Archive for the ‘Payments’ Category

  • On the spot with Subex

    on Nov 21, 14 • in Analytics, Billing, Payments, Privacy & Security, Slider • with No Comments

    On the spot with Subex

    At the recent Subex User Group conference I did a presentation that covered everything I thought was interesting or disruptive in the communications world over the next few years. Getting slightly distracted and carried away by a thesis on mobile payments, which I believe will be an extraordinarily interesting ‘arena’ to watch, I ran over time. Therefore there was no time for questions. Thinking I had got away ‘scot free’ I flew back to Scotland. Only to be asked whether I would answer some of the questions in the form of an article. So, here goes: Question: With

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  • Is the bank branch dead?

    on Nov 17, 14 • in Payments, Slider • with No Comments

    Is the bank branch dead?

    One of the most contentious subjects in UK retail banking is around branch closures. According to the Campaign for Community Banking Services, more than 8,000 UK bank branches have closed since 1990. This decline will continue (Lloyds has announced they are closing 200 more branches although curiously they are opening 50!) and potentially accelerate because of the dropping footfall in branches. It’s not news to learn that customers are increasingly using online banking and mobile apps to manage their accounts and inevitably this leads to less branch visits. For many bank customers the branch is

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  • Retailers look for a beacon this holiday season

    on Nov 13, 14 • in Beyond Billing, Payments, Privacy & Security, Slider • with No Comments

    Retailers look for a beacon this holiday season

    Halloween was a couple of weeks ago, and that can mean only one thing: The holiday shopping season is now upon us! Holiday lights, decorations and gifts have already been spotted on the shelves of many retailers, and that will only ramp up to a frenzy over the next few weeks. Many consumers will take advantage of mobile payments as they shop, helped in no small part by Apple Pay. But while mobile payments are a good alternative to cash and credit card payments at the point of sale, they don’t change the actual in-store

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  • Banks, legacy systems and a one-view wonder

    on Nov 3, 14 • in Beyond Billing, NFC, Payments, Slider • with No Comments

    Banks, legacy systems and a one-view wonder

    Amongst the heap of supplements that make up the modern Sunday newspaper (paper version, online versions available), was one called ‘We have lift off – plotting the best route through the crowded payments space.’ Amongst stories of the French being able to tweet money, Bitcoin – not to be confused with bitcoin (the currency itself) – and the clash between Apple Pay and MCX (more anon) was a headline that brought flashbacks. ‘Banking platforms:’ went the title, ‘the unwelcome legacy.’ The first line was even more hallucinogenic. ‘Creating a single point of view of the

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  • P2P payments hit the jackpot

    on Oct 30, 14 • in Beyond Billing, NFC, Payments, Slider • with No Comments

    P2P payments hit the jackpot

    With all the hype about Apple Pay and whether or not it will be a huge success – recent news about some merchants shutting it off notwithstanding – people are finally looking at mobile devices as a viable way to pay for goods and services. It’s been a slow march to get to this point, but with millions of new iPhones able to make payments at thousands of locations, along with Android and other NFC-enabled devices and mobile wallets that have been doing it for years, we may finally have reached critical mass on mobile

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  • It’s all about the payment experience

    on Oct 29, 14 • in Beyond Billing, Payments, Slider • with No Comments

    It’s all about the payment experience

    There has been much discussion recently about the decision of two retailers in the US to drop NFC payments in order to stop Apple Pay being used in their stores. These stores are part of the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) consortium that is planning to launch a non bank payment product CurrentC next year. On the face of it, it doesn’t seem unreasonable for retailers to want to save on their card merchant acquirer fees, plus a bit of competition is always good. However CurrentC depends on consumers ‘doing more’ and ‘sharing more’. The payment

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  • Wearables the future of payments? I’m not convinced …

    on Oct 20, 14 • in NFC, Payments, Slider • with 2 Comments

    Wearables the future of payments? I’m not convinced …

    A few weeks back I spotted the bPay band from Barclaycard which supports contactless NFC payments via a wristband. Using the bPay website you load money from a debit or credit card and then make payments up to £20 by touching the band on the usual contactless card readers in store. As a payments geek I had no alternative but to get one! After a couple of weeks my bPay band duly arrived; I topped up and headed out to buy some stuff. Waitrose, Boots, Caffe Nero, Marks & Spencer – the world was my

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  • A dystopian future filled with bank branches?

    on Oct 8, 14 • in Beyond Billing, Payments, Slider • with 2 Comments

    A dystopian future filled with bank branches?

    Recently The Economist published an article on Metro Bank and its strategic focus on bank branches. We hear much about the death of the branch but here is a bank building its entire strategy around the branch. And these branches (or ‘stores’ in Metro speak) are grand affairs, seemingly designed in the style of yesterday’s branches. Metro clearly believes there is customer demand for the traditional banking model and that digital delivery is not the future of retail banking. Metro is so branch centric that you cannot open an account online, and their online banking and mobile

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  • PayPal to go it alone – we wonder why

    on Oct 7, 14 • in NFC, Payments, Slider • with No Comments

    PayPal to go it alone – we wonder why

    To the untrained eye, the impact that Apple’s late, possibly great, move into payments is having is astonishing. Just last week, PayPal and eBay announced that they would become two companies from next year, following a Board level strategic review. One has to wonder whether ‘strategic’ in this context should be spelt ‘panic stricken.’ Speculation is rife about why the split is to happen. Some of it involves the value of the two companies – and the feeling (probably justified) that together they are smothering value. Separated they will be worth more than if they

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  • Kill the car kill switch

    on Oct 2, 14 • in Beyond Billing, News, Payments, Privacy & Security, Slider • with No Comments

    Kill the car kill switch

    Kill switches for lost or stolen phones make a lot of sense, and they are now the law in California where starting next July any smartphone sold in the state must come with the ability to render it inoperable under certain conditions. Most users don’t object to this because it means their precious data and apps won’t fall into the wrong hands in the event their phone leaves theirs. But one thing the kill switch isn’t used for is completely disabling a phone for non-payment of your cell phone bill. You may be cut off

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