Comments: The Payments System in Transition

At 07:42 PM 12/31/2003, you wrote:
>At the Fed's Payment Systems conference this October, Roger W.
> Ferguson provided this summary to save us the trip. Nothing
> much on security, but these remarks caught my attentions:...
>
>------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>http://www.financialcryptography.com/mt/archives/000040.html

"...that large businesses want payments system providers to understand that
information about transactions (such as invoice numbers and shipping
information) is critical to their use of electronic payments, for both
domestic and global commerce...."

HUMMPPHHH. How ridiculous. In one corner we have finance and IT people from
the global 500 corporations, all of whom deliberately refuse to standardize
within their own industry lest their competitors gain some advantage, and
refuse to standardize even with closely adjacent industries.

In the other corner we have the same F&A and IT sorts of people from banks.
All knowing perfectly well the differences between their disparate
protocols and semantics payloads, and alllllll of them intent on the same
sorts of advantage over their customers, suppliers, etc.

I am not blaming individuals in corporations except their CEOs and
boards who set all these policies within their relentless game theory.

What is truly unfortunate is, even if these global corporations
agreed on business process semantics among themselves, it would be
*useless* in integration or automation with the 10s of millions of
smaller businesses, or enabling them to deal *with each other*.

Your conversation for that, begins at Intuit and Microsoft, and why
these monopolists prevent endusers from executing transactions
directly P2P.

ENTERPRISE has continuously developed and installed automation
whereever it pays for itself. A whole industry of EDI people and
EAI and alphabet soup has thrived for a generation. Its already
built. Overbuilt, actually.

Meanwhile for every 1 connection among global 500 firms theres countless
millions of connections with individuals and SMEs. Tens of millions of
people are condemned to meaningless manual work because they are
*deliberately* denied the most rudimentary protocols or semantics for
exchanging business transactions.

- Corporations don't want them to have it, and
- Banks don't wan't them to have it, and
- Telecomm and Internet companies don't want them to have it, and
- Governments don't want them to have it.

Everybody knows what individuals and smaller businesses need. Automation
of the mechanical processes after execution of a sale or receipt of goods
or services. Basic inventory and AR/AP cycle... common horizontal
semantics to communicate with customers and suppliers. The most basic
exchanges. Alignment of payables and receivables and what was bought!

INDIVIDUALS are not looking for a comprehensive business process integration.
that ENTERPRISE needs. Enterprise needs multiple-site, multi-party process
choreography. That's where the wave is at today.

Individual *do* their business process, they are not interested in
journalizing much of anything into a computer.

But after an economic exchange happens in the physical world, we need
decent automation of the mechanical goods counts and settlement processes.
ALL of the global corps will be GLAD to provide this but ONLY if it is a
lock-in portal featuring THEM as the sole supplier, refusing to cooperate
with our other suppliers. ALL of the banks and card services would LOVE to
provide us with a portal too.. As long as THEY get to be the monopoly gateway.

Ferguson then said,

"Many speakers identified a need for common standards to enable significant
operational improvements in integrating payment and related transaction
information in order to enable greater straight- through processing of
electronic payments and automated reconciliation procedures."

Now don't you see how tedious this is, to read this in 2003 after all these
years of lies and false promises from these corporations, banks and
software vendors? Go read the archives for example in OMG Finance Domain
from 1996-1999, there were hundreds of people including all the main ERP
vendors. They looked directly at the question of standardization, deep
standardization, of the behaviors and semantics at the interfaces between
the applications. And they all fell silent and walked away into the night,
to weave their tedious grips over their little collections of
customers. Another even better, larger dialog was the ebXML mailing lists
from 1999-2002. I will be happy to send you a CD of the portion I have;
probably more than half the messages, couple hundred megs. OASIS and
UN/CEFACT were so disgusted with the whole thing they didn't even save the
mail archives.

Oh sorry for another rant!

TOdd

Posted by Todd Boyle at January 1, 2004 06:55 PM

Todd, you excel yourself :-) EDI - that's what I was trying to recall when I wrote the above entry, as it was what they all were talking about in the 80s. Even then it was obvious why it wouldn't work. I guess I saved myself the bother with OMG...

So, what is it that these (small) companies want? You said:

"Automation of the mechanical processes after execution of a sale or receipt of goods or services. Basic inventory and AR/AP cycle... common horizontal semantics to communicate with customers and suppliers. The most basic exchanges. Alignment of payables and receivables and what was bought!"

All of which is goobledygook to me. What does it mean in data and flow terms? Then:

"But after an economic exchange happens in the physical world, we need decent automation of the mechanical goods counts and settlement processes."

Counts of what? You mean, we should add user-driven counters to payments?

Todd, help a poor programmer understand .. what are the packets here?

Posted by Ian Grigg at January 1, 2004 08:30 PM
MT::App::Comments=HASH(0x561e3218af98) Subroutine MT::Blog::SUPER::site_url redefined at /home/iang/www/fc/cgi-bin/mt/lib/MT/Object.pm line 125.