PayPal’s Quadrillion-Dollar Error And Bitcoin’s Strangest Bet

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. 

TOPIC ONE: MCX Makes New Deals, Gets New Leader

Why It’s Hot

MCX made some headlines a week ago by signing Kohl’s on as another big-name retailer, then announcing a partnership with FIS on the same day. Yet that pales in comparison to the new the mPayments cooperative made yesterday, finally naming a CEO in former Barclaycard exec Dekkers L. Davidson.

MCX has taken some needling from those in the industry for failing to name a CEO (or release a product) in the 11 months since its launch. Yet in Davidson, MCX has landed a chief executive with direct experience running the mPayments division of Barclaycard in the U.S.

“The strength of the customer experience, the breadth of acceptance and the quality and security of the technology provide MCX with a historic opportunity to improve the shopping and paying experience for customers,” Davidson said in a statement.

With retailers like Walmart, Target, 7-Eleven and Sears all backing MCX, the star power is certainly there.

Karen’s Commentary

Okay, Dekkers, you can tell me – which of the two big names pushed you over the top – Kohl’s or FIS?!?! Dekkers is a seasoned payments exec who clearly knows the challenges that await him and I really do wish him well. He’s seen the “[Fill in the blank name] new payments scheme with big ambitions fall flat after lots of time and money” movie plenty of times, so he knows MCX isn’t a slam-dunk, even with the retailer star power behind him. I will offer Dekkers something though that may come in handy one of these days. I have a Border Collie named Annie, who is excellent at herding (and she’ll do anything for a couple of milk bones). Dekkers, if you ever need her services, just give me a call.

Top Tweet

@Mordyk: Congrats 2 Dekkers Davidson on the MCX opportunity. Best of luck on avoiding the ISIS troubles!

Too soon, Mordy. Too soon. I’m guessing the people over at MCX aren’t too fond of the constant ISIS comparisons. But if the shoe fits …

TOPIC TWO: PayPal Plays Who Wants To Be A Quadrillionaire 

Why It’s Hot

In the latest awkward online error for PayPal, eBay’s most important subsidiary accidentally awarded Pennsylvania man Chris Reynolds $92 quadrillion in his PayPal account. Reynolds’ newfound status as the world’s first quadrillionaire was fleeting, however, as PayPal quickly identified and fixed the error.

“I’m a very responsible guy,” he told the Philadelphia Daily News. “I would pay the national debt down first. Then I would buy the Phillies, if I could get a great price.”

As an avid baseball fan, let me tell you this, Chris: even if you had just bought out Ryan Howard’s contract, you’d be up there with Ben Franklin and Allen Iverson in terms of great Philly heroes.

Karen’s Commentary

I have a PayPal account and nothing like that has ever happened to me. Darn! But if it did, I would not, however, pay down the National Debt. Instead, I would fund a lot of space expeditions, the development of Moon National Parks and the development of the first Outer Space luxury shopping mall so that I could use my PayPal account and spend my quadrillions in space.

Top Tweet

@judeinlondon: PayPal ‘credits’ US man $92 quadrillion in error TRANSFER IT CLOSE THE ACCOUNT

This would normally be sound advice, but you’ll probably need at least $2-3 quadrillion left for when you want to buy spaceships via PayPal Galactic.

TOPIC THREE: Betting Bitcoins On Babies

Why It’s Hot

We’ve covered bitcoins being used in all sorts of creative ways on In fact, our Editor Pete Rizzo penned this terrific story about the human element of bitcoin yesterday, and it’s pretty amazing how people are using the currency to try and better their long-term financial standing.

But of all the bitcoin stories I’ve seen, this piece by EMEA Editor Chanel Smith takes the cake as the strangest.

Predictious, an Irish gambling site, is accepting bitcoin bets from gamblers who are aiming to predict the sex of the soon-to-be-due royal baby in the U.K.

“Other odd bets that are currently running include predicting the nationality of the Tour De France winner, Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the next U.S. presidential election and more,” Smith writes.

At least the odds here are pretty self-evident.

Karen’s Commentary

Come and talk to me about bitcoins when I can use them at Neiman’s. Until then…

Top Tweet

@marymartin207: place bets on the royal baby in #bitcoins. Decent odds for the 4 people occupying both demographics @verge

I lol’d, and this was my exact thought upon first hearing the news as well. There are niche audiences, and then there are bitcoin aficionados who also care about the royal birth.



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