Twelve Days of Christmas

For payments, there is no partridge in a pear tree, no maids-a-milking, and probably not any gold rings coming the industry’s way. So we’re going to focus on the twelve exciting developments, for better or worse, we think will be happening in payments in the coming year.

I. Did Payments Get a New Mom, or Enter Rehab?

On the first day of Christmas…Did Payments Get a new Mom, or Enter Rehab? The payments industry got a new master who will start flexing her muscles after the New Year.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) which, housed in the Federal Reserve Board, is the regulator of almost anything that smacks of being a financial services product targeted to consumers And everything that the payments industry currently offers to people. 


II. Will 2011 Be The Year of the Opt-In?

As we press into our few remaining days before the holiday, many of us are taking the time to log on to retailer websites (most often at work) to take care of some last-minute shopping. If you’re like most consumers, there are a handful of online sites where you shop frequently.


III. Is 2011 the Year for Social Commerce?

2011 will be the year that social commerce begins to take root on Facebook with solutions that are both merchant and customer friendly.


IV. New Global Payment Schemes: Imitation, the Sincerest Form of Flattery?

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.


V. Small (Biz) Is Beautiful and Plentiful (for Paying and Borrowing)

On the fifth day of Christmas, in the United States, Santa gave payments small businesses. Sure, small is beautiful as the blockbuster 1973 book by that name insisted. But even better when it comes to businesses—small is a lot! 


VI. Who Will Process My eCommerce Payments Now?

If you are a manager of an online business, particularly if that business is a small one, this time of year is likely a boom time for your operation.  Whether you’re selling hand-knit sweaters, specialized gift baskets, last-minute holiday gifts, or printing someone’s greeting cards, you are most likely a major beneficiary of one of the most revolutionary “evolutions” in commerce: selling your stuff online to people you don’t know.  


VII. Wheeling and Dealing Through 2011

On this seventh day of Christmas, are you, too, having trouble finding those elusive seven swans a-swimmin’? Well, it just might be that one of the thousands of online deal and/or group buying sites might have just what you are looking for at a price that is at least 50% off the suggested retail purchase price.  


VIII. All I Want for Christmas is my NFC?

As you wait for Santa to come and fill your stocking this holiday season, you may be thinking of what might be the best toys and gadgets for that most demanding of technologists in your household, namely…yourself.  Perhaps you have bought every new gadget that comes out in the marketplace, including tech toys that were way ahead of their time? 


IX. Point of Sale Revolution: Transformation of Payment Acceptance

Point of Sale (POS) payment acceptance was once a relatively sleepy, almost commodity-like extension of the merchant acquiring business, with a handful of standard terminals manufactured by Verifone, Hypercom and Ingenico that were sold and deployed via merchant acquirers and ISOs.   


X. Santa Fed Puts a Smile on the Faces of Merchants

On the tenth day of Christmas millions of merchants got a proposal from Santa Fed Claus to cut the fees they pay debit card issuers by as much as 84%, putting up to $13.6 billion in their pocket and a smile as big as boy getting his first Xbox on their faces.


XI. Virtual Currency Equals Love, This Holiday Season

On the 11th Day of Christmas my true love gave to me … 100 Facebook credits and told me I could go crazy buying virtual stuff for my farm on Farmville. Frankly, it was not what I expected to receive from my true love.


XII. Cash Usage: Reports of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Despite years of predictions suggesting that cash would one day disappear, recent data suggests cash is not only here to stay, but its usage may in fact be on the rise.