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May 09, 2012

Highlights from Finovate Spring 2012 San Francisco

GP Logo Horizontal 140px Glenbrook's Erin McCune is fresh off a two-day, marathon blogging experience at Finovate Spring 2012 San Francisco. Her notes, over on Payments Views, highlight the key take aways from the sixty-four startup companies that were on hand to pitch their financial innovation.

Visa and Obopay Collaborate for Near Real-Time Electronic Disbursements

Visa logo 60pxhVisa and Obopay have announced a collaboration to enable near real-time payment solutions for disbursing electronic funds to a prepaid card.
“By introducing a Visa prepaid card solution, Obopay offers near real-time disbursement capabilities that allow our customers to avoid the time delay of issuing cash or check,” said David Schwartz, vice president of product and corporate marketing for Obopay. “Adding Visa prepaid cards to Obopay Disbursements enables our partners to send funds to any consumer in the U.S. at dramatically lower costs compared to issuing checks while they can also greatly increase the satisfaction of customers.”

First Data Releases April 2012 SpendTrend

First data logo 140x60pxFirst Data has released its First Data SpendTrend analysis for the full month of April 2012 compared to April 2011.
Overall year-over-year dollar volume growth was 5.7% in April, down from March’s 8.7% growth. Transaction growth slowed to 5.8% in April, down from 9.3% in March. Despite the slowdown in overall year-over-year dollar volume and transaction growth, discretionary spending was healthy in April.

SpendTrend tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations.

PayPal and SOFTBANK to Establish a Joint Venture in Japan

PayPal logo 140pxPayPal and SOFTBANK announced that the two companies plan to establish a joint venture company, "PayPal Japan", to build a digital payments business in Japan.
The joint venture will bring together the strengths of both companies - PayPal's global online and mobile payment solutions with 110 million active accounts in 190 markets and 25 currencies, along with the SOFTBANK Group's local market knowledge, 29 million mobile subscribers and vast distribution network including thousands of retail outlets and sales staff across Japan.
PayPal and SOFTBANK also announced PayPal Here in Japan as the fifth "availability" country along side the USA, Canada, Hong Kong and Australia.

Flint Mobile Launches Camera-based Mobile POS Solution

Flint logo 140x60pxFlint Mobile announced the Beta launch of its first offering, a mobile POS app for small businesses on-the-go, as well as the close of its $3 million Series A.
"Flint will be a game changer in the world of mobile payments for small businesses," said Alex Mendez, Founding Managing Director of Storm Ventures. "They have created a simple approach that couples payments and social marketing to provide a huge leap forward for the mobile small businesses that form the backbone of our economy. The Flint team consists of seasoned executives who have created market-leading products, and we're very excited to be teaming up with them."

More info is available at

May 08, 2012

MasterCard Announces PayPass Wallet Services

MasterCard logo 140pxMasterCard has unveiled PayPass Wallet Services, a "new global offering for banks, merchants and partners that will make it faster and easier for their customers to make purchases in stores or online by allowing them to securely pay with a simple click of the mouse, touch of the tablet screen or tap of the smartphone."
The services are comprised of three distinct components: PayPass Acceptance Network (PayPass Online and PayPass Contactless), PayPass Wallet and PayPass API, each of which offers a consistent shopping experience regardless of how and where consumers shop and makes it easy for developers to integrate into existing checkout systems.

American Airlines and Barnes & Noble are among the first merchant partners to incorporate the PayPass Wallet Services on their websites and others are expected to join in the coming months.

More details are available at A video showing the consumer experience is available here.

IP Commerce Introduces Multi-Party Payments (MPP) Commerce Playlist

Ip commerce logo 140pxIP Commerce announced the immediate availability of their new Multi-Party Payments (MPP) Commerce Playlist - a rules-based engine designed to streamline and simplify the collection and disbursement of funds between multiple parties.
“The software companies and associated retail customers we serve have repeatedly asked us to help with this thorny infrastructure challenge,” said IP Commerce Founder and CEO, Alfred ‘Chip’ Kahn IV. “The Multi-Party Payments Playlist provides our customers with cloud-based functionality to address the collection and disbursement challenges associated with Online-to-Onsite payment workflows – allowing them to remain focused on getting their applications and services to market quickly, while leveraging our platform to do the heavy lifting associated with commerce workflow orchestration.”

Linkable Networks Launches SKU-Level Card Linked Offer Capability

Linkable networks logo 140x60px Linkable Networks announced the launch of "the industry’s first SKU-level offer capability allowing brands and retailers to capitalize on card linked offers with individual products."
“Banks are looking to replace revenues lost to recent Federal regulations, merchants and manufacturers are looking for a more efficient and effective method of promotions and consumers are reacting positively to our new approach to accessing, storing and redeeming coupons,” said Doug Spear, Executive Vice President of Linkable Networks. “Being able to save on products by a simple swipe of your card benefits banks, advertisers and consumers.”

Paidpiper Announces New Mobile CRM Platform Using MasterCard OpenAPI

Paidpiper logo 140x60px PaidPiper announced that "brands now have a new direct channel to engage and simultaneously transact with consumers by driving incentives to their customers in real-time and watching them redeem “cash” incentives using their mobile phones."
Working with the MasterCard OpenAPI as a marketing partner as well as a launch partner for the MoneySend API, will allow Paidpiper to extend its platform and reach to a global audience by deploying MasterCard prepaid cards on mobile phones in return for business engagement.

Payments Views - The Co-Dependence Between Banks and Their Vendors

GP Logo Horizontal 140pxReflecting on her time at NACHA's annual payments conference, Glenbrook's Erin McCune reflects on how both banks and banking vendors struggle with the same set of challenges. Erin laments that in both cases, "products and customer segments are managed in silos defined by old payment approaches that are no longer valid in our digital age."

VeriFone Streamlines Its Mobile Poiint of Sale Solution

Verifone logo 140pxVeriFone has introduced SAIL by VeriFone, "a streamlined, cost effective payment-as-a-service platform that provides business owners and merchants an easy and secure way to accept payments wherever business takes them."
“VeriFone has created a unique open ecosystem that builds on our payment-as-a-service vision to foster innovation in the developer and payments communities and maximize choice for small to medium-sized businesses,” said VeriFone CEO Douglas G. Bergeron. “We are delivering a flexible experience with the level of security and reliability that businesses and consumers have come to expect from VeriFone.”

SAIL offers a free app and card reader and take advantage of flat rate plans of 2.7% for lower volumes, or higher volume users can opt for a 1.95% transaction rate with a monthly $9.95 subscription fee. SAIL also offers instant on boarding of merchants.

edo Launches Geocommerce Offers

Edo logo 140x60pxedo announced the availability of Geocommerce Offers, a card-linked offers capability that uses purchase location data to deliver highly-targeted, real-time offers tailored to consumer shopping activity and location.
"We see the card as the connection. Card-linked offers are as easy for merchants as they are for consumers, no matter how big or small," said Ed Braswell, CEO and president of edo. "Marketers can easily target based upon transaction behavior, with no need for additional systems, point-of-sale integration, staff training, coupons, or vouchers that slow down service. With our new Geocommerce capability, we've married location and purchase for the first time, giving consumers highly targeted offers that they are more likely to redeem."

Study Says Contactless Payments Shows Almost 30% Lift

MasterCard logo 140pxMasterCardAdvisors released the results of their first PayPass Adoption Study, a quantitative analysis of the changes in U.S. account transaction behavior after adopting a contactless payments solution.
In one of the study’s key findings, the research showed that within the first 12 months of their first contactless transaction, PayPass-enabled accounts spent almost 30% more on average, using their PayPass-enabled card. The research also found a clear correlation between contactless adoption and preference for a particular card, illustrating that a contactless payments solution may help drive top-of-wallet behavior.

Affinity Solutions Unveils Coupon-on-a-Card

Affinity solutions logo 140x60pxAffinity Solutions has unveiled Coupon-on-a-Card, which utilizes real-time offer redemption technology provided by First Data Corporation.
“The launch of our patent-pending Coupon-on-a-Card is a tipping point in merchant offer delivery for card issuers,” commented Jonathan Silver, president and CEO of Affinity Solutions. “Creating new capabilities and effectiveness for the merchant, and a far superior consumer experience, is a significant addition to our industry-leading transaction-based marketing product set. It’s also another step in the rollout of our vision for the highly-integrated marketing platform of the future. Rich, cross-industry collaboration, such as our integration with First Data’s innovative offer redemption technology, is a key to that vision.”

Federal Reserve Reports Consumer Credit for 1Q2012

FedThe US Federal Reserve has reported its latest G.19 Consumer Credit statistics - finding that "consumer credit increased at an annual rate of 7.75% in the first quarter. Revolving credit was little changed, while nonrevolving credit increased at an annual rate of 11.5%. In March, consumer credit increased at an annual rate of 10.25."

Portlogic Announces Proximity Coupon Delivery System for Mobile Phones

Portlogic logo 140x60pxPortlogic Systems announced the successful testing of its new proximity coupon push system. "The technology can communicate with customers' Bluetooth or Wi-Fi enabled mobile phones within a predetermined area. Advertisers are able to get real-time statistical reports on campaign effectiveness, such as the total users contacted and the number of coupons delivered."

May 07, 2012

MasterCard Mobile Payments Readiness Index (MPRI)

MasterCard logo 140pxMasterCard has unveiled the MasterCard Mobile Payments Readiness Index (MPRI), an analysis of 34 countries and their readiness to use three types of mobile payments: person to person, mobile web commerce, and mobile contactless payments at the POS.
"Technology infrastructure, a responsive regulatory environment and a robust economy are table stakes for the advancement of mobile payments," said Theodore Iacobuzio, vice president, Global Insights, MasterCard Worldwide. "The necessary conditions are consumer readiness and industry integration. As no one entity can develop and promote mobile payments by itself, key players in the ecosystem must work together to collectively advance the cause of mobile payments."

To download an executive summary of the Index, view an Interactive Global Map of the data, or study the findings of the 34 countries that make up the Index, visit

Heartland Introduces Mobuyle Restaurant Mobile Payment Acceptance

HeartlandPayments logo 140pxHeartland Payment Systems announced its Mobuyle Restaurant solution, which enables restaurateurs to accept credit, debit and gift card payments through Android smartphones and mobile devices.
"Restaurant merchants are finding mobile to be an outstanding alternative to traditional terminals and Heartland is leading the charge in providing a secure and comprehensive mobile payment acceptance solution," said Mike English, Heartland's executive director of product development. "By accepting credit, debit and gift card payments through Android smartphones and mobile devices, Mobuyle enables restaurateurs and their staff to enhance the overall customer experience."

Western Union Launches Business Payments Wallet

WesternUnion logo 140pxWestern Union has announced the launch of its new business payments wallet for clients of Western Union Business Solutions in the United States and Canada. "The technology allows clients using Business Solutions’ Online FX platform to add and hold funds on balance for future use and enables them to make convenient email payments to international recipients."

Payments Views - The Dawn of a New Era for Small Biz Banking?

GP Logo Horizontal 140pxGlenbrook's Erin McCune is back from NACHA Payments 2012, and the most interesting things she heard and saw had to do with small business banking and payments, a long suffering, underserved segment of the market. Why underserved?
Small businesses are traditionally ill served because the consumer platform is inadequate and treasury management solutions are overkill. They are stuck in the middle, with too few features or way too much complexity. This is ironic given that small businesses are a prized, profitable, customer segment.

Over on Payments Views, Erin wonders if this might be "the dawn of a new era for small biz banking".

Regulating Mobile: Distinguishing the Payment from the Channel

Portals and railsCynthia Merritt, assistant director the Retail Payments Risk Forum of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, has posted an important article on the current policy debate about mobile payments regulation. As her post points out, "the handset is just a device, not a payment". This is part of the Atlanta Fed's ongoing Portal and Rails series of articles.

Payments Views - Who We’re Watching in Payments 2012

GP Logo Horizontal 140pxOver on Payments Views, our sister blog, Glenbrook's Russ Jones takes a quick look at eBay, Google, and Facebook, comparing what each is doing in the world of online payments. We'll be taking a deep dive into all three -- plus Visa and Square -- at a special Payments 2012 Workshop being held May 15th in Santa Clara, CA. This workshop is designed for Glenbrook Payments Boot Camp Alumni.


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