Card Issuers

Visa’s CEO recently reported that more than 750,000 locations, representing 17% of the U.S. face-to-face card-accepting merchant base, are accepting EMV chip cards. While everyone in the industry agrees that it will be quite a while before the numbers reach “critical mass” (whatever that means to you), there are two key questions for today. The […]


At our Glenbrook Payments Boot Camps, we often quote futurist and novelist William Gibson’s 1993 remark that “the future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed” in order to demonstrate that different payment methods take varying amounts of time to become commonplace. Over the last year and more, most boot camp attendees […]


We’ve spent so much time the past several years obsessing about how mobile proximity payments would be deployed in the U.S. and the rest of the developed world. Now we know. This week, Apple Pay celebrates the first anniversary of its launch, and a new generation of payment-enabled iPhones will be announced. Later this month, […]


Recorded about a month ago by VC firm Matrix Partners, Glenbrook’s Scott Loftesness and Dana Stalder of Matrix Partners discuss the evolution of mobile payments, the business model failure of Softcard, and other topics including: The 8+ year journey to ApplePay Technologies here to stay: NFC, tokenization, and biometrics What it all means for the Networks […]


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 […]


The Apple Pay announcement finally came yesterday and the company’s orchestration of much of the complex and fractious card payments ecosystem demonstrates Apple’s insight into how the current payments ecosystem works and how it must be aligned in order to meet its own needs. Combining NFC, Apple’s Passbook wallet, Touch ID biometric reader, cards stored in the […]


Our Card Fraud survey is still open — we’re trying to answer the question of who first detects card fraud: cardholders or their banks? The survey can be found here. I’ve received a couple of comments suggesting I left out an important fraud detector in the survey: merchants! In the card not present (CNP) space, […]


Here are some thoughts on big actions that industry incumbents could take to strengthen their positions and the U.S. payments industry. What do these ideas have in common? First of all, they are infrastructural or market-wide. Secondly, they all ask one or more incumbent constituencies to bite the bullet – and accept some reduction of […]


After months of speculation and hand-wringing, last Friday we finally got a relatively complete reading on how the Federal Reserve will likely implement the prescribed regulation of debit interchange and debit network competition. My partner, Carol Benson, has also shared a summary of how various payment domains and players might be affected in the near […]


Last week my partner Russ Jones and I were exploring some of new ideas in the mobile payments space when we came across the notion of the “Commerce Context” – defined as when you and I, as consumers, are in an environment (a context) that’s enabled for commerce. The last fifteen years of the eCommerce […]

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If you’ve been following along, you know that I’m just back from a week in Europe. Before heading over, I took the extra precaution of calling a couple of my card issuers to let them know I was going to be traveling – in the hopes that my primary debit and credit cards would continue […]


The dramatic vote on the Durbin amendment is causing panic, again, among retail bankers – who were last shocked by the Fed’s overdraft ruling.  I wrote about that in November (Watch Out! Big Changes in Retail Bank Pricing Are Coming). I think the underlying problem that banks are dealing with is that too much of […]


I was particularly interested in the merchant funded rewards session put on by Jonathan Silver of Affinity Solutions and John MacMillan from Comerica Bank. Having listened to several discussions point to debit card rewards as important to consumers, this session focused on how to develop compelling rewards programs. First of all, rewards need to be […]


On the heels of our own Payments Views post The End of Cards as We Knew Them? have come interesting comments on the acceptance challenges facing US consumers using magnetic stripe cards overseas.


Note: this commentary could be subtitled: “How my trip to the U.K. left me with a chip on my shoulder!” When I was a child, I remember preparing for international travel by accompanying my parents to our local bank branch to purchase traveler’s checks. It wasn’t exactly convenient – but they felt safer traveling with […]


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