Rumor mill .. instant offers..?

Update June 9

Visa Acquires Fundamo for $110.. Visa.. if you want to keep these things confidential … best not to do a road show before the announcement. Nice of you to throw Monitise a few crumbs in the PR as well ..

Strategically Monitise is set up to serve mature markets and existing customers. Fundamo will focus in emerging markets. This actually makes some sense..  Fundamo is a great little company. Hope Visa can leave it alone so they don’t kill it.  I’m sure Visa wants to integrate the remittance/VMT service in there.. and would love to take part in the upcoming “wave” of G2P payments.  Of course global banks have the real edge here.. more thoughts on this later.

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Many rumors floating around about the big card network based in California.

1) Instant offers. Merchant.. if you send us all of the line item detail in level 3 we can send your customers instant offers. Funny I should hear this rumor today.. I just got an SMS text from Visa on my offer of the day: 15% off Rocky Mountain Chocolate. Yeah.. great deal… I DON”T EAT CHOCOLATE

What is the merchant’s upside? reduced interchange? Nope… issuers get to set that.

I get the “privilege” of Visa talking to my customers directly? Yep.. I also get the honor of giving both Visa and the issuer my detailed pricing information!! As a merchant do I really want Visa and the banks to hold my price list? Remember I’m a banker.. so my friends (if I have any left) whom are  reading this are probably saying “Tom will you please shut up”.  My hope in writing this is that many banks will just skip the hassle of participating in yet another failed initiative. This business model does not work.. it is not retailer friendly and Visa has NO EXPERIENCE in running an ad network or communicating to consumers BEFORE the sale.

To summarize, there is nothing wrong with Visa’s technology here.. but this is not a technology problem. Retailers will give their consumer data up very selectively.

Rumor #2

Visa  has a new strategic relationship with Fundamo.. My friends in India and ME tell me that Visa and Fundamo are making the rounds together. What about poor Monitise?

Rumor #3

Obopay is a partner in Visa Money Transfers.. Another marketing announcement with no business value.

All of these seem to further the impression that Visa is pushing many strings up hill in the hope that something sticks in mobile. My recommendation from my last blog holds.. Create a new company and let your innovation group spin out. You will not be able to effectively deliver innovation in your current 4 party model. You must establish a new payment network which you can control…. perhaps you should think about buying Discover…

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