Monthly Archives: May 2010

Wall St. Slides, Fearing Return to a Recession – NYTimes.com

Investors seemed fearful that the $957 billion bailout package for Greece and other nations, while providing short-term protection against default, might drag out the economic pain and hurt the financial system in the process.

A continued hammering of the euro would make European exports cheaper, but the side effect would be weaker American exports, potentially dragging the United States — and the rest of the world — back toward recession.

“What you get is markets worrying about a whole cascading of weakness stemming from Europe being transmitted through the euro to the United States,” said Martin Murenbeeld, chief economist at DundeeWealth Economics in Toronto.

via Wall St. Slides, Fearing Return to a Recession – NYTimes.com.

via Wall St. Slides, Fearing Return to a Recession – NYTimes.com.

Interview with Arno Hesse of Bernal Bucks

Interview with Bruce Cahan – Founder, The Good Bank

Video Interview with Bill Baryht, CEO, mVIA at The Future of Money and Technology Summit

Innovation Fast and Furious in Payments

Innovation has come fast and furious from other corners of the payments industry, with emergence of new networks such as Bling Nation, and the purchase of Revolution Money by American Express. Analysts say MasterCard’s lab is likely not a direct response to these developments, or a play aimed at Visa-Bezard says MasterCard does not suffer from an innovation gap against Visa-but rather a strategy to get out in front of innovation, rather than waiting for development elsewhere.

Bezard says he doesn’t think the big card firms like Visa and MasterCard are “losing sleep” over ventures like Bling and Revolution Money. But he also says there’s a realization at the larger card firms that “they will need to be in the driver’s seat, not in the back seat” when developing new technology.

The lab will also work closely with Josh Peirez’s innovative products team at MasterCard. In an earlier interview, Peirez told BTN that MasterCard is interested in developing new payments technology in an environment in which banks may lack the IT funds for large scale payments tech projects.

Red Gillen, a senior analyst in Celent’s banking group, says MasterCard’s challenge beyond developing and testing will be distribution and building a case for adoption among consumers.

“How do you get the product out? Direct to merchant? Or a bank? Or a mobile carrier?” he says. “Also, I think that a quick development cycle isn’t necessarily a good thing. It’s better to do one thing right that will last over a multi-year cycle.”

via MasterCard Enlists R&D Talent for the Battle – Bank Technology News Article.

via MasterCard Enlists R&D Talent for the Battle – Bank Technology News Article.

MasterCard Enlists R&D Talent for the Battle – Bank Technology News Article

From card controls to treasury management to new mobile channels, the pace of payments tech innovation-and the number of feisty startups-are accelerating, and MasterCard has opened a new research and development lab in an attempt to make sure it doesn’t fall behind the curve.

Led by Garry Lyons, the former CEO of Orbiscom, the new R&D unit, called MasterCard Labs, will include a team of tech engineers that will drive innovation through a cycle that includes conceptualization, proof of concept, pilot and support of commercialization. MasterCard developed inControl in partnership with Orbiscom, and then later purchased the tech firm in late 2008.

The unit’s employees will be based in existing facilities in Singapore; Westchester County, NY; and St. Louis-which is home to the firm’s global tech and operations. A MasterCard spokesperson says the company is creating a “carved-off function” with a sole mission to drive innovation.

“There are a lot of things going on with payments, which can create a need for a firm to have this type of work,” says Gwenn Bezard, research director at Aite, who says the lab is part of an effort to produce the kind of major tech and product breakthrough that’s eluded the large card firms in recent years.

“The lab is a way of thinking about customer retention from a product perspective,” says Rodney Nelsestuen, a senior research director at TowerGroup. “And with the lab you have a proof of concept, which probably saves [resources] in the long run.”

Products such as inControl, PayPass, MoneySend and the Marketplace online mall are part of MasterCard’s attempt to build an international network of new payments products and technology.

via MasterCard Enlists R&D Talent for the Battle – Bank Technology News Article.

via MasterCard Enlists R&D Talent for the Battle – Bank Technology News Article.

Facebook Credits – The de facto Online Currency?

acebook has begun testing a proprietary payment system with three of its applications, according to TechCrunch. As of this week, you can now use these apps–which include GroupCard, PackRat, Birthday Calendar and Facebook’s own icon gift shop–to purchase things using Facebook “credits,” which you can add to your account with an major credit or debit card.

Unlike other payment services like Amazon FPS or PayPal, Facebook’s credit system puts a scrip between your dollars and your purchasable goods. Naturally, it’s pegged to the dollar: 10 credits equals one U.S. dollar. Some tech pundits have already begun asking whether Facebook hopes to be the de facto virtual wallet for its 200 million users, and whether Google Wallet and other online payment companies are going to take this laying down. But more important is another question: if Facebook becomes the de facto online wallet, will Facebook Credits become the de facto online currency?

via Pay With Facebook? No Thanks. | Fast Company.

via Pay With Facebook? No Thanks. | Fast Company.