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Friday Five: 7/20-7/24

Happy Friday! Here's a roundup of this week's industry news.

Payments-tech companies like PayPal and Square are moving aggressively into lending and disrupting banks - Business Insider

Payments companies including PayPal and Square will now offer loans to small businesses. This will not only help small-and-medium sized companies advance their businesses, but will serve as an extra revenue stream for the payments companies. These programs are most competitive with credit cards and bank loans, and the BI Intelligence report thinks banks should be worried.

Twitter launches a new Safety Center to help you learn how to handle harassment - The Next Web

This week Twitter launched a new safety center to educate its users on ways to handle social media harassment. The hub will provide links to other updated features as well as resources for filing police reports. According to Twitter's announcement, "Online safety is a shared responsibility, and digital citizenship is essential to fostering a safe environment for all." Kudos to you, Twitter.

Millennials Want Loyalty Points For Engagement With Brands - MediaPost

According to a study released this week, millennials join loyalty programs to receive rewards and save money; however, brands must work to achieve long-term relationships. While 64.5 percent of respondents said they were loyal to a brand, 36.6 percent admitted they would switch to a competitor for reasons such as the lack of compelling rewards and the rate at which points accumulate. As more brands adopt loyalty programs, they must think about engaging users with meaningful, efficient rewards.

Under Armour is on fire. It's ready to play basketball with Nike - CNN Money

After one of its best years, Under Armour is telling Nike to step aside. Armed with powerful advertising and athletes, Under Armour is focusing on winning the basketball market with celebrity endorser, Stephen Curry. What's more, the company is focusing on incorporating the Internet of Things to the sports world with its Connected Fitness community platform. While some analysts question Under Armour's foray into connected fitness, others (Riley Curry included) find it hard to believe the company will ever falter.

Amazon's Rise and How It Became Bigger Than Walmart - ABC News

After Amazon's second quarter profit announcement, the company is now valued at $263.2 billion, passing its age-old competitor, Walmart with a cap of $232.7 billion. While Walmart is still the biggest retailer in terms of revenue, Amazon's fast-tracked success is no doubt thanks to savvy moves like Amazon Prime, free shipping and Amazon Web Services. Nice work, Bezos, nice work.

Read anything interesting lately? Tweet us at @WalkerSands.