Carol Coye Benson

Our co-founder, partner and friend, Scott Loftesness, is formally retiring from Glenbrook today.  I can’t begin to say how much I will miss him – as a colleague, as a mentor, and as an endless source of ideas and insights.  Glenbrook is today what it is largely because of Scott’s vision for the firm: a […]

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The always-interesting Federal Reserve Bank Chicago Payments Symposium just closed, and predictably, a lot of the discussion (and argument!) was around “faster” – the evolving progress of the United States towards improvements in our payments systems. I was particularly interested in hearing other people’s views on the outlook for this in our country. I came […]

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I’m back from two days at Consensus 2016 in NYC, and reporting as promised into my investigation of the Five Big Questions. 1. Bitcoin technology: will the problems (versions, processing time, scalability) be  resolved? Yes. My belief that we are all writing this off too soon in favor of “all things blockchain” was reinforced. Glenn […]

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I’m headed to New York next week for the CoinDesk Consensus conference…”Making Blockchain Real”. I’m going because I’m trying to get my head around some big questions. I normally have a sense, even with new things, of the path forward. Not in this case! Here are the questions I’m thinking about: Bitcoin technology: will the […]

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Glenbrook’s Allen Weinberg wrote a few weeks ago about his view of the Grand Challenges in payments…. a daunting list, and one I agree with.  But I want to extend his discussion on one of his challenges:  “Realigned value chain economics in a push payment world”, and add two more: “What is the proper role […]

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You may have heard about the Reserve Bank of India’s decision to create a new category of “payments banks”. Recently, the Reserve Bank of India approved 11 applicant institutions (out of 41 who had applied) to start the process of becoming licensed. The group includes telcos, non-bank financial institutions, retailers, entrepreneurs and the Department of […]

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Message delay from phone to watch – I can hear my phone signaling a message has arrived but it takes a while to show up on my watch You have to remember to turn both watch and iPhone back on after being in airplane mode, even if set to “mirror phone” Only black watch faces? […]

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Over the past few weeks I’ve had a chance to talk about the prospects for faster payments in the U.S. with representatives from both The Clearing House and the Fed.  Both groups, as I’m sure you know, are actively working the space: the Fed with its ongoing Payments Systems Improvement initiative, now with a number of task […]

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Smart. Very Smart. I applaud Square’s introduction of “$Cashtags” for a number of reasons. First, some of you may know that I am a bit of a nut when it comes to brand names in payments – I think it is incredibly important that the sending and receiving party both know/understand the word being used […]

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I read the Facebook announcement of payments through Messenger with interest, and just a touch of “about time”! After all, there is nothing more social than sending money to family and friends. And although much attention is paid in the press to the friend-to-friend use cases, I suspect that the family-to-family opportunities are much greater. […]

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These are some personal observations on Apple Pay, after an exciting week of reading announcements from Apple and reactions from bloggers. (If you want a Glenbrook business view on the announcement, read Wednesday’s post by my partner George Peabody.) For several years we’ve been talking, at Glenbrook, about how mobile payments take a back seat, in […]

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I was delighted and fascinated to see that the Gates Foundation has issued a “Grand Challenge” on enabling universal acceptance of mobile money payments.  The Foundation’s previous best-known challenges have been in healthcare, notably for toilets and condoms, so this is quite a change! The Foundation is soliciting two-page proposals on innovative devices, software or business […]

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Faster Payments May Get Here Faster than We Thought Some of you may know that I’ve been an ardent advocate for a faster-payments infrastructure in the United States. I’ve been closely following the Fed’s process towards payments system improvements. On Thursday in San Francisco, I attended one of the Town Hall meetings they’ve been holding to […]

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Glenbrook held a great “Innovations in Payments” workshop this week – a group which energetically debated many topics, including Bitcoin (of course), tokenization, beacons, authentication, wearables, interoperability and mobile ad spend. As I reflect on the day, it seems that an interesting theme emerged.  Many of the topics were about payment transactions that are – or […]

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As is the case with many people in our industry, I’ve been giving  a lot of thought recently to Bitcoin.  When ever I run into something new, or puzzling, I try to find comparisons to help me understand it.  And comparisons abound in Bitlandia.  Many people compare it to the Internet, in terms of significance.  […]

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