Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Apple Eyes P-2-P Payments: In a bid to claim a bigger stake in the payments industry, Apple has begun talks with banks to launch a peer-to-peer payment service. The service would target the market already enjoyed by PayPal's Venmo and Square's Square Cash, the Wall Street Journal reports. Venmo currently accounts for 19% of mobile person-to-person payments, facilitating $2.1 billion in mobile payments during the third quarter alone. As part of this plan, Apple is reportedly considering embedding the P2P service clearXchange, which was developed and is used by many banks across the country. And unlike Apple Pay, the tech company may forego charging banks for participating in the service. Nonetheless, the exact form of the new service is far from decided – it's even still unclear how Apple plans to make money off the service.
Apple is far from the first tech company to approach the P2P space, the Financial Times notes. Earlier this year, Facebook debuted person-to-person payments functionality in its Messenger platform. And in what would be a very similar move to Apple's, Google embedded peer-to-peer payments as a service within its Google Wallet product and its online messaging service. Nonetheless, these services have not seen very rapid adoption, which could portend low interest. As the Journal notes, some may be slow to begin using these payment platforms because of security concerns.
But P2P payments are about more than just rapid adoption of that service alone. The new payments service would further enrich Apple Wallet and could create renewed interest among consumers, the New York Times writes. As of October, just 17% of iPhone 6 and 6S users used Apple Pay.
UniCredit to Cut 18K Jobs: UniCredit, Italy's largest bank by assets, has announced that it hopes to cut 18,200 jobs by 2018. The cost-cutting measure is expected to save the bank roughly $1.7 billion, the New York Times writes. Much of those savings will come from scaled-back commercial banking operations in Austria and Germany. The plan also includes hefty digital upgrades. The bank follows European peers, including Standard Chartered and Credit Suisse, in announcing heavy job reductions.
As the Financial Times reports, however, the announced job reductions are significantly higher than the 12,000-job figure touted ahead of the official announcement. Some of the big changes coming include the ditching of the bank's Austrian retail banking business, the sale of its Ukrainian business and the slashing of its stake in the Pioneer asset management joint venture with Santander.
Banks are continuing to lose top talent to other industries, which could be bad for business. The paper notes the reward of high salaries is no longer enough to attract the best and brightest in the post-crisis era as new recruits also look for "meaningful work and a better work-life balance." Part of the problem is banks have lost prestige. Consulting firms and tech companies have begun to market themselves better – presenting the chance to do seemingly consequential work with good pay to boot. So what does that mean for business? According to an analysis by the job research site Glassdoor, employee satisfaction has a correlation with improved stock performance. Simply put, the more people want to work for you, the higher your stock will go. So if banks don't make that happen, they may be in for a rude awakening.
As the paper notes in a separate piece as part of its banking series, banks have consequently found significant trouble in recruiting, particularly at the MBA level. Banks have taken drastic measures to reverse this tide. Morgan Stanley has raised the base pay for junior bankers, Credit Suisse has created a fast-track program for analysts and Goldman Sachs has promised rotations and fewer menial tasks for new employees. Still it's going to take banks a lot of effort to effect the change they seek. MIT now reports no banks among its top 10 recruiters for business school graduates, while the likes of Apple, Amazon, Deloitte and PwC dominate the list.
New York Times
Payments company Square continues its roadshow as it prepares for its IPO. A common question during meetings was how Square chief Jack Dorsey plans to handle his responsibilities for the payment company on top of his duties at Twitter, where he also serves as CEO. Reportedly, he said he plans to work at each for a few days a week, while reiterating the importance of delegating to a strong team. And it seems his argument was compelling – sources told the paper Dorsey impressed them with his "preparedness and charisma." How those personality traits will transfer to a role as the head of two publicly traded companies remains to be seen.
Mario Draghi is ready to make a move, but seems to think global markets aren't. The head of the European Central Bank told European lawmakers a turnaround in inflation is not imminent. The ECB is concerned about the spillover effects to Europe from downturns in emerging markets. Draghi suggested the central bank may continue to buy government bonds in December. He also hinted the ECB could take on other measures, such as the purchase of municipal bonds from cities and states, such as Paris and Bavaria. Draghi also spent his time before lawmakers defending private meetings with banks and hedge funds, noting that while they don't discuss market-sensitive information they do need to ascertain sentiment in the industry.