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  1. #221



    Apple Pay Adoption

    The Apple Pay Adoption Tracker is a collaborative effort between PYMNTS and InfoScout, a consumer research company. We survey a statistically significant group of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus mobile phone users every quarter to determine the degree to which their use of and interest in Apple Pay is changing. We began our work in November of 2014, 30 days after launch. …

    Read about it at pymnts.com, and weep Apple fanboys …

    The graphic presentations are simple enough, and even the most technically illiterate Apple fanboys should be able to understand the conclusions that are drawn. In the final analysis, it appears that the little piece of plastic has a lot of life left in it yet. And, regardless, what then about Android Pay, Samsung Pay, MasterPass and Visa Checkout, none of which ask the banks for a cut of their transaction fee?

    Apple Pay—still the solution to a payments problem that does not exist …

  2. #222



    PayPal froze our funds, then offered us a business loan

    About a year ago, we made the decision to use PayPal as the primary payment method for our company, Hacker Paradise. After about a month, they froze all of the money we had in the account — around $30,000.

    For context, our company runs trips around the world for developers, designers, and entrepreneurs who want to work and travel. Last year, we had vendors all over the world, in places like Bali, Barcelona, Thailand, and Tokyo, so it wasn’t too surprising that our account got flagged.

    We reached out to PayPal’s startup evangelist, and with his help, were able to get $10,000 released. Since we were a risky account, they said they needed to hold on to the remaining $20,000 for up to six months. … [read more]

    Anyone that uses “PreyPal” as a means of receiving payments should read the whole of this article. The reality is, you do business with this clunky, unprofessional operator at your peril, and there is no need to use such a clunky operator when the likes of “MasterPass” or “Visa Checkout” are now available to any merchant, via their retail banker; particularly for anyone that already has a credit card merchant account with such a prudentially regulated, FDIC insured, real bank …
    Last edited by PhilipCohen; 01-10-2016 at 12:32 AM.

  3. #223



    “Bitcoin Boulevard” no longer booming

    It’s been almost two years since a group of businesses in a Cleveland suburb started accepting digital currency bitcoin as a form of payment. The response at first was huge. Visitors from around the world stopped at what became known as "Bitcoin Boulevard." But now, the bitcoin hype has subsided.

    Along a lane of small retail stores, restaurants and bars, nine independent Cleveland Heights businesses banded together to form Bitcoin Boulevard in May 2014. But today, two of those businesses have closed, one is not actively accepting bitcoin, and a wine shop ceased most of its bitcoin transactions after the Ohio Division of Liquor Control banned alcohol purchases with the digital currency.

    Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates is one of the original nine businesses. Owner Bill Mitchell says he started seeing a drop in bitcoin payment when its value dwindled at the beginning of 2015. … [read more]

    What more needs to be said?

    I never could understand why any consumer would choose to complicate any retail transaction by paying with Bitcoins (having to first obtain them), which are effectively a volatile “foreign” currency with a ~2% FX conversion fee (~1% buy/sell at each end)—even for a domestic transaction—and has no transaction dispute resolution process nor statutory consumer protections.—Dream on Bitcoin fanboys.

    Within two months of Bitcoin Boulevard’s debut in May 2014, the currency was valued at more than $650. Now, it’s dropped to far less. The problem, according to Case Western Reserve University banking Professor William Mahnic, is bitcoin’s instability. “My bitcoin is worth X at 9 o’clock and its worth X minus one or X plus one at 9:01,” said Mahnic. “How do you get over that? The money in your wallet, your credit card, is stable.”

    Mahnic said bitcoin is appealing because it charges no transaction fees to merchants. Some credit cards have transaction fees between 2 percent and 4 percent. With bitcoin, transaction fees are decided by the merchant and the customer. Sometimes they decide to complete the transaction without a fee.

    “Mahnic said bitcoin is appealing because it charges no transaction fees to merchants.” What’s that? It’s not simply the volatility of Bitcoins that is a problem. Bitcoins, being effectively a “foreign” currency, will incur an FX conversion fee when the consumer buys his Bitcoins and when the merchant converts his holdings of Bitcoins to fiat currency; then, maybe some merchants are silly enough to hold funds in Bitcoins and ride “Bitcoin’s instability” rollercoaster! Good luck with that …

    “Some credit cards have transaction fees between 2 percent and 4 percent.” And which cards are those? The clunky PayPal is the only payments processor that charges anywhere like 4%; Most credit card merchants would be paying <2%; the very large merchants are probably paying ~0.5% …

    Regardless, no one is forced to accept credit card payments, and for physical point-of-sale debit card or EFTPOS transactions the fee is insignificant …

    And, here’s another interesting article …

    Comparison of Bitcoin with Alternative Payments

    This article should be required reading for all Bitcoin fanboys (and paid shills); includes a section titled “Bitcoin claims and reality” …
    Last edited by PhilipCohen; 01-10-2016 at 12:35 AM.

  4. #224



    Man allegedly loots boss's accounts [via PayPal]

    The restaurant owner contacted police on Oct. 2, saying the amount of money in his business account was much lower than it should be. The owner said he checked with his bank and noticed [that over a three-month span] $19,805 was withdrawn from his checking account or transferred out of his savings account 189 times via PayPal.

    Police had to issue subpoenas twice to PayPal to find out who got the money.

    On Friday, Penley reached out to police, saying a friend told him he was being investigated. He came to the police department and admitted he had access to the restaurant owner’s online banking credentials and linked them to a PayPal account without his boss’s knowledge, … [read it all]

    “Police had to issue subpoenas twice to PayPal to find out who got the money.”—So, what’s new at “PreyPal”?

    And, so much for PayPal’s checking the bona fides of the attaching of a bank account(s)—anybody’s bank account(s)—to a PayPal account for the purpose of direct debiting.

    And, on receipt of the first direct debit from a new direct debiting creditor (ie, PayPal), what about an email from the bank to the account holder requesting a confirmation of validity of the direct debit authority.

    Regardless, but more materially, as the attaching of the bank account(s) to the PayPal account, ie, the authority to make direct debits on the bank account(s), was fraudulent, one presumes that the clunky “PreyPal” will be required to fully reimburse the defrauded restaurateur for his loss—LOL …

    Goodbye clunky PayPal—it's not been nice knowing you ...
    Last edited by PhilipCohen; 01-12-2016 at 05:59 PM.

  5. #225



    PayPal Board Picks Bitcoin Startup CEO

    PayPal Board Picks Bitcoin Startup CEO

    A digital currency enthusiast has joined PayPal’s Board of Directors.

    PayPal announced this week that it appointed Wences Casares to its board of directors. Casares is the founder and CEO of Xapo, a bitcoin company. The company provides tools for consumers to both purchase bitcoins and manage them through its digital wallet. It also enables consumers to spend bitcoin using the Xapo Debit Card or store them in Xapo’s secure Vault.

    Calling him a “successful international FinTech entrepreneur and recognized next-generation payment and cryptocurrency thought leader,” PayPal noted that he will serve on the company’s Compensation Committee.

    “I join PayPal’s directors and the entire PayPal team in welcoming Wences to our board,” said Dan Schulman, president and CEO of PayPal. “Wences’ unique line of sight into the future of commerce is ideally aligned with PayPal’s vision of transforming the management and movement of money for people around the globe.”

    We can only hope that he doesn’t advocate paying people using bitcoin.

    LOL—Two clunky operators looking for some company as they both journey down the toilet …

  6. #226



    Mike Hearn: Bitcoin Has Failed
    https://ripple.com/insights/mike-hea...in-has-failed/ (the abridged version)
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/17/bu...e-up.html?_r=0 (NYT background)
    https://medium.com/@octskyward/the-r...1f7#.k3wmqkwe0 (Hearn’s blog)

    But despite knowing that Bitcoin could fail all along, the now inescapable conclusion that it has failed still saddens me greatly. The fundamentals are broken and whatever happens to the price in the short term, the long term trend should probably be downwards. I will no longer be taking part in Bitcoin development and have sold all my coins.—Mike Hearn

    Read about it and weep Bitcoin fanboys (and paid shills); you too clunky PayPal for having just appointed a “bitcoiner” to your board of directors, with the, undoubtedly forlorn, hope that your integration of this funny money with “PreyPal” might ultimately save your bacon—LOL …

  7. #227



    JP Morgan CEO: Bitcoin is Going Nowhere

    Noted Bitcoin skeptic Jamie Dimon was asked about Bitcoin during a recent televised interview. He doesn’t see the cryptocurrency going anywhere, although he does state blockchain technology “is real.”

    JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon appeared in a CNBC interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where the interviewer brought up the subject of electronic currencies, specifically Bitcoin.

    A previous interview between the two had Dimon remark that bitcoin “was going nowhere fast.” The comment was made during a previous installment of the WEC in Davos, years ago. The question resurfaced, with the interviewer stating, “now, it [bitcoin] seems to be reemerging potentially.”

    To this, Dimon responded, “No. I think it’s two things,” he started, separating Bitcoin and blockchain technology.

    There’s Bitcoin, the currency, I think is going to go nowhere and that’s not because of anything to do with technology.

    The CEO of the largest bank in the United States by assets pointed to governmental controls that will curb virtual currencies.

    “Governments, when they form themselves, form their currency. Governments like to control currency [and] know where it goes and who it goes to and control it for monetary purposes,” he added.

    There is nothing behind a bitcoin and I think if it was big, the governments would stop it.

    The subtle dig at the biggest cryptocurrency there is echoes a previous statement made by Dimon in November 2015 when he claimed Bitcoin “is like 2 billion or 3 billion dollars,” while JP Morgan moves 6 trillion dollars a day. “So, you’ve got to [put it in perspective],” he said at the time.

    “That’s my own personal belief,” he added now while including,” I may be dead wrong.”

    Having separated the currency from the technology, Dimon then had a different take on the blockchain.

    The blockchain is a technology which we have been studying…and yes it’s real.

    Dimon quickly explained the blockchain as “keeping a single file as opposed [to multiple files].”

    It has certain security measures. If it proves to be cheap and secure, it will be adopted for a whole bunch of stuff.

    “Not for everything,” he further opined about the blockchain, “it is not usable for certain types of things.”

    JP Morgan is among a group of banks participating in the R3-led blockchain consortium looking into the applications of distributed ledger technology into present-day financial systems. For the first time since putting together a group of 42 global banks, R3 revealed an experiment conducted between 11 partner banks across multiple continents, using a private distributed ledger powered by Ethereum technology.

    JP Morgan is also among several banks that form a part of the Open Ledger Project, overseen by the Linux Foundation and headed by IBM as an open-source distributed ledger effort.

    Jamie Dimon’s latest comments come after a recent talk at the Fortune Global Forum where he deemed Bitcoin as “a waste of time.”

    The full CNBC interview can be found here ($).

    Read about it and weep Bitcoin fanboys; you too “PreyPal” …

  8. #228



    PayPal CEO on Global Shift to Digital and Mobile Banking

    In an interview with Bloomberg, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman talked about the positive tailwinds around the movement of cash to digital - "you have all the power of a bank branch in the palm of your hand right now," he said of consumers with mobile devices.

    Schulman said merchants aren't so much concerned about digital payments, but about using mobile and software to get closer to their customers. He referenced the value proposition PayPal could help bring merchants at checkout, such as giving customers the ability to order ahead and skip the line.

    Asked by Bloomberg reporters about the competition, the PayPal CEO said its real competition is cash. …

    "you have all the power of a bank branch in the palm of your hand right now," he said of consumers with mobile devices.

    That may well be but “PreyPal” is not a “bank”, at least not in any licensed, prudentially regulated, deposit-insured sense; it’s a clunky faux bank; generally, licensed only as a money transmitter, like Western Union. …

    “[Schulman] referenced the value proposition PayPal could help bring merchants at checkout, such as giving customers the ability to order ahead and skip the line.”

    Actually, all merchants really want from “PreyPal;” is an assurance that they are going to receive payment before the goods/service walk out the door, which has always been a bit of a gamble with “PreyPal”.

    And, Schulman thinks that “cash” is his biggest competition. What a load of disingenuous nonsense, MasterPass and Visa Checkout are now his real competition, particularly in the online sphere and, outside of PayPal’s mandated place on the atrophying eBay marketplace, and for those small and likewise clunky merchants that can’t obtain a real credit card merchant account with their own retail bank, MasterPass and Visa Checkout will eventually bury the clunky “PreyPal”—it’s only a matter of time …

    Regardless, notwithstanding the constant stream of disingenuous nonsense that flows from eBay/PayPal (and their paid shills), the share prices of these two clunky operators demonstrate the reality ...

    Aug 2007: AMZN ~$40; EBAY ~$40;
    Jul 2015 (pre eBay-PayPal split): AMZN ~$480; EBAY ~$66;
    Jul 2015 (post-split): AMZN ~$530; EBAY ~$28; PYPL ~$37;
    Currently: AMZN ~$597; EBAY ~$26; PYPL ~$31—LOL ...

    Notwithstanding the "spin-off" of PayPal from eBay, eBay and "PreyPal" remain effectively joined at the hip, and anyone that thinks otherwise is uninformed; and, thanks to a continuation of most of the imbecilic policies introduced over the eight year reign (2007–2015) of the "Pain from Bain", John Joseph Donahoe II, the eBay marketplace is continuing on its slow journey down the toilet; nevertheless, during Johnny Ho's occupation of the eBay corner office, this cretin and his gang of hand-picked Keystone Kops still managed to obtain for themselves massive, unearned, "performance" bonuses—while the company's shareholders received not a penny ...

    PayPal is a clunky, non-deposit insured, virtually non-regulated, "pretend" bank; a payments intermediary that, in the main, rides on the back of the world's banks' existing payments systems with no formal agreement with those banks other than PayPal's operating of a credit card merchant account facility with, and the making of direct debits/credits on some users' bank accounts via, one of those real retail banks. Even more perilous (for PayPal's shareholders), the great majority of PayPal's business still originates from its effectively mandated place on the eBay marketplace, so it logically follows that—with the destructive Johnny Ho-Ho-Ho now sitting at the head of the PayPal boardroom table—"PreyPal" will undoubtedly be accompanying eBay on its journey to the sewage farm.

    The reality is, PayPal's parasitic, intermediary, payments operation has little long-term future, outside of the likes of the atrophying eBay marketplace, now that professional online/mobile payments offerings from MasterCard ("MasterPass") and Visa ("Visa Checkout") are available to any professional online merchant that has (or can obtain) a credit card merchant account from a real bank. And, with respect particularly to "mobile" payments, notwithstanding Apple Pay's disappointing initial showing, methinks Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay, "MasterPass", and "Visa Checkout", that is, those operators that have formal relationships with the retail banks and MasterCard/Visa, will soon enough throttle the flow of oxygen to a great deal of the clunky PayPal's parasitic operations—LOL ...

    Regardless, eBay is likely the most unscrupulous commercial entity operating on this planet; but, have no fear, eBay is an equal-opportunity fraudster—demonstrably—they will knowingly aid and abet the defrauding of buyers by unscrupulous eBay merchants who shill bid on their own auctions, and of honest sellers by unscrupulous buyers—as long as there is a financial benefit in such fraud for eBay. And if anyone thinks that the clunky "PreyPal" is any more scrupulous, given their equally poor customer service and lack of any effective mediation of transaction disputes—other than a hard-wired bias towards buyers/payers that they necessarily now have to pander to—good luck to all you small online merchants who may get chewed up in the process ...
    Last edited by PhilipCohen; 02-16-2016 at 01:22 PM.

  9. #229



    Payment options can complicate e-commerce ROI

    I was talking last week with the e-commerce chief over at an apparel site called RainbowShops.com. That online maestro, David Cost, vice president of e-commerce, mentioned that, back in September 2015, his team added PayPal as a payment option.

    Almost immediately, 20% of all of Rainbow's transactions were using PayPal. But there was no e-commerce revenue increase attributable to PayPal. In other words, the site only experienced a routine revenue increase.

    This forces an e-commerce ROI question. Did the change indeed have no revenue impact? Would all or some of those PayPal transactions have gone elsewhere had the site not started accepting PayPal at that moment? Or would the PayPal users have simply used a Visa card or one of the other site payment options?

    To keep this discussion pure, Cost looked at whether the payment option addition had any net income impact — which can prove a lot more valuable than a revenue boost — and found nothing of consequence. Specifically, he found that the switch had no appreciable impact on transaction fees (“interchange proved to essentially be a wash”) and it did generate a slight drop in fraud. All in all, nothing big.

    So, what then is the point of offering the clunky intermediary “PreyPal” as a payments option when any online merchant that already has a credit card merchant account with a real bank can now offer “MasterPass” or “Visa Checkout” as an option and be dealing directly with their own retail bank via its MasterCard/Visa services?
    Last edited by PhilipCohen; 02-16-2016 at 12:59 PM.

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