Bieber Vs. Buffet, Third World Meets U.S. And FI Dregs

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 staff and commentary by Karen Webster, here’s our take on what all of you payments peeps thought.

Justin Bieber’s Worth Trumps Warren Buffett’s… On Twitter

Why It’s Hot: Tweets secure eyeballs and eyeballs secure ad dollars is the message of this amusing little story. Bieber’s sure feathering Twitter’s nest with his tweeting machine, while Buffett who is actually phenomenal at saying profound things in less than 140 characters doesn’t appear to have his finger glued to his keyboard. Of course, his Twitter could sell the value of what’s said in the tweets we suspect Buffett’s miserly four would be worth about a gazillion times Bieber’s 25+ p lus.

Karen’s Commentary: So, this, boys and girls is how it really works. The Beibs probably has an army of tweeters cranking out tweets 24/7 to boost the Beib’s career. C’mon, do you really think he’s sitting around between babes and songs and who knows what else and composing pithy 140 character missives? On the flip side, for those of you who came to Innovation Project , you know that The Oracle of Omaha still has a dial-up phone and reads newspapers. And in addition to not being an early adopter of the latest technologies, he’s a pretty frugal guy. So, he’s probably actually doing his own tweets! And, in between buying railroads and newspapers and consumer products companies doesn’t have a whole lot of spare time to tweet up a storm. But, I’ll bet the spending power of those who follow Mr. B is a gazillion times that of those who follow Mr. Biebs – which is why there is probably something really wrong with this picture/calculation and how Twitter values tweets and followers!

PYMNTS: Full disclosure here folks. Mr. Buffett owns a piece of PYMNTS (Berkshire Hathaway owns BusinessWire which is our partner).  And, we hang on his every word and tweet.

Top Tweet @crispen: To all the kids in third grade who told me that I am worthless: I am worth over NINE DOLLARS to Twitter. So THERE! :) …

U.S. Lenders Turn To Developing World For Solutions

Why It’s Hot: Microlending has spurred entrepreneurship in lesser developed countries. These are less than bubkus loans that are just enough to get teeny weeny entrepreneurs (like basket sellers) up and running. That’s its coming to America is both interesting and …

Karen’s Commentary: Yikes. This tells me that between the regulators sapping the life out of lending industry in the U.S. and the increasing reluctance of banks anyway to lend money (hey, didn’t work out so well a few years ago) there is a real crisis in lending to small businesses in this country. The fact that solutions that were developed for the poorest of the poor in India are needed in the U.S. is not a good sign.

PYMNTS: But, you gotta love what people are doing with these loans. According to the story one woman who got a microloan uses it to buy discount designer clothes that she resells them at her tiny shop, while another buys clothes in the U.S. and sends them to her sister in the Dominican Republic to resell. That’s the entrepreneurial spirit at its best – and leave it to women to be first in line to find a resourceful way to build a business. Sounds pretty good to us.

Top Tweet – @jimpoco: Microloans are great, except when you have to sell an organ to pay them off. … 

Which FIs Are Giving Heated Consumers The Cold Shoulder?

Why It’s Hot: Some Yale economists are taking the CFPB up on its call to action to the analyze, mash up and do whatever it takes with the complaint data the regulator is collecting from FIs. They have some interesting results. But, the reason this is hot is they will probably be the first in a long line “analysts, developers, data scientists, civic hackers—to name some of the ones the CFPB is trying to enlist—to hold FIs accountable for bad behavior (at least if you believe the complaints). They have released their “worst 5” banks list just this week.

Karen’s Commentary: So, in the every cloud has a silver lining department .. and just when Jamie Dimon was really in need of some good news since just about everyone is picking on him, Chase isn’t on the list! There’s more good news! None of the other megabanks are either! Unfortunately, there are some familiar names—Regions which made it for untimely responses and Santander Consumer USA for percent of responses disputed.

PYMNTS: We had to check out the worst of the worst—Cash Call. Yep, never heard of them either. And who would actually put their money into a bank called Cash Call?

Top Tweet @ElizLincoln And the Financial Institution Most Likely to Be Late Responding to a Consumer Complaint Is . . . @Freakonomics 



The PYMNTS Cross-Border Merchant Friction Index analyzes the key friction points experienced by consumers browsing, shopping and paying for purchases on international eCommerce sites. PYMNTS examined the checkout processes of 266 B2B and B2C eCommerce sites across 12 industries and operating from locations across Europe and the United States to provide a comprehensive overview of their checkout offerings.

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