Let's say that we put together a tour for payments geeks on a plane. Where in the world would you want to go? - to see who and what specifically? Or, if you'd want to host a visit to your company - tell us what you'd show us and why it's important!
Let's have some fun - you can either comment here (below) or over on this thread on Friendfeed where I've started with a quick SF Bay Area tour kickoff beginning at PayPal.
One of the more interesting presentations is the Overview of Green Dot presentation by Steve Streit, CEO. It includes a description of how Green Dot is three companies in one: a retail packaged goods provider, a financial services provider, and the Green Dot reload network (MoneyPak).
Another interesting presentation is Payment Strategy at Home Depot by Dwaine Kimmet, VP Home Depot Financial Services. Kimmet clearly lays out the retailer's payment priorities - and frustrations with increased interchange costs saying that, since 2002, Home Depot "has not seen value created by these new, higher fees." He goes on to describe the private label card approach that Home Depot's adopted which has become its lowest cost credit tender type.
There are lots of other interesting presentations from this recent conference - available here.
With banks, brokerage firms and Web sites now providing a range of options for managing personal finances, the consumer need for Microsoft Money Plus has changed. After suspending annual updates of Money Plus in 2008, Microsoft is announcing today that we will no longer offer Microsoft Money Plus for purchase after June 30, 2009.
More details here.
Are you hiring payments professionals? Be sure to list your openings on PaymentsJobs.com!
The last section of the document takes a look at potential policy interventions that could be considered. These include:
If you're at all interested in the subject of interchange fees for payment cards, this working paper is a must read!
The Electronic Payments Coalition in a press release today responded by saying, among other things, that it "strongly opposes interchange legislation introduced yesterday in the U.S. House of Representatives by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) - a bill nearly identical to one that received broad bipartisan opposition last year. This legislation is an attempt by giant retailers to make consumers pay for one of their business expenses - the cost of accepting credit and debit. It's simple: merchants do not want to pay their fair share to accept debit and credit cards, and they want consumers to foot the bill. If this legislation passes, American families will end up footing retailers' bills when it comes to accepting debit and credit cards."
Maybe what this country needs is a Clunker Card to go with this "clunker bill". When you make your purchase, the dealer uses the Clunker Card to authorize the subsidy, allowing the Federal government to track usage, etc.? Think of the psychological power that card will exert on consumers who receive it - they'll just have to spend it!
Reminds me of the American Gift Card that Dan Newman first proposed in an op-ed in the Washington Post earlier this year!
From the abstract:
In many countries around the world, electronic card-based payments have been replacing older types of payments at a rapid rate. In the United States, use of both debit cards and credit cards has been rising rapidly, while check volumes have been declining. The increased use of electronic payment methods has generated a number of public policy debates. One prominent debate concerns interchange fees. This paper is intended to provide background for understanding the interchange fee debate. The paper describes the operation of a typical payment card system, presents a summary of the economic theory underlying interchange fees, and discusses various developments in the U.S. payment cards industry, as well as legal and regulatory developments abroad. The paper concludes with a discussion and critical evaluation of a number of potential policy interventions.