They Said That: Notable Quotables From the Week of July Fourth

connected consumer

Every week we scan our interviews, opinion pieces and news stories for the quotations that give us a sense of where we are as a connected economy in the payments and banking business. Here’s our notable quotables, Fourth of July version, for the week that was.

Let’s start out on the humorous side of the business. First up, in our Weekender piece from June 29, “AI Walks Into a Bar: The Quest for Artificial Humor,” we liked the following: “Humor is particularly challenging for AI because everyone finds different things funny,” Dave Edwards, co-founder of Artificiality and former product manager at Apple, told PYMNTS. “For an AI to succeed at being funny, it has to understand what its audience finds funny overall and understand if the current context is appropriate for humor.”

Now, let’s get serious. Like, as serious as insurance. In our piece “Why More Banks Say Yes to Insurance as a Consumer Product,” Mike Mahoney, regional vice president at Franklin Madison, a company that provides insurance products to more than 3,500 FIs, told us on June 28: “More and more consumers are recognizing the importance of specialized insurance coverages, such as pet, long-term care, travel insurance, personal cyber insurance, maybe supplemental accident plans. So, there’s really … definitely a lot of opportunity for financial institutions to offer and expand a set of products to meet these growing needs from consumers.”

Embedded finance is another serious topic we covered on July 3. In “Embedded Finance Performs Double Duty as Sales Enablement Tool,” we found out that having a convenient financial instrument can do much more than drive payments and lending. It can also help manage cash flow. “At the end of the day,” said Chris Guido, head of TD Owned Brands, Sponsorships and Emerging Opportunities for TD Retail Card Services, “the financing program needs to be an extension of the business, and we need to be aligned to help grow the retailers’ businesses.”

It was also a serious week for litigation. The big story there was the decision from New York Eastern District Court Judge Margo Brodie that she will most likely vacate the Mastercard and Visa swipe fee decision, saying essentially that retailers could do better in court. “Although the Court does not agree with objectors’ contentions that the Settlement is ‘essentially worthless,’ ‘meaningless,’ or provides ‘no benefit,’ the Court finds that the benefits of the Settlement are likely to flow disproportionately and inequitably to small, local merchants like the Class Representatives,” Judge Brodie wrote as quoted on June 30 in “Swipe Fee Settlement Judge Says $30 Billion Agreement Is ‘Paltry’.”

We launched the “How The World Does Digital” report on June 26. In her op-ed piece of June 24, “Why the Connected Economy Isn’t,” PYMNTS CEO Karen Webster wrote, “Creating experiences that connect discrete digital activities within new connected ecosystems is a work in process. Truly making the physical world a contextual part of a digital experience remains largely untapped. Too much of the digital transformation to this point is digital — but not exactly transformational. It’s one of the greatest opportunities for innovators and business leaders to seize as they write their strategies for the rest of this decade and well beyond.”

And finally, a killer quote from the big report itself, which can be downloaded here, “Much, although not all, digital activity involves consumers making payments at some point. This is inconvenient when consumers mainly want to or must use cash and checks. To get web activity off the ground, some countries around the world with limited card penetration developed ways for consumers to pay with cash — upon delivery for example, or to pre- pay with cash or checks. Making payments on the web was much easier in countries that had payment card networks with wide adoption of cards. Even though the cards were physical, the networks mainly involved using digital credentials on those cards.”