I want to compliment you on the current article in The Green Sheet ["Insider's report on payments: Including checks in payments modernization," Dec. 14, 2015, issue 15:12:01]. This is one of the few common-sense articles about the so-called "need for faster payments." As you point out, the majority of checks are clearing on a same-day basis now, and other experiments outside of the U.S. have not demonstrated a widespread need for "faster payments."
As for all the press around the need for real-time P2P payments, this might be a pressing need in India or Africa where most people are unbanked, but not in the U.S. If you need money, you go to the ATM or you get cash back at Safeway or any other major retailer. I've never seen a pressing need to settle a restaurant check or borrow money from another person, which is generally a bad idea to begin with. In fact, most restaurants can just split the check and render separate bills anyway.
This excitement about the need for faster payments is total nonsense, especially when the Fed Funds rate is almost zero! There is no opportunity cost to getting paid a day later at this rate. People are already using mobile RDC, and those items will clear same day if the payee is using the same bank, or next business day at the latest. If someone cannot wait one day for their money, they must be in precarious financial circumstances, which gets me to the next point: there is no money in P2P, and people who need funds to pay their company's bills use merchant cash advance or factor their receivables.
Anybody who is building a real-time solution for P2P payments is doomed to failure because, just like not paying for music, the Millennials are not going to pay anything for clearing a $50 payment a day sooner. In my opinion, all this is just a media ploy for more readers.
Brandes Elitch, CrossCheck Inc.
The payments industry is mourning the loss of Michael A. Brewer, who passed away Nov. 20, 2015. After graduating from Whittier Law School with a Juris Doctorate degree in 1985, Brewer went on to become the founding principal of the Law Offices of Michael A. Brewer APC in 2011, operating offices in Los Angeles and Irvine, Calif.
In his work as a civil and trial lawyer, Brewer represented a broad spectrum of clients in business, commercial, credit card, retail, manufacturing and developing industries in California and Asia. He also participated in several high-profile cases, which included serving as co-lead counsel in the wrongful death civil lawsuit brought against O.J. Simpson that resulted in a $33 million verdict for plaintiffs.
Mentor and friend
Colleagues in Brewer's law firm and people who knew him through his payments industry endeavors said he will long be remembered for his integrity and generosity, which extended into all aspects of his life.
"Mike started as my attorney over four years ago and we grew to becoming friends, as he was like a father figure, a mentor and an advisor to me," said Jeff Brodsly, President and Chief Executive Officer at Chosen Payments. "Mike was by far one of the most loyal, trustworthy men of principle I have ever met in my life."
Brodsly noted that as his payments business grew, Brewer advised him both personally and professionally with a true passion toward watching him succeed. "The world needs more men like Mike Brewer, and I will always cherish the relationship we did have, and the logical guidance he provided so much of to me. I wish sincere condolences to his family in their time of grieving." Brewer is survived by his spouse, three daughters and a grandchild.
Brewer's solid expertise in contracts was evidenced in interviews with The Green Sheet. In one such interview, he offered this advice to merchant level salespeople negotiating partner agreements: "My recommendation to these agents is to get a lawyer; make sure the lawyer is familiar with the industry. That's the most important thing, because the folks that are not in the industry don't understand the unique needs of an agent."
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