Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Register for APEX by this Friday 10/24 to Save $500!

Rates for All Payments Expo 2015 go up after this Friday, 10/24 make sure you register now to maximize your savings. Register now and save $400 off the standard rate, but you can save an EXTRA $100 when you use the code XU2848BLOG - Total savings of $500! Register here.

Increase deal flow and new partnerships for your business by harnessing the changes happening in payments and commerce being discussed at All Payments Expo 

The APEX experience will support every aspect of your strategy - from customizable content across four forums to a complimentary meeting platform, complete with bookable free meeting space, powered by partneringONE

Here's what's new for 2015:

Tailored Forum
Customize your content and hand-pick your sessions across four different focus areas ripe with partnerships, innovation and business development opportunities: Prepaid, Disruptive Technologies, Omnichannel Retail and Gifting/Incentives.

Meet the Regulators
Meet with the regulatory bodies and law enforcement agencies who are impacting your business. Take advantage of this relaxed, informal way to meet and educate the regulatory community.

Private Boardrooms
Exclusively for seasoned executives, APEX has developed four private discussion-based sessions that delve into the most pressing challenges facing the industry. These discussions are private, off-the-record and limited to 25 participants.

Private Retail Exhibit Hall Tour
Retail participants will get exclusive access to the exhibit hall while it is otherwise closed - plus a tour of new technologies led by Martha Weaver, Executive Director, Gift Card Network.

Women in Payments Lunch
A mentoring and networking opportunity build just for women in payments. Conversations built around the biggest questions circulating the industry, including the impact of mobile and cryptocurrency on payments.

Book by this Friday to lock in the lowest possible price ($500 savings) and get access every tool to build your business. Use the code XU2848BLOG to save. Register now.

If you have any questions about the event, please reach out to Ryan Geswell at

See you in Las Vegas!

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

All Payments Expo 2015 - Dates Announced

All Payments Expo is THE meeting place for the world's most successful merchants, payments companies, banks and technology firms. Industry leaders come together to create partnerships, launch new products, develop new business and explore innovations 

Top Reasons to Attend:

More Retailers
APEX attracts 300+ retailers annually to meet with vendors, re-sign contracts and scout out new potential vendors. Retailers also meet with peers for industry benchmarking, networking and to uncover tactics and challenges to grow programs across plastic and digital platforms.     

New Faces
You'll meet more executives who are relevant to all the areas of your business, with a flood of new participants. New attendees hail from retail's IT, Marketing and Corporate Strategy functions; new app developers (from wallets to loyalty); alternative financial services  CEOs, merchant acquirers; cyptocurrency players and more.

Secure Meetings
All APEX attendees will have access to the attendee list on our proprietary partneringONE platform, where you can vet potential partners and easily pre-arrange meetings. More than 5,000 meetings take place onsite annually.          

Growth Opportunities for Prepaid
With prepaid maturing, this is THE place to identify new customer segments, distribution opportunities and use cases that take your prepaid business into unsaturated territory.

Register now and you can save $400! Plus, as a blog reader you can receive an extra $100 off the standard rate, by using the code XU2848BLOG”, a total savings of $500 - Register Now! 

See you in Las Vegas! 

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Why Does Bitcoin's Value Fluctuate So Much?

Introduced as open-source online payment software in 2009, Bitcoin in simple words refers to a purely digital currency which is used primarily for online payment purpose. Although, it was recognized by the US Treasury as a decentralized virtual currency, the popularity of cryptocurrency is still in developmental stages and is not as widely accepted. Despite of being a purely virtual currency, Bitcoin is one of the most volatile currencies and the prices can fluctuate even in a normal market situation. Despite of several shortcomings as a viable currency, the popularity of Bitcoin among online users has grown rapidly since its introduction. Given below are the various reasons why the value of Bitcoin fluctuates so much.

1. Buyer Protection
Several banking agencies like the European Banking Agencies have issued several warnings about Bitcoin lacking any sort of consumer protection. This means that if you use Bitcoin online to buy a product and the seller doesn’t deliver it or the product is faulty, then there is absolutely nothing that you can do to recover your lost Bitcoin cash. While this problem can be resolved through escrow services, but this definitely makes the investors apprehensive about investing in a poorly protected currency.

2. Bad Press Reviews And Use In Illegal Trade
Bitcoin’s popularity was severely hampered due to the news about Bitcoin being regulated by the government. There were several instances of it being used in illegal drug trade via the Silk Road which also resulted in the marketplace being shut down by the FBI in 2008. Trade has picked up since then but these incidents have also created an unrest and disbelief in the value of Bitcoin among the people.

3. Digital Wallets Are Prone To Technical Issues
The vulnerability of digital wallets to data corruption and virus make it a really dangerous currency to invest. Bitcoin currency is usually stored on a computer hard drive which is susceptible to data loss and can very well bankrupt a wealthy investor. The coins collected on the hard drive are also lost permanently with no chance of recovery and will be permanently orphaned by the system.

4. Deflation
Unlike regular currencies which are valued against a solid standard such as gold or silver or another valuable currency, Bitcoin’s price is regulated due to its limited production. The current mining technology limits its production to 21 million and is thus prone to deflation. Since the value of each Bitcoin will increase each day, the question of when to spend the currency will be a serious problem for the investors and result in spending sprees. A sudden surge in spending can not only cause deflation but also unexpected volatility.

5. Security Breaches Due To Poor Software Design
Due to being operated through an open-source database, the source-code can easily be modified and hacked by anyone. This makes it an extremely unsecure form of currency to invest in. Recent news about the OpenSSL attacks by the Heartbleed bug in April, 2014 has led to even further repercussions in the value of Bitcoin in the market. The value of Bitcoin is highly based on the people’s confidence in the software design and security breaches as such can act like a bane to its popularity and use.

6. Tax Treatment
Despite of its small value, the volatility of Bitcoin was highly affected by the recent announcements by the IRS. In March 2014, the IRS announced and recognized Bitcoin as an asset that is taxable under the US law and made it mandatory for the users to record its value at the time of each transaction. This has led to a sudden decline of Bitcoin users and investors as book keeping is essentially troublesome for what the currency is worth.

Despite of its several advantages as an unofficial cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is met with several challenges and obstacles to its growth in use. The above reasons for its volatile and constantly fluctuation prices have led to a bad perception of its value in the investors.  Nevertheless, Bitcoin is also viewed as a sign of a maturing market and changing trends in global economics by several investors and there might be a bright future after all for the digital currency.

Author: Luke Peters is an active trader on several forex related platforms like and has written several articles related to law, trading, finance, and financial management. He likes to spend most of his time reading various books and literature related to the respective niches

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Is the U.S. Finally Getting Smart About Payment Technology?

Below you will find an infographic from that maps out the evolution of credit cards - from the highly unsecure magnetic stripe cards that are still used by most Americans today, to the EMV smart cards that are more secure and have been successfully implemented in other markets around the globe. When will the US make the switch? Is the cost of the conversion too high? - If so, where do we go from here?

Smart Cards

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

APEX Digital Currency Partnerships Agenda Released!

APEX Digital Currency Partnerships addresses how cryptocurrency can be integrated, utilized and valued by mainstream banks, payments, nonprofit and investing firms.


 Highlights include:

1. More than 50+ speakers, 20+ sessions in a streamlined schedule, and one monster keynote from Patrick Byrne, Chairman of

2. Insights into what you should be learning from the VC Activity in crypto, the development of less-clunky user experiences, the realities of compliance and regulation and much MORE!

3. Eight hours of built-in networking, including two attendee parties, a Women's-Only Lunch and MORE!

4. Crypto Awards celebrating industry achievements after a blockbuster year of innovation, press coverage and exposure. Nominations are open until July 31st for 6 award categories. Enter now.

5. Meet-Up Collision: The ultimate mash-up of the nation's best crypto meetups, and it's only at APEX.  Contact Krystin Bruan, at to get involved.

DOWNLOAD the Agenda by Clicking Here!

See you in San Francisco!

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Future of Payments

Business Insider recently published a presentation highlighting the future of the ever evolving payments industry.

In their presentation, they map out important trends that are fueling this change; payment apps are on the rise, mobile registers, e-commerce, and the steady decline of paper products (i.e. cash/checks). Then, they go on to map out what the future has in store for payments.

Take a look at the presentation from Business Insider. It is highlighted by charts/slides exclusive to BI Intelligence and are definitely worth taking a look at - they shed some serious light on what to expect in the coming years.  

Do you agree with these projections in their presentation? What do you think the future holds for the payments industry? Let us know in the comment section.

Story via Business Insider

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Uncover Banks’ Roadmap for Bitcoin

What's the Ideal Collaboration Between Bitcoin & Banking?

It's a complex time for banks looking at potential pathways & partnerships in cryptocurrency. Questions remain about whether cryptocurrency is friend or foe for the existing financial services industry.

But for the APEX Digital Currency Partnerships faculty of speakers, this is an unprecedented time for partnerships and innovation:

"Creating an infrastructure around bitcoin will take time and requires founders of startups, regulators and state officials to team up and build Bitcoin into a sustainable and profitable technology for everyone. APEX Digital Currency Partnerships provides a great platform to bring members of the payments ecosystem together and collaborate on solutions."
Hemant Taneja, Managing Director, General Catalyst Partners

Here are some of the questions that will be answered at APEX Digital Currency Partnerships by the leading minds in crypto and mainstream financial services:

• What are the implications of regulatory actions or attitudes?
• Is crypto a currency or commodity? The debate grows more complex with the IRS' ruling that it's property.
• What factors delay uptake of digital currency options by established banking & financial services industry?
• How will partnerships can be structured amid pricing volatility and regulatory uncertainty?

For financial institutions, the time is NOW to devise a strategy, a roadmap and a slew of connections to guide the way.

Download the complete agenda here.

Register for APEX Digital Currency Partnerships here.

Current Event Supporters:

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Crypto Awards @ APEX Digital Currency Partnerships

The Crypto Awards
@ APEX Digital Currency Partnerships

September 8th | 4pm

Join us as we recognize the contributions of the:
• leading innovators and disruptors building the future of the financial services, payments & investing infrastructure
• trail blazers legitimizing the industry to the rest of the financial services world
• entrepreneurs lassoing this new technology to do real good for under-developed communities and constituencies
• future leaders of payments and financial services

1. Best Retail Application of Cryptocurrency:
For the top company or platform that is enabling retailers to embrace cryptocurrency. We’re looking for great innovators who are re-thinking the way merchants process payments, manage loyalty, interact with customers – and how cryptocurrency plays a role. Open to company or an individual product. Credit goes to the CEO of the companies involved.

2. Leading Investor:
For those who are putting their money where their mouths are an investing in the cryptocurrency space. We are not only looking for the silent wallets – we’re looking for the true believers who have an innate sense of where the industry is headed, and its untapped opportunities. Awarded to an individual, not a firm.

3. Biggest Global Impact:
How is cryptocurrency changing the world and making its inhabitants safer, better-educated and more prosperous? We want to hear about the charities, nonprofits or for a company that funneled cryptocurrency to a charitable cause. Applications can include those that better emerging markets, aid disaster victims, etc.

4. Trailblazer:
Our MVP of the industry, this award is reserved for who the industry chooses as its most influential person in digital currency. Awarded to an individual who has made sizable and measurable contributions to the acceptance of Bitcoin.

5. Rising Star:
Cryptocurrency is known for its young, vibrant entrepreneurs who are hell-bent on changing the guts of the financial system. Now’s your chance to pinpoint the most influential digital currency market maker under the age of 25.

6. Best Crypto Partnership:
The key to mass adoption for cryptocurrency lies at the partnerships the industry’s leaders create with established payments, banking and investment players. We want to see the best of the crypto-mainstream mash-ups. This will be awarded to the CEOs/senior leaders of 2 companies.

The nomination process:
Nominations can be submitted online. Nominate your crypto stand-outs, and why you think they deserve the nod. Nominations are free and are open now, the voting closes on July 31st. Submit your nominations here.

Nominations must include:
• Name of nominated organization
• Name of award
• A brief synopsis (250 words) on why the nominee meets the core criteria for the category

We'll turn the nominations over to our speaker voting board, who will choose the shortlist of nominees. This shortlist will be available to the public for voting on August 18th and voting will close September 5th.

The winner of each award will be announced live at APEX Digital Currency Partnerships on September 8th to the entire event audience. We encourage all nominees be present for the announcement.

Winners will receive:
• A prominent profile on the event website
• Profile in post event email campaign
• Interview post event which will be distributed on our social media channels
• Crypto Awards logo to use on your own website / marketing material

For questions on the awards, please contact Michellee Nelson at 646-895-7406 or

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Reddit AMA with Patrick Byrne, CEO, & APEX: Digital Currency Partnerships Keynote Speaker

Introducing APEX: Digital Currency Partnerships, September 8-9 in San Francisco, CA. Our mission is to bring digital currency to the forefront of financial services. At APEX: Digital Currency Partnerships, you'll engage in new conversation, bridging Bitcoin philosophy and business development. We'll cover digital currencies as transactional currency, investment vehicles, protocol platforms and the underpinning of financial services for mainstream and underserved consumers.

The keynote address at APEX: Digital Currency Partnerships will be given by Patrick Byrne, CEO, Mr. Byrne recently sat down are did a Reddit; Ask Me Anything (AMA). Below are a few answers that dive into digital currency and topics we will be covering in Septmeber

Register by Friday, June 6th to lock in the early bird rates!

What would you say to other CEOs and decision makers who are hesitant to utilize bitcoin?

It depends upon what their hesitancy is...There are business reasons to do it: save on transaction fees, eliminate fraud and chargebacks, etc. There may be business reasons not to do it as well, such as the risk of volatility (but this concern can be obviated by trading out of Bitcoin immediately upon receipt, a service that the firms like Bitpay, Coinapult, and Coinbase all offer, I believe). But if they are pro-freedom, they should want to get behind it on principle alone. Ghandi said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world."

Clearly bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have the potential to change how our world does money for the better. What made you such a strong believer in bitcoin, and how would you spread this knowledge to other CEOs like yourself?

I became a strong believer in several ways.

1) As a grad student at Stanford I studied computation thory, which underlies public key encryption, and so when cryptocurrencies came along it was not as magical-sounding to me as it might have been.

2) I am a proponent of the Austrian School of Economics, which, in general, eschews fiat currency in favor of a gold standard. The goal is not really the gold standard, however: the goal is to have a form of money that is intrinsically limited. Bitcoin et. al. accomplishes that.

In addition, cryptocurrencies are SpaceCash (a word I think I just made up) that can be beamed across the galaxy! (Henceforth in my answers I will use "SpaceCash" top refer to all cryptocurrencies.)

To read more from Mr. Byrne's Reddit AMA, click here.

And to hear him speak at APEX: Digital Currency Partnerships. Make sure you book your ticket today!

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Paybefore Announces Winners for European Awards

Today Paybefore reveals the winners in 2014 Paybefore Awards Europe.

The third annual competition proved fierce throughout all 10 categories—the most ever—which included Top of Wallet, Market Mover and The One to Watch. This year, awards judges created the category Best Problem Solver, which recognizes winning programs using prepaid as an elegant solution to a significant problem. Entries across categories represented programs from the U.K., Turkey, Austria, France, Germany, Portugal, Poland, Hungary, Italy and more.

“Paybefore Awards Europe shine a spotlight on the innovators using payments to solve complex problems for a variety of constituents,” said Loraine DeBonis, Paybefore editor-in-chief and chair of the judging panel. “Our winners are pushing the boundaries of what is possible in payments.”

Paybefore CEO Marilyn Bochicchio added, “It’s an exciting time in payments everywhere in the world, but this year’s Paybefore Awards Europe winners demonstrate how quickly prepaid and mobile solutions are replacing legacy paper-based systems. Paybefore Awards is thrilled to recognize the organizations that are taking on paper in its many forms—not just cash—to improve business, government and consumers’ lives.” Paybefore Awards Europe’s distinguished winners were selected by a five-judge panel comprised of Dr. Hugo Godschalk, PaySys Consultancy GmbH, managing director/partner, and Prepaid Forum Deutschland founder; Craig James, Neopay CEO and director of Prepaid International Forum; Siobhan Moore, associate, Locke Lord; and Paybefore’s Bochicchio and DeBonis.

Today’s winners now compete for the Best-in-Category distinction, which will be announced during a presentation at the All Payments Expo Europe in Marbella, Spain, on 19-21 May 2014. Before and during APEX Europe, visitors to will be able to vote for one People’s Choice winner. Stay tuned for more details coming soon at Congratulations to all our winners!

Best Choice Retail Card:

ASDA Closed Loop Gift Cards
ASDA and First Data

HTA Garden Gift Card
Horticultural Trades Association, StoreFinancial

River Island Gift Card
River Island

Top of Wallet

Kalixa Pay

Skrill Prepaid MasterCard

Vodafone SmartPass
Wirecard AG

Best Travel Companion

airberlin Flight Voucher

Fair FX
Payment Card Technologies

ICE Travellers Cashcard
International Currency Exchange, Lenlyn Group

Top Motivator

Air BP Sterling Reward Programme
Air BP and Citi Prepaid Services

Bridgestone Prepaid Card
The Bancorp

Nikon Consumer Cashback Programme
Nikon and Citi Prepaid Services

Boundary Buster

Payment Card Solutions

EE Cash on Tap
EE Ltd.

Wirecard AG

Prepaid with Soul


ICE Travellers Cashcard
International Currency Exchange, Lenlyn Group

One4all BBC Children in Need Gift Card

Best Problem Solver

Austrian Airlines Prepaid Card
PayLife Bank GmbH

Canon Easy Warranty Plan

Travel Welfare
Payment Card Technologies

Market Mover


Gordio Pointstic


Consumer Champion

cash4web MasterCard

PayLife Bank GmbH

ICE Travellers Cashcard
International Currency Exchange, Lenlyn Group

paysafecard Wertkarten AG

The One to Watch: Program

Genç Bankkart
Ziraat Bankasi

Infinite Aisle
InComm Europe

One4all Personalise My Card

The One to Watch: Company

CashStar Inc.


Wirecard Card Solutions

Join us at APEX Europe to see who wins Best-in-Category! See you May 19-21 in Marbella, Spain!

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Meet the Wallet that's Changing Retail Payments


When it comes to payments, merchants are focused on cultivating relationships with the customer, managing transaction costs and keeping the user experience simple.

Meet the Wallet that’s Changing Retail Payments... 

Exclusively at All Payments Expo Europe, you’ll hear from Benoit Liagre, the CEO heading up flash’N pay – the first mobile payment created by retailers to be independent of MNOs or FIs.

 At All Payments Expo Europe, you’ll see a demo of the technology in action, which wraps all the aspects of shopping – from payment and data-rich shopping lists to receipt histories and loyalty – into one-stop technology.

This is just one of the dozens of game-changers you’ll meet at APEX Europe. From merchants to prepaid and emerging payments gurus, this is the only place devoted to developing relationships across the emerging payments ecosystem.

Register here to lock in savings and join 200+ retailers, payments players and technology companies changing the future of commerce.
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Save the Date – APEX: Prepaid Compliance Coming Up!

Prepaid Compliance is a combination of science and art, requiring deft flexibility to interpret (and re-interpret rules and regulations) and react to the changing landscape posed by new technologies and new regulators. At APEX: Prepaid Compliance, you'll have two days to transform the way you approach compliance.

A new, improved compliance event
APEX: Prepaid Compliance is a new event, focused on knowledge-sharing with your industry peers to build industry best practices you can apply right away:

• How have other program managers and issuers handled audits and examinations?
• How can you work effectively with new products' business teams when compliance governing emerging technologies is still unclear?
• How will issuers manage third-party relationships and ongoing evaluations? Or, how will you comply with your issuers' evolving requirements?
• Are your marketing campaigns in the UDAAP danger zone?
• How can you handle data breaches - and who should be held accountable?

Download the agenda to see how you'll answer these questions at APEX: Prepaid Compliance.

Peer-led and supported by compliance practitioners
This program was designed with input from CCOs, COOs, CROs, CMOs and Fraud Managers who have been tasked with creating robust compliance programs that can respond to the ever-changing rules and regulations. See who attends here.

Our speaker roster has the highest concentration of actual compliance practitioners of any event - critical to the building of best practices. View speaker faculty here.

 I hope you can join us in July for APEX: Prepaid Compliance.

P.S. If you register by April 11, you'll save up to $300 off the standard price! Register here.
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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Live From All Payments Expo & FinTech Partnerships - Morning of Day 3

Kicking off the last day of APEX - Ready, Set, Gamification! How Games Transform Financial Services and Shopping

Nick Maynard - D2D
Arlyn Davich - Payperks
Stessa Cohen - Gartner
Bill Dwight -Famzoo
Priya Haji - SaveUp

Key Takeaways:

Encourage kids to save - parents define income stream and generate the interest.

Games are struggling for adoption - how do we get the 'candy crush moment'?

Testing the social features...what are your friends doing? How do you compare?

Don't force sharing into online communities - people don't want to share savings goals with friends. That is way too personal. 

Don't make your customer think "it's only a game" because that will turn them away. People want to be taken seriously. 

The word gameification is going to go away - it's about innovation and this is just the word for it. It will just become the standard soon. 

Notifications teach better banking for children. Alerts develop awareness. 

Gameification - we don't actually like this term - we care about real world financial outcomes measured through demonstrated behaviors for low to moderate income families

Healthcare industry in general is way ahead - FitBit, Nike+, and Jawbone Up - special badges and achievements for users that create a sense of accomplishment. 

When will the payments industry adapt?

Thank you to the outstanding panel and thank you for everyone who followed along with the All Payments Expo. We look forward to seeing you next year!

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Live From All Payments Expo & FinTech Partnerships - Evening of Day 2

This evening at APEX we took a deeper look into - Fraud, Cyber Crime & Compliance 

Part 1:
Michelle Hemerley - FIS Enterprise Governance, Risk & Compliance (EGRC) Solutions


Compliance Management System:
- Board reporting and oversight
- Compliance program
   - policies and procedures
   - training
   - monitoring and corrective action
- Consumer complaint response
- Compliance audit

Be aware of any 3rd parties you have working for you. 

Part 2:
John Hagy - Metabank
Randy Gainer - Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP
Greg Quarles - H&R Block

Fraud & Cyber Crime - Emerging Payments Learning from Prepaid:

NBPCA - Educate, Advocate, Protect, and Promote

Prepaid Concerns and Common Theories: 
- Prepaid cards are unregulated
- They are anonymous
- They can be loaded with large amounts of funds
- Cards can be freely transported across boarders in large quantities as part of money laundering schemes

These are vast generalizations about prepaid cards as a whole.

Tax Fraud:

2012 - 1.2 million victims had tax refund taken
2013 - 1.6 million victims had tax refund taken

Thieves steal identity and opens GPR card, then he/she files fraudulent tax return for direct deposit, and then quickly withdraw all the funds.

Thank you to the outstanding panel and stay tuned for more live recaps from All Payments Expo & FinTech Partnerships!

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Live From All Payments Expo & FinTech Partnerships - Afternoon of Day 2

This afternoon we had a lively panel discussion - Transparency in Electronic Payroll: A Meeting of the Minds

Lauren Saunders - National Consumer Law Center 

Jacob DuMez - Curren C SF 
Cathy Beyda - Paul Hastings LLP 
Mark Putman - First Data Prepaid Solutions 
Anthony Peculic - ADP 
Nora Arpin - Comerica Bank 
Linda Pappillion - PacSun

Amy DeBerg - R&P Group

Key Take Aways:

70% of low income households receive their pay by cash or check.

70% of high income households receive their pay by direct deposits.

First Data's average balance two days after pay is $138 - up from $30 when they first hit the market.

User retention has gone way up amongst all paycard issuers.

Educate is still needed about the lack of risk associated with paycards.

Every single employee at PacSun is given paycards.

When rolling out a paycard program - communication is key. There is no such thing as over communication.

Paycards give you a look into financial eductation - see spending habits.

Thank you to the outstanding panel and stay tuned for more live recaps from All Payments Expo & FinTech Partnerships

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Live From All Payments Expo & FinTech Partnerships - Morning of Day 2

The first session of the morning was a very informational discussion -  Partner or Perish: Corporate Venturing's Role in Payments Partnerships

Jim Hale - FTV Capital

Robert Schiff - McKinsey & Company
Kevin Jacques - Intuit
Jay Reinemann - BBVA

Presentations from:
Shamir Karkal - Simple
Michael Diamond - Mitek
Discussion highlights:
2013 Corporate Venture Capital Investment in US:
- First non bubble year ever that more than 10% of the total VC deployed came from corporate VC groups
- Total CVC invested up to 39% in 2013 over 2012 (3.1B vs 2.2B)

Pitfalls to get VC partnerships started - how to go to market and convince your corporate management team:
- Executive leadership team, forward thinking and understanding the problem
- Show the cycles to your management team, walk them through the longevity
- Need curiosity
- Be careful how you set up the governance mechanism
You need to measure success both strategically and financially - where is the partnership going and are you on the right path?

Remember to track the impact that your team is having.

10 years ago advantage rested alone with the largest companies - today the situation is almost completely reversed because of small and medium businesses new adoption and solutions.

2.5 million money making households outside the banking industry - tapping this market has a high potential. The concept; build new payment rails that will force adoption.

Thank you to the outstanding panel and stay tuned for more live recaps from All Payments Expo & FinTech Partnerships.

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Live From All Payments Expo & FinTech Partnerships - Evening of Day 1

This evening at All Payments Expo there was an insightful panel - New Tender Types: The Payments Evolution

Ben Milne - Dwolla
John Berkley - Mercury Payment Systems 
Rob Pfeifer - Affirm, Inc

Matt Harris - Bain Capital Ventures

Take Aways: 

"One of the hardest things to do in capitalism is create a new tender type" - Matt Harris

Merchants are worried about user adoption and ROI - needs a high return and low price while being hassle free.

Interchange is a big deal - there is a better way. Big business and small business both need a better way. The internet will eventually replace the card.

Emerging Tender Types Hot or Not:
Bitcoin - will have less than 1% market share in 10 years
Level Up - Focus on merchant and consumer experience merchant funded rewards drives loyalty
Chase Wallet & Merchants - If merchants adopt theoretically it will become a new tender type. 

Be sure to check back tomorrow for more updates on All Payments Expo & FinTech Partnerships! 

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Live From All Payments Expo & FinTech Partnerships - Afternoon of Day 1

This afternoon we had a thought provoking panel discussion at All Payments Expo - The Future of Interchange, and How Your Business Model Will Change

Moderator: Ron Mazursky - Mercator Advisory Group

Chris Larson - Ripple Labs
Barry McCarthy - First Data
Fred Brothers - FIS

Key Take Aways:

- Rewards programs won't go away - low liability or no liability (ex. Groupon) 

- Crypto-currency is just the tip of the iceberg. Transactions without a central operator, this opens up all types of new possibilities - a neutral protocol on this new payments rail.

- Lower the friction in the marketplace to make it easier to conduct business and commerce across boarders. 

- The marketplace is questioning the value of interchange, opening up windows for innovators. 

- A currency that you can't regulate is a threat to national security and national banks. They will pivot towards a secure value interchange. 

- The biggest barrier in the adoption isn't protocols it's the reputational risk 

- Merchants will adopt whatever consumers want to use. 

- Data is the new oil in the banking industry - we have hundreds of years of reserves. The nature of rewards and offers will change, using the data is a great way to monetize these transactions.  

- Alternate solutions will continue to emerge and the ground is wide open for specific use solutions (ex. PayPal)

- P2P  innovation (ex. Venmo)

Thank you to the outstanding panel and stay tuned for more live recaps from All Payments Expo & FinTech Partnerships!

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Live From All Payments Expo & FinTech Partnerships - Morning of Day 1

This morning we had a lively panel discussion at FinTech Partnerships - The Mash-Up: When Big Meets Start-Up

The panel consisted of:
Jim Hale - FTV Capital
Mike Diamond - Mitek Systems
Steve Carlson - Intuit
Robert Schiff - McKinsey & Company
Moderated by Jane J. Thompson of Jane J. Thompson Financial Services 

Discussion highlights: 
Think of it in terms of elephants and mice, the big banks and issuers are the elephants and the innovators and start ups are the mice.

For elephants, fewer and fewer people are empowered to say yes, while more and more are empowered to say no. So mice need to have a way to solve a problem for the elephants to be interested in the potential partnership - they want certainty.

Key points to remember as the innovator
- Keep your eye on the ball; natural alignment focused on selective objectives
- Be wary of side agreements like revenue sharing agreements and exclusivity agreements 
- Be stingy with control 
- Partners' ownership is additive
- Think long term; begin with the end in mind

What makes a partnership successful? 
- Be clear about the problem you are trying to solve 
- Internal champions are critical - career risks, putting a lot on the line
- Make sure goals and objectives are aligned early on

Currently the consumers are driving innovation - this creates new challenges for the elephant and the mouse. Further cementing the importance of aligned goals and objectives between all parties involved. 

Thank you to the outstanding panel and stay tuned for more live recaps from All Payments Expo & FinTech Partnerships!

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Prepaid Debit Cards: Safety & Security in Logistics Warehousing

Guest Post by ODW Logistics 

Third-party logistics providers work to ensure that the supply chain management of prepaid debit cards includes consumer protection. Safety and security are important factors when handling this sensitive product.

 Here are some factors to consider:

  • To be a sophisticated provider, the first area of protection starts with the warehouse entrance gate. All visitors and employees are registered to keep potential security threats at bay.
  • Other important safety and security precautions to consider in a prepaid products warehouse provider include: automatic police dispatch, alarm fitted fire doors with a safe escape, trip hazard floors, semi annual inspections on equipment to ensure everything is working properly, disaster recovery plans and required certifications.
  • Hiring trustworthy employees to join your staff is quite possibly the most important factor.  Your product and customers are not going to be safe if your 3PL does not screen employees and verify they undergo the correct training.  
Each prepaid fulfillment operation will have its own characteristics based on customer demand. When choosing a 3PL or other fulfillment company to manage your prepaid products, some or all of these factors may or may not apply.


Guest post by All Payments Expo exhibitor, ODW Logistics

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