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Google to Integrate Bank Accounts in Payment App

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Google

On Wednesday, Google said that beginning next year, it would be partnering with commercial banks and credit unions to allow users to manage mobile-based accounts through the Google Pay platform.

The vice president of Google Payments, Caesar Sengupta stated, “People do almost everything on their phones today, but for many, the way they save, pay and engage with their bank has remained unchanged,”.

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“That’s why we’re working with trusted financial institutions to create Plex, a new mobile-first bank account integrated into Google Pay.”

According to Google, the Plex Accounts for US consumers will be offered with no monthly fees, overdraft charges, or minimum balance requirements. It also mentioned that 11 banks and credit unions were participating.

To help users better organize payments to people and businesses, Google stated it was updating its Google Pay app.
Sengupta said, “Instead of showing a stack of cards or a long list of transactions, the new Google Pay app focuses on the friends and businesses you transact with most frequently,”.

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Foreign

Thailand to Cut Quarantine for Vaccinated Tourists

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Thailand to Cut Quarantine for Vaccinated Tourists

Thailand is to cut the quarantine for vaccinated travellers to seven days starting in October, officials said Monday, as it seeks to revive its battered tourism industry.
Pre-pandemic Thailand attracted nearly 40 million visitors a year, but Covid-19 related travel restrictions have hammered the sector, contributing to the economy’s worst performance in more than 20 years.
The kingdom is pushing to reopen despite still being in the grips of a deadly third wave of infections, driven by the Delta variant.

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Authorities said that starting on Friday, the quarantine period for fully jabbed visitors will be seven days, halved from the current 14-day period provided they have a vaccination certificate.
It however noted that Visitors without certification will have to quarantine for 10 days if they enter by plane and 14 days if they come over land.
All will require at least two negative Covid-19 tests.

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Ethiopia Embassy in Egypt to Temporarily Close

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Ethiopia Embassy in Egypt to Temporarily Close

The Ethiopian Embassy in Cairo will suspend its work in the country starting in October for three to six months due to economic reasons, the Ethiopian ambassador to Egypt stated on Sunday. The move he stated was due to economic and financial reasons and, to reduce the expenses.

Ambassador Tekle Rike made it clear the decision has nothing to do with the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) issue between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan. He also added that the embassy’s commissioner will manage its affairs during the suspension.

The statement by the ambassador comes as Ethiopia has decided to temporarily close about 30 embassies in a number of countries including Egypt, Canada and across the Gulf states due to the economic crisis hitting the African country.

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In the Gulf, the Ethiopian Embassy in the UAE will remain open to serve as a headquarters for the country’s regional diplomatic mission, according to diplomatic sources. Ambassador Markos Tekle Rike started his work as Ethiopia’s ambassador to Cairo in August 2020.

The decision to close down the embassy in Cairo comes at a time when the GERD dispute overshadows Ethiopia’s relationship with downstream countries Egypt and Sudan.

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UK May Need Army to Tackle Fuel Shortage as Nine In 10 Petrol Stations Run Dry

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UK May Need Army to Tackle Fuel Shortage as Nine In 10 Petrol Stations Run Dry

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering calling in the army to drive fuel tankers as petrol stations prepared for their fifth day of panic buying. The government on Sunday evening triggered emergency measures amid a warning from the Petrol Retailers Association that up to 90 per cent of forecourts had run dry.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng suspended competition laws for the fuel industry which will allow suppliers to top up rival sites if stocks are running low. However, Brian Madderson, chairman of the PRA, said while the decision would be welcomed by the industry, it was unlikely to be a game-changer.

Mr Johnson was expected to make a decision on whether the military should be called in to drive oil tankers amid a chronic shortage of heavy-goods vehicle drivers, reports said. A senior government source suggested that ministers were keen to deploy soldiers within days, rather than wait for the problem to get worse.

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The UK is suffering from a severe shortage of lorry drivers, which has made it difficult for suppliers to deliver enough fuel to stations. On Saturday, ministers announced a temporary visa scheme, to allow 5,000 foreign heavy-goods vehicle drivers to work in the UK on three-month contracts in the lead up to Christmas.

However, some figures in the industry said it was just a short-term fix and would not stamp out the shortages in the long run. Mac Fels, director of HGV Recruitment Centre, said the overseas workers were not going to make a very large dent on the perceived shortage.

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