Merchants

Payments transactions generate plenty of useful data for merchants. But wrangling that data into informative shape gets challenging, especially when multiple acquirers, gateways, processors, or other service providers are used. Each one has a different approach to reporting and some are (much) better than others. Developing a consolidated view and, as important, reconciling financials from […]

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This past week, over 1400 payments professionals convened in Las Vegas for the annual Merchant Risk Council (MRC) conference, an event that I’ve had the pleasure of attending for over a decade.  While merchant fraud detection and risk management continue to be the core theme of the conference, traditional payment service providers had a strong […]

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Business evolution—whether it’s automotive, bioscience, or in the payments industry—proceeds along a predictable path of incremental improvements and optimization. Until it doesn’t and a step function takes effect. Last year was sleepy compared to what we can expect during the next eleven months. 2016 was characterized by the more familiar path, through themes set in […]

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In e-commerce and mobile commerce the problem of false declines is significant, especially during the holidays. Issuers decline transactions that online merchants approve. And vice versa. In other words, the necessary process of sorting out fraud from good transactions catches good transactions with the bad. This poor decision making means merchants lose the sale and […]

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Last week in Geneva, the ITU wrapped up a two-year project – the “Focus Group on Digital Financial Services and Financial Inclusion”. Several hundred organizations and people participated in the Focus Group, which produced research papers and policy recommendations on a wide variety of topics. The papers are available on the Focus Group website. Glenbrook’s […]

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Anyone who’s been in a Glenbrook Payments Boot Camp session with me has heard me emphatically stress that merchants “just want to sell stuff – they don’t want to be in the payments business”. Of course many larger and more sophisticated merchants have figured out how to use payments strategically to increase sales – think […]

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Chargebacks are one of the card system’s great consumer benefits. If fraud happens, the merchant doesn’t deliver on what was promised, or you’re charged six times for something you bought just once, the chargeback mechanism returns your money or restores your credit. What’s not to like? Well, if you’re a merchant, a lot. While there […]

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Payments industry professionals naturally have a hard focus on the industry’™s own dynamics. So, it’s not uncommon to lose sight of who the customer is and who pays the freight. In retailing, yes, the consumer pays, but payments is a direct cost to the merchant. With all of the changes underway in the U.S. payments […]

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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 […]

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The evolution of the digital wallet has seemed to accelerate in recent months, weeks and days, led, in my mind, by some important payment product launches by the retail community. These developments combine the long-standing heft and influence of America’s largest retailers with a seemingly more aggressive stance by these companies to both assert their […]

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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 […]

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Smart. Very Smart. I applaud Square’s introduction of “$Cashtags” for a number of reasons. First, some of you may know that I am a bit of a nut when it comes to brand names in payments – I think it is incredibly important that the sending and receiving party both know/understand the word being used […]

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I’ve been thinking a lot about how payments and payment-related technologies fit into the emerging world of multi-channel commerce or omni-commerce as some people call it. When a lot of companies describe their omni-commerce strategy, they are usually talking about recognizing customers across channels and being able support a sales cycle that starts in one […]

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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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First There is a Mountain, Then There is No Mountain, Then There is… I’ve been thinking about what the future of the point of sale environment will look like from a consumer perspective. Of course, 10 years ago, we all knew what it was going to look like: consumers tapping their mobile phones to Near […]

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