Driving Payments Innovation through Education- PYMNTS University

PYMNTS University: 2010-2011 School Year

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Welcome back to campus. All of us at PYMNTS.COM hope you had a great summer and a relaxing time.  While many of you took vacation, we were working to enhance the curriculum and upgrade the facilities to ensure you have a great semester.  We’ve developed the course schedule below in partnership with Market Platform Dynamics (MPD), a strategy management consultancy specializing in payments, innovation, and platform ecosystems.  The course work should give those new to payments a solid grounding in the fundamental forces at work in the marketplace today.  We’ve also included a number of advanced graduate-level courses for those who have a firm understanding of the fundamentals of payments and platform businesses and would like to learn more about the forces at work in the growth areas of innovation.

PYMNTS University is an open-admission institution, so all are welcome to join each and every class they wish.  However, for those who would like the benefit of a DIPLOMA at the end of the semester, we will offer a course registration service that includes discussion groups, access to faculty, the occasional quiz, and of course a wonderful piece of parchment at the end of the year that proves you made it all the way through. And the best thing about a PYMNTS University diploma, besides being another great piece of parchment to hang on your wall is that, unlike those other ones you probably spent tens of thousands to earn, this one is FREE~! We have lots to learn and relearn this year. Please build your course schedule from the following:

Durbin Debit 101 (required):  Retail Deposits Have Changed Radically Overnight. While you were taking vacation, and while PYMNTS and MPD were building your fall schedule, legislators and lobbyists in Washington DC were working to rewrite the business rules and economics of the core of retail financial services: deposit management and access.  These changes are so potentially disruptive, and the impact on the industry so potentially broad, that we all need to relearn the debit business as a result. If you took the debit course before, or even if you thought you placed out of it with AP DDA management credit, you must sign up for this class. The syllabus has changed, and there’s a brand new textbook. Don’t grumble –everyone has to retake this.

Debit 201(Required. Debit 101 prerequisite): Is Prepaid “Debit-Lite?” Can General Purpose Reloadable become the next debit growth vehicle? What happens if/when underserved consumers are flushed from deposit institutions challenged to make DDAs profitable?  Many consumer segments already find themselves well served by this segment of prepaid, whether as a payroll product provided by an employer or as a benefits card delivered by a state or local government, much of the emerging deposit base in established and emerging markets is migrating to this product. Could changes in the US debit landscape accelerate this trend?

Point of Transaction 201 (required): Competition for Consumer Choice. All PYMNTS U graduates must understand the competitive forces at work at the point where consumer transactions begin. As consumers looks to deposit funds for the majority of their purchases, and with the debit landscape undergoing fundamental shifts, competition for access to available funds will intensify around access to funds on hand. Large retailer engagement in providing financial services directly to consumers as part of their retail model, and the potential for those services to include alternative payment instruments, will be of particular interest.

Mobile 205 (required): GPC Payments Value Proposition. In this course we will work to understand the challenges general purpose payments networks face as they try to deliver a value proposition to consumers for mobile point-of-sale payments that is uniquely better than what consumers enjoy today from card payments. We will also explore how any unique value proposition must still be compelling enough to drive significant changes in existing behavior among a large and attractive segment of the population. We will also look at the challenge of igniting a two-sided market and how this challenge may exist if mobile payments require a value prop that compels a large segment of merchants to adopt at the same time.

Mobile 206 (elective. Mobile 205 prerequisite): Emerging Payments Value Proposition. With a basic understanding of the challenges inherent in building a new network effect within the traditional payments ecosystem, we will further explore in this course how those challenges may be compounded or mitigated by value propositions extended by a new payments entrant.  We will explore case studies in direct billing, quasi-cash, digital goods, and private label existing network credit products.


Cloud Payments 210 (required): Building Value in the Network. In this course we will explore the fundamental value propositions and growth drivers for networked platform businesses. From building a community of users, then giving them meaningful ways to interact, to complementing those interactions by augmenting the value of of those interactions as they traverse the platform, network businesses drive more participants —and derive more value– from each incremental participant and transaction. This virtuous cycle is at the heart of successful network businesses.

eCom 301 (elective): Evolution of Online Commerce.
This course will explore how basic commerce facilitation engines, from basic merchant checkout functions and simple wallets, have evolved into commerce generators, identifying consumer demand and driving purchase traffic and converting sales.  The course will study how organizing consumer purchase intent, stimulating conversion, and closing the loop with post-purchase information can drive incremental value to consumers and merchants.

eCom 302 (elective. eCom 301 and PoT 201 prerequisites): Emerging Competition.
The name of the game in eCom payments moves from securing and executing the transaction to actually generating the sale and closing the purchase cycle loop with the consumer. In this dynamic, companies that can build communities of users and anticipate their desires through tight profiling —such as online advertisers, closed loop technology players, and social media operators— compete at a significant advantage in payments.

Mobile 305 (elective. Mobile 205 and Debit 201 recommended): Emerging Markets Mobile Prepaid.  In this class we will discuss how a combination of mobile distribution, remote services access, underbanked consumers, and a favorable regulatory environment may create a unique opportunity for mobile payments in key growth markets. We will also review how this opportunity may exist in some key segments of developed markets, especially as the deposit access landscape changes.


Point of Transaction 301 (elective. PoT 201 and Cloud Payments 210 prerequisites): The Network is the Terminal.  As complexity, and commensurate value, in processing payments moves to the network platform, or “cloud,” endpoints will increasingly access that value through flexible thin-client interfaces. For remote payments this may take the form of API-enabled alias-registration and checkout services. For physical retailers this may take the form of IP-enabled PoS terminals and self-serve kiosks. (for advanced discussion, see Graduate Studies elective PoT 520: Applied Convergence Theory and the Alias Engine as Mobile Point of Sale Processor. This course to be offered in the Spring)

Cloud Payments 310 (Cloud 210 prerequisite): Adding Value to Transactions as they Move Through the Network. In this course we will explore the various ways that successful networked businesses drive more participants and ensure that existing participants continue to send transactions over the platform. In almost all cases, this is driven by services that make the core experience richer & more valuable for the network participant, ensuring that participant returns.  

Cloud Payments 311 (Cloud 210 prerequisite): Monetizing the Information from Payments. In this course we will explore the opportunities available to platform operators from synthesizing, analyzing and deploying the data generated from core platform transactions in ways that attract more participants and transactions to the network.  We will also explore Incremental revenue opportunities from bringing adjacent clients into the network ecosystem by providing information that informs their investment decisions in, and return from, core platform transaction data.  

Mobile 401 (elective. Mobile 205 plus any one of the Cloud Payments 300 series prerequisites): Optimized Value for Remote Telephony. In this course we will explore potential applications of mobile payments value that optimize the intersection of cloud-based payments processing and remote communications by playing to the strengths of each. Students may choose a lab section from among the following options: a) loyalty and location-based services, b) mobile marketing services and proving advertising ROI, c) alias engines and remote transaction ignition.

Cloud Payments 401 (completion of PoT 301 strongly recommended): Extended Innovation from Opening the Edge of the Network. As networks realize greater growth from core business expansion, they may find themselves increasingly challenged to justify direct investment in the grow platforms that drive 1) incremental participants from adjacent markets, 2) incremental interaction methods outside of core capabilities, and 3) additional value in non-core services from within the core platform. In this environment, healthy businesses with strong capital positions may realize greater growth sooner by giving nimble external companies access to the network platform through a defined set of development layers and program interfaces.

Click here to register for PYMNTS University