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    Millennials vs. Boomers: Who Will Boost Consumer Spending?

    By: Karen Webster on April 29th, 2013

    I walked to my little local market this morning in Boston and saw the latest issue of Barron’s on the newsstand. The cover story is all about U.S. Millennials: those 18- to 37-year-olds who, according to this article, are the future of the U.S. economy because they are poised to drive consumer spending like nobody’s […]


    Apple’s mPayments Strategy: Wait And See

    By: Karen Webster on April 25th, 2013

    Three guesses – and the first two don’t count – on who said this about what topic and when.
    “I think it’s in its infancy, I think it’s just getting started. Just out of the starting block.”
    That would be Tim Cook, Apple CEO, on mobile payments, Tuesday, April 23, 2013. In the process, he dashed the […]


    How JCP’s Strategy Made A Penney Not Saved

    By: Karen Webster on April 15th, 2013

    Just about everyone by now knows the story of JC Penney, or JCP as the brand is now known. In forty characters, it is how a 110-year-old brand hires Apple exec to turn it from old and dowdy into hip and cool and crashes and burns. When the hiring of Ron Johnson was announced in […]


    The Incredible Shrinking Google Wallet

    By: Karen Webster on March 26th, 2013

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    The Incredible Shrinking Google [Retail Payments] Wallet
    Seven years into the retail payments game, search giant Google has struggled to find its footing in the retail payments game. The news that broke about ten days ago, as its Commerce reorg sent a huge signal about its plans to address this - at least […]


    The Innovation Project 2013: Igniting Payments Innovation

    By: Karen Webster on March 25th, 2013

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    The Innovation Project™ 2013 was an amazing experience from beginning to end. We set out to facilitate a series of C-level-to-C-level conversations about payments and commerce that went beyond the usual conference patter to the essence of the struggles and opportunities that executives deal with every day as they are trying to (excuse […]


    Visa, Chase Deal Personifies Payments Platform Trend

    By: Karen Webster on March 5th, 2013

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    Platform plays are going to make 2013 a very interesting year for payments.
    Payments has always been about platforms, of course, given the sector’s two/multi-sided structure. But the big news that broke across the industry over these last two weeks is, I think the tip of the iceberg. If 2012 was the year of […]


    Social Media Sentiments: Who Really Drives (Or Deters) Mobile Payments?

    By: Karen Webster on February 26th, 2013

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    MasterCard made plenty of news on Monday at Mobile World Congress. It announced the launch of MasterPass — its omni-channel digital wallet that will support QR codes, tags — and the NFC v.2 of PayPass, which was released last year. It will also extend MasterCard’s cloud-based wallet capabilities to the physical point of […]


    Facebook Gets Physical

    By: Karen Webster on February 6th, 2013

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    The “Facebook goes offline” development of last week got me to thinking about a couple of things.
    First, it only reinforced the notion that Discover is dead serious about its ambition to be the innovation catalyst in this space. Licensing its network and the set of assets that its network offers has the potential […]


    NFC At MIT: Which Wallets Will Win?

    By: Karen Webster on January 29th, 2013

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    I had the pleasure of moderating a very fun panel right before Christmas (Doesn’t that seem like an eternity ago?!) on my all time favorite topic, mobile wallets. It was sponsored by the MIT NFC Cluster, which has done an excellent job of assembling the NFC community in Boston. And, yes, I was […]


    Neiman’s Loyalty Lessons

    By: Karen Webster on January 22nd, 2013

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    There’s a new topic of conversation now in and around payments and that is about how to get and keep customers loyal. It’s become front and center for retailers, for sure, these days who are being attacked on all fronts by consumers who enter their stores with mobile phones that help them buy […]