Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Monday, October 1, 2012

GOOGLE’s CHINESE CONUNDRUM HOW GOOGLE DID THE RIGHT THING IN CHINA Distance Assignment, Internationalization of the Firm PG 19.9.2012 Distance Assignment 19.09.2012 1. Why GOOGLE Entered China From a business management perspective, the case for a GOOGLE launch in China was clear cut and primarily two-fold; 1. with only 8% of the total Chinese population using the internet, its 105 million users was still the world’s second largest internet market and represented a huge and lucrative growth opportunity for GOOGLE; and 2. GOOGLE’s main competitors in internet search, YAHOO and Microsoft, had already entered China, so it had to address its competitors. However, GOOGLE was required by the Chinese gov-ernment to self-censor its search service. This posed an ethical dilemma for GOOGLE as one of its core corporate tenant is “Don’t be evil” and agree-ing to self-censor could be seen as a violation of this principle. So what did GOOGLE do? After performing a moral spreadsheet analysis and balancing 1. its business commitment to serving user interests with 2. its policy commitment to access to information, in the context of 3. local market conditions, GOOGLE man-agement concluded it would have been "more evil" to deny the 1.4 Billion Chinese (approximately 105 million internet users circa 2006) a GOOGLE-choice i.e., an external enlightened progressive Western value-centric internet service provider. GOOGLE's self-censorship, in the short term as a prerequisite to be available to Chinese users, is merely a tactic to comply with the current Communist Chinese ISP self-censorship "Golden Dome" policy. It is thus a practical and necessary compromise by GOOGLE and is "less evil" than being corporately self-righteous and deny innocent Chinese internet customers a GOOGLE-choice by being absent from the Chinese internet market. GOOGLE is #2 to domestic search rip-off Chinese copy-cat BAIDU and is gradually gaining market share thus proving that Chinese internet consumers appreciate GOOGLE's choice. 2. GOOGLE’s Decision to Enter China Followed Sound Internationalization Strategy An enterprise that has conquered its domestic market by achieving a dominant market position is required to pursue a FDI strategy or internationalization expansion plan to expand, grow and add value for its stockholders . GOOGLE’s international expansion is de facto in line with FDI patters circa 2000-2011. Representing the world’s 2nd largest internet market, GOOGLE in fact had an ethical financial fiduciary obligation to its stockholders to enter China and grow its business there. It was also required to address the competitive threat posed by its domestic search rivals, YAHOO and Microsoft, who had previously entered China and were growing their user bases there. 3. GOOGLE’s Next Move GOOGLE should continue doing what its doing and following its current strategy as it is working and GOOGLE is gaining market share at the expense of the market leading Chinese incumbent Baidu.com. GOOGLE’s stated plans are to let its Chinese GOOGLE team make GOOGLE China “Chinese” and thus different from other GOOGLE search services. This is smart and a sound strategic decision. Allowing GOOGLE China to adapt and adjust itself so that it appeals to Chinese users while toeing the line with Chi-nese Internet Law and Policy should allow GOOGLE’s superior search technology and business management to allow it to become the #1 search service in the market. In the words of then-GOOGLE CEO Eric Schmidt, “We were late entering the market but our investment is paying off and we will eventually be the leader”. 4. Conclusion GOOGLE made both a smart business decision and an ethically responsible corporate value compromise by entering China by agreeing to self- censor its search service. Bibliography

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Ever wonder about the confluence of Steve's /

Stephen's and mobiles?

Disney Buys Finnish Rocket Pack

Why do all the Americans get the good Finnish companies? Wonder why NOKIA let's these gems get away http://www.portfolio.com/views/blogs/daily-brief/2011/03/03/disney-purchases-game-tool-maker-rocket-pack-in-end-run-around-app-store-costs" Then again, NOKIA may be American-owned pretty soon.

NOKIA Drops $5mill in SponsorPay

Bo Ilsoe and Team place a smart bet

Payment Architects Wanted!

If your skilled in the art of designing and architecting payment networks, PG invites you to join PAYMENTGUYS (& PAYMENTGIRLS). This is a group of payment specialists who like to do freelance payment gigs. Preferably you are a skilled developer and/or have some formal training in architecture and are for example TOGAF certified. But experience, interest and passion are what is most important. Please contact paymentguy@gmail.com.

NFC Payments Coming Soon to A Phone Near You!

NYTimes talks about some pending NFC payment initiatives

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Kiwi Ezi-Pay Partners with Yank InComm For Prepaid Cards

Great prepaid concept here; "New Zealand gift card company Ezi-Pay has teamed up with the largest United States gift card provider, inComm, to launch a card that allows anyone to give online gaming as a gift." http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10691901

Linden Lab's Last Hurrah ...

Seems the Linden Management is going to offer virtual gambing with an Israeli company 888 http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2010/12/08/linden-lab-has-plans-to-relent-on-gambling-ban-in-second-life-in-2011/. Well, about time they reversed this stupid decision from 2 years ago. This could actuallly save Linden's ass and the sooner they offer 3D poker and sports betting for punters - the better! Just look at how much these Brits rake in http://www.pkr.com/en/ and http://www.egrmagazine.com/news/608542/news-in-brief-pkr-signs-20instantplay-games-deal-netrefer-luxbet-greentube.thtml and full article here;


“It was very clear to me that this was something pretty special”, reminisces Malcolm Graham, chief executive of PKR, when describing his first impressions of the concept behind one of Europe’s best poker brands. “When I met [PKR creator] Jez [San] and he showed me what he was building, it seemed to me that there was a real opportunity for that kind of approach to the online gaming space. I always felt the product quality offerings weren’t particularly high-end and clearly his ambition was to build something that was a much better product.”

Graham joined PKR in time for its launch in 2006 after meeting San, IT prodigy, creator of the 3D online poker room and the computer industry’s first ever recipient of an OBE, in late 2005. He had previously been running the Ritz Club’s online and land-based casinos and managed to perfectly time the leap from off- to online. “The Ritz was a great place to work but we were never going to make it into a material business. The online division was always going to be very modest in scale,” Graham reflects, admitting he was instantly “blown away” by the originality of San’s idea when they met. “I was intrigued but it took us three or four months to get to the right place on how best to work on it together.”

But it was not all plain sailing, as capital-raising in the early days proved “very tricky”, according to Graham. “We were trying to raise money in the middle of the whole Carruthers/Peter Dicks issues [high profile online gaming-related arrest cases in the US] and the summer of 2006 was a pretty painful time,” he recalls. “Investors were increasingly nervous about whether a standalone poker business could be built in Europe. I think many people kindly said we were optimistic but in private thought we were slightly bonkers.”

Little did Graham know, however, that the dramatic change to the regulatory landscape in the US was about to add fuel to the fire. “I remember we signed the shareholders’ agreement on the Friday afternoon of the same day as UIGEA was passed six hours later, so that was an interesting weekend.

“Fortunately they didn’t ask for their money back and a month later we started marketing the product and it became clear that we could acquire customers pretty cost effectively.” Following US legislation, PKR barred US customers and has “never attempted to get any American customers”, Graham emphasises.

Challenges and opportunities in Europe

PKR was initially launched in the UK and Scandinavia, however the UK remains its core market, accounting for 50% of its demographic. Along with Germany and Holland, France is now also a growing part of the business, following the launch of the French PKR site in September, but expansion in Europe has proved difficult in light of the patchwork of regulations across the continent, says Graham. “We’ve all found it a bit hard to navigate, it provides massive operational challenges for the business to manage different regulatory frameworks.” He admits that PKR had spent “a substantial sum of money” going live in France, which he describes as “a large six digit figure”, although he does not reveal an exact amount.

But Graham is focused on cutting his way through mounting red tape, acquiring licences wherever possible. “That’s the way the ministry is moving, so we have to work in that context,” he explained. “As each regime evolves, it provides another example of how you can regulate online gaming efficiently and with economic benefit. My sense is that it provides the impetus for other jurisdictions to follow a similar route, so one would hope that at some level it would have a knock on effect on North America.”

A self-professed sceptic on the possibility of the US opening up in the short term, Graham’s immediate strategy for PKR is aimed squarely at Europe. He says that the initial reaction to the recently launched French site “looks pretty positive” and that the business can “replicate it elsewhere in Europe as markets evolve”. An Italian site will be the next to launch and is expected to go live in the next 10 to 12 months.

Due to stringent ring-fenced online gambling regulation in France, the PKR.fr site is only open to French players, unlike the original site which has an international customer base. Although the French site has cut off French players from the global PKR community, Graham is not concerned about the effects. “The reality is that the vast majority of French customers are playing on sites that are licensed in France [thus only open to French players], so it levels the playing field, particularly against Poker Stars and Full Tilt, because they don’t have the massive liquidity benefit they get from their North American customers to leverage in the French market.

“So from my perspective, ring fencing in the market place, while conceptually and dispassionately does not seem to be a good thing, is actually a benefit as I’m not competing with people whose liquidity pools are unfairly advantaged,” he added.

Furthermore, Graham believes that despite the differences in regulatory frameworks we will begin to see agreements between regulated European markets. “We will see regulator-to-regulator partnerships where they will agree to pool their liquidity,” he predicts. “I would imagine that relationships will materialise in the next 24 months. Denmark is clearly looking to start that ball rolling given that as a standalone geography Denmark is a little sub scale.”

Maintaining growth

PKR has seen phenomenal growth since fruition with yearly sales growth of 356.44% for the period 2006/7 to 2009/10, according to the Sunday Times, which ranked it as the UK’s most successful technology company in its annual Tech Track 100 survey. Despite being a private business and Graham reluctant to disclose any top or bottom line figures, the newspaper reported that PKR had seen revenues increase from £347,000 to more than £33m in the last three years.

Graham attributes this success to two areas – a great core product, which he refers to as “absolutely the best graphical and visual experience you could imagine for playing poker,” and effective marketing. “The reality is that online gaming is a lot about marketing,” he explains. “We’ve got a nice product to sell, but there’s no doubt this business is about cost per acquisition (CPA), revenue per user (RPU) and churn [rate]. Anything else is window dressing. You’ve got to get those customers in, so marketing is important.”

Looking further ahead, Graham sees continuing to improve PKR’s core product as an integral part of maintaining the company’s impressive growth. He says the aim is to “evolve our game, making the gap between us and everyone else a little harder to breach… I’m hopeful that over the last four years we’ve developed the product so dramatically that it’s becoming harder for someone to come up and build something as comprehensive.”

Sulake Will Never Be Profitable ...

.. with only HABBO Hotel and Bobba. As Finnish Business mag Kauppalehti analyses, Sulake must erase over 20 million euros of accumulated losses for the HABBO portfolio to grow to cumulative profit http://www.kauppalehti.fi/5/i/yritykset/yritysuutiset/?oid=20100916945. Sulake needs to change its management and partner with a social network, or create its own kiddie social network with its current and past HABBO population. The HABBOS have been so stuck in a rut the last 5 years they are hardly worth blogging or reporting about. Except for the sex (oops I mean social) lives of the HABBO upper management.


New Kids on the Block

Looking for some High End Payment Devs? Then check out these ex-Lindens who have formed Singing Horse Studios http://singinghorsestudio.com/. Serious, experienced and good enough to make sure you don't look like a ....

Ollie Polonen goes APE Shit

PG agrees with Ollie that the main things this new startup has goig is "unlike its current competitors, its technology enables extremely small payments ranging from only few cents to some ten cents by managing to reduce the share of various payment fees substantially." And they have good browser integration for account management. Let's see if APE can turn into an 800 lb gorilla.
Article here http://www.technopolisonline.com/index.php?article_id=19493&__from_id__=19525&showPage=true&blogPage_id=315 and reproduced below.


Finnish APE Payment will open its anticipated web payment service on May 20, just six months later the company was originally established. Everything seems to be on track as the company gets ready to revolutionize the web payment culture – in the beginning in Finnish scale, but hopefully soon enough also internationally.

APE Payment is a micro payment service for consumers enabling small and simple payment transactions in online purchases. The key differentiator of APE Payment is that unlike its current competitors, its technology enables extremely small payments ranging from only few cents to some ten cents by managing to reduce the share of various payment fees substantially. Another factor that makes the service so interesting is its appearance as an e-wallet in the upper-left corner of your browser on those web sites that have enabled the service. The e-wallet icon shows you the balance of account and thus eases the control of your funds whilst browsing.

At first, APE Payment’s service will be taken into use by some of the most influential magazines and newspapers in Finland. The idea is to offer chargeable special content besides the regular free-of-charge web articles for very reasonable price. So what is the upside for the users then? Firstly, the users can now get their hands on top quality content that is only available for paying customers. Another positive influence the service could have is lessened, aggressive (could call it annoying as well) web advertisement that at least some pages obviously have, through better incomes caused by the paid content. Even though, only few magazines have decided to join the first wave, the company is ambitious about its future and the expectations are that many will follow soon. APE Payment currently has several patents pending both in the U.S and in Europe.

Last years there have been lots of great eCommerce and mCommerce companies coming from Finland, but in my opinion they have struggled too much to find their way to be a mainstream solution. However, Finland still ranks 5th among the EU countries for e-commerce industry, so one would naturally assume that sooner or later one of these start-ups would become mainstream. Clearly, the difficulty is to plan a easy enough service so that even not so tech-oriented people can utilize it in their daily routines and on the other hand to reach enough of those consumers that test – and later fall in love with the service.

The men behind APE Payment are serial entrepreneur Marko Parkkinen, who has been getting familiar with eCommerce in his current role as a board member of Fruugo, and Lauri Hulkko, former CEO of Logonet and partner at News to Screen. The company got recently a lot of media coverage among the leading newspapers as Risto Siilasmaa joined the company as a partner. Besides joining the company, Siilasmaa also invested capital to help the company to take off. Siilasmaa will bring the young company important experience from tech giants like F-secure, Nokia, Elisa, Fruugo and an interesting mCommerce company Valimo Wireless, which was recently acquired by Gemalto.

If nothing else, I’m at least expecting to see the company to land a new financing round still this year, because it’s difficult to imagine that the business model would or could grow organically until it reaches nearly all influential Medias at least in the domestic market. In any case, there is no doubt that there wouldn’t be enough web sites of also outside news media that could benefit of utilizing this type of micro payment service. As the company clarifies, there hasn't been a solution with small enough fees yet to make the business attractive for service providers - so maybe APE Payment actually has found a huge market gap. So what remains to be done, is to hope that APE Payment finds enough of open-minded consumers and currently suffering old media houses and services before the service ends up buried like so many predecessors have done before.

Finland "Won’t get another Nokia ...”

... said Risto Siilasmaa, a Nokia board member who founded software company F-Secure Oyj as an engineering student. “But we should definitely get 10 or 100 F-Secures and a lot of Angry Birds and APE Payments.” http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-11-28/-angry-birds-spread-wings-as-finland-searches-for-nokia-2-0.html Sure Risto, Angry Birds is the big thing at the moment. But APE Payments? PG thinks they are just another WALLET. And payment WALLETS are kinda of a dinosaur. Well, then again, PayPal could use a challenger. Seems PG should do a post on these APE guys. PS PG: Good old Risto here is a "Partner" of APE Payments. Hence the endorsement.?

StarGirl of StarDoll Revealed

What a revealing and heart warming story by Helsingen Sanomat on Liisa Wrang - the rags-to-riches story behind Stardoll . You Go Girl! http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Liisa+Wrang+-+the+rags-to-riches+story+behind+Stardoll/1135262186716

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Google buys virtual currencies startup Jambool

Google buys virtual currencies startup Jambool
via Beyond Money by Thomas H. Greco on 8/18/10
SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – – Virtual currency manager Jambool announced Monday that it has been purchased by Google for an undisclosed sum.

“When the opportunity arose to join forces with Google… we couldn’t pass it up,” Vikas Gupta and Reza Hussein, co-founders of the startup, said in a blog post.
Jambool is the company that launched Social Gold virtual transactions technology that processes virtual currencies — make-believe money for online transactions such as games and social networks, including Facebook and MySpace.

The technology allows makers of online games and social networks to mine “real money from virtual goods” — allowing genuine cash to be converted into virtual currency and vice versa. The company has reported strong growth due to the popularity of online games. “Our vision is to build world-class products that help developers manage and monetize their virtual economies across the globe,” the company said in the online post. Gupta and Hussein said they started Jambool in 2006 as an online collaboration platform, but shifted focus a year later to building applications for social networks. “Along with success, we found fun and lucrative ways to monetize our apps — specifically virtual currency and goods,” the former Amazon.com employees said. “That led us to create a platform to help developers create, host, manage and monetize their virtual economies,” they wrote.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

FaceBook Credits Will Be Huge

Facebook, which more than any other company aspires to usurp Google’s dominant place on the Internet, hopes to avoid that problem. Already on the path to becoming an advertising powerhouse, the social networking company is laying the groundwork for its second act: a virtual currency system that some day could turn into a multibillion-dollar business. Facebook began testing its virtual currency, called Credits, more than a year ago with some popular games on Facebook. This month, Credits passed a milestone when it became the exclusive payment method for most of the games created by Zynga, the No. 1 developer of Facebook applications. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/23/technology/23facebook.html?hpw

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

David Fleck Flocks to IMVU

Wonder if his tricks from Linden Lab and that Korean virtual cat world (forget the name ... (ok just came to me GOPETS ...) still work? Good Luck http://www.imvu.com/about/management.php

PS PG: Is it Im-View or I-M-V-U?

PG PPS: Wish these guys would reunite - ASAP!

TOGAF Certified Payment Architect ...

... at your service!

GMAIL ................... PAYMENTGUY@GMAIL.COM


PG is TOGAF Certified (got 95% on the tests ;). So if you want the best payment architecture possible GMAIL PAYMENTGUY@GMAIL.COM.

What the hell is TOGAF???? Check www.opengroup.org/togaf (sounds like an Eastern European meat dish ... I know ...

Is certification in this crap worthwhile??? (yes - actually) http://www.trainingpressreleases.com/newsstory.asp?NewsID=5432

Up to 10,000 virtual objects stolen from Habbo Hotel

From http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Up+to+10000+virtual+objects+stolen+from+Habbo+Hotel/1135257271195 "Thieves believed to be between 16 and 19 years old

The Habbo Hotel, a virtual online world favoured by many Finnish schoolchildren and young people, may have had up to 10,000 virtual objects stolen from it. Police suspect that several people in a number of communities have been involved with the virtual theft. Police have conducted a number of house searches in Helsinki, Hämeenlinna, Masku, Raisio, and Pori. Each of the communities have at least one suspect, according to Marko Levonen of the Satakunta Police. The suspects are between 16 and 19 years old. Levonen says that it was not hard to find them.
“I cannot say that they would have covered their tracks very much.”
However, he will not say to what an extent the young people had understood that they were actually breaking the law.
“Most of them certainly have understood that they have done wrong.”

The suspects face charges of crimes including data break-ins and violation of communications confidentiality. The suspects are believed to have acquired at least 400 user codes and passwords, with which they have logged on to the service and exchanged goods. Levonen says that the goods have been stolen for use in the hotel’s virtual world, and it is also possible that some of the virtual goods have been exchanged for real money. Exchanging virtual goods for money is not allowed under the rules of the Habbo Hotel, but it happens constantly. On Tuesday, a Habbo Hotel figure was on sale on the Finnish auction site Huuto.net for a starting price of EUR 65. Police say that it is quite possible that new crimes will emerge. Those who are believed to have been the victims of virtual theft are to be contacted by e-mail.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Peguin Founders Lose $350,000,000 Bonus

Haha http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/13/business/media/13penguin.html?hpw

Kiddie Virtual World Kings Slowing Down

Yup, the big kiddie virtual worlds, Sulake, Penguin, Webkinz, Neopets are being hit hard. Some of the reasons;

1. The economic downturn has figured prominently;

2. The fickle nature of children’s entertainment;

3. An oversaturation of virtual worlds aimed at youths;

4. Competition from new smartphone games;

5. Competition from social networking sites.

Webkinz.com, where children care for stuffed animals that come to life, registered about 3.8 million unique visitors in April, a 50 percent drop from a year ago. Neopets.com, owned by Viacom, suffered a 39 percent decline, to about 1.5 million.

The writing is on the wall for kiddie virtual worlds. So what do you do? Consolidate with other worlds and form a portfolio. And of course, GMAIL Paymentguy@gmail.com.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Linden Lab's Original VP Marketing .....

David Fleck, the little recognized and successful driver of Second Life's early growth has a new gig as VP Marketing & Business Development at Wildpockets.com. Looks interesting. Good luck man ...


Ginsu Yoon is back ...

Linden Lab's Former Mr. Everything (General Counsel, CFO, VP Business Development, VP New Market Development, etc... etc...) has a brand new Gig in stealth mode called Bynamite. Will Bynamite be Dynamite? Or crash and burn? Stay tuned... in the meantime email for a prelaunch invite to the venture here http://www.bynamite.com/

All Virtual World Consultants Are Created Equal ...

Paul Thind and his Team at Triggerspot actually has an extensive track record in this space and really add value http://triggerspot.com. So look him up and drop him a line:

Paul Thind, Leader
San Francisco, CA 94123
Tel: +1 (510) 589 6944
E-mail: paul@triggerspot.com

There Goes There

There.com is closing March 9th http://www.dmwmedia.com/news/2010/03/04/makena-shutter-online-virtual-world-therecom

Expect a lot more of these announcements. Or rather, just virtual worlds quietly fading away as devs and managers and founders go off to play around with the Facebook platform. Way too many virtual worlds out there. And way too many payment companies targeted at this space.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

PG's Blog Featured

Thanks, but I still do not know what the heck this site is all about;

This is Shiela from homefurnituredepot.net.
We stumbled on your blog page and found it interesting! We operate the largest Home Furniture & Office Furniture website featuring more than 30,000 blogs. Our site averages 200,000 unique visitors per month. As a kind note We have featured your blog at http://homefurnituredepot.net/blog_awards/index.php?id=10658 We would be grateful if you could add the following details to your blogs main page.
Home Office Furniture
Looking forward for your confirmation.

Looking For A Payment Architect

Payment Architect Wanted (and you get to live in Austin!) http://jobview.monster.com/Lead-Mobile-Banking-Payment-Architect-Job-San-Antoino-TX-US-85819969.aspx

Share our pride. Join our mission.

As a Fortune 200 financial services company with more than $113.5 billion in owned and managed assets, USAA is on a mission — to facilitate the financial security of our members, the men and women of the U.S. military and their families worldwide. Headquartered on a showcase campus in San Antonio, TX, USAA attributes its long-standing success to its most valuable resource, our 22,000 employees. They are the heart and soul of our member-service culture.

Recently Ranked #1 by Business Week in Customer Service, we are recognized for the superior service we provide to our members, and the exemplary work environment we provide for our employees. Everything that happens at USAA is based on our core values: Service, Loyalty, Honesty, and Integrity. These are the foundations of how we do business with our members, as well as how we treat each other.

We are currently seeking a talented Lead Mobile Banking/Payment Architect for our San Antonio, TX facility.

PURPOSE OF JOB: Leads and motivates cross-functional team members in the development and implementation of key mobile initiatives. Independently performs complex and often unique work assignments and problem resolution. Serves as the company's mobile visionary and mobile capability expert.


* Sets the future state for all mobile efforts and collaborates with project teams to implement the vision. Focuses on strategic company-wide processes and serves as the company's mobile capability expert.
* Anticipates opportunities and potential solutions, and leads team through the problem resolution process. Directs analyses, root cause identification and development and recommendation of key work products.
* Partners with all levels of management to include executive management, operational areas, and other groups to develop solutions for communication and transactional needs for mobile capabilities. Advises senior management on issues.
* Serves as team lead. Sets direction for mobile capability standards. Communicates conceptual ideas and design rationale to other members of the design, development, and client/business teams.
* Serves as the primary resource for cross-functional team members on escalated issues of a unique nature. Acquires and applies expert knowledge of the business, its products, and processes. Translates ideas into clear, efficient scope statements and integrates with different business areas.
* Develop conceptual UI models and presentations to acquire buy-in and funding for mobile capabilities.

Minimum Requirements:

* Bachelor's degree or equivalent work experience.
* 10 years of Information Technology or Financial Services Industry experience.
* Expert knowledge of "web 2.0" and client/server methodologies.
* Expert knowledge of industry data sources and tools.


* Bachelors or Masters degree.
* 2+ years of experience with mobile banking
* 10+ years of payment background - thorough knowledge of the payments industry, networks and payment instruments.
* 10+ years of professional work with e-commerce, mobile or payments industry.
* 8+ years of e-commerce experience.
* 10+ years of experience with Project and Program Management disciplines.
* Ability to develop multi-year strategies and communicate those strategies to executive management.
* Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
* 5+ years of management experience.
* Business Architecture experience.
* Technical Architecture experience.
* Strong analytical and product management skills including a thorough understanding of how to interpret customer business needs and translate them into business requirements specifications in both technical and user-friendly language.
* Analyze and verify requirements for completeness, consistency, comprehensibility, feasibility, and conformity to standards.
* Experience identifying and establishing scope and parameters of requirements analysis in order to define impact, outcome criteria, and measure-taking actions.
* Ability to create process models, specifications, diagrams, and charts to provide direction to developers and/or the project team.
* Excellent verbal and written communication skills and the ability to interact professionally with a diverse group of business and IT executives and subject matter experts.
* Ability to present complex ideas in a concise and objective manner.
* Effective organizational, prioritization, and time management skills and multi-tasking ability.
* Experience operating in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment.
* Attentive to detail, producing consistent, high quality, and reliable work with excellent planning, analytical, and time management skills.
* Ability to remain flexible, work independently and prioritize tasks.
* Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to maintain good working relationships, and manage a variety of internal stakeholder needs.

The above description reflects the details considered necessary to describe the principal functions of the job and should not be construed as a detailed description of all the work requirements that may be performed in the job.

At USAA our employees enjoy one of the best benefits packages in the business, including business casual dress environment, comprehensive medical, dental and vision plans, along with wellness and wealth building programs. Additionally, our career path planning and continuing education will assist you with your professional goals.

USAA also offers a variety of on-site services and conveniences to help you manage your work and personal life, including seven cafeterias, two company stores and three fitness centers.

Relocation assistance is available for this position.

Qualified applicants must successfully complete a pre-employment background and drug screen.

USAA is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

Little Interest in P2P mobile payments

"Subscribers in seven developed countries spanning three continents express scant interest in person-to-person mobile payments according to a new survey issued by ABI Research. Consumer in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea all indicate little enthusiasm for the possibilities of making mobile-to-mobile payments--while ABI reports some differences between age groups and countries, it notes that just 16 percent of Western Europeans classify themselves as "extremely" or "very" interested in mobile P2P payments, while in the U.S., the percentage drops to 9 percent. Consumers in the three Asia Pacific markets indicate the strongest interest at 34 percent.

Read more: http://www.fiercemobilecontent.com/story/survey-finds-scant-interest-p2p-mobile-payments/2010-02-22#ixzz0gLW3P3P8

Voic Commerce Hunts RBS WorldPay

LONDON (Reuters) - A UK payments firm is applying for a banking licence to provide a full range of bank services to businesses, joining a growing list of firms targeting the area as the industry reshapes after the financial crisis. Voice Commerce Group, an unlisted payments firm that is interested in buying bigger rival RBS WorldPay, said on Monday it had appointed law firm Mills & Reeve to get a licence from Britain's financial regulator to operate as a business bank. "There are some real opportunities. There's a sea change in the way that financial services are going to be provided to businesses and consumers over the next 12 to 18 months," Nick Ogden, chief executive officer of Voice Commerce, told Reuters. It is likely to take about six months to get the licence and offer a range of services first in Britain, he said in an interview. He is aiming for about 50,000 customers by the end of 2011 and also has sights on expanding in Europe and the United States, he said. http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2010/02/22/business/business-uk-voicecommerce-banking.html

Olive Platform Gets Sold

Another 3rd rate technology - compared to SL Enterprise or Nortel's system (named Project Chainsaw - stupid!;) for example. But at least Forterra was early in the virtual worlds for enterprise game. "SAIC, government contractor to groups like the Department of Defense and Homeland Security, has just purchased Forterra System’s On-Live Interactive Virtual Environment product known as OLIVE. In the acquisition they got all names, trademarks, and licenses, indicating that they plan to get into the virtual world space in the near future.

“We look forward to working with current and future OLIVE license holders to support and extend the platform,” said Bev Seay, SAIC senior vice president and business unit general manager. “We see virtual worlds as the direction of the future in modeling and simulation – emphasis on interpersonal interaction and collaboration enables us to take our products in new directions, and to new markets.”

Sun Terminates DarkStar

This was going no where anyway - smart move Larry. "Oracle decided to pull the plug yesterday on Project Darkstar, a Sun Microsystems project aimed at creating the backend infrastructure for virtual worlds. It was the labor of love of Chris Melissinos, the chief gaming officer at Sun who announced on his Facebook page that he was leaving Sun after 16 years. http://venturebeat.com/2010/02/04/oracle-kills-project-darkstar-adios-to-virtual-worlds/

Monday, February 22, 2010

PayPal Scores FaceBok Deal

Facebook will now accept payments for goods and services via the Paypal online payment system, in a move aimed at making transactions easier for small business owners worldwide. Under the new partnership, Facebook will allow companies and individuals to buy advertising for the site via the Paypal transaction system. Unlike regular e-commerce sites, Ebay-owned Paypal allows users to fund a central account via bank debits or credit cards. Vendors such as Facebook then either receive a cheque from Paypal or a direct bank transfer. http://www.itp.net/579370-facebook-to-accept-payments-via-paypal

PayPal Aquires Verisign

Why are there no viable competitors to Paypal? Thanks to Andrej T for the tip "We’re pleased to announce that PayPal has completed the acquisition of VeriSign Payment Services*.


World's Most Expensive Virtual Island ...

Good look at virtual goods and virtual islands by Forbes;
BURLINGAME, Calif. -- What is the most you're willing to pay for a virtual item in a videogame or virtual world? Five, ten dollars? How about $26,500?

That's the amount David Storey, a 27-year-old graduate student living in Sydney, Australia, paid for a virtual island, the "Most valuable object that is virtual," according to Guinness World Records. http://www.forbes.com/2010/02/17/farmville-facebook-zynga-technology-business-intelligence-virtual-goods.html?boxes=Homepagetoprated

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Finally - A Novel Payment Method By Kwedit

From NYT "Buy Now, Pay Later (Maybe With Your Allowance)"BUSINESSES don’t let 13-year-olds pay for purchases with a promise. At least they didn’t before last week.
Sites like FooPets let minors buy virtual merchandise like pet food if they agree to pay later. A new payment option for anyone without a credit card or a debit card, no matter how young, has just become available. It’s initially offered by FooPets and Puzzle Pirates, online game companies that are business partners of Kwedit.com, a start-up based in Mountain View, Calif. Minors as well as adults can buy items in the games with a “Kwedit Promise,” which can be paid off later in a number of ways — with a credit or debit card, for example, or with cash sent in a mailer that Kwedit supplies.

"But here’s an entirely new payment option: A user can print out a barcode and head to a 7-Eleven store, which will accept cash, scan the code and notify Kwedit that payment has been made. In the next three months, a Kwedit logo will join those for credit cards and other payment methods on the doors of all 7-Elevens, a company spokesman says." http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/07/business/07digi.html?hpw

Great idea guys! Everyone should integrate Kwedit. Br, PG