Mobile Banking & Payments

One of the payments obsessions here at Glenbrook is understanding the ways in which mobile payment and digital financial services are taking hold around the world. Once effectively limited to the early success of M-PESA and P2P payment in Kenya, today there are a number of services underway. M-PESA itself, in around a decade, has […]

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Over the past several years, my colleagues and I at Glenbrook have been working on a variety of projects focused on bringing low-cost financial services to the poor in developing countries. While there has been a lot written on how mobile or eMoney payments systems such as M-PESA in Kenya have grown in many developing […]

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We’ve spent so much time the past several years obsessing about how mobile proximity payments would be deployed in the U.S. and the rest of the developed world. Now we know. This week, Apple Pay celebrates the first anniversary of its launch, and a new generation of payment-enabled iPhones will be announced. Later this month, […]

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We are just a month away from the October EMV liability shift and the transition is, to no one’s surprise, mostly incomplete. EMV credit card issuance is expected to be at just 50% by the end of this year. Point of sale hardware upgrades at major retailers may be in place but the long tail of SMB […]

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It’s always intriguing to watch how a good idea evolves into new areas. Such evolution often happens when designers find new applications for their ideas. Brian Merritt and Ryan Hildebrand were part of the early team at Simple that was subsequently sold to BBVA. In mid-February, they announced the formation of Seed, a Y Combinator […]

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Ecuador’s Central Bank has embarked on an ambitious course to launch an affordable and widely available mobile payment scheme.  In fact, it will be the national wallet. With some uncertainty, it appears that Ecuador’s initiative may be the second central bank effort to enter this space. Jordan’s central bank has launched “JoMoPay”, but for those […]

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These are some personal observations on Apple Pay, after an exciting week of reading announcements from Apple and reactions from bloggers. (If you want a Glenbrook business view on the announcement, read Wednesday’s post by my partner George Peabody.) For several years we’ve been talking, at Glenbrook, about how mobile payments take a back seat, in […]

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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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I was fortunate enough to spend a day yesterday at Bill Maurer’s IMTFI (Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion) conference at UC Irvine.  Bill is an anthropologist, and his institute funds fascinating small projects in developing countries that look at how people interact with money.  (IMTFI, in turn, is funded by the Bill & […]

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Back in late May, I shared the news and some observations about new payments legislation in Brazil.  Last week, less than four months later, that legislation has now become law. The major tenets of the legislation remain intact and Brazil is now firmly in the small group of countries that is formally coming to terms […]

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I had the opportunity to attend the launch event of Green Dot’s new GoBank yesterday (1/15/13) in San Francisco and came away quite intrigued. Sure, there are a plethora of financial services targeting the unbanked and underbanked, but what I found most interesting was Green Dot’s focus on the “unhappily banked” and those new to […]

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As a social scientist by training, I’m fascinated with how ideas gain (or fail to gain) traction. In payments, there seems to a set of essential elements that are required for a new option to reach the level of traction. In no particular order, these elements include ease of use, ubiquity, security, and attractiveness. How […]

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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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This is conference week for me! Today I’m sitting at Mobile Money Americas in Mexico City, with a fascinating group of people working on mobile wallets in countries throughout the region. Of the 129 live mobile money projects worldwide (and let’s not get distracted, right now, by defining that…), 17 are live in the LAC region, with […]

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As anticipated, and widely leaked, PayPal today announced PayPal Here, its mobile payments acceptance solution, at a private event in San Francisco. At a high-level it matches – and in some cases, exceeds – the features offered by Square and the other mobile POS vendors. In context, this has been a big week for PayPal, […]

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