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Apple’s potential ‘buy now, pay later’ plan sends sector tumbling

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Apple Inc. is developing a service that would allow customers to pay for products in installments. According to Bloomberg News, the US tech giant would employ Goldman Sachs as the lender for the loans, which has been its partner since 2019 for the Apple Card credit card. The prospect of competing against Apple and other newcomers such as PayPal was set to put Australian pure-play BNPL enterprises to the test, as they had so far been uncontested in a thriving US market.

On Wednesday, shares of Australia-listed Afterpay, the country’s largest BNPL provider, fell over 10%. Zip Co Ltd and Sezzle, two smaller competitors, both plummeted substantially. Given its reach and superior consumer experience on a mobile website or in-store, Citi analysts believe Apple Pay poses a greater threat than possible offers from banks or credit institutions. The plan will see Apple Pay users choose to split their purchases into 4 interest free instalments, or into one spread over a longer tenure with interest.

According to a McKinsey estimate, the number of retailers adopting the payback option will nearly triple by 2020. In Australia, where the fast-growing sector is less regulated and adoption is stronger than in other nations, 30% of the country’s consumers have a BNPL account.

PayPal announced the introduction of its service in Australia on Wednesday and upped the ante by announcing the elimination of late fees. Klarna, which has risen to prominence as a key competitor in Australia and has attracted the attention of major US corporations. Users of Apple Pay will be able to divide their payments into four interest-free instalments or spread them out over several months with interest.

A spokesman for Goldman Sachs declined to comment, while Apple did not respond to a request for comment. According to Afterpay, competition strengthens the sector’s importance, as each BNPL participant operates a different model and generates money in different ways. According to a Zip spokeswoman, Apple’s reported decision bolstered the company’s operations, which were growing user numbers despite increased competition. 

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Facebook to rebrand the company ‘Metaverse’

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Facebook is the world’s largest, and arguably most influential, social media platform, with more than 2.8 billion monthly active users and a net worth as of now of $1 trillion.

It’s safe to say that the majority of our lives rely on Facebook. Recently, Facebook, the parent company of Instagram and WhatsApp, hit the headlines when it went dark for six hours, causing havoc all over the world.

According to a report by The Verge, Facebook is planning to rebrand the company with a new name to focus on building the metaverse. Metaverse, as the term suggests, is a virtual-reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users.

According to the report, CEO Mark Zuckerberg will reveal the company’s new name on October 28 at the annual Connect conference, but it could be announced sooner.

Facebook, which aspires to be renowned for more than just social networking, revealed on Sunday that it will hire 10,000 people in Europe over the next five years to help construct the metaverse, which the corporation regards as critical to its long-term success.

In July, Zuckerberg said that Facebook’s future lies in the virtual metaverse, in which users will live, work and play inside.

Facebook already has more than 10,000 employees who build consumer hardware like AR glasses that Zuckerberg believes will be as ubiquitous as smartphones.

The company wants to be known as much more than a “social media” company, and is promising to change the way humanity interacts.

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One to lookout for: Rakesh Jhunjhunwala invests in a furniture startup!

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Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, often referred to as India’s own Warren Buffett, is an ace investor with a track record of successful investing. Many treat him as a bellwether, and look to him for guidance and inspiration when it comes to navigating the vagaries of the investing landscape. And so, it would be of interest to investors to know that India’s Big Bull has out his money where his mouth is and invested in a furniture-based startup, Arrivae.

What is Aarivae?

Founded in 2017, Arrivae is a customized full home interior solution provider that enables customers to get the house customers want. From designing the finest homes by some of the finest architects and interior designers to material supplied by some of the most credible vendors. It specializes in providing practical solutions for various situations. Arrivae works in four simple steps; meeting the designer, designs made for customers, intelligent manufacturing and lastly concierge services.

Arrivae raised Rs 50 crore in its first round of external funding, backed by ace investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala. Enam family, Siddharth Yog (Founder, Xander Group), Anand Jain (Chairman, Jai Corp), Harsh Jain (Founder, Dream 11), and Ramesh S. Damani (Chairman, DMart) all participated in the fundraising round.

“At Arrivae, we’re still in the early phases of our plan to build India’s most comprehensive home renovation ecosystem. Partnerships are important to us at Arrivae because they help us build brand confidence in the ecosystem, especially among customers.” said founder Yash Kela.

Kela rounded things off by saying, “All the veterans who have participated in this round will enable more faith in the Arrivae brand.”

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The right pricing will be crucial for the launch of Zydus Cadila’s vaccine.

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The destiny of Zydus Cadila’s Covid vaccine is in doubt, as the vaccine’s price appears to be delaying its introduction into the vaccination program. The business has received emergency use authorization from the FDA to inject its Covid vaccine, ZyCoV-D, to children aged 12 to 18.

Zydus Cadila, located in Ahmedabad, has imported the pharmaJet, a needle-free applicator for painless intradermal vaccine delivery. 

Each jet is responsible for delivering a specific amount of vaccination. 

As a result, a single dose is split into two shots, one for each arm. “It’s an expensive device and hence jacks up the overall price,” a government official said.

Around 20,000 dosages can be administered with the jet injector.

The government has been purchasing Covaxin at 225 per dosage and Covishield, another Covid vaccine developed in India, at 215 per dose.

The price of the Zydus Cadila vaccine, according to Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, will be significantly more than that of existing vaccines.

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