Card Networks

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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When I was a baby consultant some twenty years ago, I remember standing in Kepler’s Bookstore in Menlo Park (remember book stores?) thumbing through a paperback book called “The Rules of Marketing”. Rule #7 that said all successful markets will subdivide into submarkets as they grow over time. One of the examples cited was how […]

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Point of sale (POS) steering isn’t really part of the payments industry dialogue right now as various stakeholders praise, argue, and criticize the proposed Federal Reserve rules on debit card interchange and network routing. But, I think it could be a big part of how things could unfold in the near future. Let’s start with […]

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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 […]

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While I don’t manage to attend every year, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s annual payment conference remains one of my favorites. The Chicago Fed has a great payments team that works hard at putting together a timely program, but I like this event because it really is what it purports to be – a […]

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A number of us self-proclaimed “payments geeks” awoke this morning to learn of Visa Inc’s intention to purchase CyberSource for approximately $2 billion.  Over the course of the day, Glenbrook’s been getting a flood of emails generally asking, “What’s the REAL reason Visa’s buying this big gateway company?”

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Where are you? What did you buy? How much did you pay? Did you get a deal? This might sound like your teenager on their phone, but it’s what a new company called Blippy hopes to answer with a new Web 2.0 service. Here’s the basic premise. What if you could broadcast everything you bought […]

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Today’s announcement of American Express acquiring Revolution Money caught many of us industry pundits by surprise – especially given the $300 MM price tag that Amex paid for the deal. But, upon reflection, and after listening to the Q&A section of Amex’s conference call earlier today, you can see why they were motivated to do […]

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I jumped at the opportunity to interview Jason Hogg, CEO of Revolution Money, parent company of Revolution Card. My colleagues and I at Glenbrook Partners are frequently tapped as a source of information about the very latest goings on in the world of “alternative payments”, but unfortunately, Revolution doesn’t share a whole lot of key […]

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Consistent with the current government focus on enhancing consumer protection, the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (Credit CARD Act of 2009) brings sea changes to the credit card industry. Forward-looking financial services institutions are viewing these shifts not as a reactive compliance and operational exercise, but more broadly in anticipation of […]

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The Glenbrook team is devouring advance copies of “Priceless: The Case that Brought Down the Visa/MasterCard Bank Cartel” by Lloyd Constantine. All I can say is “wow”!  This is juicy reading that I’m sure all payments professionals will want to add to their book bag! From the advance material on the book: Priceless offers readers […]

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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.

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At Glenbrook, we’re pretty interested in what makes mass consumer adoption of new payments capabilities happen – or not. We’ve been talking lately about “brand as action” – the notion that consumers (and merchants) need a way to express how they are going to pay or be paid. This can be brand with a “capital […]

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