Financial Regulators

Given the high rate of press releases and articles on fintech applications of blockchain technology – and the growing number of financial institutions expressing interest in its potential – I’ve been considering this high signal to noise ratio. A few thoughts: Hype cycle inflection point We are, hopefully, cresting the top of the blockchain hype […]

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One of the truly interesting presentations at this year’s Money2020 was the speech by Ben Lawsky, superintendent of New York’s Department of Financial Services. Lawsky’s remarks focused on his department’s BitLicense proposal and demonstrated the struggle Lawsky and his team face as they create regulation for Bitcoin and math-based currencies (MBCs) in general. Released in […]

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A great friend of Glenbrook’s is Broox Peterson, formerly Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at Visa International and currently in private practice. Earlier we posted his article So You Want to Start a Payments Company? which has helped many entrepreneurs and investors understand the considerations involved in payments-related businesses. In this new article, […]

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Last year was, of course, the break out year for Bitcoin.  Incubating in geek-nurtured obscurity during its first few years, 2013 saw the international media, global investors, entrepreneurs, and even a few just plain citizens jump onto the math-based currency (fewer managed to actually purchase some bitcoin). The currency has since ballooned in value.  It […]

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A new wave of payment capabilities is hitting shores around the world. This wave is made up of better, faster, and cheaper “credit-push” systems.  That means that transactions enter the payments systems from the sender’s bank (like a wire transfer) rather than from the recipient’s bank (like a card or check).  Credit-push payments have a […]

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The NACHA membership has reportedly turned down the concept of “Same Day ACH“. This was a request for comment, put out about a year ago by NACHA staff, to — get ready for this — not move the ACH to same day, but simply allow originating banks the option of submitting a same day batch […]

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A great friend of Glenbrook’s is Broox Peterson, formerly Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at Visa International and currently in private practice. In 2006, Broox wrote a very popular article that we shared on PaymentsNews.com. He’s just updated that article to reflect some changes – and we’re delighted to be able to share […]

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Two related announcements out of Canada work to reduce currency in circulation. Last week the Canadian government announced the demise of the penny.  The cost to produce a penny has surpassed its value.  The coins in circulation will still be considered legal tender and hold their value, but the mint will cease production and in […]

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I’ve spent part of my weekend contemplating the public relations hubbub that broke out late last week around Bank of America’s announcement that it would assess a $5 monthly fee on certain of its checking account holders who choose to use their debit cards for point-of-sale purchases.  It’s a polarizing issue. At one level, I […]

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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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At Glenbrook, we think (and teach!) about the payments industry by domains (the purpose of the payment) and players (users and providers). Our quick take on the impact of yesterday’s proposed rules on each is below. One general assumption I’ve made here is that the gap between debit interchange from big banks, and from smaller […]

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Last June, in an article titled “The End of Interchange“, I wrote about the then yet to be passed Durbin amendment – and how it might affect debit interchange fees. Earlier today, we got the first glimpse. The point of my earlier article was focused on the “sleeper” – as I described it – in […]

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This week I’ve been in Amsterdam for Sibos – the annual international banking conference sponsored by SWIFT. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with SWIFT it is a consortium of worldwide banks that runs a global secure network connecting banks in over 200 countries. Interbank messages to support payments and brokerage trades all travel […]

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There, did I get your attention? … Tonight’s headlines say it even more clearly – see this Wall St. Journal story titled “Merchants Win Debit-Card Fee Battle“. Or, see this post on PaymentsNews.com about the Durbin compromise announced earlier today. Seriously, it seems to me that there’s a bit of a sleeper buried in all […]

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I’ve been amazed by what I’ve been reading of late from the “analyst” firms commenting on the Durbin Amendment. A lot of what I’ve seen makes me wonder whether these folks should turn in their analyst licenses and simply register as paid lobbyists for their big bank clientele. (The Durbin amendment, for those not in […]

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