Welcome to What’s Trending In Payments – a weekly look at the most popular, irreverent and important stories the payments industry had to offer over the past five days. Which companies grabbed the most headlines – for better or for worse – this week, and which topics have the industry abuzz with intrigue, laughter or disbelief? Featuring breakdowns from the PYMNTS.com staff and commentary by Karen Webster, here’s our take on what all of you payments peeps thought.
Why It’s Hot – We’ve been writing a lot about the expansion of the definition of currency, but this one takes the cake… er… gingerbread that is. When a Swedish bus operator announced this week that it would accept cookies in exchange for tickets, it’s no surprise it quickly had a surge of demand.
Karen’s Commentary – Brilliant! Now we all know what to do with those holiday fruitcakes!
PYMNTS Commentary – We’re all for this, as long as they take the return cookie upfront. We wouldn’t want to be tempted on a long ride home.
Why It’s Hot – Since the launch of Apple’s iPhone 5S biometric solutions have been gaining ground in the marketplace, but this new wearable wristband from Bionym takes the concept to more personal level. Its solution uses your “heart signature” – fancy talk for your cardiac rhythms – to authenticate your device.
Karen’s Commentary – Uh oh. Does this mean I’ll get declined every time my heart goes pitter-patter when buying new shoes?
PYMNTS Commentary – We’re just waiting for that one hacker to steal our heart.
Why It’s Hot – After Capital One pulled out of the Isis mobile wallet program in December, it looked like JPMorgan Chase and American Express were going to be left at the alter. But, with Wells Fargo’s addition, is there new life in the Isis initiative?
Karen’s Commentary – Next topic.
PYMNTS Commentary – We’re not sure Isis can be saved. We tried to review its wallet. The only issue? No one in our offices – that’s Boston and Chicago – had an Isis compatible phone…
Top Tweet – @mdudas – I wonder if @PayWithIsis is paying @WellsFargo to play ball?
Unicorn Exits The New Norm
Why It’s Hot – Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the market, CB Insights is questioning whether too many tech companies are being overinflated with billion-dollar valuations, or “unicorn exits.” Further, new reports suggest some of the biggest recent valuations – like Uber – are only making a fraction of their worth.
Karen’s Commentary – Nah, there’s no bubble in Silicon Valley. Clinkle gets $25 million, Lemon sells for $50 million, Coin is touted as the breakthrough payments innovation, Snapchat is offered $3 billion without a lick of revenue while companies like OpenTable with $180 million in annual revenues, 31,000 restaurant customers and 38.5 million consumers using its service is valued at less than $2 billion…
PYMNTS Commentary – And we were just recovering from the bitcoin bubble…
Top Tweet – @stocktwits – There have been 221 IPOs this year. That’s the most since the historic tech bubble of 2000