Amazon Payment Services gets license from UAE Central Bank

Amazon Payment Services, a regional leader in digital payments operating across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, has been granted a Retail Payment Services license by the UAE Central Bank. Marking a significant milestone for the business, this license enables Amazon Payment Services to unlock an enhanced offering for its merchants across the country, through unique products and services, directly improving the experience for their customers. Obtaining the license reinforces Amazon Payment Services’ position as a trusted payment service provider in the UAE, where the company facilitates payment processing for hundreds of merchants including Small to Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs). This license enables Amazon Payment Services to invest in operational efficiency to deliver more streamlined payment processing and continues to support merchants of all sizes through its various hassle-free products and services.SMBs in the UAE accepting, or considering, online payments are set to gain the most from the regulated payment processing solution by Amazon Payment Services, with a range of benefits enabling faster onboarding and lower cost of payments, which aims to support their growth and success through a secure and reliable platform.Peter George, Managing Director for Amazon Payment Services in MENA, said: “It is a privilege to have earned the trust of the UAE Central Bank and been granted this license which not only instils trust and security for merchants and customers alike, but also allows us to take our offering to the next level. We look forward to continuing to work with key local stakeholders as we expand our offering and invest in our operations across the UAE, facilitating seamless, secure, and fast payments for merchants of all sizes and customers. At Amazon, we insist on the highest standards, and this license is a true testament of this.”Amazon Payment Services continues to offer seamless and secure payment solutions to merchants across new and diverse sectors such as travel, insurance, and education. With this license, the company joins a select group of payment providers operating a regulated retail payment service locally, contributing to instilling trust and promoting further adoption of digital payments in the UAE.

META Records Strong Stock Performance in Recent Trading

Meta Platforms (META) closed at $318.36 in the latest trading session, marking a 0.93% increase from the previous day. This outperformance compared to the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.63%, the Dow's 0.59% increase, and the Nasdaq's 0.39% rise.Over the past month, Meta Platforms' stock has climbed by 5.89%, surpassing the Computer and Technology sector's 2.3% loss and the S&P 500's 3.39% decline.Investors are eagerly awaiting Meta Platforms' upcoming earnings release scheduled for October 25, 2023. Analysts anticipate an EPS of $3.57, reflecting a substantial 117.68% increase from the same quarter last year. The consensus estimate for quarterly revenue stands at $33.41 billion, up 20.55% year-over-year.For the full year, Zacks Consensus Estimates indicate expectations of earnings per share of $13.34 and revenue of $132.79 billion. These projections represent changes of +35.71% and +13.87%, respectively, from the previous year.It's important to monitor analyst estimate revisions for Meta Platforms, as they often reflect short-term business trends. Positive estimate revisions can signify optimism about the company's outlook.Zacks Research has shown that estimate changes are closely linked to short-term stock price movements. To harness this insight, the proprietary Zacks Rank model was developed. With rankings ranging from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), the Zacks Rank system has a proven track record of strong performance, with #1 stocks delivering an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has risen by 1.58%. Currently, Meta Platforms holds a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).Additionally, investors should consider Meta Platforms' current valuation metrics, such as its Forward P/E ratio of 23.65. This indicates a discount compared to the industry's average Forward P/E of 37.56.Meta Platforms' PEG ratio, currently at 1.1, is also noteworthy. This metric, akin to the P/E ratio, factors in expected earnings growth. In comparison, the Internet - Software industry, as of the last trading session, had an average PEG ratio of 1.52.The Internet - Software industry falls within the Computer and Technology sector and boasts a Zacks Industry Rank of 63, positioning it in the top 25% of over 250 industries.The Zacks Industry Rank evaluates the strength of individual industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of constituent stocks. Research has shown that industries in the top 50% of rankings tend to outperform those in the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.Stay tuned to for further updates on these and other stock-moving metrics throughout upcoming trading sessions.

SoftBank Launches Major IoT Expansion in APAC With 1NCE Partnership

SoftBank Corp. has unveiled plans to launch a comprehensive expansion of its global IoT business in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region starting in October 2023. This expansion will encompass 19 countries and regions, including Japan. SoftBank's primary focus in this initiative will be the promotion of IoT services, particularly the "1NCE IoT Flat Rate" offered by German company 1NCE GmbH, targeting enterprise customers. The telecom giant aims to secure a total of 2 million 1NCE IoT Flat Rate connections across APAC and other regions by the end of the 2025 fiscal year, which concludes on March 31, 2026.As part of its "Beyond Carrier" growth strategy, SoftBank is diversifying beyond its core telecommunications business and is actively driving digital transformation (DX) in various industry sectors. Within the IoT domain, SoftBank made an equity investment in 1NCE GmbH in April 2022 and secured an exclusive agreement to market the 1NCE IoT Flat Rate in 19 APAC markets. The 1NCE IoT Flat Rate offers highly cost-effective global IoT connectivity, allowing customers to roam on 1NCE's extensive global network spanning over 160 countries and regions at no additional cost. This service has gained traction among enterprise customers, including Japanese companies like Pocketalk Corporation.While SoftBank initially focused on promoting the 1NCE IoT Flat Rate within Japan, it is now broadening its reach to include 19 countries and regions in APAC, intensifying its global IoT business efforts. The company will bolster its IoT salesforce by quadrupling its team, launch a dedicated online IoT shop in partnership with 1NCE, and enhance advertising and marketing campaigns across the region. In addition, SoftBank will leverage its IoT platform to propose solutions related to smart meters and work towards further expanding its global IoT business presence.SoftBank is committed to building a comprehensive support framework to address the challenges faced by various industries in different countries and regions. The expansion of its global IoT business, starting with the APAC region, aligns with SoftBank's broader "Beyond Japan" initiative aimed at expanding its global presence.Daichi Nozaki, Senior Vice President overseeing the global business at SoftBank Corp., expressed enthusiasm about the comprehensive expansion of the company's IoT business in the APAC region. Nozaki stated, "We’re extremely pleased to be able to fully expand our IoT business in the APAC region. While we’ve been providing IoT services primarily in Japan and contributing to the DX of various industries there, going forward we’ll collaborate with strong business partners like 1NCE and leverage our expertise gained in the Japan market to fully establish ourselves in APAC. Doing this, we’ll work to contribute to the digitalization of the entire region and solve social issues."