Talks & Presentations

In our latest podcast “Is the US starting to flex its muscles in the payments innovation race?” Finastra’s Head of Industry and Regulatory Affairs Paul Thomalla and I discuss the state of play and dynamics in US payments innovation, instant payments, cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, the existing payments ecosystem, and key differences with other markets.

In a podcast “The Role of the Dollar in the Global Payments System” Finastra’s Head of Industry and Regulatory Affairs Paul Thomalla and I discuss how King Dollar impacts the global payments ecosystem, why and how the US is unique in the way it facilitates and regulates payments, the fragmented and consolidating US banking system, the Fed’s multi-faceted role executing monetary policy, as the financial system’s paramount regulator, and as a payments operator, the CFPB and why its wings may be clipped, the Brazilian central bank’s Pix system, and how laissez-faire regulation enabled payments and fintech innovation in China.

In “Bitesize Payments Regulation” Finastra’s Head of Industry and Regulatory Affairs Paul Thomalla and I discuss digital currency regulation and prospects.

In an interview (part 2) with Donna Blum in BHMI’s “Pioneers in Payments” series, I discuss threats to the payments industry, payments protectionism, government running payment systems that compete with private-sector actors they regulate, the impact of the Durbin Amendment and price controls more broadly in payments, and Senator’s Durbin’s proposed ‘Credit Card Competition Act of 2022.’

In an interview (part 1) with Donna Blum in BHMI’s “Pioneers in Payments” series, I discuss the state of play in payments, key global trends, opportunities for payment networks and processors, putative disruption, and why the payment industry’s best days are yet to come.

October 14, 2021 I gave a dinner talk “Private Money, Public Money, and Payments in the 21st Century” to the Hayek Group discussing reigning electronic payment systems, cash, cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and CBDCs.

Tech titans’ relentless advance into payments

I discuss Facebook’s, Google’s, Amazon’s and Apple’s use of and ambitions in payments. Facebook Pay, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and Apple Pay impact reigning payment networks, processors, and banks. Initiatives like the social-media giant’s fiat-currency-backed stablecoin libra have the potential to roil the payments industry.

Outlook for the payments ecosystem post Covid-19 pandemic , June 4, 2020

I discuss the acceleration in the conversion of cash to electronic payments, the  coming wave of digital fiat currencies, and increased payments protectionism.

The Covid-19 pandemic’s near-term and lasting impacts on retail-payment systems: the good, the bad, and the ugly April 29, 2020

Discussion of the coronavirus storm’s near-term impact on cross-border and domestic payments use and mix, and lasting impacts on the use of cash, digital currencies, contactless, e-commerce, and payments nationalism.

The reigning retail-payments ecosystem: its trajectory, threats, adjacent opportunity space and changing dynamics on the edge

Discusses the current retail-payments landscape, threats to the traditional ecosystem, plausible adjacent opportunity space, and innovation and changing dynamics on the edge.

Is payment-processing behemoth First Data waking from its torpor? May, 2018

For more than a decade the world’s largest payments processor has punched below its weight. Discusses the payments state of play and First Data’s efforts to up its game.

Stripe – The $9 Billion Payments Startup April, 2018

Discusses high-flying payment Phenom Stripe, what’s distinctive, what not so much.

How will traditional credit-card networks fare in an era of Alipay, Google Tez, PSD2 and W3C payments?  April, 2018

I discuss the credit-card ecosystem and how alternative payments systems like Alipay, tech giants’ efforts in payments, PSD2 and the W3C payments initiative are likely to impact it.

The Mother of All emerging Payments Markets, India January, 2018

Discusses the epic battleground between traditional and alternative payments systems and New Delhi’s Visible Hand in the world’s most consequential emerging payments market.

Comments on Dutch payments unicorn Adyen, December, 2017

I discuss one of the most credible fintech unicorns – high-growth Dutch multinational merchant acquirer and processor Adyen.

Remarks on the fast-evolving Indian payments market, December, 2017

India is the world’s most fascinating payments market, very much in play, and promises to be an epic battleground between traditional card networks like Mastercard and Visa, national champion Rupay, US tech giants, alternative payment systems such as Paytm, Hike and MobiKwik, the Chinese fintech giants competing through proxies, MNOs, and perhaps PayPal.

Comments on China’s three payment networks Alipay, China UnionPay and WeChat Pay, November, 2017

Discusses China’s three payments dragons, each of which has global ambitions.

Chinese payments dragons sally forth into the world

Discusses the global payment network competitive landscape and dynamics and Alipay’s, WeChat Pay’s and China UnionPay’s positions, approaches and potential expanding outside China, and likely impact on the world’s two genuinely global networks Mastercard and Visa.

The Four Horsemen of Technology in Payments.pdf

Discusses Google’s, Apple’s, Facebook’s and Amazon’s use of and ambitions in payments and financial services to enhance their platforms, and how they will impact traditional payment networks, processors and banks.

Payments Outlook 2016.pdf

Discusses electronic-payments growth, retail payment network and processor competition, putative challengers including Bitcoin, faster ACH and MNO-centric payment systems, and innovation and consolidation in merchant acquiring and processing.

The Siren Call of China’s Payments Market

China is the second largest card-payments market in the world. Payment transactions increased a whopping 52% yoy in 2014. Chinese authorities recently announced they were putting in place a licensing regime under which foreign payment networks will be permitted to compete in the domestic market. Discusses how real the opportunity is for networks such as Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Discover, and JCB.

Taking a bead on developments in the payments space (*.pdf)

Discusses much ballyhooed Apple Pay’s impact on players across the payments value chain, PayPal’s opportunity and challenges, the state of play for retail payment networks globally and of promising new retail and P2P payment systems in a range of emerging markets, and how the wave of new and nontraditional innovators will affect traditional merchant acquirers and processors.

Potential tectonic shifts in payments (*.pdf)

Discusses Apple Pay’s impact on players across the payments value chain, PayPal’s prospects independent of eBay, interesting bank-led innovation in mobile payments, and payments innovation in a range of emerging markets.

Observations on payments trends and innovation in Europe [*pdf]

Discusses non-cash payment trends and innovation in Europe,

The promise of mobile payments (*.pdf)

Surveys the fast-evolving mobile-payments space including major stakeholders, proximity payments, digital wallets, mobile acceptance, mobile P2P payments, bill-to-carrier systems and mobile-carrier-centric payment networks.

A Payments Renaissance [Compatibility Mode](*pdf)

Impact of the Durbin Interchange Amendment on the Card Payments Industry: Who Gains? Who Loses? (*.pdf)

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was signed into law by President Obama on July 21, 2010. Section 1075 – aka the Durbin interchange amendment, will have an enormous impact on the card payments industry. Attached presentation discusses its direct and indirect effects on large and small debit and prepay card issuers, card-issuer processors, the retail card payment networks, and merchant acquirers and processors.

Impact of the Durbin Interchange Amendment on the Card Payments Industry: Who Would Be Hurt? Who Would Gain? (*.pdf)

For $300 million Steve Case and Ted Leonsis throw in the towel on Revolution Money


Market Rather Than the State Should Determine Payment prices (*.pdf)

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s conference “Payments Pricing: Who Bears the Cost?”

Chicago, May 15, 2009

Chris Dodd and Barney Frank Have the Credit-Card Industry In Their Cross Hairs, Eric Grover, March 25, 2009


The Role of Government Regulation in Alternative Payments – Distilled remarks Janney Montgomery Scott Electronic Payments Summit Philadelphia, November 18, 2008


Plucky Revolution Money takes on payments giants, Eric Grover, June 11, 2008


UBS Electronic Payments Summit V – Opening Remark, Eric Grover, June 4, 2008


Comments on the ongoing transformation of the European card payment processing landscape, Eric Grover, June, 2008



A regulatory tide is coming in on the credit-card industry, Eric Grover, May 27, 2008


Discover making headway to achieving US acceptance parity, Eric Grover, May 27, 2008


Eufiserv stake reinforces First Data’s position as Europe’s leading payment processor, Eric Grover, May 27, 2008


Western Union acts to co-opt mobile money transfers, Eric Grover, April 28, 2008


Discover’s Diners Club acquisition a coup, Eric Grover, April 8, 2008


What Future for MasterCard and Visa? (*.pdf)

Comments on MasterCard, Eric Grover, April, 2007


European and US Payment Networks’ Different Paths, Eric Grover, April 17, 2007