ISSUE NO. 63 – FEBRUARY 2019
Target Opens Website to Other Merchants
Target will launch Target+, an invitation-only program for third-party retailers to sell their products on Target.com. Target is one of the largest retailers in the US and going forward third-party retailers like Mizuho will be able to sell to consumers directly through Target.com. This new platform enables third- party retailers to leverage Target’s considerable consumer data asset to pinpoint customers likely to buy their goods. Target already has a payment and card-linked offer platforms with its Red Card and Cartwheel Offers and now with Target+, it will also become an ad platform for third-party retailers.
Target+ is an example of the accelerating trend of merchants expanding their digital advertising capabilities. Facebook, Google and Microsoft are the leading digital advertising platforms for commerce but retailers including Amazon, Walmart and now Target have realized that they must become a first stop for consumers on their shopping journey or risk becoming irrelevant. These new offerings from merchants are rapidly blurring the line between advertising platforms, merchants and payment companies. Consumer data has become central to the business model of all three segments and merchants realize they need to deploy innovative offerings leveraging their data for targeting, loyalty and attribution.
Walmart Jumps Into Digital Advertising Head First
Walmart announced at their annual supplier meeting today that they will be merging their in-store and digital advertising efforts into one internal group. Walmart cites streamlined and integrated marketing campaigns for their suppliers as a benefit of this change. According to Forrester Research, Walmart has more customers than its online-native counterparts like Amazon, Facebook, and Google, with about 300 million monthly in-store shoppers and millions of online purchases. Walmart is tapping an underutilized data asset: SKU-level first-party shopping data from online and offline purchases. Walmart has been pouring money into its digital efforts and the new in-house digital marketing team will use purchase data to address the challenge of closing the marketing loop from personalized ads to purchase.
The move comes as Walmart eyes online competitor Amazon, who boosted fourth quarter profits by 95% to $3.4 billion by allowing merchants to pay for premium placement on search results. Chief Executive Doug McMillon said its ad business was “tiny” and “it could be bigger.” With their digital marketing efforts Walmart is turning to Amazon’s playbook to boost revenue through its ad business.
Apple and Goldman Sachs Team Up for a New Credit Card
Wall Street Journal reported that Apple and Goldman Sachs are nearing the consumer launch of their previously announced joint credit card. This new credit card will be paired with the iPhone to encourage use of Apple Pay and include features that help consumers manage their finances like setting financial goals and tracking rewards. Additionally, cardholders will receive 2% cash back on most purchases and potentially more on Apple purchases. The WSJ reports that the Apple Pay card will use CardLinx member Mastercard’s payment network.
This is part of Goldman’s foray into consumer banking after it launched Marcus, its online consumer bank in 2016. However, this is Goldman’s first credit card offering in a market that is heavily saturated.
Apple and Goldman Sachs are leaders in their industries and their partnership to launch a combo-credit card/iPhone commerce app is evidence of the enduring digital engagement appeal of credit cards and offers. Leading tech companies and banks increasingly realize that a reliable way to keep consumer digital mind share is through commerce apps that reward consumers with offers and new personalized buying experiences.
Alipay Now Accepted at Every Walgreens in America
With leading US-based payment platforms including Mastercard, Visa, PayPal and Discover locked out of the Chinese market, their Chinese competitors are gaining traction in the wide open US market. Alipay, China’s leading mobile wallet platform has launched acceptance at the largest retail convenience store in the USA.
What the BB&T-SunTrust Merger Means for Fintech
Today, BankInnovation reported that BNY Mellon, now the 11th largest commercial bank, is seeking fintech partnerships to remain competitive. Strategic and technological partnerships can enhance the competitiveness of banks and the fintech firms they partner with.
Japan Foodie launches TakeMe Pay, a smartphone multi-payment gateway that combines the biggest payment services in the world into one app. TakeMe Pay manages Chinese payment networks (Alipay, WeChat Pay, etc.), US payment networks (Visa, Mastercard, Apple Pay, etc.), and Japanese payment networks (LINE Pay, etc.).
Krowd is selected for Barclay’s 2019 Accelerator Program. In its sixth year, the Barclays Accelerator powered by Techstars one of the most selective fintech programs in the world. Krowd’s offer bidding marketplace provides personalized card linked offers to retailers and credit card issuers, allowing retailers to increase customer acquisition and retention and card issuers to increase usage.
TransUnion releases their 2019 Consumer Credit Forecast. Listen to a brief recap of recent, key findings from their quarterly Industry Insights Report (IIR) and get the inside scoop on consumer credit trends that will impact lenders this year. Also, included are expert projections for mortgage, auto, bankcard, secured and unsecured loans, and then how those insights can better shape lending strategies.