Connected Economy: Starbucks Considers UK Sale

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Today in the connected economy, Instagram announces users can now make payments in chat for items they come across when browsing their social feeds.

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Also, changing work habits lead Starbucks to consider selling its U.K. operations, and Mastercard and D-Wave team up to bring financial services into the quantum era.

Instagram Users Can Now Buy Products in Chat

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Instagram said shoppers can now make payments in chat for items they see when browsing their social media feeds.

As parent company Meta Platforms said in a blog post, this includes making customizations to the items and other specifics not previously offered on the photo-sharing app.

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“Each week, 1 billion people message a business across our family of apps — whether it’s chatting with brands, browsing products, asking for support or interacting with stories,” Meta said in the post. “We want to help people start conversations with businesses they care about and help them find and buy products they love in an easy, seamless experience, right from the chat thread.”

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Changing Work Patterns Leave Starbucks Weighing Sale of UK Unit

Starbucks is exploring the sale of its business in the U.K., following a downturn in customers due in part to  the shift from on-site work to remote work.

The brand’s office district and city center locations have seen reduced traffic, while its suburban and shopping center locations have recovered more quickly.

Starbucks has been dealing with these changes by shifting from focusing on creating its “third place” environment in stores for consumers to spend time on-site to emphasizing off-premise channels, streamlining stores for more efficient digital order filling.

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Mastercard Teams with D-Wave to Advance Quantum-Hybrid Solutions

Mastercard is working with D-Wave Systems to accelerate the adoption of quantum computing solutions and to develop quantum-hybrid applications for the financial services world.

Consumer loyalty, rewards, cross-border settlement and fraud management are the chief areas being researched for the development of applications that will modernize financial services.

“We are heralding in the next wave of computing,” said D-Wave CEO Alan Baratz. “Just like the creation of the PC, the emergence of the internet and the proliferation of smartphones and voice assistants, it is our belief that quantum will have far-reaching and industry-disrupting impact, especially in the financial services sector.”

American Express, SiriusXM Team on Shop Small Concert Series

American Express has joined forces with SiriusXM to bring the Small Stage Series on the road this summer and support small businesses.

The concert series will feature performances from five artists at small venues in U.S. cities, spotlighting small businesses by encouraging consumers in each city to shop small.

American Express will work with businesses and restaurants near the venues in each city to give eligible card members $30 gift cards for shopping, dining and other services in the communities.

NextGen Healthcare Expands InstaMed Partnership

Healthcare tech company NextGen said it has expanded its partnership with healthcare payments provider  InstaMed.

As the Atlanta-based firm said in a news release, the move “modernizes payment processing through NextGen Pay powered by InstaMed.” This solution, NexGen said, lets patients pay online when visiting providers that use NextGen’s Practice Managmeent offering. Meanwhile, the platform lets healthcare providers automate collections and manage and view payments within one system.

“With NextGen Pay powered by InstaMed, we’re taking the friction out of the patient-provider payment experience,” said Srinivas Velamoor, chief growth and strategy officer for NextGen Healthcare. “Patients want a simple and streamlined process for paying their medical bills; providers want to focus on delivering the best care possible without being mired in collection inefficiencies. Our integrated solution delivers on both needs.”

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NEW PYMNTS SURVEY FINDS 3 IN 4 CONSUMERS WITH STRONG DEMAND FOR SUPER APPS

About: The findings in PYMNTS’ new study, “The Super App Shift: How Consumers Want To Save, Shop And Spend In The Connected Economy,” a collaboration with PayPal, analyzed the responses from 9,904 consumers in Australia, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. and showed strong demand for a single multifunctional super apps rather than using dozens of individuals ones.



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