It’s a short holiday week, and we wanted to get the blogging in before it was time to address the stuffing!
If you’re on the merchant side of the equation, it’s also a “short” holiday season, due to Thanksgiving coming later in November than usual. So there’s even more expectation — frenzy? — around the official “Black Friday kickoff” sales. Not only for customers, but for merchants as well.
An analysis from the First Data Corporation shows a discernible uptick in consumer spending in the period heading right into the holiday season — namely, the month of October. For that four-week period, their “SpendTrend” analysis tracked “same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations.”
We were struck by a CNBC article appearing this week, with the provocative headline, “Cash-only Business Owners Risk $100 Billion Mistake.” The article notes that “As American consumers begin to embrace tap-and-pay smartphone apps, relegating plastic to a deep recess in the pocketbook or wallet, more than half of U.S. small business owners continue to live in the past—forget mobile apps, they don’t take American Express, or anything other than cash.”
ACH, or “Automated Clearing House,” has been in the financial news of late, particularly in a couple of MarketWatch articles about ongoing changes to the system of payments, particularly in this era of instantaneous digits.