Must Read Money Stories for Wednesday, May 11

by May 11, 2016

Must Read Money Stories

Signature or PIN?

Wal-Mart is suing Visa to change the way the retailer’s customers pay with debit cards. The Wall Street Journal reports that Visa has required customer signatures for chip-based debit cards, which Wal-Mart says is a more expensive process than using a personal identification number (PIN). One source told the newspaper that about 5 cents per transaction are at stake. Wal-Mart has framed the issue around security, saying that PINs are a more trustworthy method of curtailing fraud.

Green light for Uber guild

Uber drivers in New York City will be able to negotiate with the company through the next closest thing to a union: a guild. Bloomberg reports that the Independent Driver’s Guild will represent the approximately 35,000 drivers for the next five years. Uber is partially funding the guild. Federal law prevents the drivers from participating in collective bargaining or forming unions because they are categorized by Uber as “independent contractors.” The Seattle City Council approved legislation earlier this year to let drivers of companies like Uber and Lyft to form unions. Seattle’s first-of-its-kind law has received criticism from Uber and a lawsuit from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Amazon takes on YouTube

The Monday announcement of the Amazon Video Direct service thrusts the online retailer into a competition with YouTube for the Internet video-sharing market. Amazon subscribers have already begun uploading videos to the new site, Tech Crunch reports. Those who upload videos have multiple revenue options, including advertisements, renting and paywalls. The foray into YouTube’s territory comes after repeated moves by Amazon to compete with Netflix in video streaming. Time notes that Amazon’s lack of a social media nativity could challenge the company as it competes against the video troves of YouTube and Facebook.

Skills gap?

The latest U.S. jobs report shows a mixed bag; more job positions exist, but workers matching the skills of those jobs are harder for employers to find. U.S. job openings in March reached their highest in eight months, but hiring decreased by 218,000, Reuters reports. Many experts credit this trend to a skills gap. The number of job openings in March – 5.75 million – is slightly smaller than the record of 5.78 million, which was set last July, according to CNN. The numbers come from the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, which also indicated a decline in layoffs.

20120708-OSEC-LSC-0435” by flickr user “U.S. Department of Agriculture.” Photo by Lance Cheung. CC license CC by-ND 2.0.