In today’s top news, foot traffic is still down, despite an increase in vaccination distribution, and Plaid is reportedly near a $13 billion valuation with a new funding round. Plus, Bank of America is acquiring Axia Technologies to expand its healthcare payment services.
Vaccine distribution is up and the virus rate is dropping, but Americans are still not running out the door to mix and mingle. With the exception of a few states, the frequency that people spent 10 minutes or more away from home was down 6 percent, as people stay close to home.
Plaid is reportedly near closing a new investment round that would value the FinTech startup at $13 billion. The round, to be led by Altimeter Capital, “could raise hundreds of millions of dollars” for the firm, Bloomberg reported on Friday (April 2), citing people familiar with the matter.
Bank of America (BoA) is acquiring the German healthcare payment and technology company Axia Technologies for an undisclosed amount as the financial institution (FI) seeks to advance its payment solutions for healthcare clients. The tie-up is part of BoA’s larger mission to integrate merchant services with its platform.
Payoneer announced its fourth-quarter and 2020 financial highlights, marking an increase in volume between the fourth quarters of 2019 and 2020 and the two years overall. The global payments platform, whose clients range from small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to Airbnb and Amazon, said payments volume increased by 53 percent to $44.4 billion, up from $29 billion in 2019.
The pandemic is making cash all but a nonstarter for today’s no-touch customers – and restaurants that can’t deliver touchless payments will find themselves in hot water. In the Order to Eat Tracker, Chris Birkinshaw, CEO of poke bowl chain Aloha Poke Co., explains why the rapid shift to cashless transactions has made contactless offerings imperative.
While the Boston Fed preps its final report with MIT on the viability and use of blockchain and a potential FedCoin, it’s also keeping tabs on an exploding crypto marketplace. As Jim Cunha, SVP of secure payments and FinTech for the Boston Fed, told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster, he sees the opportunity to use new tech and digital fiat to create a payments network “for the next 100 years.”
The central bank digital currency launches that we’ve seen so far have been dominated by smaller nations such as the Bahamas and the Caribbean; Jamaica is next on tap, it seems. But China and the U.S. are in the wings, of course.