Innovation

It turns out you don’t have to be unbanked to like M-Pesa I had the opportunity earlier this month to visit the mecca of mobile payments, which –with all due respect to the recent accomplishments in Cupertino — remains Nairobi, Kenya. The “Kenyan miracle” in payments has been well documented, particularly in terms of how […]

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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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We’re at it again. We’re conducting our second annual Bitcoin and Payments Survey. Please participate! The survey takes about 7 minutes, maybe less. Do it from your smartphone while you’re waiting in the market’s check-out line or on the sofa using your tablet. The survey is mobile friendly.

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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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Any reader of Payments Views knows that most of us at Glenbrook are impressed by the potential of math-based currencies (MBCs). And all of us agree that participants in the payments industry (in the broadest sense) need to understand Bitcoin and its crypto-currency relatives. Having seen so many Internet technologies grow from concept to first […]

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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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Our work in payment data cuts across many areas. Who has what data? How is it best monetized? How can it be put to use for better decision making? How can it be augmented and enhanced. It’s in this last area of “enhancements” that we’ve become fascinated with a new startup company called Plaid. They […]

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One of the pleasures of joining Glenbrook has been getting to know what and how the other Glebrookers think about what’s happening in the payments industry.  We talk a lot at Glenbrook. Over iChat, email, mobile phones, Skype, Google Hangout with voice and video, through Google Docs, and whenever we meet up for client work […]

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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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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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It’s Spring in San Francisco, so it must be time for the annual Finovate conference. Once again, Eric and Jim have pulled together an impressive group of companies and all my favorite payments geeks are in attendance, eagerly awaiting the start. Up on stage for the kick off Eric tells us this is the biggest […]

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I recently had the time and opportunity to bone up on machine learning.  The opportunity that presented itself was a 10-week on-line course taught by a well known Stanford Computer Science professor, Andrew Ng.  The course, offered by coursera.org included lectures, quizzes, and programming exercises. It was great. And it really got me thinking about […]

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Young Atlanta-area businesses with big ideas and the venture capitalists that seek those big ideas gathered in Atlanta in October 17 and 18 to showcase the start-ups and share experiences from alumni. My focus in attending the conference was to see which of the start-ups featured payments angles and how this important aspect was being […]

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It’s hard to believe that the end of 2012 is in sight – and it’s almost equally hard to believe that three years ago, a few of us at Glenbrook were thinking, “gee – all the exciting stuff in payments has already happened”. Yet we don’t think we’ve ever seen so much action in the […]

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Good morning! Gearing up for the two-day typing marathon that is Finovate. We’re at a huge venue this year (same as last year, apparently – someone else from Glenbrook was here then), a cavernous exhibition hall that has plenty of room for the 1200+ attendees; I can remember when there were 250 attendees. Congrats to […]

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