Paycheck Protection Program and Employee Retention Tax Credit; what made January 2022 a transformative month in payments; why it's essential to look inward and take care of yourself to maintain sales results; regulations on the horizon for the merchant cash advance industry; and the revenue-enhancing role of the often overlooked and undervalued customer success team.
News Briefs highlights a selection of stories posted under Breaking News on our home page. These include the ETA's 2022 legislative and regulatory policy priorities, which share insights on industrywide efforts to make payments safe, secure and financially inclusive; amendments to the CARES Act devised to help small and midsize businesses survive post-pandemic challenges; Equifax's decision to use BNPL in credit scoring, making it the first main credit bureau in the United States to do so; and U.S. retailers, emboldened by Amazon's recent threat to pull the plug on Visa cards issued in the United Kingdom, seeking congressional action to bring down interchange fees.
Completing this issue are company and new product profiles, along with updates on industry awards and recognition; new markets opened; research on such areas as gift card sales and ADT deployment; new partnerships in accounts payable, gift cards and rewards programs; and recent acquisitions and appointments of note. We look forward to receiving your comments and questions at firstname.lastname@example.org and your news at email@example.com.
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