Walmart puts a new spin on mobile payments
A discount giant’s newest partnership is giving customers a new way to use their PayPal mobile wallet.
Walmart announced on Thursday that a new collaboration with PayPal enables customers to load cash or withdraw funds from their PayPal mobile app while shopping in its stores. The service has a $3 fee per transaction.
The partnership marks the first time that PayPal mobile app users will be able to take cash out of their account, and load cash into their PayPal mobile wallet in a brick-and-mortar environment. Similar to PayPal mobile app users, PayPal Cash Mastercard customers are also able access their cash balance using Walmart Service Desks, ATMs and cash registers for the same fee.
PayPal deposits are already accepted at all United States-based Walmart stores. The cash-out service will be available by early November, according to the retailer.
“Walmart is committed to expanding access to financial services products that are convenient, easy to use and available for everyday low prices,” said Daniel Eckert, senior VP, Walmart services and digital acceleration. “With 90% of Americans living within 10 miles of a Walmart store, we know that offering PayPal cash in and cash out money services for an exclusive low fee is going to provide great value to the many people who rely on Walmart and PayPal to help manage and move their money.”
Both companies expect the partnership to “make it simple and easy for people to use PayPal cash in and cash out money services…,” said Dan Schulman, president and CEO, PayPal. “We look forward to working hand-in-hand to help people and families with their financial services needs.”
The news comes on the heels of another new financial collaboration for Walmart. The discounter announced in July that it has entered into a long-term agreement with Capital One. Starting Aug. 1, 2019, the company will be the exclusive issuer of Walmart’s private label and co-branded credit card program in the United States. The move ends a nearly 20-year partnership with Walmart’s existing issuer, Synchrony Financial.
Ikea’s new Midwest distribution center has a couple of firsts
Ikea has broken new ground with opening of its Midwest distribution center, located in Joliet, Illinois.
The home furnishings giant built the 1.25-million-sq.-ft. facility to serve the inventory needs of stores throughout the Midwest, as well as customer fulfillment of online orders. The center is equipped with automation technology on a scale unlike anything currently in use within Ikea’s customer fulfillment network, and which allows for increased storage capacity.
The design of the Joliet facility increases co-worker efficiency due to the proximity of the dock doors to the automated storage system. Co-workers use forklifts to drive pallets into a machine called an interface station, which eventually feeds the pallet into storage. This technology allows the Joliet distribution center to provide 50% more storage capacity than any other Ikea facility.
In addition, the building is LEED Gold Certified, a first for Ikea properties in the U.S. A key environmental highlight is the 268,920-sq.-ft. solar array, which was built with 9,036 solar panels and currently the largest in Illinois. The array will produce approximately 3,377,000 kWh of electricity annually for the facility, the equivalent of reducing 2,513 tons of carbon dioxide, or the emissions generated by 538 cars or electricity provided to 377 homes yearly.
Starbucks to help employees pay for backup child care
Starbucks Corp. is extending its U.S. employee benefits package with an innovative perk: heavily subsidized backup child care as well as senior care.
The coffee giant has partnered with Care.com to offer [email protected], an online marketplace for a wide range of care providers and in-home services, to offer its 180,000 U.S. associates working at company-owned stores 10 subsidized backup care days a year for kids and adults. The employees will only pay $1 an hour for in-home backup child or adult care, or $5 per a day per child for in-center child care. (After the 10 backup care days, or for other services offered through Care.com, employees pay the full cost.)
The retailer, which noted that 2 million working parents quit their jobs in 2016 because of child care (according to the National Survey of Children’s Health), said it is among the largest retailers in the United States to offer the benefit.
Starbucks employees will also get a free premium membership to Care.com, which typically costs around $150 a year, and access to Care.com’s digital platform of caregivers.
“This is giving our partners resources for things that happen in regular life. We wanted to give them something to help fill in the gaps,” said Ron Crawford, VP of benefits, Starbucks.
In addition, Starbucks employees can access Care.com resources to help with senior care planning. They can connect with a senior care advisor for professional guidance and a customized plan for senior care to help understand long-term caregiver options, housing alternatives, finances and legal concerns – all at no cost.
“We all have needs at home, whether you have children, pets, parents or aging grandparents,” said Alyssa Brock, director of benefits at Starbucks. “This benefit supports the partner and their family. We are all more than who we are at work.”
The child care program is the latest in Starbuck’s already expansive suite of benefits. The company also provides mental health benefits through the Employee Assistance Program and offers parental leave. Earlier this year, the company also announced a partner and family sick time benefit, which allows U.S. partners to accrue paid sick time based on hours worked and use it for themselves or for a family member who needs care.
“[email protected] is the final piece of the puzzle,” Crawford said.