PYMNTS Turns Six: The Top 10 Stories In Six Big Years

Guess what today is?

Yes, it’s the one-year anniversary of Apple Pay. But that’s not the big date we’re talking about here.

Today marks the sixth anniversary of Yes, you’ve been able to catch all things payments and commerce in one quick swoop for six years. Instead of (modestly) patting ourselves on the back (or eating some cake), we’ve decided to give you a quick look back in time with the Top 10 stories in six years from PYMNTS.

We’re glad you stopped by. Don’t miss out on what we’re building for the next six years. But for now, a brief recap:

1. Why Apple Pay Is Fizzling and What It Means for the Future of Mobile Payments

“Mobile payments hasn’t ignited yet in the United States. So far every attempt to change that in a big way in the U.S. has floundered,” wrote MPD Chairman David Evans in a column published two months after Apply Pay launched. Today, on the one-year anniversary of Apple Pay, catch what Evans had to say one year ago.

“Apple Pay is fizzling,” Evans wrote. “And unless it drastically changes course Apple Pay will follow the hundreds of other attempts, made around the world in the last seven years, that have sputtered along at low levels of use or, much more frequently, have just flat-out died.”

2. Capital One to Reward Up To One Billion Miles in Venture Match My Miles

Capital One announced in March 2011 an unprecedented promotion in the credit card rewards category. The “Match My Miles Challenge” gave consumers who open a Capital One Venture Card the opportunity to match up to 100,000 miles they currently have in an airline credit card rewards program. In total, Capital One planned to match up to 1 billion miles.

3. The Real History Of Black Friday

Pop Quiz: Why is the day after Thanksgiving called Black Friday?

If you answered “because that is the day that retailers go ‘into the black,’” you are sadly mistaken. Though that is a pop retail folklore, it’s not technically true. In fact, Black Friday first came to be used in association with Thanksgiving for reasons that initially had nothing to do with commerce. Here’s the history of how the Friday after Thanksgiving got its name.

4. Apple Pay a Bust on Black Friday, New Data Shows

More than 95 percent of iPhone 6 and 6+ users who could have paid with Apple Pay on Black Friday didn’t according to a survey of more than 400 users conducted by InfoScout. Five weeks after the launch of Apple’s revolutionary payment method, more than 90 percent of these users hadn’t even given it a try. Read what the figures show.

5. The Six Things That Will Change the Future of Payments

What will change the future of payments? MPD CEO Karen Webster weighs in.

“The culprit is the mash-up of connected devices, data and the cloud, which are dramatically accelerating the pace of change in an industry not exactly known for moving at warp speed,” Webster wrote. “My colleagues and I have been talking about these things since 2007, but it is now possible to see evidence of their impact in full force. Here’s a peek at how this mash-up is feeding those six forces, and should be accounted for in 2014’s plan.”

 Compare how Webster’s predictions played out.

6. Startup Roundup: Who’s Getting Funded?

Take a look back in time to 2012. Here’s our Startup Roundup: a (close-to-) comprehensive list of each of the startup companies in payments and/or eCommerce to receive at least $1 million in funding from equity investors in 2012. Catch how much the marketplace has changed in three years.

7. Apple Pay’s Canadian Plans

In January of this year, it was reported that Apple Pay was heading north, with a Canadian launch planned for early 2015. Well, Apple didn’t quite hit that projection.

Sources at the time noted that Apple and Canadian launch partners were working through the planned promotion and advertising of the platform geared for March of this year. Here’s what’s happened since.

8. Shell Pumps PayPal For Mobile Payments

Tired of having to get out of the car in the middle of winter to pay for gas? Thanks to a new partnership between PayPal and Shell, payments for filling up can now be done via smartphones, sources from both companies announced in early 2015.

The new payment partnership for Shell Drivers’ Club members before a full national release later this year, is said to provide greater convenience and flexibility for drivers. The technology was successfully trialed by both companies in 2013, while PayPal has already established a strong mobile payments process in the United Kingdom.

9. Who Won’t Win The Mobile Wallet “Wars” And Why

“What better opportunity to share my perspective on the players who are manning their mobile wallet battle stations and preparing for the onslaught,” MPD CEO Karen Webster wrote this year.

“Apple won’t win the mobile wallet wars, although they could win a few key battles and capture some valuable territory,” Webster continued. “Neither will Google, despite their size and years of slogging it out trying to gain ground. Microsoft doesn’t stand a chance. PayPal, Amazon, Alipay, and even Starbucks are well-positioned. Samsung with LoopPay, is potentially too. Facebook is a wildcard with a shot. And Visa and MasterCard are potentially the big winners, no matter what happens (at least in the short term).”

But not for any of the reasons that you’ve probably read about previously, she said. Catch what Webster had to say about the mobile payment wars.

10. The Great American (Express) Spinoff

1975 was the year that American Express launched its famous “Don’t Leave Home Without It” campaign starring Karl Malden. This iconic advertising campaign carried a message designed to burnish the company’s image as the status symbol for credit card-carrying consumers. That image – a card with lavish rewards and carried by the most affluent consumers and discriminating globe-trotting corporate travelers – simply furthered a brand positioning introduced to the world in 1958 when it launched.

Forty years later, 2015 is anything but the year that Amex would like to remember. Read what MPD CEO Karen Webster has to say about the future of American Express.


Latest Insights: 

The Which Apps Do They Want Study analyzes survey data collected from 1,045 American consumers to learn how they use merchant apps to enhance in-store shopping experiences, and their interest in downloading more in the future. Our research covered consumers’ usage of in-app features like loyalty and rewards offerings and in-store navigation, helping to assess how merchants can design apps to distinguish themselves from competitors.


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