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The latest news from Business Insider

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    Mobility Market

    This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

    Automakers are on the verge of a prolonged period of rapid change to the way they do business, thanks to the combined disruptive forces of growing on-demand mobility services and self-driving cars, which will start to come to market in the next couple of years.

    By the end of 2019, Google spinoff Waymo, Uber, and GM all plan to have fleets of autonomous cars deployed in various US cities to provide on-demand rides for passengers. By eliminating the cost of the driver, these rides are expected to be far cheaper than typical Uber or Lyft rides, and even cheaper than owning a car for personal transportation.

    Many industry experts are predicting that such cheap on-demand autonomous rides service will result in a long-term decline in car ownership rates — PwC predicts that the total number of cars on the road in the US and EU will drop from 556 million last year to 416 million in 2030.

    This decline in car ownership represents an enormous threat to automakers’ traditional business models, forcing them to find alternative revenue sources. Many of these automakers, including GM, Ford, and Daimler, have plans to launch their own on-demand ride-hailing services with fleets of self-driving cars they will manufacture, potentially giving them a new stream of recurring revenue. This could set them up to take a sizeable share of a market that is expected to be worth trillions by 2030.

    However, competing in the on-demand mobility market will pit legacy automakers against ride-hailing services from startups and tech giants that have far greater experience in acquiring and engaging consumers through digital channels. To succeed in what will likely be a hyper-competitive market for urban ride-hailing, automakers will have to foster new skill sets in their organizations, and transform from companies that primarily produce vehicles to ones that also manage vehicle fleets and customer relationships.

    That will entail competing with startups and tech giants for software development and data science talent, as well as reforming innovation processes to keep pace with digital trendsetters. Automakers will also need to create unique mobile app and in-car experiences to lure customers. Finally, these automakers will face many overall barriers in the market, including convincing consumers that self-driving cars are safe, and dealing with a complex and evolving regulatory landscape.

    In a new report, Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, delves into the future of the on-demand mobility space, focusing on how automakers will use fleets of self-driving vehicles to break into an emerging industry that's been dominated thus far by startups like Uber and Lyft. We examine how the advent of autonomous vehicles will reshape urban transportation, and the impact it will have on traditional automakers. We then detail how automakers can leverage their core strengths to create new revenue sources with autonomous mobility services, and explore the key areas they'll need to gain new skills and capabilities in to compete with mobility startups and tech giants that are also eyeing this opportunity. 

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • The low cost of autonomous taxis will eventually lead car ownership rates among urban consumers to decline sharply, putting automakers’ traditional business models at risk.
    • Many automakers plan to launch their own autonomous ride-hailing services with the self-driving cars they're developing to replace losses from declining car sales, putting them in direct competition with mobility startups and tech giants looking to launch similar services.
    • Additionally, automakers plan to maximize utilization of their autonomous on-demand vehicles by performing last-mile deliveries, which will force them to compete with a variety of players in the parcel logistics industry.
    • Regulatory pressures could also push automakers to consider alternative mobility services besides on-demand taxis, such as autonomous on-demand shuttle or bus services.
    • Providing these types of services will force automakers to make drastic changes to their organizations to acquire new talent and skills, and not all automakers will succeed at that.

    In full, the report:

    • Forecasts the growth of autonomous on-demand ride-hailing services in the US.
    • Examines the cost benefits of such services for consumers, and how they will reshape consumers’ transportation habits.
    • Details the different avenues for automakers to monetize the growth of autonomous ride-hailing.
    • Provides an overview of the various challenges that all players in the self-driving car space will need to overcome to monetize their investments in these new technologies in the coming years.
    • Explains the key factors that will be critical for automakers to succeed in this emerging market.
    • Offers examples of how automakers can differentiate their apps and services from competitors’.

    Subscribe to an All-Access pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

    This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports
    Access to all future reports and daily newsletters
    Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry
    And more!
    Learn More

    Purchase & download the full report from our research store

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    china uighur protest

    • China's Muslim minority, the Uighurs, are subject to harsh surveillance, with many interned in prison-like detention camps and forced to work.
    • Beijing justifies this crackdown as a counterterrorism measure, and calls the internment camps "free vocational training."
    • Countries in the Muslim world have largely avoided confronting Beijing over this crackdown in the past, but the tide is turning.
    • More and more Muslim countries are openly calling out China over its human rights record.
    • Human Rights Watch's China director says the next step is for the countries to take action to persuade or punish Beijing.

    More and more countries are standing up to China over its oppression of the Uighurs, the country's majority-Muslim ethnic minority.

    Beijing is accused of interning up to 1 million Uighurs in prison-like detention camps, forcing them to renounce their religion and native language, and even pushing them into forced labor with little to no pay.

    Activists have found evidence of Chinese authorities tracking Uighurs' cellphone activity in their home region of Xinjiang, also known as East Turkestan.

    Others say Beijing has demanded demanded the Uighur diaspora hand over personal information, and threatened their families if they do not.

    xinjiang camp yingye'er

    Chinese authorities say the policies are a counterterrorism strategy, and that placing Uighurs in internment camps is "free vocational training."

    Read more:China is locking up its Muslim minorities, and pushing Islamophobia to get Europe to do it too

    Until now, countries from the Muslim world have largely avoided bringing up China's Uighur crackdown.

    Experts say this was because countries feared economic retribution from China, or because many Arab states didn't want to draw attention to their own poor human rights records.

    But the tide is turning.

    uighur protest turkey

    The crumbling wall of silence

    In September, the federal minister for religion in Pakistan — China's closest economic ally in the Muslim world — openly criticized Beijing's regulation of Uighur activity, saying that the crackdown actually "increases the chances of an extremist viewpoint growing in reaction."

    A month later, Malaysia — another major economic ally, and home to many ethnic Chinese — ignored Beijing's requests to deport a group of Uighurs imprisoned in the country.

    Most prominently, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation —  a consortium of 57 countries which calls itself  "the collective voice of the Muslim world"— noted in December "disturbing reports" of China's Muslim crackdown.

    It said it hoped China "would address the legitimate concerns of Muslims around the world."

    Read more:Jailing Muslims, burning Bibles, and forcing monks to wave the national flag: How Xi Jinping is attacking religion in China

    n Uighur woman protests in front of policemen at a street on July 7, 2009 in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region, China.

    In countries where world leaders haven't stood up to China, there are prominent protests.

    Prominent politicians and religious figures in Indonesia — the country with the highest proportion of Muslims in the world — are urging the government to speak up. It has so far refused to do so, saying it that it didn't "want to intervene in the domestic affairs of another country."

    Muslim groups in India, Bangladesh, and Kazakhstan also staged multiple protests over the Uighur detentions this year.

    People have been particularly vocal in Kazakhstan, as many ethnic Kazakhs are said to be imprisoned in the China's camps. The government in June said"an urgent request was expressed" over the welfare of Kazakhs detained in China, but there have not been any significant updates.

    Uyghur men gather for a holiday meal during the Corban Festival on September 13, 2016 in Turpan County, in the far western Xinjiang province, China.

    Western powers like the US, UK, and UN have criticised Beijing over its actions in Xinjiang in the past.

    But the criticism of Muslim nations shows a turning tide in the world's attitude to China, said Sophie Richardson, Human Rights Watch's China director.

    China has long batted away Western criticism, with state-run Global Times tabloid describing Western critics as "a condescending judge" earlier this year. China's foreign ministry said a reported investigation by western diplomats into the Uighur issue was "very rude."

    Richardson said: "When governments like Indonesia or Malaysia ... or organizations like the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation speak up, China can no longer dismiss concerns about Xinjiang being some kind of Western conspiracy."

    "That's very encouraging."

    mahathir mohamad

    The world is paying attention

    The rising tide of outrage against China comes as more and more of the country's human rights record was brought to light this year.

    This summer journalists, academics, and activists were taken aback by the disappearance of the Chinese "X-Men" actress Fan Bingbing, who Chinese authorities detained and kept from the public eye for three months over accusations that she evaded taxes.

    Meng Hongwei, the Lyon-based president of Interpol, remains missing after being mysteriously detained in China in late September. His wife thinks he could be dead.

    The New York Times also featured a story about the Xinjiang detention camps on its front page for the first time this September:

    Richardson said: "Increasingly, governments are seeing the way in which China uses thuggish tactics at home and overseas on governments and citizens, and are starting to realize it's time to push back against it."

    "Three months ago, if you were to tell me there would be critical language coming out of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, I would have suggested it was unlikely," she said.

    Xinjiang

    Next comes action

    Muslim countries' speaking up against China over the Uighurs is a significant first step, but is not likely to do much by itself.

    Countries now need to take concrete action to punish or persuade China to end their crackdown on the Uighurs, Richardson said.

    "The question now is what everybody is willing to do," she said. "Talking and putting in consequential actions are two different things. That's where the game shifts next."

    Countries will also have to be "mindful that China will fight it tooth and nail," she added.

    Members of the Muslim world could demand independent access into Xinjiang to investigate reports of the detention camps, for example.

    The United Nations has already been doing this for months, but Beijing told it to back off.

    Xinjiang

    Another form of punishment could come in the form of sanctions, or cancelling contracts.

    Richardson, the Human Rights Watch director, noted that the latest spate of accusations against China came at a time when multiple Muslim countries started reassessing their economic ties with Beijing.

    Malaysia axed $22 billion of Beijing-backed infrastructure projects this August. Egypt's talks with a Chinese building company for a $20 billion development also broke down this week, Bloomberg reported. Neither of those cancellations were over the Uighur issue.

    A group of US bipartisan lawmakers last month introduced the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act ("Uyghur" is an alternative spelling). The act urges the White House to consider imposing sanctions on Chinese officials responsible for the Uighur crackdown, as well as banning exports of US technology that could be used to oppress Uighurs.

    china xi jinping

    Chinese cash could be hard to quit

    Whether Muslim countries follow suit remains to be seen, however. China is the largest trading partner of 20 of the 57 member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, according to Bloomberg.

    Pakistan, whose religious minister criticized China's Uighur crackdown this year, is also one of the largest recipients of Chinese aid and infrastructure contracts.

    Earlier this month its foreign ministry rowed back the religious minister's comments, accusing the media of "trying to sensationalize" the Xinjiang issue, Agence France-Presse reported.

    Mohammad Faisal, a spokesman for the foreign ministry, also appeared to echo Beijing's line on the detention camps, saying that some Pakistani citizens who were detained in Xinjiang were "undergoing voluntary training" instead.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The legendary economist who predicted the housing crisis says the US will win the trade war


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    Dover

    • Government has plans to pend more than £100 million chartering ferries to ease congestion at the Port of Dover after a no deal Brexit.
    • According to a BBC report, the Department for Transport has given additional ferry contracts to three major ship operators.
    • The plans are in place to ease what is expected to be "severe" congestion at Dover in the event that a deal cannot be ratified by both sides before March 29.
    • This includes ensuring key supplies such as medicines are able to get to the UK.

    The British government will spend more than £100 million chartering ferries to ease congestion at the Port of Dover, and ensure key supplies can get to the UK in the event of a no deal Brexit.

    According to a BBC report, the Department for Transport has given additional ferry contracts to French, Dutch and British companies, which will add capacity for around 4,000 more lorries per week to come through ports such as Plymouth, Poole, and Portsmouth. 

    The plans are in place to ease what is expected to be "severe" congestion at Dover in the event that a deal cannot be ratified by both sides before March 29.

    In a statement, a spokesperson for the DfT said the contracts would provide "significant extra capacity" to UK ports in the event of a no deal Brexit.

    The contracts were awarded to French firm Brittany Ferries, Danish freight company DFDS, and UK-based Seaborne Freight, the BBC reports. The French and Danish firms have been awarded contracts worth around £45 million each, while Seaborne's contract is worth around £14 million.

    Read more: Conservative MPs threaten to quit the party if Theresa May pursues a no-deal Brexit

    The plans have been roundly criticised by Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable, who described them as "complete madness," according to the BBC.

    "The government has the power to stop "no deal" at any time but instead is spending millions on last minute contracts," he said.

    "The fact that this money is predominantly going to European companies is nothing short of ironic, reducing Britain to a laughing stock on the global stage."

    Earlier in December the government confirmed plans to commit around £2 billion in additional funding for no deal Brexit planning. At the time Business Insider reported that part of those plans was the booking of space on ferries to ensure that essential medical supplies could make their way into the country from the EU.

    As part of those plans, the Department for Exiting the EU will send 80,000 emails to UK business groups and roll out a nationwide advertising campaign warning firms to prepare for a no deal Brexit.

    SEE ALSO: The UK government plans to deploy 3,500 British troops to handle no-deal Brexit chaos

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Anthony Scaramucci claims Trump isn't a nationalist: 'He likes saying that because it irks these intellectual elitists'


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    Gatwick airport drones

    • Some drone sightings during the closure of Gatwick Airport before Christmas may have been of police drones, senior police officer says.
    • Speaking on Saturday, Giles York, the Chief Constable of Sussex Police said that he could not rule out the possibility that some sightings of drones reported during the incident were of drones that police had flown over the airport for surveillance purposes.
    • York said that there had been 115 reports of drone sightings during the incident, of which 92 had been confirmed as legitimate.

    It is possible that some of the drone sightings that forced Gatwick Airport to close for nearly two days in the week before Christmas were of police drones which were themselves hunting the malicious drones which shut the airport, a senior police officer has said.

    Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Saturday, Giles York, the Chief Constable of Sussex Police said that he could not rule out the possibility that some sightings of drones reported during the incident were of drones that Sussex Police had flown over the airport for surveillance purposes.

    "We will have launched our own Sussex police drones at the time, with a view to investigate, engage and survey the area. So there could be some level of confusion there as well," York said after being questioned about a previous report that there may have been no drone at all.

    Read more: UK police bizarrely saying Gatwick shutdown might not have been drones reportedly a failure to communicate

    Last week Detective Chief Superintendent Jason Tingley said there was "always a possibility that there may not have been any genuine drone activity in the first place," because police relied on human witnesses to the sighting. 

    That statement has now been dismissed by both the government and Sussex Police.

    York said that there had been 115 reports of drone sightings during the incident, of which 92 had been confirmed as legitimate.

    "I’m absolutely certain that there was a drone flying throughout the period that the airport was closed," he said. 

    "I myself spoke to an eyewitness yesterday who was on the roof of the airport with four other people seeing it. What they saw was corroborated by two police officers near the runway. They saw the same thing, doing the same description at the same time."

    York added that two drones found near the airport in recent days have now been ruled out of the investigation.

    More than 120,000 passengers had their flights disrupted in some way when the airport closed down last week. About 1,000 aircraft were either canceled or diverted, according to the BBC.

    The British army, who was deployed to Gatwick to respond to the drone reports last week, used unidentified military technology to help airport authorities with the situation, the BBC said.

    SEE ALSO: Whoever used a drone to shut down Gatwick Airport for 32 hours has evaded capture, and could easily do it again

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 7 things you shouldn't buy on Black Friday


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    This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

    US consumers have been “cord-cutting” — or canceling their pay-TV subscriptions in favor of internet-delivered alternatives — since 2010.

    cord cutting accelerates in the us

    The number of pay-TV subscribers dropped a record 3.4% year-over-year (YoY) in 2017, and the rate of decline is expected to accelerate further in the coming years. As a result, traditional media companies will continue to see their most important revenue stream erode. To compete in the shifting media landscape, traditional media companies' business strategies must satisfy two goals: extract as much revenue from pay-TV as possible before the opportunity to do so fizzles out, and taper reliance on pay-TV-related revenue along the way.

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence will look at how big media companies are refining their strategies to meet the aforementioned goals and mitigate the impacts of cord-cutting that are detrimental to their business. We also discuss current consumer behavior trends that are simultaneously driving the growth of streaming platforms (like Netflix) and decline of linear TV, as well as actionable insights on how companies can respond.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • As consumers flee linear TV, they're spending more time on digital video services with ad-free and ad-lite viewing experiences. 
    • Media companies are responding by becoming less reliant on pay-TV revenue by launching their own streaming services. 
    • Traditional networks are also increasingly seeking M&A opportunities to gain the resources, talent, and technologies necessary to compete with streaming giants.
    • More media companies are beginning to experiment with airing fewer commercials per hour to enhance the linear TV viewership experience. 

     In full, the report:

    • Explains the decline in US pay-TV subscribers in recent years, and how significantly this decline has diminished the viewership and ad revenue of top TV networks. 
    • Outlines the top factors that consumers look for when deciding to subscribe to a streaming service. 
    • Details the top recent M&A deals between media companies, and describes how they've positioned those involved to better compete against streaming giants like Netflix.
    • Provides direction on how to best approach cutting ad loads on linear TV, and explains why experimenting with airing fewer commercials could be beneficial for viewership.

    Subscribe to an All-Access pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

    This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports
    Access to all future reports and daily newsletters
    Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry
    And more!
    Learn More

    Purchase & download the full report from our research store

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    food eating pizza

    • Scientists are constantly researching food and nutrition.
    • It feels like there's more information every week about what we should and should not eat.
    • Here's a round-up of everything we learned in 2018.

    There's been a lot of research into what we should and should not be eating, drinking, and consuming this year. With such a vast amount of information being passed around, it's hard to keep up with the latest advice. 

    So, INSIDER has created a list of some of the most recent and important research about food, drink, vitamins, and diets that you should be following.

    Ultimately, not a lot has changed from the widely accepted advice — diets rich in vegetables, fruit, protein, and with not too many processed foods and refined carbs are good. A broad diet is best, and everything should be eaten in moderation. 

    Scroll down to see the latest research behind the advice in 2018.

    Read more: 11 foods with a bad reputation that you can feel good about eating — including coffee, butter, and cheese

    Do drink: milk

    A study in September found that milk is good for the body, despite having many naysayers. Results showed that people who had 3.2 daily servings of low-fat dairy products had a lower mortality rate than those who had none, and also had a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke specifically

    Some people in the world are lactose-intolerant because they don't have the necessary enzyme to break down the components of dairy. But for everyone else, there isn't much evidence to suggest you should avoid milk to be healthy.



    Do drink: alcohol (in moderation)

    A study published in the summer found there may be some evidence that people who drink in moderation outlive tee-totalers. Results showed that people who never drink alcohol had a 7% higher chance of dying or getting cancer than people who drank up to three bottles of beer or glasses of wine per week.

    Another study this year found that drinking in moderation could also increase male fertility, as men who drank four to seven units a week had higher sperm counts and semen volume.

    However, a global study in August concluded that no amount of alcohol is safe, and the risks far outweigh any benefits.



    Do eat: nuts

    A study from July found eating two handfuls of nuts a day could improve men's sperm counts. The research came after an alarming study found that men's sperm counts in the western world have been dropping since 1973.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Costco 4

    • We visited Costco stores in New York City and Norwalk, Connecticut to compare a city location to a suburban one.
    • The stores themselves were nearly identical.
    • But despite having similar layouts and offerings at both stores, the experience of shopping at Costco in the suburbs had some key advantages.

    With over 500 stores all over the US, Costco is one of the most popular places to shop in bulk.

    And when you think of the wholesale chain, you probably think of suburban families loading up their SUVs with their haul of groceries.

    But Costco does have urban locations, including one in Manhattan.

    We visited two Costco locations — one in suburban Norwalk, Connecticut, and one in Harlem, New York City, to find out which provided a better shopping experience.

    The stores were strikingly similar, from store layout to the items they had in stock. But we concluded that it's ultimately much easier to shop at Costco in the suburbs for a few key reasons.

    Keep reading for more on why it's better to shop at Costco in the suburbs.

    For our comparison, we visited a suburban Costco store in Norwalk, Connecticut ...



    ... and Costco's only store in Manhattan, which is located in Harlem.



    The Costco location in Norwalk is conveniently located right off of I-95, a major highway on the East Coast.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    13-inch 2017 macbook pro

    • Apple's new 2018 MacBook Air is a great laptop, but it's only $100 less than the cheapest 13-inch MacBook Pro
    • For an extra $100, the cheapest 13-inch MacBook Pro gives you a little extra over the 2018 MacBook Air. 

    Apple's latest 2018 MacBook Air is a welcome update over the original and severly aging MacBook Air — but you might be better off getting the cheapest 13-inch MacBook Pro instead. 

    It's not because the 2018 MacBook Air is a bad laptop. Rather, it's because it'll only cost you an extra $100 to buy the base model of the 2017 13-inch MacBook Pro. Indeed, the 2018 MacBook Air costs $1,200 and the cheapest 13-inch MacBook Pro costs $1,300.

    For $100 extra, you get a slightly better laptop overall in the cheapest MacBook Pro than the 2018 MacBook Air. The 2018 MacBook Air would have been a no-brainer for a lot of people had it cost $1,000 like the original, but that's not the case.

    Here's why you should consider the cheapest 13-inch MacBook Pro over the 2018 MacBook Air:

    SEE ALSO: Apple quoted me $1,500 to repair a MacBook Pro, so I paid less than $500 at an 'unauthorized' Apple repair shop instead

    The 2018 MacBook Air isn't that much lighter than the cheapest 13-inch MacBook Pro.

    One of the main reasons to buy a MacBook Air over pretty much any other laptop is because of its incredibly light weight. But the difference between the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro isn't that stark.

    The MacBook Air weighs 2.75 pounds and the MacBook Pro weighs 3 pounds. It's a quarter-pound difference, which is noticeable but not too significant. It's not that the new MacBook Air is heavy, but rather that the recent 13-inch MacBook Pros are already so light to begin with.



    The 2018 MacBook Air is also thicker at its thickest point than the MacBook Pro.

    Another reason many would buy the MacBook Air over any other laptop is because of its incredible thinness.

    Yet, you might be surprised to know that the 13-inch MacBook Pro is actually thinner than the 2018 MacBook Air at its thickest point. It's a mere 0.02-inch difference, but it's still a counterintuitive stat for a laptop that's marketed as a thin and light device. 

    With that said, the 2018 MacBook Air does taper down to an incredibly thin 0.16-inch thickness at its thinnest point, while the MacBook Pro has a consistent 0.59-inch thickness. So, overall, the MacBook Air does take up less space than the MacBook Pro, but not that much less.



    You won't really notice it that much, but the cheapest 13-inch MacBook Pro still has a slightly better screen.

    The new MacBook Air has the same 2560 x 1600 Retina resolution as the MacBook Pro. The main area where the two displays differ is in colors and brightness.

    Overall, the new MacBook Air's display isn't quite as good as the MacBook Pro's, which comes with better "wide p3" color gamut, according to the specs. The MacBook Pro's display can also get brighter at 500 nits, compared to the MacBook Air's 300 nits. 

    At the end of the day, only professionals are likely to notice the MacBook Pro's additional color depth. The MacBook Air's display will surely be fine for most people.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    This is a preview of the Global Payments Landscape report from Business Insider Intelligence. Current subscribers can read the report  here.

    • Noncash payments are on the rise worldwide.
    • As new players emerge to capitalize on consumer appetite for digital payment methods, three mature markets — the UK, Australia, and Sweden — have become standouts for what a more cashless society could look like.
    • The UK, Australia, and Sweden are transitioning to digital particularly well, and can serve as a roadmap for other mature markets seeking to overcome the legacy channel of cash.

    Noncash payments have been gaining popularity around the world for the last decade. And though cash isn’t anywhere near dead, its global growth is slowing as consumers turn to emerging cashless alternatives.

    Cash As A Share Of Total Transactions In Australia

    But there are a few key markets - Australia, Sweden, and the UK - where annual noncash payments have already surpassed traditional cash transactions altogether — and they’re stong early indicators of what a truly cashless society could look like.

    Why are digital payments on the rise?

    The growing adoption of noncash payments is a direct result of the rise of e-commerce, but that’s not the only factor. Consumers today are adaptable to disruptive technologies and are generally open to trying new types of digital payment methods.

    This consumer appetite is compounded by their access to infrastructure, as well as the emergence of government-backed initiatives, such as real-time transfers and the backing of electronic currencies, that make digital payments more enticing to both consumers and merchants.

    How are Australia, Sweden, and the UK driving the world towards cashless payments?

    Australia, Sweden, and the UK are emblematic of opportunities for payments players to lead the world away from cash. The Global Payments Landscape from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, provides a snapshot of the payments industry in each of these three markets.

    The report shows that several leading payments players have already emerged or are dominant within each of these regions — and they’re finding success in different ways. For other mature markets seeking to overcome the legacy channel of cash, the digital transformations of Australia, Sweden, and the UK can serve as a roadmap.

    Here are the strategies these regions are implementing in the race to become the world’s first cashless society:

    • Australia is launching government initiatives and instating new regulations. The Australian government has banned purchases over AU$10,000 ($7,500) from being made in cash, as well as launched the New Payments Platform (NPP) to allow real-time funds transfer as a means of replacing transactions typically made in cash, such as paying back a friend.
    • In Sweden, consumers are rapidly abandoning cash in favor of cards. In fact, only 2% of the total value of transactions in Sweden consist of cash a figure that’s expected to decline to less than half a percent by 2020.
    • Contactless payments are leading the shift away from cash in the UK. Nearly the entire population has a debit card, and debit card transactions surpassed cash payments for the first time at the end of 2017. This milestone was largely fueled by the surge in contactless cards, which grew 97% annually last year to hit 5.6 billion transactions.

    Want to Learn More?

    The Global Payments Landscape from Business Insider Intelligence compiles various payments snapshots, together illustrating how digital payment methods are supplementing or replacing cash in each market.

    Each snapshot provides an overview of the payments industry in a particular country, and details the evolution of its development. They also highlight notable payments players in each region and discuss the opportunities and challenges that players are facing in their respective markets.

     

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    chef and restaurateur jason atherton is the creator of berners tavern he began his career working alongside renowned chefs including pierre koffmann and marco pierre white his first restaurant received a michelin star within six months of o

    • The British chef Jason Atherton is the owner of a global restaurant empire.
    • As a jet-setter, he has some simple advice for getting the most out of food on the road.
    • He says you should always ask for hotel food to be served with a cloche on top instead of in a hot box.
    • He also follows something called the "one-year rule" when picking a new restaurant.

    The British chef Jason Atherton, who trained under Gordon Ramsay, is a jet-setter.

    The owner of a global restaurant empire, he owns the London-based Michelin-starred Pollen Street Social, Dubai's Marina Social, and Clocktower, the restaurant inside New York's Edition hotel, just to name a few.

    As a man with good taste, he has some advice for getting the most out of your food while you're on the road.

    Speaking with LiveMint, Atherton said there was one simple thing to ask for when ordering hotel room service that would ensure it's not only served fresh but is also delivered before anyone else's order.

    "If I order room service, I always, always say: 'I don't want my food in a hot box. Leave it on the table with a cloche on top.' Because any food in a hot box, pasta or steak, will stew and go soggy, of course — but they will bring your food first, because it can't be left to sit around (and get cold)."

    hotel room service cloche

    He added: "Every general manager wants to change the world when it comes to room service. And I've said, 'Look, if you actually think about it, room service is about getting it to the room as fast as possible.' But if the room-service guy has 20 orders to run up and down a massive building, he'll tell me it's going to take 40 minutes. Forty minutes too long, right?"

    In terms of choosing a new restaurant in a new city, he says he has learned from his experience opening 17 restaurants that a restaurant is never at its best when it first opens — so he follows a "one-year rule" before visiting a new one.

    "After about a year, a restaurant matures and really starts to find its feet," he said. "The staff gets to know their regular customers, the chef knows the suppliers really well — when they're not scared stiff waiting for the critics to walk through the door.

    "You want all of that hullabaloo to die down, so you get a real experience of what that restaurant could really do. So make sure a restaurant you book is at least one year old. Speak to most top chefs, and they'll say exactly the same thing."

    SEE ALSO: A frequent traveller asks every hotel he stays in for a 'unique drawing of Godzilla' upon arrival — and it proves what you can get away with if you just ask

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Tim Cook's estimated net worth is $625 million — here's how he makes and spends his money


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    mark zuckerberg

    • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg published his annual year-end letter Friday.
    • In it, he boasts of the company's many accomplishments this year, particularly in addressing the "issues" it faced.
    • Zuckerberg spends little time discussing the myriad specific scandals the company experienced in 2018, and doesn't apologize for them.
    • Given the no-good, horrible, rotten year the company inflicted on its users, investors, and the rest of the world, the letter comes across as more than a bit tone deaf.

    In summing up 2018, Mark Zuckerberg seems to have taken inspiration from a popular 1940s song.

    He's all about accentuating the positive, and eliminating the negative.

    If you asked pretty much anyone else on the planet about the kind of year Zuckerberg's company — Facebook — has had, they'd probably use words or phrases such as "horrible,""disastrous," or "scandal-plagued." They might mention the company's numerous privacy and security scandals; the role it played in promoting violence and genocide in countries as diverse as Myanmar, Nigeria, and Germany; its spread of misinformation and propaganda, particularly of the Russian and Iranian variety; or its flailing attempts to police what its users say on its site.

    They might even bring up the company's ham-fisted public relations efforts, such as its use of an anti-Semitic smear to try to discredit its critics, or its cratering stock price.

    Read this:Facebook endured a staggering number of scandals and controversies in 2018 — here they all are

    In reflecting back on such a year, even a dimly aware executive might acknowledge at least some of the company's multiple fiascos, apologize to the organization's numerous stakeholders for them, and promise to do better.

    But not Zuckerberg.

    In his annual year-end letter, which he published on his Facebook page on Friday, Zuckerberg latched onto the affirmative, as the song goes, boasting of all that the company had accomplished this year and all the great things it does for its users.

    "I'm proud of the progress we've made," he says in the letter.

    Zuckerberg thinks Facebook accomplished a lot

    The letter was anything but a humble apology. Instead, it reads more like the kind of self-evaluation someone writes when they're gunning for a promotion or a raise.

    Zuckerberg boasts that 2 billion people now use Facebook's services. That they're using to connect with their friends and family members. That people are using Facebook to raise money for important causes and to find jobs. And that small businesses are using Facebook to find and hire workers.

    "Building community and bringing people together leads to a lot of good, and I'm committed to continuing our progress in these areas," he writes.

    But Zuckerberg spends most of the letter touting all the significant and wide-ranging advances he feels Facebook has made this year in "addressing some of the most important issues facing our community." That was his personal goal this year, he reminds readers, and he thinks he and the company did a great job of meeting it.

    He didn't dwell on any of the many scandals

    Chris Wylie London talk Cambridge AnalyticaZuckerberg's not afraid to name the "issues" he feels Facebook has confronted. He lists election interference, the spread of harmful content through Facebook's service, giving users more control over their private information, and making sure use of Facebook improves users' well being.

    But he doesn't dwell on how those "issues" manifested themselves this year, much less apologize for the numerous scandals they ignited this year. Besides a passing reference to the leak of data on millions of Facebook users to Cambridge Analytica, the Trump-linked data firm, he doesn't specifically mention any of the company's 2018 fiascos.

    Instead, he focuses on explaining just how much work he and Facebook have done to address those "issues." The company's moved a large portion of its staff over to work on "preventing harm." It's got a roadmap for revamping its system to address those "issues," and it's "well into executing" those plans. And as a result of that effort, it now has "some of the most advanced systems in the world for identifying and resolving these issues."

    "We've made a lot of improvements and changes this year," he writes.

    Don't worry, Facebook is going to keep making "progress"

    He wants us to know that Facebook has been willing to make sacrifices to address these "issues." It's spending billions of dollars on security, he notes. The company's also sacrificed revenue for the good of its users, he writes, touting yet again a change Facebook made last year to reduce the number viral videos users see in their news feeds that reduced the time they spent on the service by a collective 50 million hours.

    But even more than that, he wants us to know just how beneficial it's been for him to work through these "issues."

    "I've learned a lot," he says.

    And don't worry, Facebook's not going to rest on its laurels, Zuckerberg assures us. Instead it's going to keep working, he says.

    "I'm committed to continuing to make progress on these important issues as we enter the new year," he says.

    Thank goodness! I mean, just think about how great 2019 will be for Facebook and the rest of us if the company accomplishes as much as it did this year.

    SEE ALSO: Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg isn't accountable to anyone, so it's time Congress took away the source of his power

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: We tested out $30 tiny spy cameras from Amazon by spying on our co-workers


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    This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. This report is exclusively available to enterprise subscribers. To learn more about getting access to this report, email Senior Account Executive Chris Roth at croth@businessinsider.com, or check to see if your company already has access


    New data shows that mobile features have become a key factor that customers weigh when choosing a bank. 

    Screen Shot 2018 11 30 at 4.34.28 PMIn Business Insider Intelligence's second annual Mobile Banking Competitive Edge study, 64% of mobile banking users said that they would research a bank's mobile banking capabilities before opening an account with them. And 61% said that they would switch banks if their bank offered a poor mobile banking experience.

    For channel strategists, the challenge in attracting mobile-minded customers is knowing when to bet budgets and political capital on developing emerging features. It's complicated by most flashy features — such as voice assistants, smartwatch banking, and bank-offered mobile wallets — being deemed a "must" by analysts, media, and rival banking executives. 

    4by3catThe Mobile Banking Competitive Edge Report uses data to inform channel investment decisions by highlighting which mobile banking features are most valuable to customers. Our study has data on consumer demand for 33 in-demand mobile capabilities across six key categories. 

    Using that consumer data, the study benchmarks the largest 20 banks and credit unions in the US by whether they offer the cutting-edge mobile features that customers say they care about most. What sets our benchmark apart is that it weights every feature according to customer demand data — not subjective analyst opinion.  

    Channel strategists within financial institutions use our report to see which innovative features they should prioritize in development pipelines and to find out how they compare with rival banks and credit unions in offering those features.

    Business Insider Intelligence fielded the Mobile Banking Competitive Edge Study to members of its proprietary panel in August 2018, reaching over 1,200 US consumers — primarily handpicked digital professionals and early-adopters, making our sample a sensitive indicator of emerging features. 

    Here are a few key takeaways from the report:

    • Citi snagged first overall. The bank led the account access section, tied for first in account management, and ranked highly in all the other categories of the study. Wells Fargo took second place, leading in security and control and transfers. USAA came in third, NFCU was fourth, and Bank of America rounded out the top five.
    • Demand for security features is sizzling. Following a year of huge breaches being announced at companies like Facebook and Google, consumers' security concerns jumped to become the most important category. The category included the No. 1 feature overall: the ability to turn a payment card on or off. 
    • Digital money management features are also highly demanded. Chase and Wells Fargo may be onto something with their millennial-focused banking apps, Finn and Greenhouse, as the generation had sky-high demand for the six features in the category. The most popular feature in the category was the ability to separate recurring payments, such as Netflix and gym memberships.

     In full, the report:

    • Shows how 33 mobile features stack up according to how valuable customers say they are.
    • Ranks the top 20 US banks and credit unions on whether they offer each of those features.
    • Analyzes how demographics effect demand for different mobile features.
    • Provides strategies for banks to best attract and retain customers with mobile features.
    • Contains 63 pages and 30 figures.

    The full report is available to Business Insider Intelligence enterprise clients. To learn more about this report, email Senior Account Executive Chris Roth (croth@businessinsider.com).  

    Business Insider Intelligence's Mobile Banking Competitive Edge study includes: Ally, Bank of America, BB&T, BBVA Compass, BMO Harris, Capital One, Chase, Citibank, Fifth Third, HSBC, KeyBank, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, Regions, SunTrust, TD, Union Bank, US Bank, USAA, and Wells Fargo.

    SEE ALSO: These are the trends creating new winners and losers in the card-processing ecosystem

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    best of visuals 2018_2x1

    Business Insider's photo and graphics teams captured a lot of 2018's ups and downs through original visuals.

    Our coverage included everything from the floor plans of Jeff Bezos mansion, to Kim Jong Un's family tree, to photos of our Border Patrol ride-along at the US-Mexico border.

    While we've created thousands of graphics and photos this year, these are our highlights from 2018: 

    SEE ALSO: US gun laws, Thai cave divers, and the price of beer around the world: What 2018 looked like in maps

    The space between Earth and the moon is mind-boggling. This graphic reveals just how big it is — and what's out there.

    See the full graphic here.



    7 big health myths that were debunked in 2018

    See more photos here.



    How solstice works and why it starts both summer and winter

    See the full graphic here.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Map thumb 2x1

    Maps can tell us a lot about what happened in 2018 — from Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's wedding to the results of the Midterm elections

    The Graphics Insider team compiled 56 of the maps we created this year that visualize the many ups and downs of 2018.

    Follow along through 2018 in maps, from wildfires and baby name trends, to the cost of products around the world and Trump's tariff war.

    Andy Kiersz contributed to this article. 

    In January 2018, the Trump administration proposed auctioning off nearly all US coastal waters for offshore drilling. The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management estimated the new plan would make "more than 98%" of the waters off the US available for oil and gas leasing over the next five years.

    Read the full story here.



    On February 9, the 2018 Winter Olympics began in Pyeongchang, South Korea. More than 200 athletes on the roster for the US Olympic team competed. Even though they tend to live where the training is best, they were born all over the country.

    Read the full story here.



    In March, there was a string of deadly bombings in Austin, Texas, at seven locations in total. Two people were killed, and seven were injured.

    Read the full story here.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Even Spiegel and Miranda Kerr

    • In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said that he wasn't allowed to watch TV while growing up. 
    • Spiegel explained that he "actually thought that was valuable because [he] spent a lot of time just building stuff and reading or whatever." 
    • Spiegel and his wife Miranda Kerr now impose a limit of an hour and a half of screen time per week on their seven-year-old child, who comes from Kerr's first marriage.
    • Read the full Financial Times interview here

    When Snap CEO Evan Spiegel was growing up, he wasn't allowed to watch TV. 

    The 28-year-old chief exec told the Financial Times in a recent interview that his parents enforced a no-TV policy until he was “almost a teenager." 

    Spiegel whose messaging app Snapchat now claims 186 million daily active users said not watching TV made life at school a “little tricky," but "actually thought that was valuable because [he] spent a lot of time just building stuff and reading or whatever."

    Today, Spiegel and his wife Miranda Kerr impose an hour and a half of screen time per week on their seven-year-old child, who comes from Kerr's first marriage. 

    “I think the more interesting conversation to have is really around the quality of that screen time,” Spiegel told the Financial Times. He brought it back to Snapchat: He says more “positive” videos should be promoted on the app, even if they will unavoidably be among mind-numbing content he describes as “junk food” stories.

    Spiegel also thinks parents need to lead by example.

    He said that parents should cut down on their own screen time or explain what they're doing on their devices so kids aren't "looking at the black back of the phone . . . [with] no idea what’s going on”.

    Of course, Spiegel may need to start practicing what he preaches, as the Snap CEO reportedly spends much of his time during board meetings glued to his phone and disengaged from conversation.

    Read more: Evan Spiegel spends most of his time during board meetings on Snapchat

    Read the full Financial Times interview here

     

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: These are the top 7 smartphones of 2018


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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network.

    amex platinum vs chase sapphire preferred 4x3

    • Which is a better card to have: the Platinum Card® from American Express, or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card?
    • They're both very different cards with different purposes. If you travel a lot it's probably worth it to have both, but if you're just looking to earn rewards on your spending, the Sapphire Preferred is probably a better bet.
    •  Depending on your spending, it could be worth choosing the beefier Chase Sapphire Reserve instead of the Preferred.

    Earlier this week, a reader came across an article we published about the Chase Sapphire Preferred, and sent an e-mail asking if the Insider Picks team thought that it was a better card than the Amex Platinum.

    I thought it was an interesting question. While we've compared the beefier Chase Sapphire Reserve to the Platinum Card before, and we've covered all three cards in the past, we've never looked at the accessible Sapphire Preferred in the context of the ultra-premium Amex Platinum.

    To be honest, they're such different cards that it's hard to say which is better: Depending on your spending habits and how you travel, it could be worth having both.

    The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 2x points on all dining and all travel. Dining includes everything from bars and restaurants to fast food, and travel includes everything from taxis, parking, and trains, to travel agencies, flights, hotels, vacation rentals, cruises, and more. It earns 1x point per dollar spent on everything else.

    The Sapphire Preferred also offers trip delay and baggage delay coverage for any travel you book through the card (you can read more about that here).

    The Amex Platinum offers 5x points on flights, but only if you book directly with the airline or through Amex. If you book through a website like Expedia or Orbitz, you only get 1x point per dollar. You'll also get 1x point per dollar on everything else. The card only offers major trip cancellation coverage — not delay insurance.

    However, the Amex Platinum offers much better benefits and perks than the Chase Sapphire Preferred. It offers extensive access to airport lounges, a yearly $200 credit for incidental airline fees, up to $200 of annual credits for Uber (or UberEats), and up to $100 in annual credits for Saks Fifth Avenue. It also offers free elite status at Hilton, Marriott, and Starwood hotels, and a few other perks. Without spending much on the card, I got $2,000 worth of value from it in my first year.

    I personally hold the Amex Platinum for the perks and services — especially lounge access and hotel elite status — but do most of my spending on a Chase card, since it earns better rewards faster (and makes it easier to spend them). I use a Sapphire Reserve, rather than a Preferred, though that means I pay $1,000 in annual fees for the two cards.

    While that's the best option for my personal case, the Sapphire Preferred is still an excellent card — with a substantially lower annual fee. You can read more about why you might want to choose the Sapphire Preferred over the Reserve, as well as a counterpoint for why the Reserve might be a better option for you.

    Click here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    Click here to learn more about the Amex Platinum from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    DON'T MISS: Preferred vs Reserve: How the Chase Sapphire credit cards stack up

    SEE ALSO: The best credit card rewards, bonuses, and perks

    READ MORE: 5 reasons the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a powerhouse within the increasingly competitive credit card space

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    spacex falcon heavy starman spacesuit dummy tesla roadster planet earth mars launch february 6 2018 40143096241_0324643b5e_o

    • Tesla endured a wild and crazy 2018.
    • The coming year offers numerous milestones that will determine whether Tesla thrives or struggles.
    • I've broken them down, month-by-month.

     

    If 2018 was the wildest and craziest year in Tesla's 15-year history, then 2019 is shaping up to be its most critical year.

    CEO Elon Musk's all-electric automaker will enter 2019 having produced and sold more vehicles than ever and the company could be well on its way to a half-million in cars delivered by the end of the year. That might sound awesome — but Tesla has traditionally struggled mightily with the building-cars aspect of the car business.

    Musk will also be facing potential twin headwinds in 2019: an economic slowdown in the US; and the first stages of the 2020 national election. If the US auto market slips into a downturn, then Tesla won't be spared some pain.

    There's good news on the horizon, however, as Tesla prepares to unveil its Model Y crossover SUV, along with some other new vehicles, including a rumored pickup truck.

    Here's a month-by-month look forward to Tesla's big events and news for 2019:

    FOLLOW US: On Facebook for more car and transportation content!

    JANUARY: Tesla reports fourth-quarter and full-year vehicle delivery numbers.

    The company expects the Model 3 to add substantially to its 2018 delivery totals. 2017 saw 100,000 vehicles delivered, and 2018 could more than double that total.



    FEBRUARY: Tesla reports fourth-quarter and full year earnings.

    After a profitable third-quarter in 2018, Tesla could post its first six-month period in the black EVER. 

    Regardless of the bottom line, Tesla's topline revenue should continue to surge. For the full year of 2019, the company could bring in close to $30 billion.



    MARCH: Tesla could reveal the Model Y crossover SUV — and pay off convertible bonds.

    Tesla has a market mismatch in the US with its Model 3, a sedan in an SUV world. The Model Y will fix that. 

    The company has also said it will pay off $920 million in convertible debt, due in September, with a mix of stock and cash. But shares need to be trading at around $360 per share for the stock deal to be appealing to bondholders.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The S&P 500's five largest intraday changes in 2018.

    • This year was defined by outsized swings in equity markets. 
    • "Last year was such a historically dull year, it feels worse for most investors," one market strategist said of the ups and downs in 2018.
    • Still, this year was just the most volatile since 2015, when measuring intraday changes of 1% or more on the S&P 500.

    If 2018 felt like the year volatility returned to the stock market, that's because it was.

    Rising interest rates in the US, an ongoing trade war between the world's two largest economies, concerns over slowing global growth, and the Trump administration's own unrest whipped stocks around for months. The injection of volatility came after two years that featured quiet intraday moves and a record-low reading on the stock market's fear gauge, or the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX).

    To be sure, 2018 was merely the most volatile year — measured by intraday moves of 1% or more — since 2015. That year, the S&P 500 recorded 72 intraday such moves. This year has seen 64, through Friday. That compares with 48 in 2016, and just eight in 2017.

    The last few months, specifically, has been a rude awakening for the bulls. The S&P 500 fell 6.94% in October, narrowly escaping its worst month since the financial crisis. And its December performance was even worse. Its currently on track for its worst final month of the year since the Great Depression, with a loss of nearly 10%. Here are the major averages' peaks, and their performances since then.

    But volatility means big price swings in both directions, which has been evident this month. Stocks soared earlier in December after the US and China agreed to delay further trade-war escalations by 90 days. And just this week, major US averages staged a massive comeback on Thursday, wiping out what would've been some of their biggest losses of the year.

    "Although by some measures this year is quite volatile, it really is a normal year in many other ways," Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial, said in an email to Business Insider. "Last year was such a historically dull year, it feels worse for most investors." 

    Here were the five most volatile days of the year for the S&P 500, ranked by their largest intraday moves. 

    1. December 26, 2018

    Session low: 2,346.58

    Session high: 2,467.76

    Intraday range: 5.16%

    One of the final trading weeks of the year featured historically huge swings in both directions. The S&P 500 posted its largest single-day move since August 2011 and its largest single-day rally since 2008, according to Wells Fargo. The Dow, for its part, posted its largest one-day point rally in history.

    2. February 5, 2018

    Session low: 2,638.17

    Session high: 2,763.39

    Intraday range: 4.75%

    Stocks in the US plunged at the start of a wild week as a confluence of factors like fear over rising interest rates stoked panic and took down equities. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also saw its largest one-day point decline in history (a loss of 1,175.21 points). The S&P 500 closed lower by 4.1%.

    3. February 9, 2018

    Session low: 2,532.69

    Session high: 2,638.67

    Intraday range: 4.18%

    Friday finally arrived after a crazy week. Some of the blame for the week's big swings were pinned on fears of rising interest rates eating into corporate profits. The S&P 500 closed up 1.5% for the session. 

    4. February 6, 2018

    Session low: 2,593.07

    Session high: 2,701.04

    Intraday range: 4.16%

    The Cboe Volatility Index, reflecting the S&P 500's implied volatility, leapt to a staggering 50, its highest level since mid-2015. Still, the S&P 500 closed higher by 1.7%. 

    5. February 8, 2018

    Session low: 2,580.56

    Session high: 2,685.27

    Intraday range: 4.06%

    The week's carnage raged on. The S&P 500 closed lower by nearly 4%, entering into a correction — down at least 10% from its peak.

    Now read:

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The equity chief at $6.3 trillion BlackRock weighs in on the trade war, a possible recession, and offers her best investing advice for a tricky 2019 landscape


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    Overwatch League Grand Finals

    • "Overwatch" is one of the most popular video games in the world, and the international Overwatch League allows the best players to compete as paid professionals.
    • The 2019 Overwatch League season will start on February 14 with a rematch between last year's grand finalists, the Philadelphia Fusion and defending champion London Spitfire.
    • Eight new teams have joined the Overwatch League for its upcoming second season, bringing the total number of international teams to 20. Activision Blizzard, the parent company of the Overwatch League, reportedly asked for $30 to $60 million from each new franchise.
    • Overwatch League players receive a minimum salary of $50,000, healthcare, housing during the season, and a retirement plan. There are about 170 contracted players involved with the league.
    • The Overwatch League season one finals brought in 10.8 million viewers, according to parent company Activision Blizzard. The finals were streamed on Twitch and broadcast on ABC, ESPN, and Disney XD.

    "Overwatch" is one of the most popular video games in the world, and the best players can pursue a career playing the game through the Overwatch League, an international esports league dedicated to the first-person shooter.

    Overwatch League's first season launched in December 2017 with 12 teams, nine of which are based in the United States. Those teams signed up players from across the globe, offering a minimum salary of $50,000 and a shot at another $3.8 million in prize money. The season one finals brought in 10.8 million viewers across Twitch, ABC, ESPN, Disney XD and Twitch, according to "Overwatch" publisher and league owner Activision Blizzard.

    The 2019 Overwatch League season will start on February 14 with a rematch between last year's grand finalists, the Philadelphia Fusion, and defending champion London Spitfire.

    As it enters its second season, the Overwatch League has added eight new teams, expanding the roster to 20 international franchises. According to Jacob Wolf of ESPN, Activision Blizzard asked each new expansion team to pay between $30 and $60 million for the rights to join the league. The 12 founding teams reportedly paid $20 million each to participate in the inaugural season, meaning that the cost of buying in is going up. 

    The new teams will expand the international scope of the league with three expansions in China (Hangzhou, Chengdu, and Guangzhou), two in Canada (Toronto and Vancouver), and a team based in Paris. The U.S. welcomes new teams in Washington D.C., and Atlanta. At the bottom of this post you can find a list can see every Overwatch League team, their parent organizations (in parenthesis), and their team colors.

    Here's what you need to know about the Overwatch League, the teams, and the key games to watch this season.

    SEE ALSO: What it's like to play in the Overwatch League

    SEE ALSO: Overwatch League aims to make eSports mainstream

    Overwatch League turns players into professionals

    Each Overwatch team can sign up to 12 salaried players, and the league currently employs more than 170 players in total. Overwatch League players earn a minimum salary of $50,000 a year — complete with healthcare, a retirement savings plan and housing during the course of the season. All Overwatch League players need to be 18 years old by June 1, 2019 to compete.

    Top players in the league are reportedly earning more than six figures, and this season Activision is letting teams sign players to contracts that extend up to three years.

    Teams acquired players through free agency prior to the start of the season. Expansion teams got first dibs on signing new players from September 9th, while the free agency signing period opened up to all 20 yeams on October 8th. Each Overwatch team was required to sign a minimum of eight players to their pro roster for the 2019 season.



    Overwatch Contenders helps develop new talent

    To help develop new professional talent, the Overwatch League also has a regional minor league system called Overwatch Contenders. There will be eight Contenders regions in 2019, with eight teams in each region.

    Players on a Contenders team can sign a two-way contract with an Overwatch League squad that allows them to compete in both leagues during the season, while earning the same basic benefits as a full-time League player. The only drawback is that a player cannot compete with both their Contenders team and their Overwatch League team in the same week.



    2019 Overwatch League schedule and prizes

    The 2019 Overwatch League season will start on February 14 with a rematch between last year's grand finalists the Philadelphia Fusion, and defending champion London Spitfire.

    Each team will play a 28-match schedule spread across four 5-week periods during the year. Regular season matches will conclude in August and the eight best teams will qualify for the playoffs. Activision Blizzard is offering a $5 million prize pool spread throughout the season, including a $1.1 million purse for the season 2 champions.

    The majority of the regular season matches will be played in the league's main arena in Burbank, California, but three teams — the Dallas Fuel, Atlanta Reign, and Los Angeles Valiant — will host matches in their home cities during special weekend events.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    This is a preview of a detailed slide deck from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service.Click here to learn more. Current subscribers can view the deck here.

    Rising smartphone penetration, regulations pushing users away from cash, and globalization demanding faster and new ways to transact are leading to a swell in noncash payments, which Business Insider Intelligence expects to grow to 841 billion transactions by 2023.

    The Future of Payments 2018

    This shift has created a greenfield opportunity in the space. Legacy providers are working to leverage their scale as they update their infrastructure and adapt their business models. But at the same time, upstarts are using their strengths in user experience to try to disintermediate or beat out those at the forefront of the space — a dichotomy that’s creating crowding and competition.

    Digitization and crowding in the payments space will force companies that want to emerge atop the ecosystem to undergo four critical digital transformations: diversification, consolidation and collaboration, data protection, and automation. Those that do this effectively, and use these shifts as a means of achieving scale without eroding the user experience, will be in the best position to use ongoing digitization in their payments space to their advantage.

    In The Future Of Payments 2018, Business Insider Intelligence takes a look at some of the biggest problems digitization and crowding are causing for payments firms, outlines the key transformations players can make going forward to resolve them, and explores areas where firms have already begun to use these transformations to their advantage.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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