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Headline News from - April 11, 2017

Headline News is brought to you by Glenbrook Partners. Glenbrook provides payments strategy consulting and education services to payments professionals worldwide!


  • Cash Is Dead. Long Live Cash. - Wall Street Journal - "Hard currency as a percentage of U.S. gross domestic product is now at 8.6%, the highest level since the early 1950s, an era long before the widespread use of plastic and smartphones. Europe, Japan, and Australia have similar trends. The most likely reason for the cash paradox, analysts say: a thriving global underground economy of tax evasion, organized crime and terrorism financing. Digital payments may be faster and more efficient, but cash cloaks transactions in privacy."
  • More Millennials pay each other back with smartphones - San Francisco Chronicle - "Last year, Americans exchanged $147 billion with other people through smartphone apps or online services, according to research firm Aite Group. That was 47 percent more than in 2015, and it was fueled by two trends: people being more comfortable using their smartphones as a wallet and many Millennials preferring not to carry cash, said Talie Baker, an Aite analyst."
  • Facebook’s business model for Messenger won’t be payments and commerce after all - recode - "It’s been more than two years since Marcus took the helm, and payments and commerce have indeed become part of Messenger. They’re just not the part that’s immediately responsible for making money. It turns out that Messenger plans to make money the same way Facebook and Instagram do: With advertising."
  • Facebook Messenger now supports group payments - TechCrunch - "Facebook introduced person-to-person payments within Messenger in early 2015, but today the company announced the feature is expanding to support groups, as well. The payments feature essentially works the same in group chats as in private ones, but now allows users to pay either everyone in the group or individual members through a click of the payments icon (the dollar sign)."
  • San Antonio-based Harland Clarke Acquires RetailMeNot for $630 million - Silicon Hills News - "RetailMeNot, the world’s largest coupon site, has 527 employees, primarily in Austin, but it also has offices in Hoboken, Phoenix and international offices. The company will remain based in Austin and Cotter Cunningham, its founder, will continue on as Chief Executive Officer, according to a spokeswoman."
  • Swift Releases New Security Mandates for Users - Wall Street Journal - "Swift, the dominant carrier of cross-border payment instructions between banks, has finalized a new set of security standards its customers must follow by the end of this year—or risk being reported to regulators."
  • Banks scramble to fix old systems as IT 'cowboys' ride into sunset - Reuters - "The stakes are especially high for the financial industry, where an estimated $3 trillion in daily commerce flows through COBOL systems. The language underpins deposit accounts, check-clearing services, card networks, ATMs, mortgage servicing, loan ledgers and other services. The industry's aggressive push into digital banking makes it even more important to solve the COBOL dilemma. Mobile apps and other new tools are written in modern languages that need to work seamlessly with old underlying systems."


  • Mastercard Gains Regulatory Approval to Acquire VocaLink - "Mastercard today commented on the UK’s Competition & Markets Authority’s decision that clears the way for the completion of the company’s planned acquisition of VocaLink Holdings Limited. The CMA gave final approval for the proposed set of remedies that address the competition concerns the CMA identified earlier this year. The deal is now expected to close in the coming weeks."
  • Central Bank of Iceland Chooses SIA to Implement the New Real-Time Gross Settlement System and the New Instant Payment Platform - "These technology infrastructures developed by SIA, planned to go live in 2018, will replace CBI’s current mainframe-based real-time solutions for high and low-value payment systems, which have been operating since 2001. SIA will use its wholly-owned subsidiary Perago, based in Pretoria (South Africa), specialized in central bank solutions."
  • Apriva and OTI Announce Semi-Integrated Solution for Unattended Markets - "Apriva, a leading provider of omnichannel payment solutions and secure mobile communications, and On Track Innovations Ltd. (OTI) (NASDAQ: OTIV), a global provider of near field communication (NFC), cashless payment and fuel management solutions, announced today a partnership to bring a new end-to-end EMV solution to markets supporting unattended payments."
  • RetailMeNot to Be Acquired by Harland Clarke Holdings for $11.60 per share in Cash - "Harland Clarke Holdings Corp. ("HCH"), a provider of best-in-class integrated payment solutions and marketing services, today announced it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire RetailMeNot, Inc. (NASDAQ: SALE), a leading savings destination connecting consumers with retailers, restaurants and brands, both online and in-store. Under the agreement, Harland Clarke Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated and owner of Valassis, a leader in intelligent media delivery, providing unparalleled consumer targeting insights on a large scale, will acquire all of the outstanding shares of RetailMeNot Series 1 common stock for $11.60 per share in cash."
  • The Majority of Today's Corporations Send Cross-Border Payments, Study Shows - "The study, which focused on current market trends and common challenges companies face in global payments management, highlighted the challenges businesses are having managing their cross-border supplier payment operations."
  • Noventis Payment Network is Solving Healthcare Payment Problems - "Noventis, Inc., (Noventis) is helping the healthcare industry reduce its dependence on paper checks by expanding its network of over 100,000 billers to include thousands of healthcare providers that can accept electronic payments. In an industry where payment cycles often exceed one month, the Noventis payment platform's ability to convert checks and other cumbersome transactions into fast, efficient digital payments is a welcome change for all parties."


Our next public Boot Camp and Insight Workshop series is April 18-20 in New York City followed by Atlanta, May 16-18. Come for the two day boot camp or attend all three days. Check out our spring schedule here. We hope to see you there!

Bring your colleagues along! Group discounts are available. For more information or to learn about our private workshops conducted at your location, contact Glenbrook's Russ Jones.


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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