Today In Payments: China Drops GDP Target; Dubai Creating Free Trading eCommerce Zone

In today’s top news, China has opted not to set any economy growth forecast amid the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, and Dubai is creating a free trade zone for eCommerce. Plus, the Office of the Comptroller’s Joseph Otting is stepping down.

China Drops GDP Target Due To Economic Instability

The world’s second-largest economy is opting not to set any economic growth forecasts due to the continued economic uncertainty triggered by the global coronavirus pandemic. In 2019, China’s economy grew 6.1 percent, its lowest point in almost 30 years.

Dubai Creating $870M Free Trading Zone For eCommerce

The government of Dubai is planning to create an $870 million free trade zone for eCommerce named Dubai CommerCity (DCC). The project is being developed collaboratively with two state-owned enterprises — the Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) and the property firm wasl. The pandemic accelerated its progress, the developers said.

OCC’s Otting To Step Down

Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting will step down from his post on May 29. Otting will be succeeded by First Deputy and Chief Operating Officer Brian P. Brooks.

Senate Bill Would Double Time For PPP Loans

The U.S. Senate is on track to pass legislation that would double the time small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have to use Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. SMBs have complained its current requirements are impossible to meet. The legislation introduced would give SMBs more flexibility and time to use the funds.

NEW DATA: Better Customer Service Could Sway 3 in 10 Consumers To Switch Credit Cards

Credit card issuers offer lots of bells and whistles to try to make their cards top of wallet, but might be ignoring an old-school approach to keeping consumers loyal — good customer service. PYMNTS recently surveyed more than 2,000 consumers and found that 30 percent would be willing to switch to cards that offer better customer service. Check out our Delivering Cardholder Customer Service Report to see all of our findings.

Overstock CEO: Why Immunity Passports Could Move Blockchain Tech Mainstream

Overstock CEO Jonathan Johnson tells Karen Webster that the coming pandemic recovery period could give blockchain an opportunity to deliver its first mainstream use case: powering “immunity passports.” Giving consumers the opportunity to provision and then control access to a verified health status is something he says airlines and sports arenas have an interest in supporting — and one Overstock is already exploring.

Alibaba’s GMV Tops $1T As Mobile Orders Surge

Alibaba reported results that showed continued pivots to online commerce and mobile shopping, amid lockdowns that have shuttered brick-and-mortar retailers. The company reported that its total annual active consumer tally hit 960 million worldwide.