Barclays and PayPal join forces to help customers enhance their digital payments
Barclays [LON: BARC] has announced a new strategic partnership with PayPal [NASDAQ: PYPL] that is designed to enable customers to manage and use their Barclays and PayPal accounts together with greater ease, for the first time.
The partnership is expected to benefit millions of consumer and small business customers, and initially focus on enhancing products and services for consumers in the UK and the US. In the UK, small business customers will also benefit from the partnership with integrated experiences.
Enhancing digital payment experiences for Barclays and Barclaycard consumers
Consumers are expected to benefit from a raft of new features that will make it even easier to manage their PayPal account in Barclays digital channels, and to use their Barclays products in their PayPal digital wallet to pay online, on mobile or in app.
These may include ways to seamlessly add Barclays credit and debit cards to their PayPal wallet; to update these cards automatically in PayPal when they reach their expiry date; and to display their Barclays card image in the PayPal wallet to allow consumers to easily select their preferred way to pay.
Expanding mobile payments choice and reach
In a first of its kind partnership, PayPal and Barclays will explore unique ways to connect Pingit and PayPal to improve how customers can move and manage their money. The partnership will also explore opportunities for US consumers to redeem Barclays reward points at businesses that accept PayPal worldwide.
Making business management easier for UK SME clients
Barclays SmartBusiness Dashboard enables UK SME clients to see their everyday business information from third-party apps, alongside their Barclays bank account on a single platform. PayPal’s small business customers will now be able to choose to see a snapshot of their PayPal balance, recent transactions and sales on the Barclays SmartBusiness Dashboard. Users will also be able to move seamlessly from the SmartBusiness Dashboard to their PayPal account for further insights.
Barclays is the first bank in the UK to collaborate with PayPal in this way, saving SMEs time and putting them in control, as they see marketing, inventory and other valuable data all in one place.
Strengthening security and protections against fraud
Both companies will draw on their extensive data analytics and risk management capabilities to combat online fraud together. Barclays and PayPal will endeavour to optimise existing products and services to fight against increasingly sophisticated cybercriminals, as well as creating new solutions to manage risk more effectively.
Ashok Vaswani, Barclays UK CEO, said: “Our customers and clients live in an increasingly connected world and this is why we are working with PayPal to make services more joined up and convenient for them. By joining forces, we can make it much easier for people to manage their money and payments. Each of these new features – whether removing the hassle of updating an expired card, connecting with Pingit, or being able to see all your finances in one place, are about designing the very best customer experience. Barclays is becoming a digital company and I believe this strategic partnership with PayPal will provide the first of many new developments in which we join up with partners to enhance digital journeys.”
Gary Marino, Chief Commercial Officer at PayPal, said, “The US and the UK are our two biggest markets, where we share millions of customers with Barclays. This partnership has enormous potential to have a positive impact on people’s financial lives across both countries. We can ensure our consumers and small business customers are fully equipped to take advantage of the new digital economy. Our work with Barclays has already begun, and we look forward to introducing new experiences for our joint customers very soon.”
Oil rises on positive forecasts, slow U.S. output restart
By Bozorgmehr Sharafedin
LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Tuesday, underpinned by the likely easing of COVID-19 lockdowns around the world, positive economic forecasts and lower output as U.S. supplies were slow to return after a deep freeze in Texas shut down crude production.
Brent crude was up 36 cents, or 0.5%, at $65.60 a barrel by 1212 GMT, and U.S. crude rose 39 cents, or 0.6%, to $62.09 a barrel.
Both contracts rose more than $1 earlier in the session.
“Vaccine news is helping oil, as the likely removal of mobility restrictions over the coming months on the back of vaccine rollouts should further boost the oil demand and price recovery,” said UBS oil analyst Giovanni Staunovo.
Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg said optimistic oil price forecasts issued by leading U.S. brokers had also contributed to the latest upswing in prices.
Goldman Sachs expects Brent prices to reach $70 per barrel in the second quarter from the $60 it predicted previously, and $75 in the third quarter from $65 forecast earlier.
Morgan Stanley expects Brent crude to climb to $70 in the third quarter.
“New COVID-19 cases are falling fast globally, mobility statistics are bottoming out and are starting to improve, and in non-OECD countries, refineries are already running as hard as before COVID-19,” Morgan Stanley said in a note.
Bank of America said Brent prices could temporarily spike to $70 per barrel in the second quarter.
Disruptions in Texas caused by last week’s winter storm also supported oil prices. Some U.S. shale producers forecast lower oil output in the first quarter.
Stockpiles of U.S. crude oil and refined products likely declined last week, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday.
A weaker dollar also provided some support to oil as crude prices tend to move inversely to the U.S. currency.
(Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin in London, additional reporting by Jessica Jaganathan in Singapore; editing by David Evans and John Stonestreet)
UK-Japan trade deal settled nerves for Japanese firms, Honda executive says
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s trade deal with Japan settled the nerves of a lot of Japanese businesses in the United Kingdom and gives them confidence about their future prospects there, a senior Honda executive said on Tuesday.
Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, has since the 1980s made the United Kingdom its favoured European destination for investment, with the likes of Nissan, Toyota and Honda using the country as a launchpad into Europe.
But Britain’s shock 2016 decision to leave the European Union had prompted Japan to express unusually strong public concerns. Their companies and investors warned that a disorderly exit from the EU would force them to rethink their four-decade bet on Britain.
“We welcome very much the Japanese trade agreement which as a Japanese businesses was very welcomed,” Ian Howells, senior vice president at Honda Motor Europe, told a parliamentary committee.
“On the point around confidence, that certainly amongst my peers in Japanese companies was very much welcomed, and probably settled a lot of nerves in terms of their trading prospects in the UK going forward.”
Britain and Japan formally signed a trade agreement in October, marking Britain’s first big post-Brexit deal on trade. It has also made a formal request to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), of which Japan is also a member.
(Reporting by Kate Holton)
UK retailers see sharp fall in sales and mounting job losses, CBI says
LONDON (Reuters) – British retail sales fell in the year to February as stores cut jobs at a rapid rate, with only supermarkets reporting any growth during the latest COVID-19 lockdown, a survey showed on Thursday.
The Confederation of British Industry’s gauge of retail sales stood at -45, up only slightly from January’s eight-month low of -50. The measure points to falling sales and is below the consensus forecast of -38 in a Reuters poll of economists.
Retailers’ expectations for March – when non-essential shops will remain closed to the public as part of lockdown measures – fell to -62, the lowest since the series began in 1983.
In another sign of a changing consumer habits during lockdown, the survey’s gauge of internet retail sales hit a new record high.
“With lockdown measures still in place, trading conditions remain extremely difficult for retailers,” said Ben Jones, principal economist at the CBI.
“Record growth in internet shopping suggests that retailers’ investments in on-line platforms and click-and-collect services may be paying off, but the re-opening of the sector can’t come soon enough to protect jobs and breathe life back into the sector.”
Job losses among retailers accelerated according to a quarterly question in the survey. For the distribution sector as a whole, which includes wholesalers and car dealers, employment fell at a record rate, the CBI survey showed.
(Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken)
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