The US is becoming the world’s largest closed-loop payments system

Two-thirds of all checks written globally originate in the US today

Last year the US contributed close to 20% of the world’s GDP despite coming off the back of the biggest economic downturn since the 1930′s Great Depression. The US, UK, Germany, Russian and CIS States, and China dominate the world’s payment landscape currently, but in volume of non-bank payments the US dominates with over 50% of the world’s [...]

PTP FTW! The beginnings of something much greater…

I'll give you a hint... Square is not competing with PayPal

I had a call with an industry colleague earlier today talking the recent news on GMail Google Wallet integration, Dwolla’s funding round and the “Square Cash” announcement. At large I’m seeing two broad industry responses to these moves. The first, is to see this all as a distraction from mainstream banking and that essentially all [...]

Why Apple’s NFC snub might hurt the banks and networks more than ever?

Uber - doesn't need a swipe to offer better payments

I’ve always maintained that Near Field Communication (NFC) was attractive for both the banks acting as acquirers and issuers, and ultimately the networks themselves. Particularly in the US marketplace. Why? The only way to keep the Point-of-Sale (POS) terminal in a transaction as we shift to mobile wallet and mobile payments at merchants is for [...]

Mobile Payments: Leave them to their own devices

As we’ve embarked on our Movenbank project, we’ve had a lot of people express concerns about our choice to be completely cardless and go with NFC and various other P2P solutions. There’s also often raised questions over which handset platform to support, which devices are certified, the lack of real NFC standards, how to enable [...]

The new banking distribution layer

There’s a great deal of discussion and debate around what will ultimately happen to banking as a result of the massive changes in connectivity, utility, mobility and customer experience taking place right now. One thing is for sure, the world is changing. We see PayPal owning online payments, with others like Stripe hot on their [...]

When a Telco becomes a better bank…

The announcement that the Canadian carrier Rogers Telecom has applied for a banking license should hardly come as a shock to the retail banking fraternity. There is already a plethera of mobile carriers fully engaged in mobile payments right now, from Safaricom in Kenya, Orange (with Barclays) in the UK, the ISIS collaboration in the US, LG Telecom in South [...]

Will the US be the last to go cashless?

Although it is a long-time off yet, we can now envisage a time when most of the developed world, and indeed most of the developing world will no longer deal in hard currency. There are a number of drivers for this: 1. Impact of mobile payments 2. Tighter money laundering requirements, and 3. Cost of [...]

The Modality Shift of Banking – Part 3

Massive spend on innovation at the front-end of retail financial services Putting aside conjecture of whether or not we are in a bubble at the moment around tech, social media, and mobile services (which I believe we very well could be), the reality is we are seeing a flurry of massive investment in new distribution [...]

Extending the mobile payments ecosystem

Today I’ve been in Beetsterzwaag, Opsterland, Netherlands, about 150 kilometers from Amsterdam at an offsite strategic retreat with the ICS (International Card Services) team. Initially part of Bank of America’s presence in the Netherlands, ICS today is an independent subsidiary of ABN Amro NV, but works in the provision of a range of card services [...]

The emerging Mobile Payments and KYC clash

When the commercial internet became popularized in the mid-90s the emergence of e-Commerce quickly led to some amazing new business models, and inevitably the hype of the dot com bubble. While much of the dot com ‘crash’ survived and thrived (e.g. Google, Yahoo, Amazon) there were those that appeared happy to proclaim that the fad [...]