Banking Industry

There is a growing curiosity about India’s payments systems. These systems, and their role in the “India stack”, have been the subject of many articles speculating their importance in shaping India’s future. Despite this attention, there is still considerable confusion about what these initiatives are, and how they interact with each other. This led me […]

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Business evolution—whether it’s automotive, bioscience, or in the payments industry—proceeds along a predictable path of incremental improvements and optimization. Until it doesn’t and a step function takes effect. Last year was sleepy compared to what we can expect during the next eleven months. 2016 was characterized by the more familiar path, through themes set in […]

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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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Contrary to popular belief, the millennial generation is not lazy, entitled or narcissistic.  They are a robust group of entrepreneurial, socially astute and media savvy consumers.  They make discerning decisions about their money and are thoughtful about the companies they trust. Last week I chaired a conference titled:  Millennials and Money.  We discussed similarities and […]

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Stretching the retail financial institution’s (FI) mission beyond checking account and debit card management is on that industry’s agenda. It’s what fires the imagination of fintech entrepreneurs too because retail financial services is an industry in need of creative, expansive approaches to accountholder services. Not every idea catches fire but fortunately there are those willing […]

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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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It’s been just over two years since we first reached out and asked for your views on the question of faster payments. There have been a number of interesting developments in that period – the launch of FAST in Singapore, the announcement of the New Payments Platform in Australia, development of an instant payment scheme […]

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Last week’s news that MasterCard was exploring an investment or outright acquisition of VocaLink really lit up the “News” channel on our Slack system at Glenbrook. For those unfamiliar, VocaLink is a company currently owned by 17 large U.K. financial institutions, which operates the U.K.’s main ATM network (Link), its ACH-equivalent system (Bacs), and most […]

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It’s election time here in the United States and potentially big changes are ahead. Elections define the beginning and end of political eras.  Walter Dean Burnham, the distinguished professor of American Politics, elaborated a theory of party change and realignment.[1] Burnham’s theory noted that critical issues bubble up from time to time and their impact […]

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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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This week, I began an important new assignment. I am now the CEO of the International Payments Framework Association (IPFA). If you haven’t yet heard of it, the IPFA provides rules, standards, operating procedures, and guidelines to improve cross-border payments. It’s now five years old and moving into the next, exciting, and supercharged phase of payments […]

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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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It’s always intriguing to watch how a good idea evolves into new areas. Such evolution often happens when designers find new applications for their ideas. Brian Merritt and Ryan Hildebrand were part of the early team at Simple that was subsequently sold to BBVA. In mid-February, they announced the formation of Seed, a Y Combinator […]

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The Federal Reserve’s recent announcement that it would not build a new payment rail for processing faster payments created some disappointment for many who are unsatisfied with our country’s current payments system capabilities. In a welcome move, The Clearinghouse (TCH) has announced its intention to fill this void and build new real-time “rails”. There are, […]

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