TD Bank acquired Nordstrom’s Visa credit card and private label portfolio consisting of $2.2B in receivables. Nordstrom was the last of the big retailers with its own credit card program. Reflective of changes in the highly competitive, but profitable co-brand / private label sector, Nordstrom will continue to service the accounts and manage the loyalty program in addition to getting a “substantial portion” of card revenue. TD adds a premium book of balances and scale.
Xapo, a crypto-currency company announced the addition of three industry heavyweights to its Board. They are Larry Summers, former U.S. treasury secretary, John Reed, former CEO of Citi and Dee Hock, the founder of Visa. The continued movement of ‘big name’ establishment players and other recent developments in the digital currency industry signifies steady acceptance of the bitcoin and blockchain technology and infrastructure. This is a space to watch closely.
Target has signaled support for Apple Pay acceptance after its POS system upgrades are complete (which includes the ability to accept EMV cards). Target would be the second MCX member to support Apple Pay following Best Buy’s announcement in April. More dark clouds for MCX whose fate remains uncertain.
Facebook Messenger announces the availability of its P2P payment service in NYC. Additionally, improvements have been made so that dollar amounts are hyperlinked within Messenger conversations and can be tapped to send, and individual payments can be made within a group conversation. While Facebook is playing in a relatively crowded social network payments field, its 500MM Messenger user base plus other recent moves related to media, content, and instant articles provide tremendous clout. What of the banks in P2P?
Google revamps its mobile payments offering with the launch of Android Pay. Google Wallet will now be focused on P2P payments. Android Pay will work in-store and in-app and offers an integrated loyalty solution at the POS. No word on issuer costs, but for Google the value is in the consumer and commerce data. A ‘Hands Free’ payments service is also in the works and in beta with McDonalds and Papa Johns.
Ali Raza is a Principal and Payments Leader at CCG Catalyst Consulting Group