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 as judged by social media. 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.
TOPIC ONE: Visa Robs Cradle For New President
Why It’s Hot
Visa made the biggest news of the week in the world of payments executives, naming JPMorgan Chase’s Ryan McInerney as its new president on Thursday morning. There are plenty of interesting factoids here, such as the fact that Chase is losing yet another exec, but perhaps none quite so incredible as the fact that McInerney is only 37 years old. “Impressive” doesn’t do his resume justice.
This is starting to feel a bit like the Eddie Murphy movie, Trading Places. Let’s see, with big exec #2 from Chase moving to Visa and CMS launching at Chase, Chase COULD start to look like Visa and Visa COULD start to look like Chase: well minus Jamie Dimon, of course, and the hot line to the Treasury department. Anyway, since things generally happen in threes, I have a funny feeling that this won’t be the last bit of news we’ll hear about exec changes at either place…
Per usual, American Banker does a nice job of breaking down the nuts and bolts of the leadership shift, highlighting McInerney’s past experiences and how he will report to CEO Charlie Scharf in his new position. The piece also notes that Elizabeth Buse will become Visa’s new lead in Global Solutions, while Bill Sheedy will take over corporate strategy for mergers and acquisitions, government relations and other initiatives. Over at JPMorgan Chase, Barry Sommers will take over for McInerney as head of Chase’s consumer bank.
Sometimes perspective is good. Other times it makes you think like this. Moving on.
TOPIC TWO: PayPal Takes Dead Horse, Beats It
Why It’s Hot
Hey there, PYMNTS reader, did you know that you can do things with mobile and digital wallets that you can’t do with a physical piece of leather? Well if there was any doubt left in your mind, PayPal went to great lengths to erase it this week, releasing a study showing that 83 percent of people don’t want to carry around a physical wallet anymore.
I wonder what PayPal could possibly stand to gain from making such findings public ...
Why hasn’t anyone focused on the real story here ... and that is the unintended consequences of having digital wallets eliminate one pretty big gift staple from holiday and birthday lists. If you’re honest about it, you’ve probably bought at least four or five leather wallets as gifts over the years - it is a quintessential “go to” gift for those people who are incredibly hard to buy for and/or for whom you have waited until the last minute to buy something. I suppose the flip side is that there won’t be as many re-gifted wallets going forward, but still.
We took a serious tone in our breakdown of the PayPal study, and snarkiness aside, there are some pretty cool stats in there. But it’s Friday, and I don’t really want to put snarkiness aside. Parts of this survey contain stunning revelations such as “people don’t like bringing their wallets to the gym” and “people don’t like when their friends skip out on checks.” Earth-shattering stuff!
Also, how often is bringing your wallet to the beach a problem for Canadians and Germans? Seriously, guys? That’s all you got? More on you, Canada, in a moment ...
Get it? It’s because leather often comes from cow rawhide. The payments world needs more humor.
TOPIC THREE: Counterfeit-Proof Bills? Oh, Canada.
Why It’s Hot
Because since the time of the ancient Greeks, man has been enthralled with tales of hubris and the pride that comes before the fall. Icarus flew too close to the sun. Oedipus refused to accept his fate. And in perhaps the greatest example of modern times, Canadians believed their new polymer bank notes to be impervious to the threat of counterfeiting. After the Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced this week that they’ve spotted several fake bills in British Columbia, 'tis evident that this is not the case.
For shame, Canada. For shame.
So I can see making knock offs of Hermes handbags, Rolex watches, Christian Louboutin shoes, but really, Canadian currency?. That’s like making counterfeit polyester suits! I mean, from what I’ve heard, the Canadians gave up really fine cotton currency for this polymer currency that sticks together and even melts. Yuck. PayPal should have asked Canadians weather they want to stick this stuff in their fake Gucci wallets and take it to the beach on a hot summer day. 96.392 percent of Canadians I’m sure would have said no.
This story from Maclean’s has some amazing quotes from the superbly named Sgt. Duncan Pound of the RCMP. According to Sgt. Pound, the sudden spike in counterfeiting may be due to a lax attitude towards this breed of payments fraud due to putting too much faith into the polymer bills.
“Because the polymer series’ notes are so secure ... there’s almost an overconfidence among retailers and the public in terms of when you sort of see the strip, the polymer looking materials, everybody says 'oh, this one’s going to be good because you know it’s impossible to counterfeit,’” Sgt. Pound said. “So people don’t actually check it.”
Anyone who’s seen The Princess Bride will immediately know where I’m going with this: and if you’ve never seen said masterpiece, now you know what to do with your Friday night. It’s “impossible” to counterfeit your bills, eh, Canada?
Then in the words of the great Inigo Montoya: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”