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  • Archive for June, 2008

    Is Free the Future of Business?

    By: David Evans on June 19th, 2008

    I’ve been meaning to blog on Chris Anderson’s article Fee! Why $.00 Is the Future of Business. Chris extols the virtue of free as a business model. He begins the King Gillette’s brilliant marketing ploy of give ‘em the razor, charge ‘em for the blades. He then moves rhapsodic into how more things are […]

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    Are Cash and Checks Terminally Ill?

    By: David Evans on June 19th, 2008

    Lots of people in the payments cards industry talk about cash and checks soon disappearing. I’d like to throw just a little cold water on this.
    A few years ago, in the first edition of Paying with Plastic, Dick Schmalensee and I noted the seemingly inexorable trend towards electronic payments. We remarked on a visit I […]

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    Defining Loyalty

    By: Karen Webster on June 18th, 2008

    Quick, someone grab a Websters.
    Because I want to talk about the crux of my current conundrum with loyalty programs (as they are now architected). What are these programs trying to achieve anyway? My economist friends say that they are all about the “lock in” – so reeling in customers with the promise that sometime in […]

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    Why Merchants Shouldn’t Be Seeking Government Regulation

    By: David Evans on June 12th, 2008

    The sight of merchants up on Capitol Hill demanding that the Feds regulate—read “make a lot smaller”—interchange fees reminds me of the saying: what goes around comes around. Wal-Mart should have learned this lesson. It was behind the massive class action that forced MasterCard and Visa to pay the merchants $3 billion. That […]

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    Are Credit Card Interchange Fees Ripping Off the American Consumer?

    By: David Evans on June 12th, 2008

    Well, no, since you asked. A recent article in the St. Petersburg Times illustrates the confusion over what interchange fees are and how they work. According to the journalist, the average American household will pay $427 in interchange fees this year. Of course, no American household has ever gotten a bill for interchange fees. […]

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    Starbucks: Loyalty Redux

    By: Karen Webster on June 12th, 2008

    Starbucks announced its new rewards program designed to perk up (pun intended) its worst sales slump in 7 years. This program is designed to give consumers instant gratification – refills, complimentary flavor shots, free drinks with the purchase of coffee beans, and even two hours of free wi-fi (at their Starbucks cafes) so long as […]

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    Is Google Making Us Stupid?

    By: David Evans on June 10th, 2008

    Is Google Making Us Stupid? asks Nicholas Carr in the latest issue of the Atlantic Monthly. Carr dances around the question so in the hand we don’t know whether he is just being provocative or whether he really believes it.
    The fact that it begins and ends with a doomsday scenario of computers taking […]

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    The iPhone Goes Mass Market

    By: David Evans on June 10th, 2008

    Apple announced its cheaper and chapter iPhone on June 9th with a July 11th deliverable date, not to mention plans to roll the iPhone 2.0 out in about 70 countries.
    It is a more traditional play than Apple did the first time around. It’s working with the carriers to subsidize the phone and […]

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    Will Social Networking Replace Alumni Mags?

    By: David Evans on June 3rd, 2008

    The Internet is killing yet another traditional media outlet—alumni magazines—according to a recent NY Times article. Social networking technology was just about made for doing what these university publications have been doing for decades—keeping alumni connected and engaged so they will hopefully donate money someday. What’s happening with alumni magazines is also a great […]

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    Can the FTC Help the Mobile Online Advertising Biz?

    By: David Evans on June 3rd, 2008

    The Federal Trade Commission finished its first Town Hall meeting on mobile marketing in DC, probably taking a welcome relief from being beat up by Congress over the impending $5 price for a gallon of gas.
    This is a discussion worth having in my view and the FTC should be given some credit for having […]

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