MRC Recap – Looking up – A Retailers Perspective On Payments

I’m glad I made the decision to attend my very first Merchant Risk Council event this week. For those that don’t know, MRC Vegas is the second largest payment event in the US (after M2020) but with a VERY different focus. MRC is attended by the “hands on” payment leaders from all the top merchants and the vendors that serve them: Stripe, Adyen, PayPal, V, MA, risk, fraud,  …. Etc. Whereas M2020 is attended by FinTech, Crypto, Venture, Institutional investor, and strategy audiences, MRC is much more focused on making payments work

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Tap to Pay – Growing the Network – $700B GDV Opportunity

~$700B GDV opportunity for breakout volume growth as the network could “double” in scale as every cardholder could become a “merchant” in 20-30 min. 

This month was a first! During my 25 yrs in payments, I could accept a card payment (in person) with no additional hardware. Enrolling as a Square merchant took only 30 min and I was then live with Apple Tap and Pay. A fantastic experience! (see Square). This is a tremendous “team effort” by Visa (VAS), Apple (See Mobeewave blog) and Square (as PayFac). 

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Durbin 2 – Short Update

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What are the new Durbin’s legislative prospects? A: Not at all likely (<10% probability)

Top retailers spent this week meeting with Bank CEOs trying to convince them to support the new Durbin legislation. Their pitch was to enable bi-lateral deals, “new products” and avoid network rules (see blog). Banks did not seem to bite, as they remembered the lessons of Durbin 1:

  • Only largest merchants benefited from dual routing
  • Consumers lost in debit rewards (ie keep the change), increased bank account fees, and no merchant pass-through of savings
  • Acquirers/processors did not pass through fee reductions to most merchants
  • Networks recovered lost revenue through merchant fees
  • Large banks lost competitive advantage as smaller “exempt” banks under $10B operated under different rules
  • See WSJ article

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Apple Tap and Pay – Square and Why It is a Big Deal?

6 June 2022

Square’s stock (aka Block) took a big jump after last week’s announcement that they would also be a partner in ApplePay’s new ability to accept payments. Today I thought I would cover what this will (likely) look like and 5 reasons why Apple Tap and Pay is a big deal. 

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