Payments On Fire
Payments On Fire® podcast series
is where payment issues are reviewed, dissected,
and batted around with industry leaders.
In other words, a good conversation
between payments geeks.

Latest Podcasts

Episode 168 – Fanning the Flames: NACHA Smarter Faster Payments 2022

Just off the plane from Nashville, Glenbrook’s Elizabeth McQuerry and Cici Northup sat down with Yvette Bohanan to chat about attending NACHA’s Smarter Faster Payments Conference, where Elizabeth also participated in a session with the US Faster Payments Council. Tune in to hear their takeaways and why this year was “not your grandma’s NACHA conference”.




Episode 166 – Payments Trends & Best Practices – Casey Klyszeiko, Fiserv

In this episode of Payments on Fire®, George Peabody and Yvette Bohanan are talking payment trends and best practices with Fiserv’s Casey Klyszeiko, Head of Carat and eCommerce at Fiserv.

Tune in to hear Casey, a Payments Boot Camp alum himself, discuss the consumer payments journey and the questions merchants should be asking in order to deliver the right payments experience for their customers.


Episode 165 – Fanning The Flames – Global Payments – Elizabeth McQuerry & JoAnna Wisniecka

Yvette Bohanan, Elizabeth McQuerry and Joanna Wisniecka scratch the surface of global payments in this inaugural episode of Fanning the Flames, a shorter segment of Payments on Fire®

While promoting the upcoming Global Payments Insight Workshop on May 18-19, they discuss what is happening around fast payment systems, cross-border payments, and how fast payment systems are starting to go cross-border, leaving their domestic boundaries behind.


Episode 164 – 5th Annual RTP Network Update – Steve Ledford, The Clearing House

On this episode of Payments on Fire®, George Peabody and Yvette Bohanan welcome back Steve Ledford from The Clearing House to share the innovations about Real Time Payments (RTP) on this 5th Annual RTP Network Update.

Steve speaks about the updates on RTP payments rules, the billing system, what is being done to prevent authorized payment frauds and the massive improvement on the cross border payments with the Project Nexus.




Episode 163 – Payments Infrastructure and Foreign Policy

In this timely episode of Payments on Fire®, Yvette Bohanan has gathered teammates at Glenbrook (Elizabeth McQuerry, Erin McCune, Cici Northup, and Joanna Wisniecka) to discuss the payment infrastructure supporting the foreign policy actions being taken as a result of the situation in Ukraine.

In the past week, the UK, EU, and Switzerland announce sanctions against Russia, – with
Switzerland setting aside a long-standing tradition of neutrality in participating in these actions and the US announcing sanctions against Russia’s central bank in a move that prohibits Americans from doing any business with the bank as well as freezes its assets within the United States. These measures are also targeting the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation. As markets opened February 28, the Russian Ruble had fallen 29% against the dollar to an all-time low, after the U.S., European Union and Canada agreed to disconnect some Russian banks from the SWIFT interbank messaging system.

We’re going to explore SWIFT and other payment infrastructure elements used to implement foreign policy on a routine basis, and why these recent announcements, in some respects, are taking this to a new level.


Episode 162 – Stablecoins, Cross-border Payments & Interoperability – Ran Goldi, First Digital Assets Group

In this episode of Payments on Fire®, George Peabody will have back on the show two people that our listeners know well. Yvette Bohanan from Glenbrook Partners’ Education Team will co-host this episode, the second episode from 2022.

Keeping the listeners updated about the digital currency systems, Yvette and Bethany May (new Senior associates) are promoting a webinar series about Central Bank Digital Currencies in February and another one in March about cross-border payments systems. Not by coincidence, today’s guest is an expert on this topic.

George will also welcome back Ran Goldi, CEO of First Digital Asset Group to talk about the huge expansion of the stable coins business, how cryptocurrencies can benefit cross-border payments with small fees and almost instantly transfer. That would interoperability between the systems involved. Let’s hear Ran’s insight about it.


Episode 161 – AI-ML and Bias – Ismini Psychoula, OneSpan

2022 just started and we got so much to see and learn this year. But, we are not alone in this learning journey. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are here to stay, so we also should learn why and how it works for the payments industry.

Starting this season of Payments on Fire®, we will have Ismini Psychoula discussing fundamental technology, AI and ML, and its role in financial services. Ismini is a Research Scientist at OneSpan. OneSpan is a global organization that is focused on digital banking security and e-signatures, delivering trust and business productivity solutions for more than 10,000 customers in 100 countries. In the financial industry, more than half of the top 100 global banks rely on OneSpan solutions to protect their online, mobile and ATM channels.

Ismini Psychoula got a PhD in Computer Science with a thesis about Privacy-Preserving Machine Learning for Smart Healthcare. At OneSpan she’s Researching and designing privacy preserving and explainable machine learning models for financial systems.

In this episode, you’ll hear about Ethical AI, AI feeding and monitoring, Machine Learning bias and how it all affects the financial system. We’ll take a deep dive in the research to prevent fraud and increase transaction security.


Episode 160 – Innovation in Payments Workshop – Russ Jones, Glenbrook Partners

The new year is coming with lots of innovations for the payment industry. Some of them will impact some companies and/or all the industry, changing how things work on the marketplace. George welcomes back Russ Jones to Payment on Fire and they will uncover the lens of the game-changing innovations, including talking about the upcoming events and changes that really matter to the arc of the payment industry. Glen is a Payments Consultant, Analyst, Co-Author of “Payments Systems in the U.S.” and partner at Glenbrook Partners.

In this episode, Russ will discuss the Webinar presented by him and Yvette Bohanan between December 15th and 16th about innovation and payments, with topics like types of payment systems and technologies, how the different use cases lay out what’s unique about each, variations and differences around the world and how the payments industry is structured.

You’ll also hear about core system modernization, systems running 24/7/365, strong customer payment authentications and several other topics. Let’s hear George Peabody and Russ Jones talk about what to expect for the payments industry in 2022.


Episode 159 – The Top KPI of International E-Commerce – Ralph Dangelmaier, CEO, BlueSnap

If you’re an e-commerce merchant selling across border, you’ve got to answer a few questions:

  1. What methods of payment should you support in each country you sell in? Not every country is as infatuated with cards as is the U.S.
  2. And even if customers in those countries are using cards, how do you optimize your authorization rate? If you’re not sophisticated about this, your decline rate could exceed 40%, a huge hit. It turns out routing transactions via local acquiring banks is one answer. But how do you do that?
  3. Subscription services store card numbers or a tokenized version to initiate periodic payment transactions. They never want to have a card declined because they, honestly, don’t want to have to contact customers to request they update their card account info because some portion of those customers are going to decide to cancel little used subscriptions. How does a merchant mitigate those lost payments?

Serving the e-commerce needs of merchants operating across borders is a primary focus of payments service provider BlueSnap. In this conversation with BlueSnap CEO Ralph Dangelmaier and Payments on Fire® host George Peabody, you’ll hear how multiple discrete steps combine to keep AUTH rates high and costs in line.

Frictionless is not a Differentiator

Ralph is a well respected payments industry veteran. He shares his views on fintech and the opportunities available to new players in payments. He makes the point that, with 30% of users using wallets, cached payment credentials, and one-click payments, the frictionless checkout is no longer the differentiator. It’s cost control and AUTH optimization

AUTH Optimization is the Priority

He also discusses the needs of his primary customers: mid-tier e-commerce merchants doing $1B in sales but needing help around the particular challenges of operating internationally.

Ralph makes the point that revenue optimization results from doing multiple smaller things right. Card authorization rate optimization requires multiple steps.

1. Use local acquiring banks to route transactions into the card networks.
2. If a merchant wants to use fewer acquirers overall, then send those acquirers more data to help them make a better decision.
3. Looking at the BIN data from individual banks, determine which acquirers have the highest AUTH rate against a given issuer. Perform A/B tests with local acquirers against each issuer in order to determine the best path for a card transaction.
4. Adjust fraud settings to match local conditions
5. And plan to adjust these parameters on a regular basis. Things change so “set and forget” is not an option.

In other words, small things, in aggregate, really matter. And make each step, as Ralph says, “local, local, local.”