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SWIFT may not exist in five years, according to MasterCard

The CEO of MasterCard, Michael Miebach, stated at a conference the other day that SWIFT might no longer exist in next five years. Miebach was part of a panel on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) at the World Economic Forum (WEF) but, as Shashank Bhardwaj writes on Forbes, once the panel was over a Mastercard…

Mobile money: is Europe lagging? Is America ahead? Is China the leader?

There are lies, darned lies and statistics. This came to my mind when I saw a headline that 70% of the $1 trillion transacted by mobile telephones globally were taking place in Africa, according to the GSMA (Global System for Mobile Communications Association). I know that this is not true as trillions are being transacted…

Can Europe ever get its payment act together?

It seems to be a week of guest columns, but that’s what happens when you find interesting things online and in your network. Today’s guest is Piotr Jan Pietrzak, Director of International Development at BLIK, the innovative Polish payment system. For followers of my blog, you may remember that I wrote about PEPSI two years…

How the EU banned bitcoin … and then didn’t

I’m not sure if anyone noticed but yesterday was the day that Europe voted not to ban bitcoin. It’s been bubbling for a while, as the EU developed a new Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) framework to protect EU citizens who invest in such assets. In many ways, it’s a good thing as, once a…

A SWIFT slap on the wrist

During the weekend, there was some real action against Russia and specifically Vladimir Putin. The aim is to freeze Russia’s assets, worth around $630 billion, around the world. ‘A global financial pariah’: how central bank sanctions could hobble Russia The ban on Moscow’s use of its roughly $630bn of foreign reserves will harm [the country’s]…

When you realise crypto has gone mainstream

If you didn’t notice, there’s been an interesting thing going on State-side about crypto. It all started off with the 2022 Superbowl (well done the Rams and commiserations to the Bengals), where crypto ads were more present than any other ads. Despite the hype, none of the cryptocurrency commercials at the big game made any…

Will the euro collapse and disappear tomorrow?

There has been a continual debate about the euro and the future of Europe. When the UK voted to leave the EU in 2016, I was absolutely mortified. I didn’t think it would happen, but it has happened. It’s a messy divorce, but the divorce has taken place. Now, the debate moves on to the…

Payments in 2022: Some are making a Big Mistake

Focusing just on the payments space, there are many folks making forecasts for 2022. Here are the highlights. The Financial Brand lists seven major trends for 2022: The ‘P2P’ Wars Will Continue Unabated Despite All the New Stuff, Cards (and Cash) Roll On BNPL: The Payments Wild Card It’s A Wallet! It’s a Platform! It’s Super…

From Swift to Sloth

I had a fascinating conversation the other day, and shouldn’t share it here but hey, it’s my blog. I was talking about my understanding of SWIFT and how Yawar Shah, Chair of the Association, is killing it. I must admit, it had not occurred to me re the politics of SWIFT, until that discussion, as…

Branches, cash and cards? Get out of here!

I’ve been presenting and writing about the end of branches, cash and cards for twenty years: 2007: Bank strategies are fundamentally flawed – design around IP, not branches To be clear, I’m not saying they’re dead. I’ve been saying their role is replaced by the network and digitalisation. Digitalisation is the core, and these old…

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