As Americans Face Economic Strain, VCs are Investing $230 Million in Alternative Credit

2020-10-29T21:53:40+00:00Financial, International, Payments|

Before we get back to the history and workings of credit cards, I thought it would be interesting to catch up on an emerging trend, that of "alternative credit." Background On September 24, 2020, Petal announced a $55M Series C led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures.  Petal requires no credit history to quality for its [...]

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Payments 101, Part 2 – Credit Cards

2021-01-27T16:24:59+00:00Credit Cards, Payments, Payments 101|

Over the next several weeks, we’ll take a tour of the payment methods outlined in Part 1, and go into their history, which helps us understand their current position in the payments landscape. Credit cards have a particularly rich and dramatic history, as I suggested in the following tweet: Beginning with Diner’s Club in 1950, [...]

Payments 101, Part 1 – The Five Actor Model

2021-01-27T16:25:56+00:00Financial, International, Payments, Payments 101|

Payments has been a rapidly evolving space over the past 20 years, and many companies have sought to get into it, even as the incumbents seek to evolve and expand their offerings.  I have noticed, however, a lack of resources to get new employees up to speed on how different payment methods work.  The purpose [...]

COVID-19 Update: Things Could Be Worse


It’s been a few weeks since my last blog post on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, so this seems a good time to revisit some of the statements I made then. At the time, I pointed out that equity analysts were still forecasting positive earnings per share for the major card networks, albeit lower than before the [...]

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Wallets Within Wallets


On July 17, 2017, PayPal announced a new partnership with Samsung to enable PayPal as a payment method within the Samsung Pay mobile wallet. This parallels a similar announcement with Android Pay on April 18, 2017. PayPal followed this up with another announcement on July 20, 2017 that it would be incorporating Chase’s wallet Chase Pay as a funding mechanism in its own wallet, [...]

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Fragmentation in the World of P2P Payments


Last time I wrote about the unbundling and rebundling of payments; what I didn’t cover was the downside, which is greater fragmentation of payment services. In the old world, consumers had limited choices when it came to payment methods: Visa, Mastercard, American Express for credit cards (along with domestic brands like China UnionPay and Discover). In the [...]

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The Unbundling and Rebundling of Payments


One of the most interesting trends that I have been following for the past several years is what I call the “unbundling” of payments, which is the exposure of services through open application programming interfaces (APIs) that had previously been bundled into a single product. To think about the scope of services that could be [...]

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