Blog: Payments Deep Dive

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Monday, April 21, 2014

CARD FORUM is this week!

It's not too late.  Register today and book a JetBlue flight to Orlando.  See you there!

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

WalMart's Experiment in Money Transfer

Don't underestimate Wal-Mart.  As I mentioned to John Adams at American Banker, I don't this the domestic money send business will add up to much for Wal-Mart.  It's value is as a test.  This is a low-risk way for Wal-Mart to learn the money transfer business.  Watch out Money Gram and Western Union...

The larger opportunity in money transfer is the international market, he says. "The Wal-Mart service sounds like a good experiment, and if Wal-Mart has aspirations to get involved in the international market, where someone could send money from the U.S. and pick it up in Mexico, that is very interesting," he says.

Read the American Banker article by John Adams

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Russia's ChinaUnion Pay - very possible

As reported this morning in the WSJ, Putin called for the creation of a national payment system.  Putin recognizes the strategic importance of a payment network.  More to follow but this initiative may have momentum.

Putin Calls for Creation of National Payment System

MOSCOW–Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday called for the creation of a national payment system, a week after two major international payment systems companies cut off a number of Russian banks due to U.S. sanctions following Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
Citing the example of the national payment systems in Japan and China, Mr. Putin said, “Why do we not do this? This definitely should be done and we will do this.”
Speaking to members of the upper house of parliament, he said the Japanese system, which started as a national system, now operates in 200 countries.
International payment systems companies Visa Inc. (V) and MasterCard Inc. (MA) on Friday cut off Bank Rossiya, which had been mentioned in the U.S. sanctions, and three more banks connected to Rossiya or people on the sanctions list. Both Visa and MasterCard restored services to two of the banks over the weekend, but are still not servicing Rossiya and its subsidiary Sobinbank.
The holders of these banks’ cards can’t pay for goods and services using their cards, but can use the cards to withdraw cash from the banks’ ATMs or ATMs of other Russian banks serviced by the United Payment Service, also known as ORS, a national net that unifies dozens of banks.
Mr. Putin said he regrets the payment systems companies’ decision. “This will simply lead to them losing certain segments of the market, quite a profitable one,” he said, adding that Russia should introduce its own national payment system to protect its interests.
Russian officials have for years discussed this idea, citing possible threats to the national banking system, but this is the first time the move has received support from the president.
–Alexander Kolyandr

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