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5 November 2009Neil Katkov
I arrived in Boston on Tuesday for the BAI Retail Delivery conference. I have been attending this conference for a number of years and it typically provides me with a good stream of exciting and innovative information and solid meetings. While my calendar is booked solid, and I have had good meetings with clients and prospects, BAI has been a bit of a letdown in terms of new and innovative announcements. I must admit that I am not terribly surprised by this given the state of the retail banking industry. The state of the industry has also taken its toll on conference attendance. While I have not seen registration numbers for the show, the exhibit hall is noticeably smaller and banks attendees are few and far between in a sea of vendors and solution providers. Additionally, several large vendors have decided not to set up shop in the exhibit hall this year - NCR and Diebold are prime examples. One of the most bizarre announcements at the show came from Suntrust and Moneta. Moneta is attempting to take on Paypal in the eCommerce world. Their service allows customer to pay for goods at online merchants using Moneta. The challenge is that Moneta simply doesn't have a large enough presence at merchants or a recognizable brand. It is highly unlikely that they will be able to oust the credit card or Paypal as the payment vehicle of choice. Having Suntrust as a partner will not improve their chances. A few key themes have emerged from the conference however that are worthy of mention. Here are a few that I have selected: P2P Payments have invaded the banking space and the mobile channel. Paypal's X Innovate conference is taking place at the same time as BAI. Part of me thought I was at the Paypal conference with the number of P2P payments related press releases that came out. Paypal has opened up a set of APIs and announced an offering dubbed "Paypal X." This brought out a couple of releases at BAI: S1 has teamed up with Paypal to deliver a mobile P2P payments solutionFIS partners with Paypal to integrate P2P functionality into online bill payment Paypal isn't the only one at work here: Cashedge and Firethorn also announced a mobile P2P offeringFiserv plans a P2P payments serviceBank PFM solutions are on the way. It would have been nice to have heard some major announcements from banks regarding PFM. Not all is lost however as a few banks did make me aware of their near term PFM plans. The only PFM related announcement that caught my eye was Geezeo teaming up with iPay. It's an interesting move as Geezeo attempts to gain traction and differentiate in a crowded market. In related news, Intuit announced that Quicken online users will be migrated over to the Mint.com solution.