Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Checks Decline, PIN Debit Rises

Here's a surprising (I'm being sarcastic) report...

I see only 9 pieces of information an identity thief would want...and it's printed on one piece of paper for his (or her) convenience.  At least it doesn't contain really dicey information, such as: "our bank's name", it's routing number, our account number, our name and address...What's that you say?  Our signature too?  Oops! Nevermind...

And to think that we've been handing that information over to complete strangers for decades.  (who in turn, forward them on to additional complete strangers)  When I look back I'm still amazed that the paper check lasted as long as it did.  It's a different world out there today.  In a way I kinda miss the old one... 

According to an American Bankers Association. report, a net 23% of consumers plan to decrease their use of checks over the next two years, while a  net 14% plan to increase their use of PIN debit.

Editors Note:  Prediction:  That 14% number will end up being much higher as consumers learn that PIN debit eliminates holds at the gas pump...and protects them against what I consider to be the banking industry's "biggest scam (or should I call it "skim" in history" ... their so-called overdraft "protection" program.  PIN Debit is processed real time...Hey, I just had an idea...has anybody started the
"PIN Debit Association" yet?

Bill payment remains the last stronghold of paper-based payments -- for the time being. Checks continue to be the most commonly used bill payment method, with 71% of consumers paying at least one recurring bill per month by writing a check. However, on a bill-by-bill basis, checks account for only 49% of consumers' recurring bill payments (down from 72% in 2001 and 60% in 2003).

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1.4 Billion Internet Users to Grow to 2.4 Billion Within 8 Years...IDC

25% of the World's Population Use the Internet Regularly

To expand on my post a couple weeks back entitled: "HomeATM Has Powerful Potential, I bring you this article from on Global Internet use. But before I do, I thought it important to point out the distinction between Web PC users and "web enabled" users. There's two sets of numbers out there.

These numbers include "web enabled" users and provide some insight as to not only the size of our potential market, but why HomeATM provides "Secure PIN Transactions From ANY Web Device." Make no mistake...HomeATM's potential market is not limited to PC users.

In order to provide an example of why that's an important distinction, here's a quote taken from a recent NY Times Article entitled: "Inside Nairobi, the next Palo Alto?" (*The link to the "full article" has been provided below)

"Nairobi is home to a digital brew that invites optimism about its chances for creating unusual innovations. The city has relatively few wired phone lines or networked personal computers, so mobile phones are the essential digital tool. Four times as many people have them as have bank accounts. Text messages are far more popular than e-mail. Safaricom, the dominant mobile provider, offers a service called M-pesa that lets customers send money with text messages. Nokia sells brand-new phones here for as little as $33. - NY Times"

Here's the article from

A full "quarter of the global population" will regularly use the internet during 2008, according to
IDC's Digital Marketplace Model and Forecast.

The figure of 1.4 billion people is set to jump to 1.9 billion over the next four years, bringing internet access to roughly 30 per cent of the world's population.

"The internet will have added its second billion users over a span of about eight years, a testament to its universal appeal and its availability," said John Gantz, chief research officer at IDC. "These trends will accelerate as the number of mobile users continues to soar and the internet becomes truly ubiquitous."

Net-enabled mobile devices will help drive the global online trend, surpassing the desktop PC as the primary means of accessing the internet by 2012, according to the report.

China, which last year overtook the US in terms of overall internet users, will see its online population increase from 275 million today to 375 million in 2012.

Revenue-generating opportunities will be driven by consumer and business-to-business purchases, and one billion global online shoppers will account for $1.2tr worth of business-to-consumer transactions by 2012.

However, it is in the business-to-business arena that IDC forecasts the most spectacular growth rates, generating estimated worldwide revenues of $12.4tr over the next four years.

Here are the May comScore numbers for total Internet audience

Worldwide - 853mm (up 10% from 772mm last year)

North America - 185mm (up 4% from 178mm last year)

Europe - 240mm (up 8% from 223mm last year)

Asia - 323mm (up 14% from 283mm last year)

Latin America - 63mm (up 19% from 53mm last year)

Middle East/Africa - 43mm (up 23% from 35mm last year)

As is typically the case, the smallest markets are growing the fastest. But a couple other things stand out to me. North America only added 7mm this year from last. Asia added 40mm Internet users in the past year. Europe added 17mm. Latin America added 10mm. Africa and the Middle East added even more Internet users than North America.

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