http://www.nfctimes.com/nfc-projects

There is nothing more to say click and explore.

Remove Volatility

Today I was confronted with volatility. In a two week period gas prices had gone from 2.395 to 26795, quite a climb of less than 14 days.

Volatility, this is what we must remove from peoples lives. Stability and comfort are what is important. Having gameful activity to allows us to contribute to the whole. Being idle is unproductive and only benefits the traders who prey on short term activity to enjoy profits from volatility.

Our President must accept that the Wall Street lobby must be squelched for a while as volatility is banded from the marketplace. This will take an acceptance on the part of the wealthy that they cannot take it beyond the grave and before that excessive income is not acceptable to the healthy grow of civilization.

Set a maximum salary of say 2 million.

Foreign exchange markets are another area of concern. Volatility based on war and famine must the mitigated out of the civilization.

Our civilization is global and provisional limitations such as food subsidies need to be removed.

Remember they are simply subsidies paid by the tax payer. Government should be limited to a percent of the population; remembering its role is to only assure the the primitive functions of justice, liberty, freedom and security.

Regulation is something that must be removed and a new form of peer review established with responsibility to maintain quality, service, stewardship for the planet, and a judicious use of nature resources. Free enterprise is encouraged by remembering that it is the relationship between the customer and proffer that ultimately decides success.

The Future of Money

I took offence when I looked at the picture included in the article published on Wired.

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/02/ff_futureofmoney_move/

The arduous path that he has carved out for a card transaction assumes a lot of unnecessary intermediaries that have included themselves within the picture.

For me the story can be simplified.

Credit card processing involved a minimum of five parties.  The Issuing bank and its technology arm, the acquirer and its network and the scheme (Visa, MasterCard … ).  Everyone else is about the realities of the ISO marketplace and the proliferation of parties offering added value services along the transaction path.

 

 

Remember a credit card transaction is simply

 

Swipe/Tap/Dip/PIN.

Add transaction amount, time, merchant etc.

Ask Acquirer for approval.

Acquirer passed to scheme

Scheme routes to Issuer

Issuer approves and sends back the authorization.

then if necessary sign receipt

That night batches of requests for payment are sent from the acquirer to the Issuer with the Scheme, reconciled and settled.

 

Then there is ACH.  Yes the technology needs a modernization the functionality must be stream lined and ubiquity must be embedded in the pricing model.

Electronic checks that are facsimiles of hand written checks cleared through the Check 21 system should not be eliminated, they are efficient and provide a great personal audit trail.  handling the paper should be pushed as close to the original transaction as possible so that personal accountability is induced.  The person I handed the check to has the check.  So if there is a problem I have to deal with him.

Otherwise all the necessary transactions are possible and with the move to STP “straight through processing” the ability to assure availability of funds can be assured.

What are most of the other schemes.  First like American Express they are three party solutions with a man in the middle holding funds on account in a pre-paid scenario or capable of submitting as your proxy transactions into the ACH and card systems.

Yes the three party system is the most efficient.  Unfortunately it has one problem, it is not open.

Visa and MasterCard, although viewed as restrictive, are open systems.  They accept; any properly sanctioned bank as a member willing to abide by the rules and maintain sufficient reserved.  For a new system to acquire this status either means they become a bank and meet those incremental regulations or they focus on building critical mass as American Express has proven can be done.

So as this next article concludes, what is can improve and probably is better than something new.

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/02/ff_futureofmoney/all/1

The Future of Money: It’s Flexible, Frictionless and (Almost) Free

This is what I have done as the following snapshot indicates:

www.andreae.com/presentations

In a paper recently published by the Federal Reserve they begin to consider what actions the FRB should take to drive the further adoption of P2P electronic payments and the reduction in paper checks.

http://www.bos.frb.org/economic/ppdp/2010/ppdp1001.pdf

Their introduction speaks to the differences in adoption of electronic payments in the USA and Europe.  Intriguingly they include privacy concerns as a key issue.  This being said, having lived in Europe for 15 years, I am not sure the desire for privacy is greater in America.  What can be said is that the moment when the underlining infrastructure was developed defines the ideas and feature sets.  Newer systems learned grew as other economies embraced and proved the viability of innovative ideas.

They go on to discuss the fate of eCash (Mondex, VisaCash) and the need to create ubiquity in order to assure success.    Clearly, as they outline, the major adoption issue in the field of payments is achieving a density of merchants willing to accept a particular means of payment  and simultaneously demonstrating a significant number of consumers willing to employ said means of payment.

Unfortunately for the inventors of neat solutions the reality is that without figuring out how to assure ubiquity the new idea they will not be a success.  If we look at contactless, MasterCard clearly recognised this reality and funded the initial investment in equipment.  Without this investment one wonders if PayPass would have reached the low levels it has.

The interesting thought that emerges from this paper is that the wide spread deployment of mobile phones means that an infrastructure that both merchants and consumers have is in place and if one can find an intuitive means of exploiting this installed base, part of the deployment problem is mitigated.

In my heart, I believe mobile will allow the establishment of new ways of paying,  The next question can today’s infrastructure support P2P payment instructions and will the issuers and acquirers figure out how to make money without cannibalizing existing revenue streams.

http://newsroom.blogs.cnn.com/2009/10/05/unemployment-what%e2%80%99s-to-blame/

Unemployment: What’s to Blame?

Posted: 08:44 AM ET

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan predicts U.S. unemployment could hit 10%.  Currently the nation’s unemployment rate is at 9.8%.

So, what do you think is most responsible from the worsening employment picture: a failed stimulus package, an economy much worse than we knew, employers cutting deeper and hiring more slowly than expected, or something else all together.

Leave us a comment. We’ll share some of them on air in the CNN Newsroom, 11am ET — 1pm ET

 

So there we are.  A picture and a set of points on why we are where we are with unemployment.  Now what about this idea.

First, there is an issue of Greed.  A small percentage of the global population has accumulated a massive amount of wealth.  I am not here to judge the right or wrong of how they or their ancestors acquired the wealth.  I am here to suggest looking forward. 

  1. 100 million dollars a year as a salary to hedge the price of gasoline and contribute to raising the profits and consumer costs associated with oil.
  2. $17.2 million to successful sell Visa inc, to the market, earning bankers a significant return.
  3. Numerous excesses that programs like Nip/Tuck mimic for Wall Street millionaires.
  4. A stock market that has a curve that simply should not have been allowed.  Long term prudent economic management is essential.

 Ponder this.  If equities is suppose to represent the inherent stability of the corporations that employ our neighbors; what happened starting in 2000 and culminating in the bear Stearns collapse in 2007.  Is Wall Street unravelling the growth that began in 1982 and went into a hyperactive phase in 1995, and simply correcting itself. 

What next should represent a step change in how we think about governance, compensation, risk, responsibility and morality.

 What I think a lot of us forget is that our society evolved over millennium and here we are thinking we are so important.  What is important, is being faithful to a common morality, and making sure that we leave something better for our children. 

I agree with the Dali Lama, all we want is peace and happiness.

So what next?

  1. Cap salaries for the rich at 2 million per year.
  2. Institute a managed health system that still uses the concept of insurance and hedging risk to fund our healthcare system.  
  3. Introduce a health management system, with a basement for those that cannot afford even the most basic plan.
  4. Re-introduce exercise in the school system and subsidize community gyms and recreational facilities.
  5. Re-introduce the luxury tax for non essentials over $30,000 and on things that are not good for you or are excessive.  Say anything not associated with your food,  transportation and housing.
  6. Focus on better educating the family practitioners, gynecologists, internist and pediatricians so that they do a much better triage and assessment of appropriate care given available resources with fear of reprisal for taking risks.  If necessary, require an additional year of service at a teaching hospital earning a reasonable income say $120,000.
  7. Do a lot of what Congress is already talking about
    1. Strengthen the VA hospital and medical care system
    2. Do not mess with Medicare or Medicaid, until the new system is in place.  Let the people move to the free market approach.
    3. Do not create a Government run insurance system.  Yes to creating a open market, knock down state borders and promote re-introduction of the original Blue Cross Blue Shield concept of a co-operative not for profit solution
  8. Focus on regulating the quality of care with a no one left behind principle.
  9. Keep the insurance companies out of setting fees.  Manage thje cost of the healthcare system by focusing on competition.  The patient is the client and is to be saught after without offensive advertising.
  10. Mandate a National Id card keying off the social insurance number.  Combine it on the Drivers license, as a day one requirement.
  11. Focus as a corporate priority on employment being the key indicator of success.  Begin discussions on Right to Work legislation and stimulating more humane approach to managing down costs in a period of economic recession.  Reduce executive wages well before the first person can be let go, without cause.
  12. Merge all the work in the fields of governance, risk and regulation into a replacement bill.
  13. I could go on.

From Nothing Something

In an apologetics I was asked to question the idea that something came from nothing.

This is what I have to believe if I am going to listen to the Atheists and ACLU.

Then I thought about Creation and Intelligent Design.  Oh how much simplerit to believe than these Macro Environmental facts that cannot be backed up with data explains it all.  There is much to accept if you are going to believe out of the Big Bang and Chaos; time would produce a single cell.  Then from that single cell produce the abundance of life forms that have and do exist.

255 proteins must magically appear in one place at the exact right time,

Before we can start thinking about things like DNA

The New York Times, in the previous post, looks at the issue from the obvious perspective.  The result is as one would expect.  Remember when France first introduced smart cards 1984or mandated then back in 1992 and the acceptance nightmare.

In the past I have written on the idea - 

Push PCI/EMV into one coherent electronic and secure smart card reader and PIN Pad. 

Mandate all new 1 July 2010; with the understanding that the reality -  every piece of equipment will be replaced in a reasonable period, say 7 to 10 years. 

VARs should easily be able to do that.

The incremental ($8/device) on the device side goes down over time, as equipment becomes more affordable.

On the system side, most international providers have a solid EMV implementation they can port over to the US platform over that same 7 year time frame. 

At the Network switches, gateways and IPSPs; data formats should be changed sooner, say three years from day one.

Issuers can then decide, when to embrace one  global two factor authentication solution; using contact and contact-less EMV  cards to support card authentication [Factor 1] and card holder verification processes (eg. Chip and PIN) [Factor 2] . 

Biometrics were understood when EMV was created.  The mechanisms are in place to introduce an agreed, more secure, biometric verification process [Factor 3].

The NYTimes understands what EMV is

So why not go ahead, do contact ISO7614 and contactless cards ISO14442 for 1.75 a piece.  then merge 15+ cards to a few. Save 11*$.025 = 2.75 per person. or 1.100 Billion less cards as pollutants

Could U.S. consumers spur adoption of EMV in U.S.?

Tracy Kitten

• 01 Oct 2009

As the rest of the world wraps its migration to EMV/chip-and-PIN technology, Americans traveling overseas are running into mag-stripe disadvantages.

This week, travel reporter Michelle Higgins of The New York Times writes that U.S. cardholders traveling abroad are getting turned away by some merchants, since mag-stripe readers are quickly becoming things of the past in every corner of the globe except the United States.

Though EMVCo., which oversees and spearheaded the EMV shift, has said from the beginning that all chip cards and readers would continue to also read mag-stripes, many merchants are reluctant to accept mag-stripes, since they can be held liable if card information is skimmed or compromised. And because magnetic stripes are relatively easy to copy compared with chip-and-PIN technology, accepting mag-stripe transactions potentially opens the door for fraud.

The problem is that most U.S. consumers have not been informed by their financial institutions about potential transaction problems when traveling overseas. Most, in fact, have no idea what EMV or chip-and-PIN technology is.

Twenty-two countries, including most of Europe, Mexico, Brazil and Japan, have adopted EMV technology, according to the Smart Card Alliance. About 50 other countries, including China, India and most of Latin America, are in various stages of migrating over the next two years.

Last year Canada began rolling out chip-and-PIN cards and plans to stop accepting mag-stripe cards at ATMs after 2012 and at POS terminals after 2015.

False Prophets and False Profits

Last night, 11 September 2009, I watched hours of material on 9/11. 

 

I saw the planes as the flaming arrow of the False Prophet. 

 

I saw the two towers as the symbol of the moral decay of the False Profit. 

 

Both clashed in a period of 102 minutes we will long remember.

 

The terrorist is acknowledged and the false prophet stands accused. 

 

Yet the False Profit continues to bring harm to many and shame to those of us who seek to know God and the work Jesus’ expects of us.

 

When will the False Prophet “Profit” finally be recognized as the work of the devil?

American Banker Reports

Europe to Eye Mag-Stripe Ban

Cardline Global  |  Friday, June 26, 2009

European banks may consider banning the use of magnetic stripe credit and debit cards, according to Gerard Hartsink, the chairman of the European Payments Council.

Hartsink, who is also a senior executive vice president at ABN Amro in Holland, said that European financial companies will have largely completed the transition to the EMV Integrated Circuit Card Specification by 2011, and the council, which is driving the transition to the Single Euro Payments Area, could then advise its members to stop accepting magnetic stripe cards, which are considered less secure than those that use EMV.

“My feeling is, although it has not yet been decided, the [council] will take a decision in 2011, maybe 2010, to only use chip cards,” he said in comments during a presentation this week at the Contactless Cards and Payments conference in London.

The council has no enforcement power, but if banks in Europe went along with such a decision, it could leave U.S. cardholders in the lurch when they traveled to Europe and tried to use cards for purchases or ATM withdrawals.

“If [Americans] visit Europe, it’s not such a problem; their institution could issue an EMV card,” Hartsink said.

Payments council members will probably debate the issue in 2010 or 2011, he said.

Hartsink is not the only person suggesting a ban on magnetic stripe cards, according to Dave Birch, a director at the U.K. research company Consult Hyperion. In a recent blog post, he cited comments from a financial regulator in Singapore pressing for a “concerted, global effort to phase out magnetic stripe technology entirely.”