A Look at Square

Square, the payments company founded in 2009, is providing small and medium brick-and-mortar merchants with a set of easy-to-use tools to accept debit card, credit card and phone payments. If you visited a hip coffee shop or trendy food truck in the last couple of years - you've probably used the Square card reader to pay. The company went public in 2015 and has enjoyed significant growth in its market capitalization in 2017. We decide to take a look at Square transactions in our panel of over 3 million debit and credit cards to get a sense for how Square usage is growing. Over the last two…

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Is Uber Losing Its Loyal Riders to Lyft?

In past posts we've looked at market share changes following recent controversy involving Uber. We saw that indeed, some Uber customers switched to using Lyft. We decided to use our panel of over 3 million credit and debit cards to learn more about those "Uber defectors". For the purpose of this analysis, we looked at customers who significanty reduced their usage of Uber starting with February 2017 (#DeleteUber campaign started on January 30th) and switched to using Lyft, Uber's main competitor. We compared this segment of customers to the average Uber customer in our panel. Location The fo…

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Wal-Mart and the Last Stand of Retail

As Amazon.com has been smashing sales and stock price records, destroying entire retail verticals in the process, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers spent the last decade battling to remain relevant, in what sometimes appears as a battle lost before it began. Many predict 2017 will be the year when many traditional retailers close their doors for good. As more and more smaller retailers go out of business or consolidate through mergers and acquisitions, Amazon's march to retail domination will inevitably end up with a showdown with the largest traditional retailers, headed by Wal-Mart. Wal…

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Are people buying Snap Spectacles?

In the S-1 filing for its recent blockbuster IPO, Snap, the company behind Snapchat, referred to itself as a "camera company". Its first camera product, the "Spectacles", is a pair of brightly colored glasses with an embedded camera that records 10-second videos and uploads them to Snapchat. Spectacles were initially given to celebrities and sold through "bots" - vending machines positioned in locations not advertised ahead of time. Then, on February 20th, spectacles became available to purchase online. Using our panel of over 3 million credit and debit cards, we looked at sales in the month f…

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Grocery Delivery is Ready for Big Time (Again)

Instacart, the grocery delivery startup, last week raised a massive $400 million round of funding, valuing the company at a whopping $3.4 billion. It seems that the grocery delivery service space is ready for big time...again. Fifteen years ago, the first dot-com bust notoriously disposed of Webvan, the previous internet grocery store that raised hundreds of millions of dollars. We used the TXN consumer spending analytics app (with a panel of over 3 million payment cards in the U.S.) to analyze the grocery delivery app landscape and see if grocery delivery's time has finally come: Over the la…

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