Mobile Technology

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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Extension of credit to people in developing markets has been a long time challenge. Banks, of course, look to repayment history to make such determinations but in much of the world, banking relationships and repayment track records are few. But history has demonstrated that extension of credit in developing markets can be effective and profitable. Just look at the Grameen […]

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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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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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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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Using a powerful examination of the challenge of online and mobile checkout, Glenbrook’s Russ Jones takes us for a deep dive into Visa Checkout, comparing it to PayPal and other methods of making the ecommerce experience slippery. At Checkout’s announcement in mid-July, Visa promised to support the initiative with significant advertising. One ad has been viewed […]

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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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Our clients are starting to ask us who we think is going to win the mobile wallet war in 2014. Questions like: What’s happening with the Isis rollout? What’s the next likely step in the evolution of the Google Wallet? Is PayPal’s In-Store initiative getting any consumer adoption? All of these questions are predicated on […]

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Merchants and terminals were a key focus at two major payments conferences this week:  NACHA and CARTES.  The issue of EMV in the U.S. and the high cost for merchants to replace their terminals was raised repeatedly. Estimates for the cost of replacement in the U.S. market vary widely: we’ve heard numbers from $2 billion […]

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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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This morning, at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, Apple introduced a slew of new Mac hardware, new Mac Mountain Lion software and, perhaps most importantly for us in the world of mobile and mobile payments, iOS6 – the next generation of mobile software for Apple’s iPhone and iPad families. Oh, by the way, […]

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I was in Washington this week for client meetings and to attend an FTC conference on mobile payments. At the conference, in addition to many regulatory lawyers and consumer protection advocates, there were the usual mobile payments suspects: Visa, MasterCard, Google, Isis, Intuit, etc., as well as a host of startups: LevelUp, Dwolla, Boku, and […]

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Who knows what in payments? Sounds like a question begging for a snappy one-liner comeback. But this is a question we hear more and more from our clients. Particularly those that see the increasingly close relationship between payments and marketing — and want to better understand how the targeting of ads and offers can be […]

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Thanks to the hard work of many (Google, Citi, Sprint, MasterCard, etc.), NFC-based mobile payments are finally a reality in the United States ––and I’m super excited about… mobile self-checkout. I don’t have anything against NFC mobile payments, but the payments industry is already almost a decade into this “next big thing” and is still, […]

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I’ve been thinking a lot about the opportunities around helping micro merchants accept electronic payments. You know, your basic nanny/gardner/hot dog vendor/flea market vendor scenario. There are two competing emerging-payments approaches to this market. One is mobile card acceptance, as evidenced by Square, Intuit GoPayment, and many others. In this model, which “rides the card […]

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