Glenbrook's commentary and opinion
blog written by members of the
Glenbrook team. We share our
"rants and raves" on industry topics,
large and small.

Glenbrook

Creative Tension Shapes the Fintech-Bank Ecosystem

In my last post I covered the proliferation of challenger banks, the mobile-first, digital-only neo-banks and what differentiates them from the incumbents. While the media lens is usually focused on the front-end, the user experience, I’m always curious about what’s powering these operations under the hood. From the traditional banks’ perspective, fintech companies are just […]

Glenbrook

Prepaid Power and Financial Inclusion at Fintech South

Georgia is a nexus of global payment processing and merchant acquiring activity. Some two-thirds of all U.S. purchase volume is processed there. That’s a lot of debit and credit card transactions. But what are those same companies doing to improve payments for the underbanked? That combination of payments technology and financial inclusion concerns was the […]

Glenbrook

The Apple Card May Not be Revolutionary—But It Offers a Thoughtful Bundle of Features and a Glimpse into the Post-Card Era

Apple’s March 25th keynote event announced forthcoming offerings to further build out Apple’s Services line—video media streaming, print media subscriptions, gaming, and more. Most interesting to us at Glenbrook (surprise!) was Apple’s co-branded credit card launched in partnership with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard. The Apple Card, to be released in the summer, integrates consumer controls, […]

Payments Views

Challenging the Challenger Banks

Fintech startups have begun a phenomenon some call the “unbundling of financial services” through standalone products such as unsecured consumer loans, credit cards, checking and savings accounts, or personal financial management tools. A cohort of entities known as “challenger banks” or “neo-banks” have also entered the market in an attempt to take on digital banking […]

Subscription Management

To Subscribe or Not to Subscribe

After yet another data breach, I was recently told by a subscription-based publisher that my payment credentials held on file may be compromised. I took the necessary precautionary measures (e.g. retire previous payment credentials, establish new ones, etc.). During this process, I also decided to do a quick personal audit to answer the question: Where […]

Card Payments

Contactless Cards to Pressure the Open Loop Pays

Now that the contactless card form factor is coming to the U.S. in a systemic fashion, I thought it timely to discuss the competition between these cards and the open loop wallets from Apple, Google, and Samsung. A Push for the Pays Juniper Research released a report on January 29, 2019 based on its survey […]

Russ Jones

The Five Biggest Trends in Payments

All of the 2019 prediction stories got me thinking about the mega trends in the payments industry. These are the year-over-year tectonic shifts in the industry that you can bet your company’s strategy on — maybe even bet your career on. In a landscape of trees, this is what the forest looks like. Trend #1 […]

Regulation

Madness in Marijuana Payments – Part 2

Since my April 2018 post, there’s been a lot of activity in the “land of weed.” Multiple countries and U.S. states have moved toward legalization. Major non-cannabis industries are investing heavily in cannabis related products and cannabis-based companies. With U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions out, his strict stance against marijuana perhaps no longer holding, many are […]

Bitcoin

A Dollar by Any Other Name: Thoughts on Digital Fiat Currency

What are central banks – and governments – going to do about cryptocurrencies? I was in New York last week to better understand what central bankers are thinking about – and doing – with respect to “Digital Fiat Currency”. The workshop was part of an ITU Focus Group Program on “Standardizing Digital Fiat Currency and […]

Glenbrook

Payment Rails and Other Tales

In Glenbrook’s Payments Boot Camp™, we are always talking about payments systems – how they work, how they evolved, who uses them, who provides them, who profits from them, and how they are changing. So I was a little surprised when one of the participants approached me recently at break and asked if we would […]