Payments Views


Look Who’s Talking Now

One of the fun things we do at Glenbrook is help clients think through product concepts in financial services, commerce, and payments. An intriguing area that I’ve been thinking about and watching closely over the years is voice-activated purchasing. My interest in “voice” stems from my belief that as microprocessors get smaller and faster, the […]


Glenbrook’s Retailing Framework

I’ve been thinking a lot about how payments and payment-related technologies fit into the emerging world of multi-channel commerce or omni-commerce as some people call it. When a lot of companies describe their omni-commerce strategy, they are usually talking about recognizing customers across channels and being able support a sales cycle that starts in one […]


Considering Bitcoin as a Payment Network

Wikipedia says, “Bitcoin is a software-based online payment system.” But what sort of payment system is it? We get this question all the time when we talk about Bitcoin in our workshops. At Glenbrook we like to start each Payments Boot Camp talking about payments systems fundamentals and the common attributes that can be used […]

Big Data

Plaid – A Modern API for Card Data

Our work in payment data cuts across many areas. Who has what data? How is it best monetized? How can it be put to use for better decision making? How can it be augmented and enhanced. It’s in this last area of “enhancements” that we’ve become fascinated with a new startup company called Plaid. They […]


The Mobile Wallet Wars of 2014

Our clients are starting to ask us who we think is going to win the mobile wallet war in 2014. Questions like: What’s happening with the Isis rollout? What’s the next likely step in the evolution of the Google Wallet? Is PayPal’s In-Store initiative getting any consumer adoption? All of these questions are predicated on […]


Aggregation and Aggravation – Micropayments 2013

Micropayments is a problem that has never been solved in the payments industry. While there are various merchant-specific solutions for selling low-cost goods, the broader opportunity –– to pervasively enable micropayments –– continues to intrigue the payments industry. Why do micropayments endure as such a challenge in payments? The problem has been the same for […]


Does PayPal Need A Bitcoin Strategy?

Because we live in a tweet-constrained world, the short answer is yes. But I think every player in the financial services industry needs a Bitcoin strategy — payments enablers especially. By strategy I mean that every company involved in payments should evaluate whether Bitcoin, and digital currencies (math-based, virtual, etc.) more broadly, are friend or […]

Card Networks

The Rise of the Smart Transaction

When I was a baby consultant some twenty years ago, I remember standing in Kepler’s Bookstore in Menlo Park (remember book stores?) thumbing through a paperback book called “The Rules of Marketing”. Rule #7 that said all successful markets will subdivide into submarkets as they grow over time. One of the examples cited was how […]


Who We’re Watching in Payments 2012

What do eBay, Google, and Facebook all have in common? Sure, they all dominate their respective categories. And, yes, they all are hugely ambitious. Plus they all have demonstrated the ability to invent new markets. The other shared trait, in case you hadn’t noticed, is they are all in the payments business. Not in the […]


BOKU Jumps Into The Mobile POS Skirmish

We recently sat down (virtually) with BOKU to learn more about how the company views the mobile payments market and where BOKU Accounts fits in the emerging mobile POS landscape. What follows is a summary of what we learned and our reaction to the their strategy and approach. One of the reasons that the mobile […]