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PULSE Perspectives - March 2022

Luxury Shoppers Want Buy Now, Pay Later
Yahoo!, January 2022

A recent study found broad support for paying for luxury items with BNPL options. A story from Yahoo! Life details findings from The State of Smooth: Unpacking Luxury in 2022 report from Klarna, which explores payments preferences within the luxury category. Demand is especially strong among Gen Z and Millennial luxury shoppers, nearly 90% of whom find significant value in the availability of BNPL.

PULSE Perspective: Some may have assumed that BNPL was for economy shoppers, but flexible, interest-free payment options split over time is being used by a broad range of consumers. Issuers should consider whether these services make sense for their customer base.


How Holiday Shoppers Paid, November 2021

According to PYMNTS, a survey of U.S. consumers found that over 60% of those who shopped in brick-and-mortar stores over the holidays relied on cash on hand, across several payment methods, to buy goods. More than 44% of respondents dipped EMV debit cards at the point-of-sale, while 8% used contactless debit. Gift cards made up about 9%. The use of debit in 2021 was markedly higher than what was seen in 2019 and 2018. When it came to shopping online, PYMNTS’ surveys revealed that credit accounted for more than 53% of purchases.

PULSE Perspective: Debit transactions continue to take greater share of volume every quarter, and we’re seeing debit continue to increase its share of card-not-present (CNP) volume.


Treasury Pushes for Stablecoin Regulations
Bloomberg, December 2021

Bloomberg reports the U.S. Treasury’s top official for financial oversight says regulators lack the power to adequately protect investors – and the wider financial system – from risks posed by stablecoins. Speaking after the Financial Stability Oversight Council released its annual report outlining threats to the U.S. financial system, Nellie Liang, Treasury Undersecretary for Domestic Finance, urged lawmakers to pass legislation requiring stablecoin issuers to become insured depository institutions, which would subject them to oversight from banking regulators.

PULSE Perspective: The days of digital currency firms operating in more regulatory freedom than other financial services companies may be numbered, but don’t expect the additional requirements to stop rapid progress in this space.