Banks Launch “Wallet” (again)

Short Blog

Per the WSJ Article this AM, US banks have launched a new wallet (again). For frequent readers of my blog, very little new news. Also, I’m just wrapping up a 15-page part 4 “Innovation in Networks” that will be out very soon. 

Quick Summary

  • TCH Banks have been contemplating a mobile wallet and a new network for 13 yrs (I have over 20 blogs on topic, see overview here). 
  • Today we gain clarity that Banks gave up on their latest Authentify Wallet launch and jumped on board a “white label” SRC wallet led by Visa (See 23Jan2023 WSJ). I outlined this in my SRC blog (Sept 2022) and TCH RTP Update.  
  • Inital pitch for this wallet was not well received by big retailers at Money 2020. It entailed a liability shift if wallet was offered and all COF were tokenized (see blog)
  • The wallet is not owned by EWS, but a new payment network led by James Anderson. The ownership of this new network is the same at EWS (see blog ). Lets call this wallet EWS SRC to shorten the name. 
  • Competitor is Apple.. the banks want to own the mobile payment experience. Google is working with the TCH banks and is also working with FedNow (long blog coming on this one). It is likely that Apple is not involved in any of these activities, yet Google is working to pilot both FedNow and TCH RTP to leverage their India UPI success.
  • Now that the largest TCH banks have jumped on board SRC, the TCH RTP effort focus has shifted to commercial flows and bill payment.
  • i provided a detailed strategic discussion on the reasoning behind this move in Part 2 – The Power of Bank Networks.

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Google’s Browser Tokens Payments

Short Blog – Chrome AutoFill 

I missed a key development 6 months ago: Google’s Chrome autofill began using network tokens in May 2022 (see article) after the Google Wallet relauch which was announced as part of Google I/O. Google now allows issuers to provision cards to the mobile device and to the browser desperately (see Web Push Provisioning) using network tokenization services (VTS/MDES).  I discussed this in detail in my 2016 post Browser Tokens

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Part 3 – Internet 2.5 – The Next “Wave” is Here

Happy After Thanksgiving! Hope everyone was able to enjoy a wonderful time with family and friends. Today is the 3rd installment of the series, a long blog. 
The next big network wave is here. Call it web 2.5 or 3.0, but the integration of payments into “everything” is a major event. Payments are the “trust layer” that TRANSFORM anonymous nodes providing uncertain service into known, defined and guaranteed service providers. Effective communities require value exchange and “trust”. The payment trust function enables networks to evolve from “cost free” discovery and information sharing, into transactional resource/service exchange: from read-write to read-write-execute. Sure we could call the wave “trust” but the only ubiquitous “trust network” is payments so I prefer to keep payment wave as the naming convention.

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Merchants Tokenize – eCom Wallet Challenges

UPDATE – Nov 29 2022 – Note that I have conflated the relationship between SRC and 3DS 2.0. 3DS 2.0 is the authentication protocol used by SRC. 3DS 2.0 has been widely adopted as a mandatory replacement to 3DS 1.0. Part of the driver for adoption was the EU SCA mandate. SRC has NOT been widely adopted as it is a fairly broken consumer experience at the moment. 

I’m at M2020 today and it has been a “back to normal” fantastic event. Let me put my “merchant hat” on for a story from their perspective.

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TCH Phase 1 – eCom Wallet

Short blog – 80% confidence

© Starpoint LLP, 2022. No part of this site, blog.starpointllp.com, may be reproduced in whole or in part in any manner without the permission of the copyright owner.

Phase 1 of TCH’s token efforts will be in SRC model. A bank branded “wallet” acting in the DCF role for TCH PIs . Just as VAC has enabled the elimination of physical hardware for acceptance, issuers see a plastic-less future for cards. They want to own the issuance of cards and want much more than a token, they want the entire “wallet”.

Go to market is either as:

  1. TCH as SRC System, or
  2. Visa as the SRC System for all TCH banks (V and MA) with TCH is a “unique role” managing all consumer data, registration, payment tokenization, …
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Pay By Bank – Where does it work and why?

© Starpoint LLP, 2022. No part of this site, blog.starpointllp.com, may be reproduced in whole or in part in any manner without the permission of the copyright owner.

Friday I was a tad “let down” in the Sionic/TCH/MX release of Pay-by-Bank. Per my blog on Google/TCH launch and Google P2P I was anticipating something much bigger. To be clear I firmly believe that TCH is working on an “ApplePay Competitor”, which will entail TCH tokens inside of Google’s phone, but this will be 3-6 months out.  Per the blogs above, I see neither pay-by-bank nor TCH Tokens in Google Pay as a threat to V/MA. 

Today I thought I would drill down into “pay by bank”, the dynamics of why it works in some markets, and why I see little threat to V/MA in replacing core cards in eCom or at POS.

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Affirm Debit+ is Revolutionary

Update 8 November – Original post is below the image.. I had doubted Visa’s support here. But clearly this is a real product.

Affirm Debit+ is a decoupled debit on the Visa network with Evolve Bank as ODFI/Issuer. I doubt if Visa fully vetted this product.. it MUST have “slipped through”. For more info see Affirm’s investor day presentation.


Per my blog last week, my hypothesis is that the new Affirm Debit+ will be revolutionary.. which is why it is currently causing a massive firestorm amongst Banks. Today I want to drill into what I believe the value proposition will be (my hypothesis) and why Visa had to support this. 

Today Affirm is “limited” in growth to the merchants it can directly integrate to. How can they solve this problem?  Create a consumer “pay anyone” product that lets the consumer pick and choose what items they want to finance after they purchase them.  Connect any of your bank accounts or all of them.. Finance anything you buy on improved terms. Affirm will also work with Stripe and others to create an improved checkout process, which will improve both conversion AND consumers ability to purchase (ie underwriting). The first mover advantage will be tremendous and step on much of the Neo Banks (already slim value prop).  

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PayPal – ?Super App?

PayPal has been my #1 holding for last 5 yrs, and it has been on a fantastic ride… especially so over the last 18 months! (see MVP – Continued Domination for more). 

Paypal announced 2Q21 earnings 2 weeks ago (7.28). TPV growth was 40% with eBay, 48% without out, while sales grew at a 32% clip without eBay versus 19% with. Earnings? Not so much as margin erosion has hit the business. One core driver of margin has investors particularly concerned: “Take rate” (net merchant revenue less cost to clear payments) fell from 2.21% in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 2.11% in the first quarter and 2.01% in the second quarter. 

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