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Friday Five: 7/18 – 7/22

Taylor Neuffer


TGIF! Check out this week's top tech stories before heading out for the weekend.

PayPal and Visa kiss and make up, form strategic partnership – Venture Beat

PayPal has announced its strategic partnership with Visa. Visa cards will be presented on the PayPal platform as a clear and equal payment option during enrollment and payments. The goal of the partnership was to make the credit card payment option more smooth and safe for users – while not requiring bank information to be shared. Consumers will also be able to withdraw and move money instantly from PayPal or Venmo accounts to their bank account via Visa Direct. This will be significantly faster, safer and more convenient than before.

Elon Musk reveals Tesla’s master plan – TechCrunch

Elon Musk is planning on steering Tesla towards fully autonomous driving, cargo transport, car sharing and carrying out a fully solar power ecosystem. And when he says autonomous driving, he really means it. Musk is pushing for more than just autopilot – but completely autonomous cars. Musk is saying that a total of 6 billion miles of test-driving will be needed for these autonomous cars, with fleet learning already happening at 3 million miles per day. In addition to creating small and midsize cars, Musk plans to put greater emphasis on larger, heavy duty trucks and busses for high density populations. His first master plan seemed prophetic – adding clout to part two!

Amazon enters into the student loan business in partnership with Wells Fargo – VentureBeat

In an effort to get more student prime accounts, Amazon has partnered with Wells Fargo – negotiating a half-percentage drop in student loan interest rates for student prime members. Amazon has agreed that it will not work with other student lenders to offer similar deals – but Wells Fargo is free to offer similar incentives to Amazon competitors. Wells Fargo recorded $12.2 billion in student loans outstanding in 2015 – and is the the third largest bank in the world by total assets. A student loan borrower who would normally qualify for 3.3 percent interest rate would now get a 2.8 percent rate by having a Amazon student prime account

Facebook scraps another Snapchat clone: 24-hour “Quick Updates” – TechCrunch

After the failure of Poke and Slingshot, Facebook is now trying to set up a Snapchat wannabe called “Quick Updates.” This feature which is now in testing will not be featured in the news feed or your profile – but nestled in its own special part of the app. Facebook may be moving to this style of sharing in an effort to have users share more personal content – rather than impersonal article or video sharing that takes up a large portion of current facebook activity. The future introduction of “Quick Updates” to the public Facebook app is yet to be seen.

Apple Watch sales are down 55% – CNN Money

A report from market research firm IDC shows a 55 percent drop in Apple Watch sales since its launch early 2015. During its first three months on the market, Apple sold over 3.6 million units. Despite a price discount to $299, Apple Watch sales have dropped to 1.6 million in the latest quarter. While Apple has a lionshare of the smartwatch market, other manufacturers are seeing gains. Companies like Samsung, Lenovo and LG have increased in market share in the last quarter. Apple was slow at first to introduce its watch to the market as other brands joined the scene, but Apple soon took hold of the market as they launched in early 2015.