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Commentary » Commerce Fault Line
In recent weeks I have picked a number of conversation threads on the on-going difficulties of securing transactions, such as the recent PYMNTS.com posts of Mohammad Khan and Jack Jania or the ANSI X9 call for new standards to secure debit transactions.
Last week was again rich in announcements for PayPal with the launch of a new Bump-enabled iPhone application and a strategic agreement with China UnionPay. As I mused over both, I started to assemble a broader view of the transformation of PayPal as it has been playing out since last September, pointing out to a marked shift in the center of gravity of payment innovation.
Ever since its Initial Public Offering prospectus Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) has made no mystery of the importance it thought mobile payments would have in its future. Yet, judging from its press releases over the last 18 months, the company was struggling to define and implement a vision of why and how. Interestingly, the only significant allocation of resource to mobile payments came from Visa Europe, which announced earlier this month its intention to invest 200 million Euros.
What a difference a couple of years make! During CES in 2008, visitors were treated to a variety of demonstrations at the "NFC Zone" where they could experience the power of simplicity NFC style. Yet, at last's month edition of the consumer technology pilgrimage, NFC seemed to stand for "Not Found at this Conference." What happened? Is it just the financial crisis, something more profound or the natural growing pains associated with a disruptive technology?
Yes, you read it first on PYMNTS.com, the new member of the commerce alphabet soup will be "i-commerce"! That's what I believe Apple really started yesterday with the introduction of the iPad.
It can’t be fun being a banking executive these days. Your herd is being thinned, your bonus is under scrutiny, new laws are limiting your business and driving up the complexity of regulatory compliance, and you might take the fall for the Great Recession . Still, real challenges may lie beyond these "road bumps", in the form of a gathering threat to the foundation of banking: retail deposits. This is no trivial matter. Given the demonstrated limits of securitization, the need to reduce leverage, and the strings attached to government funds, retail deposit are a critical source of funding for the future of any diversified financial services provider.
The 4th quarter of 2009 is definitely starting to feel like the dawn of a new age for e-commerce, with many attempts to integrate commerce with social computing and mobile use cases. Many companies are vying for a spot as the primary gateway to payments, thus fueling a new round of innovation.
Earlier this week, Citibank provided some perspective on their mobile strategy and their renewed focus on a better delivery of "traditional" customer service.
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