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Archive for the ‘digitalmoneyforum’ Category

Close out post – Digital Money Forum 2008

I have to say this has been one of the best conferences that I have attended, and is up there with LIFT.  Dave does a good job of holding attendance to a nice number that offers enough breadth of experiences, and industry, yet not being overwhelming.  Its almost a friends of Dave event, since apparently he does in fact know everyone.

I was impressed by the depth of experience of the participants in the payments arena, with coverage from Banks, SEPA, mobile, and consultants.  Got to meet lots of interesting people.

Here is a final shot of you [those that were there] from the podium during our panel event.  Thank you all, and I hope to have the opportunity to attend again in the future.

Written by Colin Henderson

April 24, 2008 at 10:40

Posted in digitalmoneyforum

White lable mobile Banking | Monitise Group

Spent lunch with the folks from Monitise Group. Their model is very interesting. While it does not do them justice, you can think of it as a mobile ATM. Their business model integrates into an ATM switch, and allows them to offer while lable mobile banking to Banks, without any technology investment from the Bank.

The Bank gets the benefit of mobile banking for their customers without the hurdle of building another channel.

Monitise Group | Welcome

A key principle of the Monitise proposition is to facilitate a non-disruptive business model – we call it the ‘ecosystem’ – which brings together financial institutions, mobile carriers, payments networks and billers into one mutually beneficial environment. This offers a low-risk, highly scalable approach to mobile banking, leveraging the trusted infrastructure of the ATM switch to create a seamless link between consumers’ mobile handsets and their bank accounts

One of the aspects that is interesting to me, and no-one has done yet, is to consider all the aspects of the Banks’ service that is visible at the ATM including targetted advertising. For example if the Bank is offerring an overdraft service to a particular client, that offer could appear at the right place on their phone.

Their business model is attractive to Banks’ and in fact might even make the Bank money.

The ability to generate revenue from merchant services, such as pre-pay account top-ups

Lastly on security, this has been a prime focus, to ensure all aspects are covered.

We have also forged a unique relationship with mobile carriers, which enable them to verify that a request has been initiated by one of their customers. Finally Monitise employs bank grade and world class encryption mechanisms to ensure the safe transmission of information from a customer, across their mobile service provider to their bank and vice-a-versa.

Worth the look, and curious about any views out there given the mixed messages in North America certainly on mobile.

Written by Colin Henderson

April 24, 2008 at 08:49

Payments, Russia and Europe | Digital Money Forum

Diverse presentations in the first part of todays session at DigitalMoneyForum. The first two were on the unified payment initiative in Europe, SEPA. It is a complex initiative, that is designed to standardise three payments at first:

  • credit transfer (bank to bank deposits – doesn’t exist in North America)
  • direct debit
  • card payments

Lots of rules and regulations, but the message is that such standardisation cannot occur without regulation, but that it also requires co-operation and engagement of users (Banks) in order to make it happen practically.

It does seem quite bogged down, and I am still not clear when it will happen by, but one target which resonated is to achieve a maximum of 24 hours for any funds transfer within the eurozone.

The final presentation was something of a breath of fresh air, from WebMoney transfer from Russia.

WebMoney – On-line Payment Solution

Welcome to WebMoney Transfer — smart solution for internet payments.

First of while Russian based they have international customers.

  • 5.2m users
  • 6,257 cities
  • 57 countries

in Russia, Banks are not trusted and the rules and laws are always changing. So WebMoney Transfer has apparently achieved a level of trust, because they set their own rules, and no deviation is permitted.

It does appear the bulk of activity is in Russia and Ukraine. Transactions are immediate and non-repudiatable. They have a passport scheme for customer identification, although not sure how that works. Within Russia and Ukraine, they merchants and kiosks sell vouchers on the street, which isthe predominant method of funds transfer into the system, although I think it can be done online too.

The message is that there are online payments schemes that reflect their loal environments, and there are dramatic differences between, three zones of Russia, Europe, and North America.

Update:  Here is Aneace with more on the SEPA bits.

Written by Colin Henderson

April 24, 2008 at 05:11

Cash vs prepaid smart cards

Aneace summarises the last presentation suggesting that cash is under-priced hence smart cards, and electronic purses / prepaid cards are not as successful as they could be.

Aneace’s Blog: A solution to the interchange dilemma

the only solution to the interchange problem is to raise the price of cash to match its cost, for example through an ATM charge

Aneace is right that this is a political and bank non-starter, because the secondary revolt would out-weigh the benefit.

Prepaid cards acceptance, and cash reduction, can only succeed, once someone figures out a better mousetrap.

Written by Colin Henderson

April 23, 2008 at 10:41

Community currency enhances community value | Totnes

Listening to Nigel Topping speaking about Totnes currency. In Totnes, Devon, they have issued their own community currency, with a view to keeping their money in the community. All sorts of challenges, and issues, but it is receiving growing acceptance.

The Totnes Pound was launched as an initiative of Transition Town Totnes Economics and Livelihoods group in March 2007[2]. The group argues that “Economic localisation is considered to be a key aspect of the transition process, and local currency systems provide the opportunity to strengthen the local economy whilst preventing money from leaking out”[3].

Their near term plans are interesing, yet large in potential:

  1. Issue a totnes 5 pound note, including full security features
  2. move from being sterling backed, to being carbon backed

The notion of community, yet with such scale, brings new meaning to think globally, act locally. in fact, it makes me wonder if there is not a direct application to social lending, social investing, by encouraging the same goals of keeping in the community, yet offerring greater scale.

Written by Colin Henderson

April 23, 2008 at 08:38

Why most Banks cannot innovate

Here are my simple notes as background for tomorrows panel at the conference.


  • Banks have lost focus on the customer
  • People are seeking better alternatives for financial services
  • Internet as a driving force, is largely ignored by Banks

Thinking and listening this morning validates my concerns for Banks. I heard today about a person I know who is a Banker and a blogger, and who shall remain nameless. That person’s blogging became know to a senior person in that Bank, and the result is that they have been asked to curtail external activities for some time, ie no conferences, and also to remove the identity of the Bank from their blog.

This confounds, me yet, does not surprise me. Innovation at a Bank is stifled. A blog is merely a conversation, something that occurs at the club, the golf course, and the restaurant. But because a person is conversing with the outside world in a blog, the clampers come down.

The thought that somehow industry leadership or market share is at risk because of a conversation on a blog is precisely the opposite of reality.

Innovation happens at the edges.

In this networked world one never knows where ideas will flourish, or how they will start. More importantly possibly is how those ideas will nurture as might a garden. A garden needs time, thought and effort, and blogs offer that capability to ideas.

Back to my panel notes above; “Banks have lost focus on the customer”. Banks are so conscious of their image, market share, and profitability yet these are things the Bank cannot directly control. All of those concepts rely on people, customers, to choose the Bank, add services, and use cheapest channels respectively. With that in mind, how can a Bank learn about what customers need and want, if they are not talking to customers?

Written by Colin Henderson

April 23, 2008 at 07:44

Posted in digitalmoneyforum

Panel notes | Digital Money forum

Here are my simple notes as background for tomorrows panel at the conference.


Written by Colin Henderson

April 23, 2008 at 05:23

Posted in digitalmoneyforum

Banking Forum 2008 | Aneace presentation

Here is the  Aneace presentation to Banking Forum 2008 in Paris. Aneace is on the panel tomorrow here at DigitalMoneyForum.

Aneace blog

Written by Colin Henderson

April 23, 2008 at 05:01

Shaping Tomorrow | Mike Jackson

Mike Jackson of Shaping Tomorrow offerred a compelling view of future complexity bringing increasing uncertainty. He spoke of the perfect storm of change coming from Energy, Climate change, Food Security, and Economy, that have such impact on the world that everyone including Banks cannot ignore.

[ Digital Money Forum ]

The Future of Retail Banking
Mike Jackson
Shaping Tomorrow

The one thing that cannot be ignored and will frequently help sort out the complexity is the customer. The social change going on includes:

  1. end users are increasingly informed
  2. reputations are won and lost overnight
  3. banks have a poor reputation

On point 3, Banks have reputations that are even worse than the report which Mike was quoting, due to the credit crisis, and the horrible risks Banks have taken and lost money on.

Couple of points he made for Banks to consider:
– war on waste and costs
– simplicity – in an increasingly complex world, simplicity is a prime target [and one of my passions]

Written by Colin Henderson

April 23, 2008 at 04:10

Digital Money Forum | Dave Birch

Dave Birch introduces the conference. Brilliant humour!

Written by Colin Henderson

April 23, 2008 at 03:18

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