Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Goodbye Jan !

Today we see another retirement. This time Jan Jonkheer leaves the Dutch payment scene after a multitude of productive years in direct debit, coins (he transported the special purpose coin that was used in the 1974 Final of Germany-Netherlands), credit-card and what have you.

Good bye Jan, and until we meet again !

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Phones Become All-Purpose Payment Devices

See this article in PDAs News - Designtechnica News.

Retirement J. Verhaegen

Today is the day that payments-veteran J. Verhaegen retires after a long and productive career in the industry. Long ago, when too many policymakers were too vaguely debating the formation of a national payment circuit, he set up a small group of 4. This group decided on a workable migration path for the realisation of the national payment circuit (a more effective set of interoperability standards between the two payment circuits in the netherlands). And this is only one of his many achievements.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Royal Bank of Scotland buys Bibit Payment Service Provider

The Financieele Dagblad reported on June 16 that Royal Bank of Scotland has

bought payment service provider Bibit in May. Price was most likely 90

million euro. And so we see how innovation may occur outside the banking

sector to become part of the sector as soon as viability has been proven.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Add another payment mechanism and make more money...

Scott Loftessness informs us:

CyberSource has released the results of a recent study it performed that concludes that merchants can convert as many as 20% more customers by offering them more payment types to choose from.

Those merchants offering one payment type, such as general purpose credit cards, for example, convert 60% of their shoppers. Those offering four types, e.g., credit cards, gift certificates, eChecks, PayPal, etc., convert 72% of their shoppers -- a 20% increase.

The survey results are incorporated into a new industry whitepaper from CyberSource, "The Insider's Guide to eCommerce Payment".

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Albert Heijn stops with savings account (cooperation Aegon)

It started out in februari 2001 as a loyalty card that also allowed savins. To that end Albert Heijn cooperated with Aegon. This week the announcement is made that the loyalty-savings card has 275.000 customers and will be taken off the market. So does this mean that retailers entering financial service won't work?

My guess is that retailer banking might work, but the current situation at Albert Heijn is one of cost cutting and streamlining. So all eyes are now fixed on KBB Vendex with their financial services unit.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Stimulating mobile payments...?

Planet Internet informs us that our Ministry of Economic Affairs is setting up a group that wants to stimulate a common standard/payment procedure for payment via the web and mobile phones. What is intruiging is the referral to Chipper/Chipknip in the accompanying press release.

It is only too often that people say that the e-purse schemes Chipper and Chipknip were not a success given that the technology was incompatible. However, this is incorrect. From the outset, both schemes aimed for and allowed for interoperability, given that any business calculation shows this is the best way forward (see also the dissertation of Leibbrandt). And as soon as the specifications were available, terminals were built that allowed both schemes.

What happened in the market however is that the competiton between Chipper and Chipknip became very tough, including big advertisements, deals with merchants to only accept the one scheme and not the other etcetera. But fact of the matter is that in 1997 a common chipknip/chipper terminal was available and in use on counters in retailers shops.

Given the competition between Chipper and Chipknip and the uncertainty as to their future market position, many retailers refused to choose the one or the other. This buyers boycot lead Chipper (second in the market) to re-evaluate their market position and their possibilities to become bigger than Chipknip. The conclusion was that it would be best to eliminate Chipper and migrate to Chipknip.

So the Chipknip/Chipper history is not one of incompatible technical standards, but one of strong competition in the banking market, followed by consolidation towards a more efficient setting. Now isn't it interesting that most people don't want the Chipper/Chipknip history to be repeated while on the other hand banks are urged to be more competitive?

Danish e-purse scheme Danmont closes down

PBS announced (end of May press release)that it will close down the scheme as of December 31, 2005.

Nils Hilbard, director of payment cards in PBS A/S states among others that:

"The perspectives of having an electronic purse has not attracted enough merchants to accept Danmønt. The limited user possibilities have limited the Danes' interest in having a Danmønt card. We have therefore decided to close down the scheme from 31 December 2005. Cards can still be acquired, used and loaded until the end of 2005."

Dankort (the debit/credit-card) will fill the gaps that Danmont leaves. And I'm sure some other payment mechanisms (contactless) may enter the scene some day.

Online banking becoming killer-app on the web

Emerce - Technologie reports that a study by Insites shows that after e-mail (92 %), e-banking (60 %) is the big killer application on the Dutch web.

4,9 million Dutch surfers (70 %) work with an on-line banking application. And 86 % of the Dutch on-line population has once bought over the web (books, clothing, airline tickets). On average the Dutch surfer buys 4 products/services via the Internet with an average price of 96 euro.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Electronic ID via the bank

Smaller countries are prone to innovate more speedily. So it should not be a suprise that the Danes have developed an Internet-service: Electronic ID via the bank. It is absolutely the way forward and similar to the Dutch A-select authentication system. Now why is this relevant?

Well, my guess is that the decomposition of the payment transaction chain, means that previously coupled functions, such as identification, authentication and autorisation, may be independently sold, resold, and packaged by banks. Banks may well consider positioning these products, if only to make sure that any future identification requirement can be taken care of against a proper commercial price rather than as a legal obligation that must be provided for free....

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Credit-card acquirers all over the place

Todays Financieele Dagblad informs us about a trial that the cafe-restaurant organisations have done with another credit-card acquirer than Interpay/Paysquare. The article is about B+S systems. But it fails to mention that for example in Amsterdam City, Citibank is the big acquirer, undercutting all others. Other acquirers are not mentioned either, while currently this market is quite competitive.