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It seems, though, this Letter From The Editor is best used to not promise what we’ll deliver in the near future, but to tell you what we are delivering to you right now and why those pieces have the information that you’re simply not going to find elsewhere today, especially from the various payments media. Our mission is to deliver stories that challenge your thinking and understanding, pieces that literally surprise you. (If that sounds familiar, some of our team comes from a retail IT media outlet we created several years ago—StorefrontBacktalk, for those in the retail IT space. We’re using the same approach here.)
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Written by two patents attorneys who specialize in regulatory issues, this is about a little noticed ruling from Pennsylvania that initially involved charitable contributions. But the case is having the impact of banning all traditional payment processing for nonprofits and religious organizations by any company that is not licensed as a money transmitter. Whether or not this case is replicated by other states—and there’s a very good chance it will be—this is the kind of quiet regulatory ruling that PFs need to understand.
It’s well known that the EMV October deadline has come and gone, leaving most retailers behind. What is less clear is why and the chief cheerleader for the EMV push candidly discusses what went wrong and how the typical Payment Facilitator is going to have to function, in this no-swipe-land (Ok, a lot of skipes) where the liability shift has happened, but not really.
Speaking of EMV, there is still a very local segment within payments that is pushing for Chip & PIN, because it is clearly far more secure. (Then again, being more secure than magstripe is like being more bullet-resistant than cotton: It’s not an especially high hurdle.) But whereas Why Did Most Merchants Miss The EMV Deadline? Many Reasons, But Complexity Is The Top talks about the differences between the U.S. markets, Europe and Canada in explaining why Chip & PIN made no sense for the U.S. deployment, Financial Futility: Why Chip & PIN Sucks For Small Merchants talks about how PIN makes no sense at all for retailers below a certain revenue threshold. Indeed, even attempting to push it can further undermine security efforts. And while all of that is going on, mobile payments is offering a highly attractive alternative.
There has been lots of recent discussion about how far mobile payments have gone and especially Apple Pay’s marketshare. But when examined closely, few of those numbers hold up. Bloomberg, for example, recently quoted an analyst firm saying that one percent of all physical retail sales are done on Apple Pay—a stat that the quoted analyst firm quickly disavowed. We dig into the actual numbers and the PF implications.
Every day it seems there are a dozen new authentication efforts being announced. But what we found intriguing was a movement using social media data in some non-intuitive ways to authenticate bank and retail customers in physical environments, in realtime. It maintains 10-headshot histories for all social sites, for example, to combat identity thieves who change social photos right before attempting to open a new bank account.
Given that the show just opened, we have chosen a few of the more interesting announcements to give a hint as to where the payments space is today—or at least how they want to be seen, rightly or not.