Mobile Phone As ATM Machine

I was watching a presentation by Jan Chipchase that was given at TED. This talk was about how we interact with technology, specifically what happens when people share cells phones, an object that is actually designed for personal use. In describing how kiosks are popping up on the streets of Africa with little more than a mobile phone and a sign advertising call rates, he outlines an ingenious method of money transfer.

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Noncash Payments Forecast

Earlier this month, the Federal Reserve made available a summary of the 2007 Federal Reserve Payments Study. I have used these results, as well as previous payments studies to update the Payments Watch payments model. Preliminary results from this model are predicting that (for the United States) debit card use may surpass checks paid as early as this year, and that ACH and credit card use may both surpass checks paid by 2009.  Longer term, at current trends, the model is predicting that checks as we know it may cease to exist before 2020.

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Embedded Business Process Outsourcing

Joe Gregory and the team at Orbograph are Sponsoring a TAWPI webinar summarizing the financial benefits for deploying an embedded Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) solution. Orbograph provides an excellent embedded BPO product for image POD check processing called APEX Key-Pay.

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Payments Watch Update

I have made a few changes to both the look and feel of Payments Watch, and the general organization of the site:

  • To do my part for the environment, I changed the highlight colour in the site’s colour scheme from red to green.  It is very good to go "green" these days, so I just wanted to do my part ;-). Besides, I think it looks better, and after all, green is the (stereotypical American-centric) colour of money (or should I say "color"?).
  • The "sidebars" were getting too busy and quite long, limiting my ability to tag/index the articles as the site grows. I have moved the categories to a separate Topics page accessible from the main menu under the Payments Watch logo. I have also moved the archives to a separate page, also accessible from the main menu.
  • I got rid of the numerous newsreader/rss chiclets.  I have left behind the simple Feedburner subscribe button which handles subscribing in all of the popular newsreaders seamlessly.

Track Online Payment Volumes As They Occur

This is a very cool site: the Chase Paymentech Pulse Index. This index tracks online shopping activity in the United States during the November to December holiday season. According to the site, payments generated by 10 of the nation’s 30 top Web merchants are monitored for payment transactions as they occur.
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The Payment System Protecting Consumers

Credit cards have often added value and protection to the consumer by way of zero liability features for fraudulent card use and insurance on items purchased using a credit card. Could a payment system provide consumers protection from the myriad End User License Agreements (EULA’s) seller’s demand we accept (especially in the internet age where we typically check the “I Agree” box without actually reading the agreement or terms of service which may run on for thousands of words)?
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Image POD Primer

Proof of Deposit (”POD”) is the verification of the dollar amount on a check or draft being deposited. This verification is done by comparing the handwritten amount on the check/cheque to the amount written on the accompanying deposit slip. Proof of deposit is an important step in check processing, yet has alluded full automation (unlike the sorting of checks via MICR technology).
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Correspondent Clearing & Bank Collapse

Over on Paul Kedrosky’s Infectious Greed blog, he has a link in the research he is catching up on regarding how check clearing through correspondent banks may have contributed to bank collapses during the depression.
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Financial Services Mash-Up

What I want is a financial services mash-up. I want a single online application that combines all of my financial services products, whether from the same or different providers. Consider an on-line banking website where you view transactions and seamlessly transfer money between your savings account, line of credit, your mortgage and credit cards, with access to a consolidated summary of all of your finances - even though all of these products are all provided by different banks and vendors.
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Efficient Use of Airline Loyalty Programs

Rob Carrick at the Globe and Mail writes about how Air Canada’s Aeroplan and Air Miles will encourage you to do redeem points for non-travel items. Why this trend towards offering non-travel rewards by airline loyalty programs? Because it makes good business sense.
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