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Open Sourcing of Card Networks?

Last week, I came across an interesting headline -

"Visa Opens World’s Leading Payments Network to Independent Developers

Visa Inc. today announced a significant enhancement to the Authorize.Net Developer Center, a resource that enables independent developers to create applications supporting electronic payments and related services for major payment networks including VisaNet."

Is it now open season for card networks?  Since inception, card networks like Visa, MasterCard and Amex have been closed 'high secure' networks with access limited to member banks.

Looks like with the rapid 'Iphone' applicationing of the world, card networks can no longer afford to remain out of bounds to external innovation. What this means now is that mobile service providers, alternative payment providers can tag along to the Visa network and promote a wider coverage to their innovations.

Five years hence, we may be looking at a completely open sourced payment network world - cloud computing at its best.

The recent charge by Twitter into payments - Square- and American Express taking over Revolution Card are signs of our looking to a 'cloud networked' payment world.

Hopefully, this revolution will benefit consumers and merchants who can pay anywhere with anything at anytime.

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Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 05 November, 2010, 10:23Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

"Five years hence, we may be looking at a completely open sourced payment network world - cloud computing at its best."

Best for whom ? For criminal hacker gangs ?

This also reflects back to the old question of what cloud computing is. A somewhat simple definition: Cloud computing means somebody else is taking care of the infrastructure. So this isn't new at all, there have been service bureaus and ASP's and outsourcing and whatever since ages ...

There are also payments service providers, providing their service to banks and retailers in a very effective and secure way since decades. Together with banks and retailers they are practicing a kind of SOA since ages, long before that hype term has been invented.

One can only hope that payments in the future will remain as reliable and effective as they were in the past. You want cloud computing ? That's fine, but be aware that these clouds need to be very reliable. By default, this is not the case ...