One of the most respected financial journals is Investors Business Daily (IBD). www.investors.com I have read this off-and-on for ten years or so, and they justifiably maintain a top rating for analysis of markets (financial, stocks, mutual funds and commodities). The serious financial adviser and stock-selection practitioner consults this newspaper (actually, website) daily.
When IBD whispers… I try to listen. Their recent headline article (week of July 31, 2017) provided an analysis of the payment processing industry and its leaders in North America. The mega trend worth paying attention to… is this:
- Payment processing is increasingly convenient, competitive and frictionless;
- Multi-billion-dollar players continue to innovate and reshape offerings for consumers;
- Be on the lookout for changes as these mega companies (Amazon, VISA, PayPal, etc.) look for marketplace advantages;
- Consumers are the beneficiaries as this market evolves.
- There is vast opportunity and this exists at multiple levels.
This is interesting to the GBA when you consider an estimated 260,000 US Federal employees spend roughly US$19B annually, according to the Daily Caller newspaper. Where it gets even more interesting is that a major portion of this is not very well accounted for or audited. Hmmmmm….
“Hey, General Services Administration… would you like to create a secure audit trail for each of those 19 billion dollars so Americans can rest assured that our tax dollars are being well spent? Why not a blockchain-based federal credit card?”
This does not have to be a can of worms. At a high level, it is strait forward: public monies are auditable via a blockchain transaction network that does not belong to the proprietary data centers of VISA or MasterCard, etc. and can be scrutinized by those who have authorization to know about the transactions… such as inspectors general (IG), or an agency ombudsmen.
Am I asking for the moon here? I don’t think so. Who would have thought, just ten years ago, you could stream virtually any sporting event to your smart phone and conduct any conceivable financial transaction from the middle of a field in most rural locations in North America? And this is true to an even greater extend in other portions of the globe. The citizens of Africa know this well. The ability to bring about this kind of change exists in the will to do so. The technology is here. Yes, it takes time to permeate but the change is happening.