Don’t Go Soft, Google!

There are multiple unsubstantiated rumors in the press at the moment regarding the potential acquisition of Softcard (formerly Isis) by Google. TechCrunch and the WSJ have “sources” that Google intends to pay $50 to $100 million for the beleaguered mobile initiative – a veritable fire-sale. But what would Google gain from this?

In my opinion, nothing. Read the rest of this entry »

Dear Payments Industry, You forgot about the cashiers.

Can I use Apple Pay?

What’s applespay?

No, Apple Pay. I mean, can I use my phone to pay for this?

Um, like Google or whatever? I wouldn’t, it’s super unsafe, like, people can steal your stuff.  Read the rest of this entry »

The unending identity theft problem: focus must expand from access prevention to consumer empowerment

The Target data breach is just one in an unending series of privacy exposures that create anger, disbelief and fear. Yet just as sure as it was not the first, it won’t be the last and trying to hold back unauthorized access to private data is akin to trying to hold back the sea. Yes we need better data security, and industry initiatives like PCI are vital to doing so, but with increased automation more individuals, applications and connected devices will create more access requirements, in turn giving birth to new problems at a pace that rivals attempts to stop unauthorized access. Data security is essential, but it’s time to realize that data security alone is not enough. Read the rest of this entry »

Losers and Leaders in Bill Payment

It has been a newsworthy month in the world of bill payment startups. In a matter of weeks, Zumbox and Manilla announced they would close, and Intuit reportedly is in talks to plunk down $350 million to buy Check, arguably the best personal finance app in the market today. Check serves as an example to financial institutions that the new definition of “PFM” centers on mobile apps that enable on-the-go consumers to tackle on-the-go financial decisions more smartly. Read the rest of this entry »

ApplePay is Like Listening to Barry White with the Lights Down Low. It’s Quite an Experience

This is my first inaugural blog here at Javelin and I will be talking about the intersection of experience design and payments. “The payment experience”—it is, if you think about it, distinctively human. Bartering, trading, transacting—all arrangements establishing a platform for a payment experience. Whether intentional or not, we have been designing this experience since, well, forever.

Although John Biggins can be credited (pun) for designing the first credit card, or “Charg-It” card in 1946, Frank McNamara, the inventor of the Diners Club Card, was the first to realize and challenge the then current (1949) payment experience. Read the rest of this entry »

The Inevitable ApplePay Blog

So, the payments unicorn has finally made its way out into the world, with more conjecture and hyperbole than, well, the last time Apple did something. Much has been written thus far about ApplePay and it’s going to be hard to write anything truly fresh at this point, but I will try.

While the mainstream media was ooing and aaahing over Apple’s innovative new product, us fintech geeks were generally a little underwhelmed by certain aspects. In truth, I was very impressed by the integration of biometrics and tokenization – absolutely leading edge in terms of where security should be (is a fingerprint a PIN, Mr. Durbin?), but the rest of the ApplePay news was a bit flabby and old. NFC? That’s been rattling around since 2003. Building a merchant ecosystem? Not really – just piggybacking on Google Wallet, Softcard and those nasty looking old terminals at McDonalds that have been gathering McGrime since 2006.

Read the rest of this entry »