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May 02, 2014

Headline News from - May 2, 2014

On the Web:

  • Bitcoin and the Dólar Blue in Argentina - Medium (James Downer) - ..."Bitcoin won’t change the world overnight, but it has a distinct adoption advantage in certain sectors. The black market in Argentina may well just be one such area..."
  • Walgreens launches iBeacon pilot to bolster coupon personalization - Mobile Commerce Daily - "The iBeacon technology is being used as part of a bigger in-store mobile coupon initiative that lets consumers digitally clip coupons and redeem them via a bar code on a smartphone."
  • New Ways to #Authenticate Card-Not-Present Transactions - TMG Blog - "Unlike EMV, however, tokenization is a technology that is nearly invisible to the cardholder. Think of it like fraud-prevention strategies in the background of a portfolio – it’s another layer of security running completely behind-the-scenes."

On the Wires:

  • No press releases worth covering! Have a great weekend!

Updates from Glenbrook:

Note: Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners. Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated. Do you have news to share? Tell us here:!

May 01, 2014

Headline News from - May 1, 2014

On the Web:

  • Merchants and Billers: Leverage = Options x Time! - (Jay DeWitt) - "The solution to these situations simple: figure out when your acquirer contract expires, and get it on your planning calendar so you’re teed up to begin negotiations 6-12 months before contract term."
  • In Bitcoin Debate, Larry Summers Sides with the History of Change - Wall St. Journal Moneybeat - "To Mr. Summers, the potential contained in bitcoin’s breakthrough technology, with its fast, low-cost system for confirming transactions, is demonstrated by problems with the current multi-layered system for domestic and global fund transfers."
  • Payment Innovation Is Not Enough For Retail - TechCrunch (Dax Desilva) - "Commerce is all about bringing the right product to the right shopper at the right time, but the payment only addresses the close. To differentiate, merchants need to focus on innovating everything else that happens long before we reach the register..."
  • The death of cash? Debit card use surges - Telegraph (UK) - "Plastic and automated payments are now the most popular method of payment by both volume and size of transactions, according to current account data published by Halifax."
  • HCE vs. BLE: Which has the bigger in-store potential? - Mobile Commerce Daily - "While both NFC and BLE are likely to bring some important innovations to the in-store experience, they also have their limitations."
  • EMV is Not a Panacea for Transaction Security - Verifone Blog (Jeff Wakefield) - "Yes, EMV is more secure than mag-stripe technology, and when fully rolled out it will do a good job of reducing card fraud. But until mag-stripes are eliminated from cards; mag-stripe readers are no longer in use, and until merchants completely eliminate usable data from their environments, EMV will remain a “better option,” but it won’t prevent the theft of cardholder entirely."
  • ‘Dark Wallet’ Is About to Make Bitcoin Money Laundering Easier Than Ever - Wired - "On Thursday, a collective of politically radical coders that calls itself unSystem plans to release the first version of Dark Wallet: a bitcoin application designed to protect its users’ identities far more strongly..."

On the Wires:

  • Chase Launches Marriott Rewards Premier Visa Signature Business Credit Card for Small Business Owners On the Go - "Chase Card Services and Marriott Rewards® today announced the launch of the Marriott Rewards Premier Visa Signature® Business Credit Card designed for small business owners who travel frequently for business or pleasure. With the Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card, small business owners have the ability to earn accelerated Marriott Reward points on all purchases, accumulate free night stays, and receive automatic Silver Elite Status once they become a cardholder."
  • MasterCard Incorporated Reports First-Quarter 2014 Financial Results - "The company reported net income of $870 million, up 14%, and earnings per diluted share of $0.73, up 18%, in each case versus the year-ago period."
  • Worldpay announces strategic acquisition of Cobre Bem Tecnologia - "Worldpay Group today announced that it has acquired Cobre Bem Tecnologia, a leading provider of payment solutions in Latin America, for an undisclosed amount. With this transaction, Worldpay’s eCommerce division will further strengthen its global reach, giving its customers access to a wide range of payment products in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Mexico."
  • Qualcomm Establishes Retail Solutions Subsidiary as Standalone Company -- Gimbal, Inc. - "The QRS team has made tremendous progress with the Gimbal technology platform and I am excited to continue leading this group as CEO of Gimbal, Inc.," said Rocco Fabiano, current president of QRS. "I am eager to continue working with this team under a new corporate structure that will permit the business to respond quickly to this rapidly evolving ecosystem."
  • Wells Fargo Commercial Cards Are Europe-Bound - "In a related announcement, Wells Fargo said all new USD WellsOne® Commercial Cards will be embedded with microprocessor chips defined by E.M.V. (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa) standards. In addition, Wells Fargo has begun migrating all of its existing cardholders over in advance of the October 2015 deadline in the United States."
  • Wells Fargo Launches Wells Fargo Works for Small BusinessSM - "Wells Fargo Works for Small Business provides wide-ranging support for business owners throughout the U.S. to help them build knowledge, access capital and expand their community of support. Wells Fargo Works for Small Business encompasses the company’s commitment to helping small businesses grow."

Updates from Glenbrook:

Note: Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners. Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated. Do you have news to share? Tell us here:!

April 30, 2014

PayPal Introduces New Brand Identity and Launches Global Brand Campaign

PayPal new 140pxPayPal has announced the introduction of a new brand identity and updated PayPal logo that it says "features a more modern and mobile-first appearance."

PayPal worked with the design firm fuseproject to develop the new logo and notes that it "flexes to fit all screen sizes, from wearables and mobile to the biggest, flattest high-definition TVs. It’ll be more legible and recognizable in both type and colors and will easily extend to be usable across the look/feel of various systems, and in the 193 markets we serve worldwide. Connection is a motivating principle behind the redesign — connection to money, to people and between people. It was important to evoke connection that was human and approachable, not too technical."

In addition, PayPal is unveiling a new global brand platform and campaign: Powering The People Economy.

“PayPal has an opportunity and responsibility to help people take control of their money and use it in any way they want, through seamless and delightful experiences,” said David Marcus, PayPal’s president. “Powering The People Economy is a recognition of what our customers should expect and demand from us – secure, easy and convenient payment experiences that get out of the way and get them closer to what they want.”

“PayPal believes in a world that works for people, rather than the other way around,” said PayPal’s vice president of global brand, Christina Smedley. “Through our products, we are making life better in tangible, practical and magical ways and building a world that makes every day easier and simpler for everyone. The essence behind this new campaign puts people, not institutions, first.”

As part of the campaign, PayPal said new television ads will air on major networks in a variety of programming in Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States, along with print and digital media throughout the summer and into the fall of 2014.

More information about the new brand identity and the campaign are available on the PayPal Forward blog.

Headline News from - April 30, 2014

On the Web:

On the Wires:

Updates from Glenbrook:

Note: Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners. Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated. Do you have news to share? Tell us here:!

April 29, 2014

A Graphical Look at PayPal's Performance

At Glenbrook, we've been following PayPal for a long time.  Each quarter, we take the latest financial results and add them to our database - and then produce a series of charts.  Following eBay's latest earnings release today, we did that again - and thought we'd share with you some of the charts that help illustrate PayPal's performance over time.

If you have questions or comments, please send them along to me: or on Twitter: @sjl.

PayPal payments 1q14

PayPal pmt vol 1q14

PayPal revenue 1q14

PayPal take rate 1q14

PayPal expense rate 1q14

PayPal loss rate 1q14

PayPal Grows Revenues 19% in 1Q14 on 27% Growth in Payment Volume

PayPal logo 140pxPayPal's parent eBay has announced financial results for 1Q2014 which included strong growth numbers for its PayPal business unit.

PayPal revenue increased 19% in the quarter resulting in net revenues of $1.85 billion in the quarter. PayPal gained 5.8 million new active registered accounts in the quarter and ended the year with 148 million, a 16% increase.

PayPal's net total payment volume (TPV) grew 27% in the quarter with 834 million transactions generating $52 billion in net TPV for the quarter.

eBay reports that PayPal's 'take rate" was 3.55%, down from 3.77% in the same quarter last year. As compared to the prior quarter, PayPal's transaction expense increased slightly to 0.99% while the loss rate decreased to 0.27%.

Target Moves to MasterCard for Chip and PIN on REDcards

In a press releaseTarget logo 70px this morning announcing appointment of a new CIO (Bob DeRodes), Target also announced that its entire REDcard portfolio, including all Target-branded credit and debit cards, will be enabled with MasterCard’s chip-and-PIN solution. Existing co-branded cards will be reissued as MasterCard co-branded chip-and-PIN cards. Target said, through this initiative, ultimately all of Target’s REDcard products will be chip-and-PIN secured.

Target has long been an advocate for the widespread adoption of chip-and-PIN card technology,” said John Mulligan, executive vice president, chief financial officer for Target. “As we aggressively move forward to bring enhanced technology to Target, we believe it is critical that we provide our REDcard guests with the most secure payment product available. This new initiative satisfies that goal.”

“Target and MasterCard are taking an important step forward in providing consumers with a secure shopping experience, and the latest in payments technology,” said Chris McWilton, president, North American Markets for MasterCard. “Our focus, together with Target, is on safety and security.”

Earlier this year, Target announced an accelerated $100 million plan to move its REDcard portfolio to chip-and-PIN-enabled technology and to install supporting software and next-generation payment devices in stores. The new payment terminals will be in all 1,797 U.S. stores by this September, six months ahead of schedule. In addition, by early next year, Target will enable all REDcards with chip-and-PIN technology and begin accepting payments from all chip-enabled cards in its stores.

Headline News from - April 29, 2014

On the Web:

On the Wires:

Updates from Glenbrook:

Note: Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners. Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated. Do you have news to share? Tell us here:!

April 28, 2014

Headline News from - April 28, 2014

On the Web:

  • The Problem with Payments - Stratechery (Ben Thompson) - "This is why I, for the foreseeable future, expect to see little if any progress in the United States."
  • How bitcoin is moving money in Africa - USA Today - "The key characteristics of this digital cash also happen to make it a great fit for people who aren't so down with advanced digital technology: the 326 million Africans who lack access to basic banking services."
  • Walmart, ACH and the Elusive P2P Solution - (Elizabeth McQuerry) - "The Walmart-2-Walmart service is a step forward but it’s not a perfect solution. Walmart certainly has plenty of stores in the U.S. but now it’s just another of the growing number of financial networks that is, effectively, just another island nation to itself."
  • Yelp Can Now Show if a Business Accepts Bitcoin - NewsBTC - "It’s unclear just when Yelp added this feature in, but they’ve certainly done so quietly."
  • VC Investment in European Fintech Hits Post-Dot-Com High - "Payment companies and big data companies have become a hot spot for venture capitalists, according to several investors."
  • Northwest’s cheap power drawing bitcoin miners - The Spokesman Review - “I am only personally aware of two bitcoin mining firms locating in Grant County,” Boss said. “But I’ve been told that at least five others are in the process of locating in the area.”

On the Wires:

Updates from Glenbrook:

Note: Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners. Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated. Do you have news to share? Tell us here:!


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