Our Research In The News

NOT JUST IN THE NEWS – MAKING NEWS

Double Diamond Group’s groundbreaking insights do more than help our clients make the right decisions at the right time. They inform an industry, spark debate and define direction isn’t just covered by the news, but is the news.

What the Future of the Payment Facilitator Ecosystem Look Like? – Double Diamond Group

What the Future of the Payment Facilitator Ecosystem Look Like? – Double Diamond Group Payment Facilitator Business Consulting

Payment facilitator expert, Todd Ablowitz addresses the future of the payment facilitator ecosystem at a recent conference.

Double Diamond Group – Payment Facilitator Business – We Wrote The Book

Literally, we wrote the widely respected guidelines for PF best practices.

Over 15 years working directly with payment facilitators.

“When it comes to the Payment Facilitator model, very few people have the depth and breadth of knowledge and expertise as Double Diamond Group” – Chris Rhode, memberplanet

Over 150 companies from every region in the world have worked on their PF business with Double Diamond Group.

LEARN MORE: PAYMENT FACILITATOR GUIDE

 

Double Diamond Group Videos

Click Here: View ALL Videos from Conference – Payment Facilitator Business – Todd Ablowitz Payments Facilitator Expert

Payment Facilitator Payments Industry Research Insights Testimonials – Double Diamond Group

At Double Diamond Group, we start with you: your perceptions, your questions, your challenges. We understand that you make decisions involving millions of dollars every day, and we respect your priorities, your timeline and your budget.

Testimonials

*“Double Diamond was essential in helping refine our portfolio company’s strategy and prioritizing its resources. Then, Todd and his team worked side by side with the management team to manage implementation and execution. The entire board was very pleased with the process and the results of our collaboration.” – Carty Chock, Co-Founder and Partner, ClearPoint Investment Partners (Worked with Double Diamond Group in a prior private equity firm)

 

*“I have had the pleasure of working with Todd Ablowitz in a variety of capacities during the past fifteen years, and in every instance he has demonstrated his professionalism, his leadership, and his ability to deliver actionable insights and strategic direction. Whether we were working together at the same company, or I referred Double Diamond Group to other businesses, Todd has always exceeded expectations and made a measurable difference.” – Diane Vogt Faro, President, National Benefit Programs

 

“We appreciated how professionally the Double Diamond Group and Rich Consulting team managed the project. They were genuinely interested in our success, and worked as partners throughout the entire process by continually looking for ways to provide value.” – Russ Jones, CFO, Shopify

See more about our story: Aggregation Solutions.

 

“Working with Double Diamond Group and Rich Consulting definitely expedited our process of having a final set of policies by months if not years.” –
Daniel Wacker, Club Ready

Read our case study: Payments Facilitation.

 

“I’ve known Todd for many years and he has an exceptional reputation for grasping the big picture, and following through with quality results. Double Diamond Group not only understands our business as well as we do, Todd and his team have innovative ideas about how we can open new market segments.” – Bill Clark, General Manager, Secure Payments Division, Apriva

 

“Double Diamond Group hit a home run. Their information was transformative in nature as far as educating us on what’s happening in the marketplace. It allowed the organization to rally behind the investments needed to pursue the opportunities uncovered through our work together.” – Marianne Johnson, Executive Vice President, Global Product & Innovation, Elavon

See more about our story: Payment Consulting Success.

 

“It’s rare to find a consulting firm that moves beyond validating strategies and assumptions to actually delivering new information that is surprising and insightful. Double Diamond Group gets to the heart of the issues and clearly answers the questions that a CEO or operational leader needs to know.” – Nina Vellayan, President & CEO, Frontstream Payments

See more about our story: Payment Research Success.

 

“When it comes to the Payment Facilitator model, very few people have the depth and breadth of knowledge and expertise as Double Diamond Group” – Chris Rhode, memberplanet

 

“The DDG consulting team not only had the specialized experience we needed, they also quickly understood our business and had an appreciation for our customer base.” – Russ Jones, CFO for Shopify.

 

“Lori has been my trusted financial industry consultant for years. Top tier lawyers apparently agree, as I often receive requests for her services as an expert.” – IMS Expert Services, Recruiter

 

When electronic payments and mobile payments companies turn to Double Diamond Group, their high expectations are met with fresh ideas, actionable recommendations, quality execution and measurable results.

For more information, contact:

Todd Ablowitz, President
Double Diamond Group, LLC
todd@doublediamondgroup.com
Tel: +1 (303) 916-9997

Call us to create big results today!

Custom Underwriting and Risk Management Policies and Procedures – Payment Facilitation Focused Research

New Case Study Double Diamond Group Global Payment Payment Facilitation Focused Research – ClubReady

Global Payment Payment Facilitation Case Study Club Ready “There has to be a better way.”

That small-but-powerful sentence has led scores of personal and professional transformations, and it’s what drove ClubReady from an industry upstart to a leading provider of health club management.

A typical challenge that a payment facilitator often faces is keeping current and accurate policies and procedures. During an annual audit it was determined that ClubReady’s underwriting and risk management policies and procedures were in need of updating.

“I am thrilled with the results and the first-time success was well worth the time, effort and money that my team spent.”

Double Diamond Group provided ClubReady with a new set of written underwriting and risk management policies and procedures…

READ MORE

Payment Facilitation Program, Custom Underwriting Policies and Procedures, Fraud and Compliance Management

Double Diamond Group Global Payments Payment Facilitation Focused Research Case Study – Member Planet

Member Planet Payments Facilitation Case Study Memberplanet is a cloud-based membership management platform that makes it easy for organizations of any size to communicate with its members, plan and launch events, and process dues, donations and payments…

“We didn’t get just a one-off consulting engagement with Double Diamond Group we now have a long-term business relationship”

Based on its experience launching and operating GreekBill, the leaders of memberplanet knew that offering payments could be a key differentiator. Not only did they want to offer a seamless payment experience to their customers, they fully understood the value of capturing per transaction revenue as a Payment Facilitator, rather than syphoning that revenue off to a third-party processor…

READ MORE

ISV are Set to Make $4.4 Billion on Payments in 2021 – ETA and Double Diamond Group

ISVs and SaaS providers are increasingly becoming payments companies, with 88% growth to $513 Billion in Gross Payments Volume by 2021, representing $4.4 Billion in Net Revenues to the ISVs…

Become a Payment Facilitator

 


Get the latest report from Double Diamond Payments Research. Don’t miss out on this revenue opportunity…

Why Software Vendors Should Be Payment Facilitators… CLICK HERE!


 

Not Your Father’s ISO: How Tech Is Forcing Acquirers To Make a Crucial Choice

When the Internet, and then mobile and cloud-based technology, began to radically change the acquiring business, some independent sales organizations thought they could adapt by becoming software companies without changing the way they do business.

Rick-Oglesby

They were wrong, and that mistake is costing them dearly, argues Rick Oglesby, senior research analyst at Double Diamond Payments Research, Centennial, Colo. “Your average ISO is a distribution specialist selling a universal solution.” he tells Digital Transactions News. “The software industry isn’t like that. It’s very different from traditional payment-industry approaches to selling.”

The result of this mismatch is inevitable. “These guys haven’t figured out how to make money” on mobile solutions, Oglesby says.

So should ISOs become ISVs? Independent software vendors have shot to prominence as mobile and cloud point-of-sale technology has brought sophisticated business-management and marketing functions, once affordable only at big chains, within reach of small merchants, the ISOs’ bread-and-butter clients. Oglesby’s answer, laid out in 35 pages of closely reasoned text in a report released Thursday, is a carefully qualified “maybe.”

Digital Transactions, July 9, 2015
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Reports of Acquirers’ Death Overblown, But a Threat Remains

Concept conceptual 3D male businessman on stair or steps over suThe merchant acquiring industry faces continuing pressure from shrinking margins and disruptive competitors, but it has used the past five challenging years to seek out a position of strength.

Facing thinner transaction revenue and the torrid advancement of technology, many acquirers have stuck to the basics while also embracing digital products and security services to maintain their status in the payments food chain.

Merchants are becoming less receptive to re-pricing tactics, so acquirers can’t rely on interchange-plus pricing, bundled rates or flat-rate pricing to turn that tide, Annapolis said.

Yet, chief financial officers of acquiring companies say they are optimistic about the future for their industry and that margin compression is not a life-threatening issue, according to a separate report from payments research firm Double Diamond Group.

“Margin is really revenue and cost combined … revenue continues to go up, though a little less with each incremental transaction, but costs stay largely the same,” said the report’s co-author, Richard Oglesby, senior analyst at Double Diamond Payments Research.

The acquiring industry has dealt with a wave of new entrants and new technology the past few years. The landscape was again reshaped in recent months with the launch of Apple Pay and the consolidation of Google Wallet and Softcard.

In addition, Samsung acquired LoopPay before unveiling Samsung Pay on its newest Android phones, while PayPal is stepping up its acquisitions by purchasing Paydiant and CyActive ahead of the company’s separation from eBay.

“The threat was overblown a bit,” Oglesby said. “The acquirers have to distribute these services and there’s nobody out there that can distribute the way acquirers can.”

But even if these new threats were not instantly lethal, it would be foolish to ignore them for too long, Oglesby said.

“Acquirers don’t have to adapt to the speed of technology; they have to adapt to the speed of their competitors,” Oglesby added. “The reality is, acquirers and payments in general don’t change that quickly.”

ISO & Agent, March 12, 2015
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Is Acquiring Dead Meat or a Tasty Morsel?

Sectors have a lifecycle that runs in stages from introduction to growth, maturity, decline and eventually death. The adverse publicity recently piled on the merchant acquiring sector evokes an image of vultures circling over the major firms, awaiting a roadside feast from their soon-to-be rotting carcasses. In this case, however, those vultures will probably drop dead from starvation long before their meal is ready.

Double Diamond Payments Research’s latest report concludes that merchant acquiring is healthy and vibrant, and will continue its path of steady, long-term growth. In fact, this sector will benefit from a technological revolution that offers even greater potential.

The report, Acquiring Acquirers: Why Industry Insiders are Bullish on the Acquiring Sector,takes insight from CFOs around the sector to provide a deep analysis of the market. It identifies key factors such as increased transaction volume fueled by the continued displacement of cash and checks, plus the expansion of value-added products that will drive revenue and margin expansion as well as increase free cash flow. Due to these factors, we expect that sector earnings before interest, taxes, and depreciation (EBITDA) will grow an average of 6.5% each year with EBITDA expanding from US$4.9 billion to US$7.2 billion between now and 2020.

There should be vultures circling your acquiring business, but they should be a different kind of vulture than the scavengers you might expect.  They should be the ones that circle your business seeking an opportunity to invest. These vultures don’t seek rotting meat, but rather tasty morsels that can produce prime returns.

If that’s not happening for your business, then let us know, our report can help you make a better case to your potential investors, adjust your business strategy to maximize valuation, find the best investment or acquisition targets, or build a business case for future initiatives.

For more information about the report email Rick Oglesby at rick@doublediamondgroup.com.

Transaction Trends, March 2, 2015
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Apple Killed the Mobile Wallet? No, Not in the Least

Rick Oglesby, senior analyst at Double Diamond Payments Research, says Apple has killed the mobile wallet. No offense to Mr. Oglesby, but I think just the opposite is true. In fact, I believe Apple has done itself and its customers a gross injustice by walling off access to its wallet contents, which currently include payment data as tokens.

Apple is the only company that owns and controls the hardware, firmware and operating system of the device used. And it has big enough political chops to push the product through traditional channels, all while signaling the death knell for the mobile wallet supported by the same channel that couldn’t say “no” to Apple the way they did to Google.

Apple killed the mobile wallet? No, not in the least. Has it influenced the way competitive wallets grow? Absolutely. But I wouldn’t run out to buy shares in chip manufacturers because of it. Software-only solutions that use proven token generation, storage and transmission methods are not dead. They will just take a new route to fruitition.

Mobile Payments Today, January 26, 2015
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Google Wallet Eyeing Softcard Combo?

Google Wallet is reportedly in talks to buy NFC-based mobile wallet rival Softcard, causing speculation about how the combination might stack up against Apple Pay and other emerging wallet concepts. The rumors surfaced following news that Softcard was shedding 60 employees and consolidating its operations. Softcard’s sale to Google Wallet could fetch between $50 million and $100 million, according to reports in TechCrunch and the Wall Street Journal.

What are the competitive advantages of Google Wallet combined with Softcard, versus Apple Pay, which is a hit with its iPhone 6 user base? Observers note that Android has about 60 percent of the smartphone market, with latent opportunity to expand now that Apple Pay—and the emergence of HCE technology—has rekindled interest in NFC payments at the POS.

The combination makes a lot of sense, according to Rick Oglesby, a senior analyst and consultant with Double Diamond Group. “Operating system owners like Google and Apple are in the best position to make mobile wallets work,” he says, because each company’s operating system is integrated with available mobile apps and smartphone browsers, enabling maximum functionality for mobile wallets. At the same time, Softcard owns mobile wallet carrier relationships, which offer value, Oglesby believes. “Google is in the best position to make an Android mobile wallet work, but Google would benefit greatly from carrier support that could be achieved from buying Softcard.” Executives at Google Wallet and Softcard were not available for comment.

PayBefore, January 20, 2015
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How Apple Killed the Digital Wallet

iphone image for DT 1.15After years of watching quietly while Bling Nation, Google, Isis/Softcard, PayPal and others tried and failed to popularize the digital wallet, Apple finally launched its product in October. What’s the impact? The concept of the digital wallet is now dead, and it’s been replaced by the physical-digital wallet.

The traditional leather wallet is a storage mechanism for consumers’ cash, credit, debit and loyalty cards and coupons. The first generation digital wallet, starting in the late 1990s with PayPal and eBay, was a software solution that provided convenient way to store cards for repeat online purchases.

Once the iPhone came about and mobile commerce began to take hold, Apple extended this model to iTunes, and Google followed with Google Play, both providing a software solution for repeat online purchase via the mobile device. Braintree and Stripe extended this even further, capturing the in-app and mobile transactions that took place outside of iTunes and Google Play.

Mobile network operators (MNOs) sought to take the digital wallet concept offline by storing payment credentials within the only part of the mobile device that the MNOs could control — the SIM card, and transmitting the credential to payment terminals via a near field communications (NFC) radio. This introduction of hardware componentry into the payments game created a tug-of-war between the haves (those that had influence over hardware components) versus the have-nots (those who did not have influence over mobile hardware).

So, we are left with the death of the digital wallet concept and only the physical wallet survives, but in a mobile form. What does this mean? It means that banks can pretty much give up on their plans to launch their own wallets, they will need to partner with the operating system owners, or go home.

Mobile Payments Today, January 2, 2015
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Think Apple Pay is the Biggest Thing in Payments? You’re Missing the Poynt

Apple Pay was the talk of the Money20/20 trade show last month, but should it have been? Before Apple Pay can become a dominant payment vehicle, merchants need the ability to accept it (only about 2% of merchant locations can do so today), so it’s far more important to complete that prerequisite.

Why is this transformational? Innovators of any type (payment networks, payment facilitators, digital-wallet providers, loyalty providers, solutions for the automated clearing house, etc.) could obtain instant acceptance at a wide variety of POS locations. It also removes massive barriers to entry, which will create competition across the board.

Under this model, app-store providers can monetize their technology solutions and merchant footprint through a much broader set of software solutions that they would not be able to create on their own. The same is true of software developers. They can monetize their ideas and code in ways that were never before possible.

Last but not least, acquirers and independent sales organizations can monetize their distribution channels across an entirely new set of services (not just payment and POS), without needing to become experts in how merchants run their businesses. And, by creating a wide set of new, marketable services, app stores also reduce the dependency these providers have on the payment networks. The payment networks could soon be just another app within a store that includes thousands of apps. For example, banks or groups of banks could offer payment services directly to merchants via the app stores, cutting out the payment networks altogether.

Apple has proven the app-store model via its consumer app store and devices. Android/Google/Amazon have continued that model and have shown that it is truly scalable. Now merchant app stores are next, and if this takes off everything we know about the payments business could change.

Enablement of NFC payments to accept network-sanctioned solutions such as Apple Pay may cost a merchant from a few hundred to a few million dollars. For the same price, however, merchants could eliminate the need for networks altogether, and that could be priceless.

Digital Transaction, December 8, 2014
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What the Mainstream Media Got Wrong About Apple Pay and CVS

Mobile payments is such a new concept that many in the media continue to inaccurately report what happened this week between Apple Pay and CVS. Here’s what really happened, and why, no matter what, Apple wins, some experts say.

There have been some reports that cite sources close to MCX who describe a mobile payments checkout process that requires several steps and two bar code scans. But MCX has not released a final product and has been hush-hush, so only time will tell. Apple Pay requires only one touch of an iPhone’s home button.

“MCX could streamline its payment system by leveraging the Apple Passbook mobile wallet and the development tools that are available through Passbook,” says Rick Oglesby, senior analyst at Double Diamond Group, a payments consulting firm whose specialties include mobile payments. Passbook is Apple’s mobile wallet app, which retailers and other organizations can integrate with to store loyalty cards, event tickets and other “passes.” Passbook is also the hub of Apple Pay, storing credit and debit cards.

Apple Pay and NFC represent just one component part of Passbook. Those that wish to compete with Apple Pay will have to do so through Passbook; stand-alone apps won’t be good enough, Oglesby says. So Apple wins either way because it brings consumers and capabilities that can’t be accessed anywhere else.

“This isn’t about retailers versus Apple, it’s about retailers versus payment networks fighting over how they will access Apple’s customers. If you think about it that way, it’s pretty clear that Apple is in the best position. These retailers consider the payment networks to be unnecessary and expensive middlemen.”

Internet Retailer, October 28, 2014
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COMMENTARY: How Passbook Positions Apple to Command—Not Just Align With—the Payments Industry

apple_pay_multi_issuer_screen_092714

Image Credit: Apple – The key to Apple Pay’s power lies in Passbook

With Apple Pay now confirmed to launch on Monday, we are closer to seeing the impact it will have on mobile-payments acceptance, technologies, and standards.

In the meantime, much of the debate concerning Apple Inc.’s payments venture has missed a crucial point. While the discussion has centered on whether Apple Pay will energize mobile payments and the ecosystem for near-field communication (NFC), it is far more important to consider that Apple Pay is merely a component of Apple’s Passbook app, and then to evaluate what the Apple Pay/Passbook combination could mean for the future of payments.

At first glance, it appears that Apple has positioned itself in alignment with the rest of the payments ecosystem to reinvigorate mobile payments. However, in the greater Passbook context you can see that, by positioning itself alongside the payments ecosystem, Apple has greatly bolstered its potential as a payments disruptor.

The key is Passbook. Through Apple Pay, Apple has incorporated the major payment brands and the largest issuers into Passbook, thereby legitimizing Passbook as a wallet. Apple and its payments-network and financial-institution partners have already begun to aggressively promote Apple Pay in an effort to make Passbook a central payments decision point for consumers.

Digital Transactions, October 16, 2014
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