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 […]


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 […]


Interchange galvanizes the attention of regulators around the world like iron filings to a magnet. Everyone in card payments watches their moves closely because of its economic impact on merchants, card networks, issuers, acquirers and, in theory, consumer pricing. European regulators are among the most recent to weigh in. Based on the EU’s Multilateral Interchange […]


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 […]


Former Sen. Chris Dodd, ex-Chair of Senate Banking Committee, probably needs no introduction to anyone in payments. In his keynote address to the annual meeting of the ETA this morning, he commented on the Durbin Amendment: Excluded interchange from original bill because it was so complicated. “Almost impossible … to draft something that struck a […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 about the Durbin compromise announced earlier today. Seriously, it seems to me that there’s a bit of a sleeper buried in all […]


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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