Payments Space Invaders: Who’s stealing your swipes?

Tech-savvy credit union executives and seasoned consultants share strategy and payments plays that deserve a second look.

Competition for the payment transactions at the center of every credit union’s financial viability is changing and growing. Just last week, the OCC granted its first national bank charter to a fintech, Varo Money.

The startup says the charter, although conditional for now, will pave the way for it to become the first fully licensed, mobile-only bank in America. Other threats include Venmo, Amazon, and the Target REDcard, just to name a few.

Some of these challengers offer partnership opportunities — either formally, like Zelle, or by extension like the other P2P offerings that require a depository account. That includes all the Pays, Apple, Google, and Samsung to name but three.

Other new payment options disintermediate entirely. For example, Target’s debit REDcard takes funds directly from a checking account via ACH, preventing the cardholder’s financial institution from earning interchange income.


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