Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Paying with Plastic -

Paying with Plastic -

Just read this free first chapter and based on my knowledge of the payments industry it is one of the best I have read. Great job!

Visa paying $2B for payments processor CyberSource

Congrats to CyberSource!!!
I take a great deal of pride from having developed, signed and managed the relationship with Visa 11 years ago in spite of much skepticism both internally and externally!!! Visa invested $1.5m in CyberSource pre-ipo and agreed to the joint product, CyberSource Advanced Fraud Screen Enhanced by Visa. :-) Oh, the stories I could tell you!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Data Portability in a PCI Crazy World!

I have written previously about service providers such as gateways and payment processors holding their customers data hostage using PCI as the excuse.

There are two new efforts underway to raise the awareness of these inappropriate practices;

Please check out these two web pages and join the Google group on the subject.

Welcome your feedback!!!

Note - that the story I wrote about last fall is still not resolved.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Do Not Assume Payment Methods Are Universal! Neither Demographically or Geographically!

One of the challenges we all face is being able to step out of what works for us and understand what any one or group of our customers is going to have a preference for. This is especially true for payment choices. The closest thing we have to “universal” in ecommerce is Visa/MasterCard. But, if you are selling to Germans, you better support something called ELV which is a form of direct debit or move on to another country. And, as a person with a marketing degree I have a hard time saying this, but surveying your customers to ask them what payment methods they want or what is most important about those choices, may lead you down the wrong path. What people say they want and how they act in this regard can be significantly disconnected. ie; Is security important to you? Who is going to say “no”? But, many payment methods have fallen flat on their face if the hurdles to usability are significant due to security. What was one of the things that made PayPal grow incredibly fast? All you needed was an email address. Of course, their fraud rates were through the roof too but they had the luxury of taking in a whole bunch of VC money and being able to tolerate the cost and eventually they dug themselves out of the hole. Two of the most important questions you have to ask yourself are; 1) what is my target demographic and 2) what geographies do I want to serve? Then and only then can you seriously research the options and start making decisions about what to offer.