Samsung’s Neon, 2020 Trendlines, Faster Payments Top This Week’s News

It’s the end of the first workweek of the decade, and the PYMNTS Weekender is here to make sure you didn’t miss anything with the latest in payments and commerce news. We have a deep dive into faster payments for education, seven 2020 trendlines when it comes to the connected economy and news on Samsung’s Neon “artificial human.”

Top News

Welcome To The Connected Economy (The Seven 2020 Trendlines)

The past decade was, in many ways, the warmup act for the transformation yet to come — from an app economy to one in which connected ecosystems bring together commerce experiences and enable transactions throughout channels, environments, and devices. Payments will power that shift.

Samsung To Launch ‘Artificial Human’ Called Neon

Samsung will introduce an “artificial human” named Neon on Jan. 7 at CES 2020 that is completely different than its Bixby artificial intelligence (AI) assistant. The limited information about Neon was shared on the Twitter account of Samsung and includes an “Artificial Human” teaser in several languages with the tagline “Have you met an ‘artificial’?”

JPMorgan Ups Security By Blocking FinTechs From Passwords

The downside of data sharing has come full circle as JPMorgan Chase aims for enhanced protection by stopping FinTech apps from accessing the passwords of clients. The bank will reportedly disburse tokens to third parties that are embedded with limited information. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon had anticipated risks from data sharing and relayed his fears in a 2016 shareholder letter. 

PayPal Deepens LATAM Reach With MercadoLibre Integration

PayPal is turning to Latin America to bolster its position in the eCommerce payments as well as remittance spaces. On Dec. 30, the company announced an expansion of its partnership with Argentinian eCommerce company MercadoLibre (known as the “eBay of Latin America”), as it positions itself to take more of Latin America’s market share.

Africa’s Quiet Cashless Payments Revolution

A payments revolution would be a hard thing to miss, one might assume, but, as it turns out, it can happen. It all depends on how closely the world is looking — and what exactly it expects to see. Sometimes, DPO Group CEO Eran Feinstein told Karen Webster, a large paradigmatic shift can fly under the radar, if it looks just different enough from what the world is used to seeing. Africa, and East Africa in particular, he noted, offers a good example.

2020 To Mark A Turning Point At The Point of Sale

The end of one decade, the beginning of another. Might the coming year be marked by innovation at the point of sale (POS)? Thinking about what will come to fruition by the end of December of this year gives little runway to predict, say, the most mobile of mobile commerce options. But looking out a year offers a glimpse of the trends in place and the ripple effects that translate into seismic currents and sea change.

Alibaba.com On Why US Is The ‘Testing Ground’ For Global B2B eCommerce

Alibaba.com is aiming to grow its international reach. The company is opening up its platform to vendors in North America, which will become a testing ground for further global expansion. However, risk heightens, and more obstacles emerge that can jeopardize that buyer-supplier trust as B2B trade expands across borders. 

Kivanc Onan, head of B2B payments, financing and protection for Alibaba.com, North America, recently spoke with Karen Webster about Alibaba’s strategy to mitigate those risks, with payments and financial technology as important parts of the firm’s strategy for international growth.

Trackers and Reports

A Faster Payments Fix For School Invoice Woes (Fiserv Faster Payments Tracker)

The education space needs innovative payment processes. Parents are often saddled with cumbersome cash or check payment methods when they have to pay invoices to their child’s school. Educators deposit the checks in the bank accounts of schools and then have to wait as long as 21 days for the funds to become available. In a feature story, CEO Jerry Banks of Bursari explains how the firm’s transaction processing platform enables schools to make digital invoices in addition to text notifications to parents for bill payments.

Why Turkish Banks Are Bullish On PSD2 (Ekata PSD2 Tracker)

Turkey recently became one of the first countries to adopt PSD2 this year, and the world will need to wait to observe the effect the rule will have on the financial ecosystem of the region. The Eastern European country isn’t an EU member and thus does not have to adopt every directive of PSD2, which means that Turkish banks may have a few advantages over third-party companies in addition to FinTechs that wish to enter the region, said Soner Canko, CEO of Turkish bank consortium Bankalararasi Kart Merkezi in a recent interview with PYMNTS. 

Fun, Cool and Otherwise Interesting 

52 Monday Conversations About Payments In 2019

On Mondays, PYMNTS publishes Karen Webster’s weekly column about the newest trends. They are not just columns, however. They are part of an ongoing conversation around the deeper currents that drive payments as well as commerce — data-supported views about what’s working and what’s not, what’s happening and what’s to come, where the blind spots might be and how to prepare for the future. Now in its third annual edition, 52 Mondays 2019 showcases those columns.

Amazon Or Walmart? Who Won 2019’s Race For The Consumer’s Whole Paycheck

PYMNTS started tracking the race for the consumer’s whole paycheck between the two retail behemoths that have been expanding their respective ecosystems in the process — Amazon and Walmart — a bit over a year ago. At the time, in November of last year, it became clear that the state of that race had changed.

Yet, as Karen Webster noted at the time, the story isn’t just in the absolute numbers, and who leads whom at any moment in time. Instead, it’s a story of whose stride is quicker as well as longer — and that’s where the question of who leads whom gets interesting.

2019: A Banner Year (And Bumper Data Crop) For Hackers

Hackers had accessed 7.9 billion records into the last few months of last year, according to Risk Based Security, and they were on track to access 8.5 billion records across over 5,100 attacks — meaning through the first nine months of the year (the estimate as of this writing), the number of breaches increased by 33 percent.

What’s New At CES Isn’t Always What’s Really Good 

CES is one of the year’s most important and the largest global events for those interested not just in consumer technology, but those interested in associated trends in payments and commerce as well. It can be hard to break through the PR and marketing hype that envelops CES in an energetic glow, but PYMNTS is up to the challenge so that our readers can have a better handle on what will occur at CE this year and what to expect in the future.

Where Consumers Will Eat On New Year’s Eve

Karen Webster recently caught up with Andrew Robbins, co-founder and president at Paytronix, which sells digital ordering and guest engagement technology for restaurants. That business provides Robbins with an insider’s view into how restaurants can thrive during the rush of New Year’s Eve, and how the big restaurant trends will play out.