Delicious MoneyMashup: Walmart, Nationalization, Craig Newmark…

February 19, 2009
  1. The transformation to a bottom-up culture needs help from the top – organization leaders need to enthusiastically embrace web2.0 applications to encourage bottom up participation;
  2. The best uses come from users—but they require help to scale – Web2.0 applications often end up being more useful in areas that fall outside the original goal of the application;
  3. What’s in the workflow is what gets used – web2.0 programs have the highest likelihood of success when they are incorporated into everyday activities;
  4. Appeal to the participants’ egos and needs—not just their wallets – creatively reward participation;
  5. The right solution comes from the right participants – target an audience to champion the program;
  6. Balance the top-down and self-management of risk – don’t overly regulate, but don’t let anarchy rule either;
Another interesting point made is that web2.0 implementation could have far more impact than ERP and CRM programs implemented in the 90’s.
  • Analyst: “Nationalization” of Citi and BofA possible in ’09
    Chris Whalen of Institutional Risk Analytics says that Receivership (he does not think Nationalization is the best way to describe it), similar to what the FDIC did with WaMu, is something that should happen to Citi and BofA.  He acknowledges issues around bond holder losses, but argues that the bigger risk is surprise insolvencies. If we lay out clear plans, systematic risk will be minimized.  The losses in these banks are so big, that there is no alternative other than bond holders loosing money.  The loss to CITI bond holders could be almost 100%.  One big problem with that is that the majority of bank bond holders is other banks.  However, Whalen believes the market has already accounted for the nationalization scenarios and would not be overly surprised by it.
  • Melbourne NFC trial successful
    Visa, mobile phone provider Telstra, and National Australia bank conducted A contactless mobile payment trial. The response was overwhelmingly positive and most participants indicated that they would like to continue using the service.
  • Walmart MoneyCard lowers purchase price to $3
    It seems like Walmart is really marketing this card to those who do not already have a checking account, and might not have any credit. Loading your payroll or government check on to the MoneyCard is free (after you pay the check cashing fee). There is a $3.00 monthly fee, and a $2.00 ATM withdrawal fee. The advantage, for those without a checking account, is that it is a Visa card. So it is safer than carrying cash, and you can use it to purchase products on the Internet and rent cars. It also supports deposits from Green Dot locations.
  • Gist
    Contact management application that pulls in all relevant information about all your contacts. This includes attachments and blogs. It integrates with various contact sources such as gmail, outlook, and Facebook.
  • Turn Your Business Card Collection into a Valuable Online Database
    CloudContacts lets you send them your business cards. They scans them, and then let you access them via an online downloadable database. They also allow you send one card at a time by taking a picture of it with you camera phone.
  • Mobile Banking Safe…at least for now
    A CNET author claims that 30 million people use mobile banking, but many potential users are reticent to adopt mobile banking out of security fears.
  • The True Cost of Credit | What does your card cost?
    Type in the BIN number on your credit card (first six digits) and get a breakdown of how much merchants are charged for your various purchases. This is an excellent site. It makes interchange pretty easy to understand, and it tells you how the interchange associated with your card stack up against other types of cards.
  • Customers Want Help, Feel Banks Don’t Get it
    18 Months ago, 67.89 percent of survey participants rated their trust in their financial institution as a 6 out of 10. Today, 41 percent of those customers say their trust has weakened. 39.2 Percent of respondents do not believe rhat their financial institution looks out for their best interests. Matt Wolfrom, head of corporate practice at Cohn & Wolfe, suggests that banks be transparent and engage their customers.
  • Glenbrook Partners – Glenbrook Payments Glossary
    Payments glossary that provides definitions for common payment and banking terms.
  • Will Coupons Kickstart Mobile Revenue?
    Although mobile banking usage is on the rise, Banks are still not sure how they will turn the mobile channel into a profit center. One idea might be found in the partnership between Chase, Visa, and Clairmail. Clairmail texts coupons to Chase/Visa customers. When a corresponding purchase is made, Clairmail recognizes it as a “Coupon” purchase, and the coupon value is credited to the Visa balance. This could be promising, especially in today’s economic environment.
  • The Alternative Online Payment and Shopping Cart Platform for Merchants
    TrialPay is an online payment option that lets shoppers purchase their product completing one advertising offer. The premise is that consumers are more willing to pay for physical products than digital products. So, instead of paying for clicks, advertisers actually pay (or help pay) for  product purchases. For example, WinZip currently asks customers to pay $29.95 at its online store to download one of its file readers. But those who balk at paying can get the software for free by using TrialPay’s system to chose from over 150 alternative transactions from a range of companies. They might, for instance, spend $50 on clothes at, or sign up for an American Express credit card.
  • ViVOtech Awarded Key Patent for Over the Air Provisioning of Payment Cards to NFC Mobile Phones
    ViVOtech, provider for Contactless and Near Field Communication (NFC) mobile payments and promotions, announced today that it has an NFC related patent. The patent covers real time provisioning of credit, debit, prepaid, loyalty and other payment or non-payment cards into NFC mobiles.
  • Intuit: Creating an Online Financial Institution Hub for Small Businesses

    Intuit has combined its small business financial software with the Digital Insight online banking platform to provide an application that appeals to a wider range of small businesses. It won the Barlow Research Inc. Monarch Innovation award for the most innovated business banking solution
  • NACHA Reports US 4Q08 ACH Volume Up 4.5%
    Internet initiated ACH payments (also known as “WEB” entries) experienced the highest rate of growth. WEB entry ACH payments increased 16.5% in the fourth quarter. This seems to coincide with an abundance of alternative payment options that utilize the ACH network. I expect this number to continue to climb.
  • Proposal: Virtual Currency API – OpenSocial and Gadgets Specification Discussion | Google Groups
    Google is proposing a platform for developers that facilitates the exchange of virtual money. Users purchase virtual money via a container and exchange the virtual money for virtual purchases, vip status, or advanced features.
  • Consumers turn to online banking for increased control on personal finances
    More consumers are turning to online banking applications to help them manage their finances. A survey indicates that 71% of respondents are monitoring their finances more closely than they were a year ago. 75% say they use online banking to ensure they are spending within their budget.
  • Craig Newmark’s Keynote Unlocks the Secrets to Building a Community – ReadWriteWeb
    Craig Newmark of Craigs List discusses secrets to building an online community. He highlights three points: Recognize the Importance of a Feedback Loop, Get Out of the Way, Understand we Live in a Culture of Participation. The next step in Online Banking is transforming the online banking experience into a community experience. This doesn’t necessarily mean that every bank needs their own facebook site, but it does mean that banks should use their Online Banking platform to garner more feedback, get out of the way (let the users interact with eachother), and encourage participation that helps improve the site.
  • Internet Banking high among online youth segment
    80 percent of active internet using adults adults aged 18 and over use online banking. The number one impediment to adoption remains security. The adoption rate climbs to 89 percent if you limit the age range to 18 to 34 year olds. 71% of internet users over 55 use online banking.
  • Do We Need a New Internet? – (John Markoff/New York Times)
    Researchers compare the current internet to Pearl Harbor with the Japenese fleet sailing towards it. They claim the Internet is ripe for attack and assert that the only way to fix it is to start over. The current internet was originally constructed as a communication platform and little thought was given to security. The “New Internet” would be built with security in mind.
  • Looks Like Facebook Just Took The Top Spot Among Social Media Sites
    Facebook overtakes MySpace for total site visits. This is not saying that Facebook has the most unique visitors, they don’t. In fact, they probably will not overtake Myspace for unique monthly visitors until 2010. However, Facebook must be receiving more frequent visitors to get the total traffic numbers above Myspace numbers.

Payments Delicious Money Mashup

February 13, 2009
  • eBillme – Shop and Pay Cash with Online Banking
    eBillme allows customers to pay for goods online using the bill pay service of online banking. When the user chooses eBillme as their payment method, eBillme presents them with a bill. The user then logs into their online banking site and uses the information on the bill to set eBillme up as a biller. The user then enters the amount of the purchase into the amount field and sends the payment to eBillme. The merchant does not send the items until the bill payment is received. The draw back to this service is the delay in shipping. Depending on when the purchase is made, the delay could be between 1 to 3 days – eBillme says they are part of the Mastercard RPPS network so the bill will most likely be delivered electronically. The problem for banks is that they are losing out on interchange when a customer chooses eBillme over visa or mastercard. On the positive side, eBillme might help drive bill payment adoption.
  • Prepaid Debit Cards Threaten Checking Accounts: New Research
    At least 14% of checking account holders would be better off with a prepaid debit card. This number will probably continue to rise as people write less and less checks. Aite group says that banks could start to take advantage of prepaid cards by striking cobranding deals with some of the established players.
  • Noca
    Alternative payments provider that facilitates ACH payments from the customers bank account to the merchants account. They only charge .25% per transaction They use sms messaging for out of band authentication. I guess the advantage over PayPal is the small cost to merchants and the customer does not need to sign up for a Noca account prior to purchase.
  • Mazooma Payments
    Mazooma is another entry into the ever expanding alternative payments arena. Mazooma provides a service that allows users to pay for online purchases by logging into online banking and initiating a transfer. Despite the crowded field, Mazooma seems to have a unique strategy – one that seems to compete with the NACHA backed Secure Vault Payments process. The difference is that Mazooma does not require any participation from the banks. Merchant fees are about 1.5%. The problem I see is with the multiple login’s required to make one payment.
  • Revolution MoneyExchange
    Revolution Money Exchange allows you to link a bank account to your Revolution Money Card. P2P transfers between account holders is free. Money is transferred into the account via ACH. It seems like Revolution Money generates revenue from interchange (they claim merchants only pay .5% compared to 1.5 to 3% for other forms of payments) from merchants that accept the card and overdraft fees.
  • National Payment Card on Drivers License
    National Payment Card has a decoupled debit card that they provide for use in the gas station/convenience store industry. These types of niche payment programs are interesting because they save stores interchange costs by bypassing visa/mastercard in favor of the ACH network. National Payment Card is also developing a system that would allow customers to use their drivers license as a payment card. It will be interesting to see the adoption levels of a drivers license/payment card mashup. Its success might be an indicator of how successful mobile phone payments might be. In both instances, providers are asking customers to change their perceptions of payments and use a payment device whose primary purpose is not payments.

From Delicious/moneymashup/payments

Delicious Money Mashup: Enterprise web2.0, + Thrive…

February 7, 2009
  • MoBank © The wherever you go bank
    MoBank is a mobile focused bank in the UK. It will be interesting to see how this works. I imagine that they will rely primarily on interchange and premium services that they sell on top of their regular services. I think in the US this concept would work on college campuses. Community banks, and especially credit unions should consider similar initiatives.  Financial institutions could create mobile brands the same way many of them have created online only brands.
  • NACHA Group Close to Proposals for Mobile Payments on the ACH
    It looks like NACHA will be formalizing something that has already been happening anyway: Mobile ACH transfers. PayPal allows you to send P2P payments via your mobile device (text messages or mobile app/site). If you do not have stored funds with PayPal, they pull money from your bank account via ACH. It seems like there is an opportunity for banks to take advantage of any new NACHA guidelines for mobile ACH. It will be interesting to see what NACHA comes up with. Given the wide reach of NACHA and the the participation level of banks, the potential is huge.
  • Security experts warn of online banking Trojan
    These types of threats are still present even with the mandated implementation of dual factor authentication. It seems this is a version of a man-in-the middle attack that intercepts information on its way to or from your computer. This could allow the criminal to take over your session and conduct some transactions on your behalf. This is a problem for Online Banking sites because it is difficult to stop these types of intrusions since they are result of something on the client’s computer and not the Online Banking site. One way banks could help with this would be to offer virus detection software or even hardware (i.e. USB keys) that runs the browser session from a “vault” that is walled off from the operating system.
  • Web 2.0 and the Enterprise: A Symbiotic Relationship
    This presentation lists five reasons why the relationship between the enterprise and web2.0 sites is symbiotic. 1. “The Facebook Affect” Work and personal lives continue to blur. 2. People share with each other if they trust each other. Obviously the workplace fosters that trust and is conducive to sharing ideas online. 3. Big ideas and little ideas matter. It is much easier to gather and manage little ideas via social networking. 4. Social graphs serve as a bridge. Social graphs allow you to combine and aspects of social sites. Linkedin can be used in the enterprise, and I can share these delicious posts on Facebook. 5. The enterprise is changing. Some companies are letting their engineers comment in forums. A broader group of employees is engaging with customers via social tools such as blogging, twitter, and forums.  Although my five reasons would probably be a little different than the author, I agree that social collaboration tools could greatly improve productivity in the workplace.  How many times have you worked for weeks on a project only to find out that someone else in the organization is doing something very similar and much of your work overlaps?  Web2.0 could solve those types of problems and it could create an environment where new ideas are shared more freely and efficiently.
  • Acquires Thrive
    Thrive is a financial transaction aggregator in the form of Mint and Wesabe. owns several real estate and lending related sites including It will be interesting to see how the combine the services of their different sites. Particularly how they combine the services of LendingTree with Thrive. As I mentioned in a previous post adding lending, account opening, bill payment, and transfer services is probably the next step for sites like Mint and Wesabe.