Shopify announces merchant bank accounts

Shopify has announced a new range of products and updates to help merchants navigate the Coronavirus crisis.

At Reunite, the company’s first virtual event for members, it gave details of Shopify Balance, a new bank account for merchants to pay in and take out money made in their online shops.

It includes administration tools to help users get a clear view of cash flow, pay bills and track expenses, as well as physical and virtual cards to access money faster when spending in-store, as well as withdrawing from ATMs.

“We plan to offer merchants cashback and discounts on everyday business spending like shipping and marketing,” read a statement, adding that there will be no monthly fees or minimum balances.

Shopify Balance will launch in early access later this year in the US.

As part of the update, Shop Pay Installments, is Shopify’s buy now, pay later option, giving consumers the option to split purchases into four equal payments over time, interest-free and with no additional fees.

Working with an undisclosed partner, Shopify will launch Shop Pay Installments later this year.

“This is a difficult time to be an entrepreneur - the retail landscape is shifting under our feet, and the old way of doing things no longer works,” read a statement from the company. “Physical distancing measures and lockdown have made it clear that omnichannel commerce is more important than ever.”

Average daily local orders on Shopify for the six weeks ending 24 April grew 176 per cent compared to the prior six weeks, coinciding with the introduction of physical distancing measures. As of 24 April, 26 per cent of brick and mortar merchants in Shopify’s English-speaking geographies were using some form of local pickup and delivery solution, compared to just two per cent at the end of February.

Therefore, Shopify has begun rolling out a new local delivery product for merchants globally, to offer an improved and simplified local delivery experience. Merchants can now define a local delivery area using distance radius or zip/postal codes; set local delivery fees and minimum order price; and the new Shopify Local Delivery app to create optimised delivery routes and send customer notifications when deliveries are on the way.

The Shopify Fulfillment Network, launched in 2019, has also moved from its early access stage, and is now actively accepting merchant applications.

As COVID-19 has forced many businesses to move online, Shopify is releasing more online store features. For instance, merchants now have the option to collect tips at checkout.

Recently, Shopify announced Shop, a direct-to-consumer app and personal shopping assistant to make purchasing and order tracking frictionless. This channel will soon let merchants control how their brand appears on Shop. Again, this will first be available to merchants in Canada and the US.

This follows Facebook introducing Shops, which allows merchants to build branded versions of their online store within Instagram and Facebook.

Shopify is partnering with Facebook to help businesses create branded storefronts to help merchants deliver unique shopping experiences, and enable consumers to browse and purchase without ever leaving the apps.

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