From realtime to person-to-person and crypto, digital payments continue to change the payments landscape in the United States. Even so, cash is back, to the detriment of one growing business, as covered in this issue's links.
Corporates are paying attention to realtime payments
The dramas of volatility in the price of bitcoin and scams in "coin"-offering fundraising schemes overshadow legitimate cryptofinance developments.
For nearly the last year, crypto-coins have been developing into an asset class and investment ecosystem. From two conferences I attended this year, one in Chicago and the other in Singapore, it seems to me that the Chicago firms see the opportunities for developing trading infrastructure while the Asian investors and regulators see real possibilities for financial innovation.
International FinTech startups are looking to the United States as a vast consumer and business market for their applications and services. Despite the difficulties posed by a dual regulatory system, in which multiple federal regulators join agencies in all 50 states, the wealth and size of the market beckons.
California teachers have teamed up with an East Coast activist hedge fund to petition Apple Inc. to step up its game and give parents the tools and choices they need to ensure smartphones don’t damage children’s health. Together, CalSTRS and JANA Partners are turning an old adage on its ear about gifting shiny apples to teachers.
In my last newsletter, I said that global economic fundamentals seem to be positive, and in spite of market turmoil in the interim I am going to reiterate that statement. Volatility has returned, which will bring opportunities for those who are not faint of heart. This is an exciting time, never dull, never boring.
If you have a bully pulpit, use it. That’s precisely what BlackRock’s CEO Larry Fink did when he championed corporates’ engagement with purpose to staunch the pace of climate change and embrace the preservation of the public commons together with its specific stakeholders.
Expect state government agencies and legislators to move most quickly on providing regulatory clarity on FinTech regulation in the United States. U.S. federal regulatory agencies have initiated enforcement actions against some of the most egregious cryptocurrency investment practices and are watching the industry closely.
"Changing consumer preferences and behaviors are focused on ease of use, convenience, and immediacy of payment that can be obtained through the mobile channel," reports the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its most recent mobile payments study.
Yet the mobile experience in the mainstream of U.S. commerce hardly meets that ideal.