Comments: The fundamental _barrier to entry_ in the business of payment systems

and now for something completely different ;-)

Regardless which e-mail client I use (ms outlookup, apple mail, squirell webmail), the HTML-markup is not interpreted and clutters the text in your e-mailed newsletters. That's a pity.

Posted by kr, Twan at August 13, 2007 10:58 AM

On behalf of the entire service department I apologise a thousand times for our substandard performance.

:) that's because it is text. You see, the crappy blog I use allows me to format in text/html at the same time. But, the mailout, only sends out the text in raw, not the HTML. So, I have a real time-waster problem: write in pure text, publish, then mailout, then *add* all the HTML.

The end result is I have to take an extra 20-30% of time for a reasonably short post ... and a short post takes an hour or so ... I am always trying to speed up the process by inserting the HTML where it doesn't interfere with readability beforehand.

I intend to change blog software, but switching costs, switching costs..... :)

Posted by Iang at August 13, 2007 11:00 AM

one of the big infrastructure issues in the 70s was interchange and the associations. before that both the merchant and consumer had to be with the same institution. this was not just a technology interconnect problem but also contractual and legal issuef. the value-added networks to address the interconnect problem have somewhat been obsoleted with the growth of the global internet. however, the legal and contractual issues still remain.

for instance, in some countries, at least in the late 90s, and possibly still true today, required bilaterial, contractual agreements between every accepting merchant and every issuing consumer institution.

the associations allowed merchants to have (contractual) agreements with their financial institutions, consumers have (contractual) agreements with their financial institutions. then all financial institutions have contractual agreements with the associations (as opposed to every individual financial institution required to have bilaterial contract with every other financial institution) This reduced N*M problem to a N+M ... aka N are number of merchant financial institutions and M are number of consumer financial institutions (with each on the order of tens of thousands)

old posts discussing the N*M issue:
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2004i.html#18 New Method for Authenticated Public Key Exchange without Digital Certificates
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2005i.html#12 The Worth of Verisign's Brand
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2005i.html#21 The Worth of Verisign's Brand

the issue of interchange/association (or lack there-of) also reared its head in the digicash trials ... being limited to a single, common institution that served both the merchants and the consumers. disclaimer ... in the digicash liquidation ... we were called in to evaluate the patent portfolio.

Posted by Lynn Wheeler at August 15, 2007 11:39 AM

The problem is both technologically complex and organizationally complex, so requires someone who is both a pretty good geek and a pretty good suit.

Trouble is, the problem also requires critical mass, hence widespread consensus, hence a committee, and a committee is dumb as a rock.

Posted by James A. Donald at August 15, 2007 04:08 PM
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