Visa Expands the Pipe

Flexible Credentials

© Starpoint LLP, 2024. No part of this site, blog.starpointllp.com, may be reproduced or retransmitted, in whole or in part, in any manner without the permission of the copyright owner.

Background

Visa’s network is the largest commercial network in the world, moving over $15T in volume over 4.3B cards in over 200 countries. Visa’s core is called VisaNet, a real-time messaging network between banks. They don’t move money but send instructions to and from banks, merchants, consumers and other approved third parties. The banks move the money, primarily through net settlement on ACH.  The beauty behind Visa’s network is its operating model, which allows thousands of partners to invest billions of dollars. To defeat Visa, you not only have to create a better network, but you must also create a better economic model for EVERYONE to switch, AND overcome the combined investment of all current stakeholders. This is why SEPA failed (see Power of Bank Networks). 

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Why are US Banks Building a Wallet?

This week, I outlined several of the friction points in the US card payment network in US Payments Where to Invest. Today let me try to articulate a few reasons why US banks are attempting to build a new eCommerce Wallet (Paze) as well as some additional merchant commentary on their efforts. 

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CFPB probe of Apple Pay

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

The CFPB issued a new report last week on the impact that Apple/Google have on payments. Some key excerpts below

I see this as round 4 for Apple. The first rounds were fought with mobile operators and their GSMA TSM vision. The next with Australia (2016) then EU (2019). I find the timing of this report very interesting. As CFPB report came just months after US Issuers pushed Apple to eliminate its 15bps fee (a fee they voluntarily signed up for). I wonder if the CFPB knew that the Issuers collectively sought to eliminate the fee, or that they would like to expand PAZE to NFC/POS in order to lock a new wallet app which would DECREASE BANK COMPETITION (and cut out Apple).

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Wallets, APIs and Trust

6 Page Blog

Top of mind today are Wallets, Identity and Application Program Interfaces (APIs). APIs are the core concept behind many new business models investors must decipher:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Payments as a Service (PaaS)
  • Banking as a Service (PaaS)
  • Open Banking – PISP, AISP, ..etc
  • Account Aggregation – FDX, Plaid, Akoya, … etc
  • Payment Service Provider (PSP) – Stripe, Adyen, PYPL/Braintree, … etc

Previously, I’ve covered this topic in Open Banking and Open Payments and Trust Networks (2020)  Part 3 – Internet 2.5 (2022), Modularity and Trust (2022) and Evolution of V/MA – Moving Beyond Cards (2021). Summary points from these previous blogs:

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Back from Europe

Sorry for the long quiet period. My youngest just graduated High School and as a WWII history buff, his gift was the Band of Brothers tour from Normandy to Salzberg. We came away with a new appreciation for the cost of freedom and the sacrifices made all of those in the armed forces.

European Payment Insights

Covid had put a long pause on my travel to Europe. In the 6 countries we visited I was pleasantly surprised at the broad acceptance of contactless and tap to pay. Beyond tapping with my iPhone, most restaurants first attempted to tap cards before a “dip”.  Contactless now comprises ~60% of POS transactions, a behavior 3-5 yrs more advanced than the US and certainly one of the drivers of card GDV growth in the EU. The V/MA position is Europe is perhaps stronger than in any other market, as any new scheme would also need to integrate seamlessly into this acceptance (and presentment) infrastructure.  

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Future of Retail Banking – Part 5

This is the last of my 5 part blog series that started over 6 months ago. As a pragmatist, my views will likely be unpopular (and perhaps incorrect), but they are informed. Most of this blog will be obvious to US Retail Bankers and payment teams; the more interesting parts may be around Fintech and Asia. The exec summary captures the entire blog, it’s a new format.. I’m going to break down the detail of these points in separate posts. Today is Part A  

For quick reference, I’ve listed the links to the previous blogs. 

  1. Part 1 – US Payments Environment – Drivers of Change
  2. Part 2 – Power of Bank Networks
  3. Part 3 – Last Mile: Internet 2.5 – Embedding Financial Services
  4. Part 4 – Network Innovation – The Efficacy of V/MA
  5. Part 5 – Future of Retail/Commercial Banking … What Will Define Bank Success? 

The reason for this blog is to interact and challenge… please feel free to do so.

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Apple Launches Pay Later

https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2023/03/apple-introduces-apple-pay-later/

Apple Pay Later was announced at Apple’s WWDC on June 6, 2022  (Youtube – ~21:00 in). I covered the details last year in Apple Pay Later – What is it? 

Today it is going live in a limited rollout. Summary points

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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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Part 1 – US Payments Environment

Assessing the Environment and Setting the Focus  (part 2  – Power of Bank Networks)

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Must read FT article “How JPMC’s plan to kill credit cards split the bank”. The article discusses Jamie Dimon’s internal mandate to drive a new payment network. I was shocked with the level of internal org quotes here.  In my view, Jamie is the best bank CEOs in history (based on performance and talent coming out of JPMC). As a former banker, I know how hard it is to move the ship.  However, FT is wrong. Chase’s efforts ARE NOT about killing credit cards, but rather creating something much bigger.

This is a long blog..

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