Category Archives: Strategy

Commerce is a conversation

Last week I joined Sherri Haymond of MasterCard and Bharathi Ramavarjula of Facebook on a panel moderated by Paul Moreton, for a CapitalOne summit on Payments. When asked what was more important for the future of commerce – Sherri spoke of how security and trust is key, and I talked about how messaging has intersected with payments, (and in Wechat’s case) now intersecting with lending – with Bharathi eloquently summing it up as – “Facebook sees Commerce as a conversation”. Continue reading

Dumb pipes and Wide moats: Networks and Tokens

For Apple Pay, tokenization is the process by which card information is protected and subsequently shielded from the merchant and other parties in the transaction flow – till it reaches an entity equipped to reverse the translation and submit the authorization for bank approval. With AP – this role is entirely owned by the card schemes, even though the specification put forth by EMVCo places no such stipulations and allows third party “Token Service Providers” to exist. Apple is said to have welcomed “non-card scheme TSP’s” to operate within Apple Pay for a couple of reasons – the ability to support non-payment tokens as well as a hedge against putting all its eggs in one basket. For network TSPs like V and MA – tokenization represents a real advantage that dis-incentivizes disruption, while opening their rails to far more potential than just payments. Continue reading

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Apple in Payments: Bluetooth Edition

bluetooth

This is the Part II of my Apple in Payments take – and it’s early because of the leak last week around Apple’s MFi program. In the first half of my take, I had touched upon Apple’s program for 3rd party hardware attachment market as being significant and likely to be a key aspect of its payments approach. So below, I will cover more on the approach, how Bluetooth will be the standard of choice – not NFC, and how Apple plans to secure Bluetooth enough to be able to handle payments. Continue reading

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Apple in Payments – A Disruptor’s dilemma

signatureThis post is an attempt to look beyond what the presence or absence of any specific radio in iPhone6 may mean to Apple’s intent in Payments and instead – provide some color around three things that are part of this debate: a) Bring 800M credit cards on file in perspective b) Address the question of radios on the device – a topic that has a disproportionate share of the debate and finally c) Consideration of steps made by Apple to secure both iOS and its devices as waypoints in its payments journey. Oh wait, that last one is not part of the Apple payments debate today. I believe it should be. Read on to see why. Continue reading

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HCE: We are not in Kansas anymore

LeavingKansas

Both Visa and MasterCard announced their support for HCE and their intent to release HCE specifications soon. I have been talking about HCE from late 2012 (partly due to my involvement with SimplyTapp) and you could read as to why HCE matter and what Android KitKat-HCE announcement meant for payments. But in light of the network certification announcements yesterday, this post is an attempt to provide some perspective on what the V/MA moves mean, how do their approaches differ in certifying payments using cloud hosted credentials, what should issuers expect from a device and terminal support perspective, why retailers should take note of the debate around HCE and ultimately – the role I expect Google to continue to play around HCE. All good stuff. Continue reading

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Smells like innovation

Traffic Light TreeBig news today, with Chase entering in to a 10 year expanded partnership with Visa to create a ‘differentiated experience’ for its merchants and consumers. I would warn anyone thinking “offers and deals” when they hear “differentiated experience” – because I believe we are running low on merchants who have a perennial interest in offering endless discounts to its clientele. Continue reading

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Isis, It’s not you…It’s your business model.

It’s good to be back. Quick update, in case you missed it in three different places: I am now focusing on Mobile Payments and Banking as part of Experian’s Global Consulting Practice, which offers me myriad opportunities to see up close why banking and payments in particular remain spectacularly oblivious of the creeping threats of disruption. But today, I couldn’t have found a more better topic to wet my parched throat than the story of the comeback kid – Google Wallet. Continue reading

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Moving Beyond Lip Service – Mobile Wallets & Under/Unbanked –

Everyone and their uncle are tripping over themselves in a race to launch a mobile wallet or at least talk about an intent to produce one in time. Judging by the number of initiatives out there (or soon to be), it would seem that unbeknownst to me, there is a direct correlation between kickstarting adoption and the number of choices available to a consumer (higher the number of choices, quicker the adoption). If there is, then do point it out to me. Continue reading

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Wake up, Google!

The last few weeks/months, we have all seen a glut of news and opinion pieces mourning the decline of Google, as if it were already dead and buried. I offer a slightly different viewpoint below, and a more focused one, around its mobile commerce strategy. There, I believe Google is now at an inflection point, where the choices it make shall determine if it could successfully transition from online to mobile, or whether it will resemble Microsoft in its glory days, failing to understand or monetize on the opportunities that lay before it in the early days of internet. Continue reading

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Allow me to make you irrelevant

Seeing how Apple’s negotiating stance is with Cable and Content providers for Apple TV & how Google did the same w/ Issuing banks, which pretty much amounts to : “Allow us to take over your relationship with your customers” and “Let us repackage your offering” and finally “Sit still while we turn you in to a dumb pipe”, I gotta ask – Is this a case of Disruptors becoming dumber or Disruptees becoming smarter? I mean, everyone on the planet has read Clayton Christensen’s book by now. Who just sits there and waits to be made irrelevant anymore?

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