Monday, 11 February 2008

Cards & Transfers Redefined

There's a small revolution brewing in North America...........coincidentally called the Revolution Card!

There are two products actually....the first is a credit card which consists of a card which has neither the card-holder name nor the card number embossed on it! The cards can be used at the existing Point of Sale (POS) infrastructure and would require customers to use pins to complete their transactions.

The USP - significantly lower merchant interchange fees of 0.5% vis a vis the prevailing rates in the range of 2% ( in North America). For the customer much greater security and identity protection.

The second product is an online money transfer service, that enables customers to transfer funds free of charge! There are fees incurred for withdrawals and some deposit transactions. Quite a healthy benefit for customers using Paypal, Western Union and similar wire transfer services.

The company is backed by Steve Case, one of the founders of AOL and has received funding from an interesting array of investors including Citibank, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank.

The payments industry has typically been driven by Visa, MasterCard, American Express and a few others. Innovations have been typically been incremental & reactive and not always quantum in nature. It is refreshing to see the birth of an all new player that might just change the rules of the game.....

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