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Back home  /  Payments News: 21 April 2023

Payments News Digest 21 April 2023

21 April 2023
skyscrapers in wall street us

US: Retail-banking giants remain cautious after bumper three-month period

Net interest income on the back of a climbing interest-rate dispensation powered a strong set of results from America's biggest lenders for the first quarter, with the perception that money is safer with the Big Four than in smaller institutions set to add a further lift as the year wears on. This week Bank of America reported that revenue from consumer banking was up by over a fifth to $10.7 billion. Earlier in the round, JPMorgan Chase and Citi too beat forecasts, with the latter noting that consumer spend on credit cards was up by almost a tenth compared to the same quarter last year. "The US economy continues to be on a generally healthy footing," said Jamie Dimon. "Consumers are still spending and have strong balance sheets, and businesses are in good shape".

JPM's chief financial officer however noted an uptick for Chase in the number of late payments on consumer loans, though added in comments reported by Reuters that delinquencies were yet to become problematic. Meanwhile, his opposite number at Wells Fargo revealed on an analyst call signs of "some consumer financial health trends gradually weakening from a year ago". Banks are making provisions for choppier economic waters later in the year as navigating the macro dimension becomes ever trickier.

US: Apple unveils savings account with appealing return

Apple Card users had been speculating what interest rate might await their deposits once the accompanying new savings account launches: now it has been revealed that a strikingly high 4.15 percent is on offer, well north of rates from traditional banks that may have responded more sluggishly to the Fed's ongoing run of rises.

The new account, held behind the scenes by Goldman Sachs and thus subject to the customary government deposit guarantee, allows users to grow their cashback earnings. The automatic transfer of Apple's Daily Cash rewards to the account via the Wallet app opens the way for a lot of passive saving, and it is easy to see the new product quickly becoming a valuable asset for the world's richest company.

UK: Google relents on app-store payments, but fees tussle seems likely

From London comes news that Google, under pressure from the competition regulator, has agreed to allow in-app payments provision by third parties, loosening the grip of its Play Store billing facility for the first time in this market.

However, Google's proposal to reduce fees by three percent for apps using a billing alternative may meet with resistance from developers, currently paying between 25 and 30 percent to Google for inclusion in its store. After a consultation period, the regulator will decide whether to accept the proposal or seek further amendments.

Other stories of interest this week...

Canada: Stripe offers Affirm's Adaptive Checkout
France: Credit Agricole and Worldline to create merchant-acquiring JV
US: Kroger begins accepting Apple Pay after years of holding out
US: Zelle reports strong volume growth in first quarter

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The Weekly News Digest from Argus Advisory Research highlights significant developments in payment cards, digital payments, acquiring, processing, retail banking and consumer credit. Our writers and researchers frame these items in contexts such as historical, sectoral and regional trends, adding a layer of value often missing from the rolling news cycle.

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