EMV’s 12 Elephant Fail and the Case for Contactless

It’s been a long anticipated issue with EMV – the time it takes to “dip” a card compared to the much accustomed “swipe”. It’s not so much the time it takes, it’s more that it’s dead time – you have nothing to do but stare at a POS display waiting for the acknowledgement that you’re able to take the card out again. Time stands still as you wait for a beep or a flashing light or confetti or something. Perceived wisdom is that that this is about four seconds.

With the big EMV transition literally days away at this point, I shouldn’t have been surprised on a weekend visit to the local Target to be prompted to use the chip that has recently appeared on my BofA debit card. I was. Instead, decades of muscle memory had me swiping the card repeatedly until I realized that the POS display was asking me to insert the card. It took the cashier telling me I had to insert the card for me to stop the rabid swiping frenzy. At this point, payment industry brain ousted weekend chore brain. My first EMV transaction in the US – okay, let’s count how long this takes…

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The TOPS Model – Understanding the key attributes of block chain technology

Beyond the headline grabbing stories about Bitcoin, the financial services industry needs to start considering the value of underlying technology backbone behind cryptocurrencies and why it could be valuable – the block chain.

So how does a block chain work and why could it be valuable?

TOPS Model on Block Chain Key Attributes

TOPS Model on Block Chain Key Attributes

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Finovate Fall 2015 Prequel – A Smorgasbord of Fintech Snark

So hot is Fintech right now that it is possible to attend a conference every day of the week. Apparently some people do that – I come across my nomadic circle of friends in exotic locations (read – Orlando) throughout Spring and Fall, looking increasingly tarnished and feral as the conferences, breakfast buffets and airport layovers take their toll. For self preservation purposes, I have to some extent whittled down my must-see conferences to just a handful – a couple of very small ones, one very large one and Finovate which is, IMHO, a truly unique experience and essential to attend if you are truly to stay on top of your game in terms of what is happening at the intersection of banking, payments and technology.

What makes Finovate unique are a handful of factors…

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Dear Grandma – Here are 5 things you need to know about EMV Cards

As the October 1, 2015, date for EMV liability shift looms, it seems like everyone is gearing up for this momentous event. Banks are issuing new EMV chip cards, merchants are installing new terminals, cashiers are receiving new instructions, and so forth. Everyone is getting ready — except us consumers. Many of us have received our new cards (I got mine just last week from Chase) but are not quite sure why they were sent since the old ones haven’t expired, and we wonder how the in-store shopping experience will change. I was trying to explain it to my neighbor yesterday when he interrupted me. He said, “Pretend you are explaining it to my grandma, because I will need to relay it to her. What are the top five things she will need to know about the new EMV cards?”

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Can Apple Pay sweeten the deal for small merchants to upgrade to EMV?

Small merchants are unclear on how to best approach EMV, but many report that they would be willing to deploy EMV terminals if they could also accept mobile payments including Apple Pay.  Are small merchants really looking for a BOGO (buy one, get one) when it comes to upgrading their terminals?  Buy a pair shoes and get the socks for free?  Could this be the way for merchant acquirers and ISOs to position terminal upgrades to their small biz clients?


Many small and micro businesses are looking to get a BOGO of EMV and Apple Pay when comes to terminal upgrades

Javelin just introduced its Small Business Banking service that focuses on needs and opportunities for banks, issuers, merchant acquirers to serve the small business sector.  Our most recent study of small ($1 to $10 million in sales) and micro merchants ($100K to $1 million in sales) ) shows that many of these merchants have not yet upgraded their payment terminals to accept EMV cards. Of these businesses, 36% would be motivated to do so if a terminal could both accept EMV and mobile payments.  When we looked only at the small merchant segment that number jumped to 45% – almost half.

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Intuit is Selling Quicken: Will Banks Seize the Moment?

Some will describe Intuit’s decision Thursday to sell Quicken as the end of an era. Quicken 2009The reality is the era of desktop do-it-yourself accounting software tapped out long ago. Fewer than 22 million U.S. consumers use desktop personal finance software like Quicken. I thought about charting Javelin’s longitudinal data on the usage, but it’s easier to instruct you to just draw a flat line.

The more pertinent question is who will inherit Quicken’s crown now that we’re in a mobile-first, manage-my-money-on-the-go era.

It should be banks and credit unions. In Read the rest of this entry »