PayPal, SoFi increase tech spend YoY in Q2

PayPal Holdings increased its technology and development spend while focusing on talent acquisitions in the second quarter. The payments company’s tech and development spend climbed 9% year over year, reaching $815 million in Q2, according to the earnings release. “We are focusing our investments in the areas where we have tremendous advantage due to our […]

Mastercard’s Finicity SVP of data access to speak at Bank Automation Summit Fall

Ryan Christiansen, senior vice president of data access at Mastercard’s Finicity, has joined the speaker faculty of Bank Automation Summit Fall 2022 to discuss “Case Studies on Automation and Innovation Initiatives from across the Financial Institution” on Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 9:45 a.m. PT.

Bank Automation Summit Fall 2022 will take place live from the Hyatt Olive 8 in Seattle on Sept. 19-20. The Summit brings together industry experts to discuss various subjects, ranging from the use of customer relationship management (CRM) solutions to loss prevention.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

View the event agenda here.

Christiansen recently assisted Mastercard’s Finicity in the expansion and offering of open banking to its partners in order to safely make payments while launching new solutions on more than 250 million accounts.

In his current role, Christiansen coordinates with compliance to ensure that regulatory standards are adhered to, works on industry standards and guideline efforts, and leads the data access, contracting, acquisition, integrations and management of consumer-permissioned financial data.

The discussion will explore:

  • How automation can advance operational efficiency;
  • Methodologies for identifying processes ripe for automation and technology innovation; and
  • Examples of new tech initiatives pushing banking to the cutting-edge.

With automation evolving so rapidly, the Bank Automation Summit returns for the second time in 2022 to bring compelling technology content and fuel strategic plans, with a unique format focused on networking and collaboration.

Learn more about the Bank Automation Summit Fall 2022 and register.

AmEx launches cross-border B2B payments

American Express today launched American Express Global Pay, enabling its U.S. small business clients to securely send business-to-business (B2B) payments both domestically and internationally, joining the crowded field of big banks with its automated offering. “American Express Global Pay uses automation to support faster payment processing on available routes,” an American Express spokesperson told Bank […]

Robinhood crypto unit fined $30M by New York regulator

Robinhood Markets Inc.’s cryptocurrency arm was fined $30 million by New York’s financial regulator after the brokerage was accused of violating anti-money-laundering and cybersecurity rules.

The unit must enlist an independent consultant to monitor compliance, according to an order filed Tuesday. The firm disclosed last year that it expected to pay the penalty.

The enforcement action by the New York State Department of Financial Services underscores the continued regulatory scrutiny Robinhood faces, even as it pushes a message to investors that it’s taking a “safety first” stance toward digital tokens.

Robinhood took a faulty approach to crypto trading compliance at a time of rapid growth for the Menlo Park, California-based company, according to the regulator, which alleged that the brokerage lacked sufficient staff and resources to ensure compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money-laundering rules.

The firm had used a manual system to review transactions, which the financial watchdog called “unacceptable” for a business averaging more than 100,000 transactions a day totaling $5.3 million in September 2019. Automated transaction monitoring is a safeguard against money laundering that would be typical for a company of its size, the regulator said.

Robinhood, which is set to report second-quarter results Wednesday, didn’t have such automated review systems in place when the investigation began, and it took the company months to transition to one.

Shares of Robinhood were little changed, trading for $9.03 apiece at 10:19 a.m. in New York. The stock has dropped 49% this year.

— By Annie Massa (Bloomberg)

— With assistance from Alex Nguyen

UiPath acquires natural language processing firm Re:infer

Robotic process automation (RPA) giant UiPath closed its acquisition of natural language processing (NLP) company Re:infer today, bringing communications mining capabilities to its platform. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. “Today, over 80% of enterprise data is unstructured, meaning it cannot be easily analyzed and used to improve business operations or outcomes,” Ted Kummert, […]

5 questions with … UMB Bank Chief Information and Product Officer Uma Wilson

UMB Bank Chief Information and Product Officer Uma Wilson has focused on bringing together the technology and product development teams since assuming her role at the Kansas City, Mo.-based bank in 2021.

Uma Wilson, chief information and product officer, UMB Bank

The collaboration brings different viewpoints and better understanding of consumer needs, Wilson said, noting, “It’s all about solving our customers’ problems and how we can make them efficient.”

Wilson recently sat down with Bank Automation News to discuss her role and the $37.6 billion bank’s focus on the cloud, automation and product launches planned for later this year. What follows is an edited version of that conversation.

Bank Automation News: What has been the evolution of your focus on both technology and product development at the bank?

Uma Wilson: I’m looking after an entire platform of technology that includes everything from application to infrastructure to cybersecurity and digital payments. The product side is more related to the framework, digital deposits and lending payments. Product and technology did not work together all the time, but product folks bring the voice of the customers to the technology folks, and now both are willing to understand it’s not just about building technology or using the cloud.

BAN: What technology is on your radar for the remainder of 2022?

UW: UMB is on a cloud journey. The technology-enabled business is focused more on real-time payments. This is an exciting time in our industry because we really have not had a new payment rail introduced in our network for many years. This is the first new payment rail which allows us to operate 24 hours, seven days a week, 365 per year, which is powerful.

The challenge on both the technology and product side is thinking about same-day execution. Those are the key points that need to be focused on.

BAN: What role does automation play in UMB’s technology and product development approach?

UW: Automation should not be an afterthought. We are trying to optimize on automation, rather than trying to pass back, meaning when you put automation as a project, you will never achieve it. Don’t make it a separate track. There are things that you do every day and you should be able to have a critical lens to say,

‘Are there things that I’m going to be rolling out that I can automate?’ I think that’s the best way I would say that we look at automation.

BAN: Does UMB have any product launches on the horizon?

UW: There’s a project on the cloud automation and transformation side that I’m very much focused on because transformation drives efficiency which will be announced in the fourth quarter. There is also a real-time payment initiative in the works, which can be discussed further in Q3.

BAN: What’s your favorite piece of leadership advice?

UW: Good managers drive better leaders in the long run. So, our executive managers preach that … within our team and across our company. In that spirit, we had a motivational speaker many years ago come speak on leadership. One of the quotes he provided was, “It’s your ship, make it the best,” [Navy] Captain D. Michael Abrashoff.

That’s something that resonates with me, and I share that with my team.

Bank Automation Summit Fall 2022, taking place Sept. 19-20 in Seattle, is a crucial event on automation and automation technology in banking. Early registration ends Friday, Aug. 5. Learn more and register for Bank Automation Summit Fall 2022

3 considerations fintechs are exploring for payment cards

The recent explosion of fintechs entering the market is evidence of a rapidly changing financial sector, offering new solutions to consumers who are looking for more convenient ways to use their money. As fintechs and digital banks alike grow their customer base, many recognize the importance of combining a physical card strategy with a digital card strategy. For some fintechs, payment cards are the only physical touchpoint between business and customer, so the importance of a physical card is significant when connecting their brand with cardholders.

Lane Dubin, CPI Card Group’s SVP and General Manager Prepaid, Personalization Solutions and Instant Issuance

For fintechs looking to solidify a payment card option, three main considerations have become prominent when evaluating payment card solution providers: speed to market; the ability to provide a unique personalization and packaging experience; and the use of innovative materials, including metals and eco-focused options. By aligning payment cards with their overall brand, fintechs can create a customer experience that is engaging and can drive customer loyalty.

Speed to market

Fintechs have an interest in entering the market quickly to secure their niche among the landscape of competitors. In order to meet consumer demand, fintechs want to provide services that meet expectations for instant gratification through contactless payments, on-demand solutions, digital services and quick physical card delivery.

Technology and efficiency play a crucial role in the success of a quick-to-market issuance strategy. Technologies, like APIs, give fintechs the ability to submit payment card orders systematically to a provider’s card-ordering platform, delivering on efficiency while enabling fintechs to provide a personalized cardholder experience. Print-on-demand technologies can allow for a high degree of flexibility, enabling fintechs to tailor their payment card programs, leveraging complex data sets that personalize messages to cardholders. By embracing technology and working with a print-on-demand provider, fintechs can improve the speed in which they can bring products to market.

Creating cardholder experiences

Fintechs recognize that both the card and packaging experience are important factors to impress customers. In many cases, a card is the only physical extension of a fintech’s brand. Visual elements of the card can be an expression of their visual identity, whether that is bold colors, custom graphics or creatively applied finishes or treatments. Creating a personalized experience through mailers and packaging can range from the simplest — including tailored messaging carried through from the carrier, collateral and labeling — to the more complex, with die-cut custom mailers that can create a social media-worthy unboxing experience.

Innovating with card materials

Technology aside, fintechs are also embracing innovative card materials. Heavy cards featuring encased metals are not just for high-end customers anymore; fintechs can use the noticeable weight of these materials to set themselves apart. Presenting a perceptible heft, encased metal cards offer customers a premium product and a first-class experience. Other innovations in card materials include the adoption of eco-focused payment card products that utilize upcycled materials in the card body construction. Choosing a card that reduces reliance on first-use PVC gives fintechs the opportunity to offer a product that aligns with environmentally conscious consumers.

Putting it all together

Many companies across the fintech industry also understand the significant opportunity they have to position themselves as more than just a digital or trendy version of financial services. This idea extends to payment card selection and ultimately ensures that customers are able to pay the way they want in the most convenient ways possible.

For fintechs and digital banks looking to stand out from their competition, it’s paramount that their payment card setup isn’t left as an afterthought. Through innovative options for payment cards, fintechs have an opportunity to set new standards for payment card “experiences” and create engaging and important touchpoints with their customers.

Lane Dubin has served as CPI Card Group’s SVP and General Manager Prepaid, Personalization Solutions and Instant Issuance since November 2019 and has more than 20 years’ experience in the card, financial services and business travel industries.

Citi pushes on repeat-investment CVC strategy

Citi’s investment in early-stage companies has paid off for the bank, providing them an insider’s view before determining the long-term visibility of a strategic partnership. “The bigger role of a strategic investor is not really to find unicorns … the goal should be around finding a good company early and helping them build a product […]

By the Numbers: Banking apps and RPA adoption gain popularity

Americans are leaning into technology to better understand their finances, keep track of their net worth and reach long-term financial goals. People of all ages are leveraging financial apps to manage their money in fact, 58% of Americans surveyed believe that financial apps, including investment, management and banking apps are important factors in achieving their […]

NCR makes SaaS transformation, sees revenue spike

Automated teller machine (ATM) provider NCR Corporation remained steadfast in its software-as-a-service (SaaS) transformation in the second quarter amid a rise in digital banking alongside software and services revenue. NCR saw total revenue increase 23% year over year to $2 billion, according to its Q2 earnings release. Digital banking revenue grew 2% YoY to $131 […]

Visa, Mastercard swipe fees targeted in planned Senate bill

Two US senators plan to introduce legislation as early as this week that would give merchants the ability to route Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. credit-card transactions over alternative networks.

The legislation — set to be introduced by Democratic Richard Durbin of Illinois and Republican Roger Marshall of Kansas — would direct the Federal Reserve to make sure that banks with more than $100 billion in assets ensure that their credit cards provide a choice of at least two networks that can be used to process electronic credit-card transactions, according to a handout provided by Durbin’s office.

“This would inject real competition into the credit-card market — opening the door for new market entrants such as current debit-only networks, encouraging innovation and enhanced security, creating backup options if a network crashes, and exerting competitive constraints on Visa and Mastercard’s fee rates,” according to the handout.

A spokesman for Purchase, New York-based Mastercard had no immediate comment, while a representative for San Francisco-based Visa didn’t respond to requests for comment.

With the bill, Durbin and Marshall are taking aim at a key source of revenue for the two companies, which set the fees merchants are charged each time a consumer swipes one of their cards at checkout. Banks collect the bulk of these so-called swipe fees before handing over a slice to the two payments giants.

Visa shares dropped as much as 5.3% Wednesday afternoon, and were down 0.6% at 3:14 p.m. in New York, while Mastercard slipped as much as 2.9% before recovering to rise 0.9%

The move by Durbin and Marshall comes after the two firms introduced a series of changes to swipe fees earlier this year, sparking outcry among retailers who say they’re already dealing with the effects of inflation at a 40-year high.

Fee Changes

Visa, for its part, cut the fees it charges firms with less than $250,000 in Visa consumer credit-card volume by 10% — a move that it says applies to the vast majority of U.S. businesses. At the same time, though, the payments company increased the fees it charges for most online spending.

Mastercard, on the other hand, lowered the fees it charges for any transaction under $5 by about 300 basis points while decreasing the rates it charges hotels, rental-car companies, daycare facilities and casual-dining restaurants. The company also increased its so-called digital-enablement fee, which it charges on all online transactions.

These fees often amount to just pennies per transaction. But, last year alone, merchants paid $137.8 billion in processing fees, up 24% from 2020, according to the industry publication The Nilson Report.

This isn’t the first time Durbin has taken aim at swipe fees. In 2010, Congress passed the so-called Durbin Amendment, which required banks to put two unaffiliated networks on every debit card they issue. Merchants, then, are supposed to have the ability to choose which network handles transactions.

Banks typically issue debit cards with either Visa or rival Mastercard, but there are also smaller, lesser-known networks with names like Pulse, Shazam and Star. These networks often charge a lower fee, averaging just 25 cents per transaction in 2020, compared with 35 cents for debit spending routed over Visa’s debit networks, according to data compiled by the Federal Reserve.

‘Complete Overhaul’

Lenders rely on swipe fees to offer rewards for credit card users, so banks may have to introduce new annual fees to preserve those perks for customers, said Dan Perlin, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets. And while banks and merchants have long since adjusted their debit systems to comply with the Durbin Amendment, other analysts were quick to note that the same functionality doesn’t currently exist in the world of credit cards.

“Enabling dual network capabilities for credit cards would require a complete overhaul of the existing technology for credit card transaction processing including making networks interoperable, enabling issuer processors to handle alternative network messages, and a complete re-issuance of all credit cards for banks with more than $100 billion in assets, among other technological and functional challenges,” analysts at Credit Suisse Group AG said in a note to clients.

Trade groups representing banks and payment companies immediately cried foul on Wednesday, arguing the bill could create security concerns in the payments industry and may lead to more foreign payment networks — including China’s UnionPay — handling US credit card transactions.

“It’s highly conceivable and highly likely that a lot of these transactions might end up running over a foreign network,” said Jeff Tassey, chairman of the Electronic Payments Coalition.

Merchants, though, have been adamant that a bill like the one Durbin and Marshall are proposing would allow them to ultimately lower prices for consumers. That would come as US inflation accelerated to a 40-year high in June, a sign that price pressures are becoming entrenched in the economy.

“For the retailers, it means everything,” said Leon Buck, vice president for government relations for banking and financial services at the National Retail Federation. “It would allow us to negotiate a fairer, lesser, more equitable price.”

Take convenience stores, which are known for razor-thin margins. NACS — a trade group representing the industry — said swipe fees climbed 26% for the industry in 2021 compared to the year earlier and another 33% in the first quarter alone.

“Our estimate is that having basic competition ought to be about $11 billion in savings overall,” said Doug Kantor, general counsel for NACS and an executive committee member for the Merchants Payments Coalition trade group. “You ought to see a vast majority of that going to consumers.”

(Updates with additional information and analyst commentary in 13th paragraph)

–By Jenny Surane and Laura Litvan (Bloomberg)

Why financial services CFOs need to partner with their CIOs

It’s no secret that the financial services industry is highly regulated, and it’s just one challenge the industry faces. In addition to the ubiquitous burdens the COVID-19 pandemic brought to just about every industry, financial services firms are also trying to navigate de-globalization as well as digital disruption. 

Renee Wells, vice president of product strategy, Rimini Street

In order to succeed, financial services institutions need to remain proactive and continue to help drive innovation. As they align their budgets and resources on future goals where their businesses and operations are concerned, it’s vital to reprioritize digital strategies to emerge as winners despite continual volatility and shifts in the market.

And in order to do that, it’s imperative that chief financial officers (CFOs) are in lockstep with chief information officers (CIOs) and other technology leaders to keep innovation moving forward. 

The pandemic-induced reality

While the financial services industry has its list of challenges, there’s no getting around the fact that the global pandemic has created some harsh implications. A recent PwC assessment of the industry laid out a series of macro trends that financial services leaders need to grasp as they develop their plans for the future. Among them: the COVID-19 recession will reduce the risk-bearing capacity for regulated industries — including financial services — to support the “real” economy as it enters a recovery stage over the next year. 

In addition, the firm says that low interest rates will continue to add a layer of volatility to business models and margins, while de-globalization will further coordinate the size of financial institutions with the GDP of the countries in which they’re based. That, PwC argues, will lead to continued offshoring and increase operational risk across the industry. Finally, the firm says that the pandemic won’t delay — and may actually accelerate — the development and implementation of regulatory measures across many countries and regions. 

Prioritizing digital innovation

Digital transformation is a priority in just about every industry, but it appears that it’s slightly less important to executives in the financial services industry. A recent Dimensional Research survey of CFOs and senior finance leaders found that 65% of respondents from financial services and insurance organizations view digital transformation investments as key to their business’ success. That’s lower than any other industry examined in the survey; as an example, 81% of manufacturing respondents said digital transformation investments are vital to their success, as did 79% in the tech industry, 75% in retail and 73% in construction. When asked, financial services respondents identified optimizing existing tech investments as the top IT initiative they’d like to see more of from CIOs. 

This is where CIOs can help their CFO counterparts. Creating strong relationships with their CIO not only helps CFOs drive more innovation where transformation is concerned but also helps meet other wider business goals. The CIO is uniquely positioned to convey which digital initiatives can provide the most near-term value and ROI, as well as which projects are worth shelving for the time being. Armed with this knowledge, the CFO can then turn to other decision-making executives and explain why driving digital innovation forward is important to the health of the business. 

In most cases — particularly in this environment — the safer bet is to focus on smaller initiatives that drive the digital strategy forward incrementally over time, as opposed to a lengthy and costly infrastructure overhaul that may not yield tangible results for three to five years (or more). Quick wins every few months demonstrate added value across the organization and showcase the why behind digital transformation efforts. 

Leaders must invest in their most valuable asset: Their employees

As financial services companies — like just about every other industry — reassess their strategies in the post-pandemic landscape, it’s becoming clear that the winners are investing in employees. Just about every organization in the industry expects to allow employees to continue to work remotely in some fashion in the coming year, which means CFOs and their CIO counterparts have an opportunity to help their businesses provide employees with the resources they need to remain productive while working remotely. 

A recentGartner study on the digital future of finance noted that the pandemic proved that efficiency comes at the cost of flexibility, and that businesses need to fund the right investments to increase employee performance in what will likely be a hybrid workforce for the foreseeable future. This means providing employees with the hardware necessary to remain productive, but also to make smart and efficient investments when it comes to organization-wide systems that the business runs on. 

According to the report, finance professionals and organizations have an opportunity to reduce waste and redundancy in this environment. I would argue that one way to do this is to not succumb to the vendors of ERPs and other types of business software by over spending on the so-called “latest and greatest” updates. The truth these vendors probably don’t want you to hear is that most businesses can remain just as effective, productive and secure — a major must for this industry — by maintaining the systems they already have in place rather than investing in the latest versions of everything just because the vendor says it’s time to do so. 

Digital transformation isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition. Taking a more measured approach and investing incrementally where it makes sense frees up funds for organizations to invest in other ways to help foster employee growth, development and ultimately, productivity. 

In the end, this is a key area where CFOs and CIOs can partner to help keep employees productive so they can move their organizations forward. As CIOs identify strategic areas where bolstering technology supports the business’s digital transformation aspirations, CFOs can illustrate to other leaders why these initiatives make good business sense. 

Renee Wells serves as vice president of product strategy at Rimini Street. A 27-year veteran of IT and enterprise software with extensive experience in network engineering, management consulting, product marketing and product management, she held several leadership roles at AT&T prior to her current role.

TD Bank’s Paul Margarites joins Bank Automation Summit Fall

Paul Margarites, head of commercial digital platforms at the $1.4 trillion TD Bank, will join the Bank Automation Summit Fall 2022 speaker faculty to discuss “Embedded Finance: Frontiers in Open Banking” on Monday, Sept. 19, at 1:45 p.m. PT.

Bank Automation Summit Fall 2022 will take place live from the Hyatt Olive 8 in Seattle on Sept. 19-20. The Summit brings together industry experts to discuss a wide range of topics, from using automation to stop fraudulent bank transactions to improving customer and employee experiences.

View the event agenda here.

Paul Margarites, head of U.S. commercial digital platforms, TD Bank

With more than a decade of experience in guiding digital transformation for both large investment banks and management consulting firms, Margarites is responsible for developing, scaling and running digital products at TD Bank.

Recently, he has focused on embedded banking to help TD Bank clients automate payables processes, Margarites previously told Bank Automation News. “Our decisions around automation focus on client experience and ease of doing business with the bank.”

The embedded finance panel at the Summit will cover the following topics:

  • Opportunities and challenges for FIs pursuing an embedded finance strategy;
  • Best practices in API development – before going to market; and
  • Compliance considerations for FIs and fintechs.

The Bank Automation Summit Fall 2022 agenda invites participants to collaborate and learn, with multiple sessions dedicated to topics such as facilitating citizen developers in banking, automation to detect and stop fraudulent transactions, new frontiers in open banking, and more. Participants will have the opportunity to explore relevant case studies and engage in roundtable discussions on key automation and innovation trends.

Learn more and register for Bank Automation Summit Fall 2022.

Jack Henry teams up with Victor Technologies and MVB Bank on RTP

Core provider Jack Henry announced a partnership this week with MVB Edge Ventures subsidiary Victor Technologies and MVB Bank to integrate a real-time payments (RTP) solution that improves the bank’s instant payment offerings to its clients. The West Virginia-based MVB Bank is the first Jack Henry customer to launch RTP send and request capabilities on […]

Transactions: Visa teams up with fintech Wex

Visa reached a multiyear agreement with fintech WEX to “enable their travel, health and corporate clients to make payments using Visa virtual card capabilities,” Visa Chief Executive Al Kelly said during Tuesday’s fiscal third-quarter earnings call. In addition, Visa also partnered with credit fintech Fundbox at the end of May to enable new payment capabilities […]

Credit unions see AI opportunities in the wake of the ‘great resignation’

Credit unions are looking to personalize their customer experience offerings by leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), particularly as customer expectations have changed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the mass employee resignations that have followed. Financial institutions have struggled to keep up with customer demand since the pandemic began as branches shuttered and call […]

3 BNPL strategies for financial institutions

Buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) use in the U.S. has more than doubled since 2020. “[T]hat’s not much of a surprise if you follow digital payment trends throughout the pandemic,” Jordan McKee, principal research analyst at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said recently during the company’s “Financial Services and Tech Companies at the Crossroads” webinar. BNPL has “been a […]

Equifax to acquire post-transaction fraud mitigation solution Midigator

Equifax announced today its plans to acquire fraud solution Midigator to enhance its digital identity and fraud prevention capabilities as chargebacks and transaction disputes rise. In 2022, global e-commerce sales are expected to reach $5.5 trillion, and as e-commerce transactions rise, fraud, too, is expected to surge, according to an Equifax statement. Midigator’s automated, data-driven […]

Fiserv innovates via acquisitions, investments

Core provider Fiserv continues to seek innovation opportunities for its customers through acquisitions and organic investments. “These investments and accelerated revenue growth resulted in higher capital expenditures and working capital leading to free cash flow of $658 million for the quarter and $1.3 billion year to date,” Frank Bisignano, chief executive at Fiserv, said during […]

Shopify will cut 10% of its staff, with most workers gone by day’s end

Canadian e-commerce firm Shopify Inc. will cut about 10% of its workforce Tuesday, as Chief Executive Officer Tobi Lutke acknowledged the company’s decision to expand rapidly coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic didn’t pay off.

The move will eliminate about 1,000 jobs out of 10,000 or so total employees at Shopify. Most of the affected roles are in recruiting, support and sales, Lutke said in a memo posted on the company’s website.

Shopify tumbled as much as 17% to $30.55, the biggest intraday drop in almost three months. The Wall Street Journal reported the job cuts earlier Tuesday.

“We bet that the channel mix — the share of dollars that travel through e-commerce rather than physical retail — would permanently leap ahead by five or even 10 years” because of the pandemic, Lutke wrote.

“It’s now clear that bet didn’t pay off. What we see now is the mix reverting to roughly where pre-Covid data would have suggested it should be at this point.”

Shopify was among the hottest pandemic stocks in 2020 and 2021 as online shopping boomed. It came crashing down this year, hampered by an economic cool-down and an easing of Covid-19 restrictions. Shopify shares have fallen 73% this year as of Monday’s close.

The Ottawa-based company reported a huge profit miss in the first quarter, and analysts have cut their expectations for the second quarter results, which are scheduled for Wednesday.

The move boosts the likelihood that Shopify will lower its full-year outlook, according to RBC Capital Markets analyst Paul Treiber. During first-quarter results in May, the company said it had expected merchants to join its platform at the same rate as in 2021.

“Since Shopify reinvests all the gross profit that it generates back into the business, the reduction of headcount increases the likelihood that the company reduces its FY22 outlook,” Treiber said in a note to clients.

Analysts expect $1.33 billion in revenue for the period ended June 30, up just 11% from the first quarter.

For those losing jobs this week, Shopify will pay at least 16 weeks of severance and extend additional benefits, including an allowance to buy laptops and temporary coverage of home internet costs, a spokeswoman for the company said.

–By Derek Decloet, Prarthana Prakash and Stefanie Marotta (Bloomberg)