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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Change agents, the democratization of retail

Ann Train

News

Industry Update

Visa unlocks innovation

Small Business Finance Association lays out guidelines

NYPay panel deliberates blockchain's future

Transaction Alley drives fintech innovation

Features

Online lending drives main street small business satisfaction and growth

Approaches to prepaid program management

Are CNP fraud warnings on target?

Mobile rules the roost

Views

Trade Association News: Transact 16: A defining moment for post-disrupted payments

Beating the payment fraud carnie game

Patti Murphy
ProScribes Inc.

Can ISOs and MLSs sell banking services?

Brandes Elitch
CrossCheck Inc.

Education

Street SmartsSM:
The alternative small business loan

John Tucker
1st Capital Loans LLC

Review residual reports, protect your profits

Jeff Fortney
Clearent LLC

Education, the key to unlock consumer innovation adoption

David Poole
myPINpad

Strategic conclusions traditional acquirers can draw from Square

Marc Abbey and Brooke Ybarra
First Annapolis Consulting

Company Profile

Go Direct

New Products

Newly enhanced payment platform for small to midsize merchants

Genius STX
Cayan LLC

Compact, versatile EMV solution

M010
Miura Systems Ltd.

Inspiration

Applying the five W's to merchant services

Departments

Letter from the editors

Readers Speak

GS Book Notes

Resource Guide

Datebook

A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

May 09, 2016  •  Issue 16:05:01

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NYPay panel deliberates blockchain's future

Payments, banking and fintech executives convened April 13, 2016, in midtown Manhattan to discuss the potential impact of blockchain technologies on financial services. Co-sponsored by Opus Consulting and Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, the event was hosted by NYPay, a forum for payments and mobile commerce leaders. The panel discussion was live streamed to remote attendees throughout the world, some of whom participated on Twitter using hashtag #NYPay.

The meeting reflects growing interest in digital currency schemes and distributed ledger technologies, as evidenced by a growing number of advocacy groups focused on these topics, including the Global Blockchain Forum, the U.S.-based Chamber of Digital Commerce, Australian Digital Currency Commerce Association, UK Digital Currency Association and Singapore-based Association of Cryptocurrency Enterprises and Startups.

A panel discussion and Q&A session followed an hour of networking and refreshments. Moderator Eric Piscini, Principal at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd., has handled digital and legacy banking infrastructures for the company, most recently managing a global initiative focused on blockchain use cases in various industries.

Participating panelists included Tiffany Wan, Payments Strategist at JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Steve Mollenkamp, Head of Channel Sales at Ripple Labs Inc.; Kathleen Breitman, Senior Strategy Associate at R3 CEV, and James D. Robinson III, co-founder and General Partner at RRE Ventures.

Pain points, pilot tests

Piscini led a discussion focused on the evolving role of virtual currencies and their potential economic impact on traditional financial services. Panelists shared the belief that currencies like bitcoin will continue to disrupt banking, but they held differing opinions on how inevitable changes will affect global banking and careers in the space.

Additionally, panelists conceded that virtual currencies need to solve a problem in order to scale. Tiffany Wan, in-house consultant at JPMorgan, said, "Look at an area where there's a pain point that needs to be addressed versus having a solution in search of a problem." Wan further noted that payments don't sit in a vacuum, but are integrated into complex upstream and downstream networks in a dynamic ecosystem. Much of the details and economic impact will become more clear in pilot phases, she stated.

Mollenkamp has been leading business development at Ripple, working closely with channel partners on a series of strategic initiatives designed to drive process improvement in cross-border payments. "Increasing regulatory requirements have made cross-border payments a pain point for many banks," he said. "Virtual currencies can solve these problems but may make it necessary to rethink core systems and models to achieve secure, real-time, cross-border payments."

Venture capitalist Robinson said he sees numerous financial and nonfinancial use cases for distributed ledger technologies, basically anywhere there's a need for "simplification of a ridiculously onerous process." Big banks may have a different role if we can connect all the debit cards around the world in real time, but they still fulfill a need for trusted partners, he said.

Open source, open ledger

Beyond the implications of virtual currencies, the panel saw broad opportunities for the underlying technology to solve problems and improve efficiencies in the payments ecosystem.

R3's Breitman works with leading banks to design and deliver advanced distributed ledger technologies to global financial markets. "Blockchain technologies are good at forging consensus, tracking assets and coordinating databases," she said. "They can unite a market, and [mitigate] a tense situation by creating a ledger that all stakeholders can rely on, with a validated audit trail."

Mollenkamp added that it "solves reconciliation issues, speed issues and questionable ownership. When I trust you and you trust me, we only need a tiny little blockchain between us, [comparable to] a form of escrow." He went on to say that fraud checks need to be incorporated into the system, because when money is moved in real time, you can't get it back.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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Spotlight Innovators:

North American Bancard | USAePay | Humboldt Merchant Services | Impact Paysystems | Electronic Merchant Systems