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Payments Stories You May Have Missed

The industry news has been coming so fast and furious lately- while many are trying to squeeze in a last summer trip to the beach- that even those plugged into the payments and fintech spaces could be forgiven for overlooking a few headlines. Here are four stories I think deserve a bit more attention.

Henry. Jack Henry.

Jack Henry’s status as a market share leader in bank and credit union technology is too often underappreciated- perhaps because its presence has been spread across the Jack Henry, Symitar and ProfitStars names. No longer- the 46 year old company has consolidated its branding under the Jack Henry banner.

The rebranding is part of Jack Henry’s broader technology strategy and unbundling of its core offerings, which we discussed with CEO Dave Foss on a February BIGCast. (ADDENDUM- As more evidence of the speed at which things are moving, Jack Henry announced its acquisition of digital payment platform provider Payrailz the day after this blog was posted.)

The Same Day Surge

Nacha reported another increase in ACH volume for the second quarter. This no longer qualifies as a surprise; nor does the far more rapid growth (24%) in Same-Day ACH transactions over the prior year. What’s interesting, however, is a near doubling of the dollar value of ACH transactions sent on a same-day basis.

This was the first full quarter for which Nacha had raised the limit on a same day transaction to a cool $1 million (from $100,000). In April, Nacha CEO Jane Larimer explained to us how this opened up a bevy of new use cases:

It looks like she was right- the average value of a Same-Day ACH skyrocketed from $1,681 to $2,627. Any statistician worth their salt will point to the distinction between an average (mean) and median; My guess is that a relatively small but important cluster of mid/high six figure transactions have capitalized on these new use cases, with more likely to come. I’ve requested more detail from Nacha to test my median/mean theory.

An Unexpected Twist to Fraud

A new report from TransUnion finds some counterintuitive trends on the fraud landscape. Actually, for subscribers to the “fraudsters go where the money is” theory, the trends have some logic. TransUnion reports that for the second consecutive quarter, suspected digital fraud in US financial services declined at a double digit rate. It’s worth remembering these declines are coming off high 2021 baselines fueled by the pandemic and a flurry of PPP activity.

Fraudsters aren’t taking a break, however. Digital fraud attempts in the insurance space more than doubled globally, and shipping fraud (supply chain, anyone?) has also seen an increase.     

Farewell to a Card Icon

Finally, I was saddened to learn of the passing of Dee Hock, the first CEO of VISA (then called BankAmericard) after it was spun into a bank-owned entity separate from Bank of America in 1976 (VISA went public in 2008).

It would be hard to overstate Hock’s role in the evolution of payment cards. He was named to head the credit card department at a Seattle bank in 1967 at a time these were basically franchise relationships. He spearheaded the formation of a franchisees’ association that eventually became VISA. Under his leadership VISA pioneered electronic authorization, added magnetic stripes and began its push into debit cards- all items we now take for granted.  

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