May 2009

In an article titled Home Economics in today’s Sunday New York Times Magazine Virginia Heffernan examines how Mint.com has encouraged her to confront her spending patterns, save more, and reduce bank fees.

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Every now and then, I get brought in to trouble shoot a payments initiative gone awry. For the last week I was hunkered down in triage mode with a client team suffering from a derailed project. They were exhausted, drowning in user complaints, struggling to fix bugs, and disillusioned with their vendor. I’ve thought long […]

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Last Friday, the  Wolfram Alpha “computational knowledge engine” went live.  Steven Wolfram is the driving force behind this incredibly ambitious venture.  His previous accomplishments include publication of first scientific paper at age 15, a PhD in theoretical physics from Caltech at age 20, creation of Mathematica software, and publication of  “A New Kind of Science.” […]

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Some of us payments geeks often lose sight of what merchants really want – they just want to sell more. Selling more stuff is like 10 times more important to them than saving money on their costs of payment acceptance. Bill Me Later is but one recent example of merchants (online in this case) will […]

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In a frankly depressing but undoubtedly realistic column this morning titled “National Addiction to Easy Credit Remains Consumers’ Downfall“, Michelle Singletary, the Washington Post’s personal finance columnist, writes that the credit card reforms being put into regulation by the Federal Reserve and potentially being accelerated/enhanced by Congressional action sometime soon won’t deal with the root […]

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Last week, Visa reported its second fiscal quarter financial results – and included a mention that Visa’s US debit card purchase volume in the fourth calendar quarter of 2008 slightly exceeded that of its US credit card purchase volume ($206 billion vs. $203 billion). Today, in another press release, Visa reinforced that point. Six years […]

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