- The National Retail Federation reported 2019’s holiday retail sales grew 4.1% over the same period in 2018 to $730.2 billion. Online and other non-store sales rose 14.6% to $167.8 billion and are included in the total
- E-commerce services and payments provider Shopify Inc. is offering new businesses what it calls “starter loans” of $200 through its Shopify Capital service.
- In related news, Shopify launched an integrated brand campaign called “Supporting Independents” highlighting more than 330 independently-owned businesses on the Shopify platform, and 2,000 of their products.
- A “technical issue” delayed the processing of some PIN-debit card purchases at convenience-store chain QuikTrip between Nov. 1 and Dec. 18, the Tulsa World reported. The issue was fixed Dec. 19, according to the retailer’s merchant bank, JPMorgan Chase.
- Far Point Acquisition Corp. has agreed to pay $2.6 billion to acquire Global Blue, a Swiss company that allows international shoppers to receive refunds of value-added taxes and processes payments for merchants globally in their native currencies. Far Point was founded in 2018 by former New York Stock Exchange president Thomas Farley.
- Noting that cryptocurrency crime “surged” last year, Nice Actimize, a provider of risk and compliance tools, added cryptocurrency risk-technology provider CipherTrace Inc. to its X-Sight Marketplace, which includes the offerings of almost 40 companies providing data-management, identity verification, and other technologies.
- New Hampshire lawmakers rejected on a 17-1 vote a bill that would have required the state treasurer to accept cryptocurrency for taxes and fees. The decision follows a move by Ohio last year to stop accepting tax payments in cryptocurrency.
- Mastercard Inc. and nine corporate partners launched the Priceless Planet Coalition with the goal of planting 100 million trees over the next five years.
A decline in transactions at small and mid-size businesses accelerated through March as consumers react …