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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Facebook, Apple, Amazon.com, Paypal and Square

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – April 22, 2020 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Facebook, Inc. FB, Apple, Inc. AAPL, Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN, Paypal Holdings, Inc. PYPL and Square, Inc. SQ.

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Facebook & 4 Stocks in Focus as Online Payments Gain Traction

Facebook, Inc. is seeking regulatory approval to launch mobile payment services in Indonesia. The social media giant is reportedly working with three local digital fintech firms and plans to launch payments services in Indonesia at the earliest.

Payments services have gained immense popularity over the past few months, following the coronavirus outbreak. Contactless payment services is gaining steam as an increasing number of people are staying at homes and maintaining social distancing, which has seen a decline in transaction through currency notes.

Facebook to Expand Payments Service

If the plan gets regulatory approval, it could become one of the first payments service under the unified service Facebook Pay. According to a Reuters report, Facebook is initiating talks to partner with three local companies — ride hailing firm Gojek’s GoPay, fintech startup OVO, which is backed by Singapore-based riding hailing company Grab, and state-backed LinkAja.

Facebook launched its contactless payments service Facebook Pay in November 2019. The service allows users to make payments across multiple platforms including WhatsApp and Instagram without exiting the app. Facebook is trying to tap the fast-growing Indonesian market and has been in talks with these firms since last year.

Payment services are gaining popularity, with a number of big tech companies treading the same path. According to a Facebook spokesperson, the company plans to expand its digital payments platform to more countries, as there is tremendous growth potential for the business.

Contactless Payments Grow on Users’ Trust

Increasing use of Internet and smartphones to make payments along with online banking transactions via mobile wallets are working in favor of payment apps. Also, payment of utility and telephone bills through online payments apps is gaining popularity.

Moreover, the past couple of months have witnessed a surge in users of payments services following the COVID-19 outbreak. Governments are imposing travel bans and implementing stricter social distancing measures. This has seen more people shying away from physical transactions through currency notes. Instead, contactless payments are being preferred.

This has resulted in big tech companies like Apple, Inc., Amazon.com, Inc. and Paypal Holdings, Inc. increasingly shifting focus to payments services. However, reliance on payment apps also depends on the trust factor and credibility, which are assured when services are provided by big tech companies.

Facebook Pay allows users to view payment history and manage payment methods. It also provides real-time customer support via live chat.    Facebook has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The company’s shares have gained 19% in the past one month.

Square, Inc. with its user-friendly interface is fast becoming a hit. Its peer-to-peer payments service Square Cash App allows users to send or receive money immediately. The funds can then be transferred to a bank account instantly.  Square Cash App has also added features that allow users to invest their funds in the stock market and Bitcoin, giving them the power to diversify their digital dollars.

PayPal’s mobile payment subsidiary Venmo allows instant money transfer among family and friends. Similar to PayPal, funds can be transferred immediately via Venmo to a connected bank account (with a 1% fee per transfer up to $10) or in 1-3 business days. Square and PayPal, each carrying a Zacks Rank #3, have seen their stocks surge 60.3% and 29.9%, respectively, over the past 30 days. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Apple’s digital wallet, Apple Pay, is one of the most popular digital payment wallets, with more than 6,000 users. One of the major positives of this app is that it can be easily synchronized with Apple Watch. Apple Pay’s biggest strength lies in its user data privacy policy, which has made it one of the most trustworthy mobile wallets. Apple carries a Zacks Rank #3. The iPhone maker’s shares have increased 20.8% over the past 30 days.

Amazon’s payments processing service Amazon Pay has a large user base which is continuing to grow. The app enables users to make payments, do online shopping, pay bills, book flight and event tickets. Amazon has a Zacks Rank #3. Its shares have gained 29.7% in the past one month.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performancefor information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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