Post image for Glenbrook’s Retailing Framework

I’ve been thinking a lot about how payments and payment-related technologies fit into the emerging world of multi-channel commerce or omni-commerce as some people call it. When a lot of companies describe their omni-commerce strategy, they are usually talking about recognizing customers across channels and being able support a sales cycle that starts in one channel and finishes in another.

Instead of parallel channels (store, online, call center) I think a better metaphor is to imagine a funnel where customers move through a wide area, near area, and localized experience right up to the point where it gets personal. At any point along the journey they can consummate the purchase and move on. But often times, one step leads to the next.

Here’s how I think about each stage cut by some of the relevant disciplines that are being brought to bear in the stage. The related technologies and techniques are not exhaustive. I’m sure I’m leaving off your company or your favorite payment method. I’m just trying to illustrate what fits where. It’s one of the things that consultants compulsively do!

Wide Area Retailing – Customer is at home or work

  • Advertising networks (prospect identification, cross site targeting, search engine optimization)
  • Social networks (word of mouth, social graph)
  • Targeted offers based on transaction spending patterns (card-linked offers)
  • Targeted offers based on cohort segmentation (propensity modeling)
  • Loyalty-based engagement (new arrivals, member discounts, complementary product cross-sell)
  • Traditional eCommerce (ship from warehouse, ship from store)
  • Tablet-optimized sites and native retailer apps
  • Payment methods (Cards + PayPal, Bitcoin)
  • In-App Checkout (Card on File, PayPal, Google Wallet, Visa Checkout, Apple Pay)
  • In-Browser Checkout (Card on File, PayPal, Google Wallet, Visa Checkout)

Near Area Retailing – Customer is on the move or in the neighborhood

  • Targeted offers based on location (augmented by segmentation, spending patterns, etc.)
  • Recommendations based on social network spend
  • Foot Traffic analytics (walk-by rate, entry rate, etc.)
  • Order Ahead (pickup in store, pickup in drive thru)
  • Smartphone-optimized sites and native retailer apps
  • Payment methods (Cards + PayPal, Bitcoin)
  • In-App Checkout (PayPal, Google Wallet, Visa Checkout, Apple Pay)
  • In-Browser Checkout (Card on File, PayPal, Google Wallet, Visa Checkout)

Local Area Retailing – Customer is in the store

  • Check-In Metaphor
  • Interactive offers (mobile delivery; based on product/service engagement, location in store, check-in, etc.)
  • Interactive product info (mobile based, expands product details, checks inventory level, etc.)
  • Digital media (in-store advertising networks, digital signage)
  • Mobile dashboard (app as dashboard to retailer-specific experience, inventory levels)In-store analytics (linger rate, new/repeat customers)
  • Showrooming
  • Beacons, beacons everywhere
  • Order In-Store, Order at Table
  • Payment methods (Cards + PayPal)
  • In-App Checkout (PayPal, Google Wallet, Visa Checkout, Apple Pay, CurrentC (MCX))
  • Wearables

Personal Area Retailing – Customer is ready to checkout

* New POS (EMV, Contactless, Bluetooth LE, QR Code, NFC, Pay by Face, etc.)
* New Cash Register (tablet as cash register, mPOS, clerk in aisle)
* Kiosks (Order entry, bill pay)
* In-aisle checkout (mobile based, self-scan and pay-in-aisle)
* Digital receipts (emailed, archived, offer enhanced)
* Payment methods (Cards, Private Label, Gift Cards, PayPal, ACH Cards)
* POS Checkout (Cards, PayPal, Google Wallet, Softcard (Isis), Apple Pay, CurrentC (MCX))
* Wearbles

Does this framework make sense? Did I miss any big areas of discipline? Drop me a line and let me know what you think.

We’ll be talking about a few of these emerging technologies and techniques at our next “Innovation in Payments” workshop being held December 11th at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. See the agenda here. I’m particularly excited about what we’ve pulled together on Tokenization A-Z, Apple Pay Tear Down, and Beacons.

Please join us if you can. It should be fun!

This piece was written by Glenbrook’s Russ Jones.


Post image for Adventures in Attribution – The Apple vs. MCX Dialog

Like many payments industry insiders, we have been following the recent impassioned industry dialog about the relative merits of Apple Pay and MCX’s CurrentC wallet with a combination of amusement and despair. The barbs and accusations being exchanged by the rival camps in this technological holy war between NFC and QR codes suddenly reminded me that many years ago I invested a big part of my academic career to the field in social psychology. I had a particular interest in the sub-discipline of Attribution Theory, which “deals with how the social perceiver uses information to arrive at causal explanations for events.”

In layman’s terms, attribution theory is concerned with how and why ordinary people explain events as they do. Two major areas of contention between Apple Pay and MCX reveal interesting lessons about the way information is released affects the perceptions of observers. Let me explain.


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Post image for Let’s Just Skip Sig and Go to Chip and PIN

Last week I was in Victoria, British Columbia doing one of our Glenbrook Payments Assessments. In anticipation of my trip to the North American Land of Chip andPIN, I had both a Visa and an Amex card reissued in the chip format. Neither of my issuers supported PINs on my credit cards, so I was informed by both of the issuers that I’d be in chip and signature mode.

When in Canada, I used my cards many times and my main impression was that this chip and signature stuff was stupid, and it would have been so much easier to have been assigned and using a PIN!
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Post image for PoF 10 – On Faster Payments in the US

In this interview with Glenbrook’s founding partner Carol Coye Benson, we discuss the prospects for a faster payments system in the US. Responding to the October 22 announcement by The Clearing House, Carol expresses her caution and hope for ways to accelerate replacement of today’s system for credit push payments.


Post image for Considering Bitcoin as a Payment Network

Wikipedia says, “Bitcoin is a software-based online payment system.” But what sort of payment system is it? We get this question all the time when we talk about Bitcoin in our workshops.

At Glenbrook we like to start each Payments Boot Camp talking about payments systems fundamentals and the common attributes that can be used to understand and position any payments system. In every workshop someone will raise their hand in the first ten minutes and ask about Bitcoin. They are always thinking that Bitcoin is so revolutionary it must somehow invalidate how to think about payments systems. We love this because Bitcoin doesn’t refute how payments systems work — it illustrates and reinforces how all payments systems work. Let’s look at some of the specifics: [click to continue…]


Post image for PoF 9 – Realtime Authorization and Messaging

Realtime, consumer-facing authorization of card payment transactions has been available for some time but few of us have it offered to us by our issuers. Today, there’s a number of technology providers selling truly realtime notifications and two-way approval requests based on the live authorization stream. Glenbrook’s Russ Jones takes us through what’s on offer while George gets grumpy over what he’s got today. As more consumers become thorougly alarmed over data and privacy breaches, this could be the time for issuers and independents to offer the “worried” consumer more control and a strong role in fraud management.

Companies mentioned in this episode include:

TSYS Spend Controls for consumers and corporate card administrators

MasterCard InControl

Vantiv MobiMoney

Red Giant Mobile


Post image for A Central Bank Takes on Mobile Payments

Ecuador’s Central Bank has embarked on an ambitious course to launch an affordable and widely available mobile payment scheme.  In fact, it will be the national wallet. With some uncertainty, it appears that Ecuador’s initiative may be the second central bank effort to enter this space. Jordan’s central bank has launched “JoMoPay”, but for those of us who don’t read Arabic, details on the initiative are less than sparse.

But as I return from Quito and the M2Money Andean conference, there are details to share on Ecuador’s effort. The central bank will be both the owner and the operator of the scheme. They chose a proven mobile payment platform that will lend both capability and experience to the new initiative. The vision includes building out an ecosystem that includes P2P, top-up, B2B, cash in and cash out, in-store purchases, and electronic receipts. The plan is to link the mobile payment platform with the banking platform so that mobile accounts can receive funds from and send funds to bank accounts.


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Post image for PoF 8 – Virtual Banking, PayPal, Apple Pay – A conversation with Dan Schatt

Join George Peabody in a conversation with Stockpile’s Dan Schatt on virtual banking, innovation, and the future of PayPal.  Dan is former GM of Financial Innovations at PayPal and the author of Virtual Banking: A Guide to Innovation and Partnering, a new book that includes a chapter on Bitcoin and math-based currencies by Glenbrook’s George Peabody.  We also discuss Stockpile’s innovative approach to equities ownership, a business model that will be fascinating to watch develop.


Post image for ApplePay, NFC, QR (Oh My!) and the New POS

First There is a Mountain, Then There is No Mountain, Then There is…

I’ve been thinking about what the future of the point of sale environment will look like from a consumer perspective. Of course, 10 years ago, we all knew what it was going to look like: consumers tapping their mobile phones to Near Field Communication (NFC) equipped POS terminals, transferring card data that looked a lot like magnetic stripe data. The card issuers loved the vision, the card networks loved it too, and the phone providers (who owned the space on the phone) were dreamy-eyed just thinking about all the new revenue.

Google, and its Android phone operating system (53% U.S. phone share) even signed up — first with an approach that aligned with the original Secure Element based design and later with the Host Card Emulation approach, which wrested NFC from the sole control of the carriers. But Apple (42% U.S. phone share) remained silent.

And our belief in an NFC future waned.

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Post image for PoF 7 – Biometrics, Apple Pay, and Privacy: a Talk with Steve Wilson

Apple Pay’s announcement has brought attention to biometrics and their role in payments security and to the broader, if amorphous, concept of online identity. Steve Wilson of Constellation Research and Glenbrook’s George Peabody discuss local and cloud-based biometrics, identity attributes, and the vexing challenges of privacy.


Post image for The Loosely Woven Threads of Sibos 2014

I’m just back from Boston and the marathon known as Sibos 2014. In a post earlier this week, I shared a couple of observations from the show floor and the conference sessions. Now that the conference has closed, I’m thinking about the themes that spoke to me. And, this year, I didn’t get the sense that there were big new ideas being debated. Don’t get me wrong, there were great conversations and a few interesting products being showcased. But I just didn’t hear or feel a clear consensus on where we are.

With some reflection on the overall experience, however, I do think there are notable threads that create a narrative, albeit loosely woven, on where we are as an industry.

Four key, if loosely woven, threads stand out:

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Post image for Report from Sibos 2014

Time is a vacuum at Sibos. It’s a great time to catch up with old friends and meet new colleagues.  The exhibition floor is overwhelming, even now after banks have scaled back their presence at events like these.  There is a plethora of panels on a broad range of topics to choose from.

It’s a little bit like being at a casino – lots of activity and no clocks.

So, what have I seen so far?  The biggest idea so far has been a demo of a real-time, payment transaction risk-scoring module. You read that correctly: real time, transaction risk-scoring.  This gets to a fundamental problem for banks – what types of activities are my customers up to? Who are they transacting with and what are the implications of those activities for the bank?

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Post image for Out of Africa:  Watching the Evolution of Mobile Money

It turns out you don’t have to be unbanked to like M-Pesa

I had the opportunity earlier this month to visit the mecca of mobile payments, which –with all due respect to the recent accomplishments in Cupertino — remains Nairobi, Kenya.

The “Kenyan miracle” in payments has been well documented, particularly in terms of how Safaricom’s M-Pesa ™ product has brought basic electronic payment capability to millions of formerly unserved consumers in the lower income and geographically remote segments of Kenyan society (the word pesa means “money” in Swahili, so this is literally mobile money, a nice example of the kind of descriptive and explanatory branding we love at Glenbrook).  This is accomplished by adding a prepaid mobile wallet with a cash balance alongside the prepaid value already stored on wireless phones to fund voice and data usage.  The value in the mobile wallet can then be transferred to other wallet holders using a simple set of text-based menu options. m-pesa logo [click to continue…]


Post image for PoF  6 – Russ Jones on Visa Checkout and Checkout Flow

Using a powerful examination of the challenge of online and mobile checkout, Glenbrook’s Russ Jones takes us for a deep dive into Visa Checkout, comparing it to PayPal and other methods of making the ecommerce experience slippery.

At Checkout’s announcement in mid-July, Visa promised to support the initiative with significant advertising. One ad has been viewed by 9 million times on YouTube and anyone with a passing interest in Sunday football has seen spots educating viewers on Checkout’s speed and availability.



Post image for PoF 5 – FinovateFall 2014 Day 2

Come back for Bryan Derman’s wrap-up of FinovateFall 2014. From banking technology vendors to SMB lending and some very interesting security and biometric demonstrations from new and established outfits.  Take a listen to his report here or, via iTunes, just search for Payments on Fire.


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