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Commentary » PYMNTS Voice
There was a time not that long ago, when B2B payments innovation was perceived by many to be “out of vogue.” Back in the late 90s and early 2000s, B2B payments innovation was synonymous with an exuberant group of innovative B2B payment exchanges, marketplaces and hubs that failed spectacularly. Moreover, even the secular trends in payments over the last decade have made little impact in the dominance of paper-based payments, which still account for more than 80% of all payment transactions and over 70% of total payments volume in the B2B space. It is perhaps understandable that many entrepreneurs and innovators looked elsewhere for innovation opportunities during the last decade. In fact, with the exception of Remote Deposit Capture solutions, very little B2B payments innovation gained traction in the 2000s.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s payment network consolidation in the US and Europe, resulted in a world with only 3 global credit card brands – Visa, MasterCard and American Express, supported by a host of regional/ local debit solutions. However, the desire to avoid the dominance of US brands and expand their domestic card markets, has driven players in China, India and Europe to contemplate their own competitive card schemes to compete with the global dominance of Visa, Mastercard and American Express.
Its head has gotten bigger and the tail longer and skinner. I'm not talking about a scary monster but about the distribution of purchasing volume for the credit and debit card issuers in the United States.
The decade ended with the start of the most severe financial crisis the world has faced since the Great Depression of the 1930s. In many respects the payments industry was rock solid during the meltdown. The payment systems processed transactions without losing a beat. While consumers faced a real risk that they would find their retirement accounts dry, and not a banker in town would be willing to give them a loan, they had full confidence that they could pay merchants with any tender type that merchant usually took. Pure payments companies such as MasterCard and Visa not surprisingly held their value while most other stocks crashed.
The payments industry had quite a decade. In a few days we will be saying goodbye to the first decade of the 21st century. What better time to take a look at the events that have shaken up the payments industry since 2000. Back at the turn of the century MasterCard and Visa were bank-owned associations, knee deep in litigation. Debit cards were growing rapidly and online was still a scary frontier with security concerns and fraud. People weren't paying for anything with a mobile phone and contactless payment was still something only used in exotic locales like Hong Kong.
Last week the General Accountability Office (GAO) released it much awaited report on interchange fees. Congress had asked the GAO, the respected investigative arm of Congress, to wade into this battle between merchants and cards systems earlier this year when it passed the CARD Act. There's something for everyone in this report which is why both merchant and cardholder advocates are claiming that it backs their positions. Here's what GAO finds:
A few years ago, in response to a growing number of data security breaches, the major credit card brands formed the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC). Since then the PCI SSC has developed a set of security requirements for all businesses that handle payment cards.
Just two days ago, I posted a question on LinkedIn about the one innovation in 2009 that had the potential to change the landscape for the next 2-3 years.
I was recently quoted in a Business Week article on October 29th, "Interchange Fees Make Strange Bedfellows" by Brian Burnsed.
2012 ach acquisition ad-supported advertising africa akerlof alternative payment alternative payments amazon amazon fps american express amex android api apis apple application applications at&t atm authentication automated clearing house b2b b2bsynergy banking bank of america barclays behavioral economics big bank excuse billmelater bing blackberry bling nation bloomberg bob dole braintree brian burnseed business business week business wire c$ cmoney capgemini capital markets summit card act cardholders card issuer card issuers card issuing card network card networks card reform cards carte blanche cartes & identification 2010 cash cass sunstein catalyst code catalysts cfpa cfpa act chase check card checks chicken-and-egg china china union pay cloud computing code commerce compliance congress consolidation consumer consumer financial protection agency consumer financial protection board consumer loyalty consumer payments research center consumers contactless contactless cards contactless payments corduro credit credit card credit card networks credit cards ctia cup cybersource dan ariely daniel read data center david evans david s. evans debit debit card debit cards decoupled developer developers development device fidelity dick schmalensee digital media diners club discover disruptive disruptive technology dodd droid durbin durbin amendment e-commerce e-payment e-wallets ebay ebillme ecommerce economics economists economy eft electronic commerce electronic payments element payment services elizabeth warren encryption epayment epayments evans facebok facebook facebook commerce farmville federal reserve fees financial financial reform finovate firefox foreign networks frank frank parry futures g-cash gaming gao general accountability office gift google google checkout google wallet gopayment greatest developments groupon guest payments hagiu healthcare holiday hyperbolic discounting ibm icbc ignition ignition series ignition strategy innovation interchange international telecommunications union internet internet-based intuit invisible engines ip commerce ipcommerce iphone iphones ipo isis issuer jack dorsey jason diaz jcb international jibun bank john donohue joshua wright journal jp morgan justin fox karen webster kathy miller kenya law lending linkedin loyalty m-commerce m-pesa magnetic strip mag stripe magtek making credit safer manhattan mara airolki margaret weichert market platform dynamics mastercard mcommerce merchant merchants merger meters microsoft mit mobile mobile apps mobile banking mobile money mobile payments mobile wallet money transfer more than money mtn myspace national payment card near field communications network networks new businesses new business models newspaper publishing newspapers new york city new york times nfc nilson non-cash obama obopay oliver williamson online banking open platforms other p2p paas patrick gauthier payment payment card payment cards payment engine payment networks payments payments innovation paypal paypal here paypalx paypal x payroll paysimple payvment payware pci pci ssc peter guidi philippines pin platform platforms policy pos prepaid processing psychology pts publishing pymnts quattro reform regulation related publications retail revolution money richard thaler roam data ronald coase saas safaricom schiller schmalensee screening rules sdk search security senator durbin serve shane frederick shopping small business smart-phones smartphone smartphones social social commerce social network social networks software square standards start-up startup startup strategy strategy survey of consumer payment choice swipe fee target taxi taxipass taztag techcrunch technology the payments authority tim attinger traffic transaction costs transactions tsys twitter two-sided market two-sided platforms u.s. bank u.s. chamber of commerce user behavior validation verifone verizon virtual currency visa vivotech vodafone wall street wamu warren buffett washinton web 2.0 wells fargo western union windows wright wsj yahoo yes bank youtube zoompass zynga