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  • The Future Of Mobile Payments: Part II [View article]
    Think about this...

    There have been many surveys that show that only a small percentage of Americans now really want mobile payments. There is a fear and trust issue over security.

    Retailers are leary too over liability. Banks are concerned too about liability and they want involvement and say-so because they're involved and on the hook when fraud cases come up.

    Retailers can't just have a miriad of the systems that every consumer might use- each payment system has it's own set-up requirements with software and hardware. At this point the best decision, IMO, if I were a retailer would be to get a POS machine that has NFC as iPhones, Google Wallet, ISIS/SoftCard all use NFC. A retailer would still have to have all the things that go along to run those three systems but a NFC-enabled POS would be the start to accept those forms of mobile payment from customers (if took all three).

    I don't know if accepting several methods would be a documenting nightmare. This will be different processes, not like the currect situation using the same card processor to take different credit cards. Perhaps someday there will probably be an app for that which will pool data together from various systems data so a retailer can use several systems to please many customers without making their lives a virtual nightmare.

    If the retailer is MCX retailer like Target or Walmart then they're purchasing thousands of POS machines or upgrading them to add NFC to them and that's a major cost. I can't blame MCX for hoping they could be first to the plate and turn consumers onto their system which will offer coupons with bar codes to scan and loyalty points when they check out. If they are in the position of having to please their customers by accepting different mobile payment systems that their customers want- talk about a logistical nightmare for them. I can fully understand their pain. Their CFO's should be increasing their department sizes. Their plan is apparently a cloud-based system.

    I agree with several of your comments to what I've said. I think all of the "players" are just hopeful of running the show with moblie payments and are posturing to try and do so. Those in MCX that sell Apple products (Best Buy, Target, Walmart) are in a quagmire of a position if MCX wants to posture in a way that was describbed in an article I aluded to.

    I'd appreciate the convenience of mobile payments personally but I'm fully aware that every convenience has a price.
    Sep 8 03:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wind ETF: A Less Volatile Alt Energy Fund [View article]
    I own FAN as a very small % of my portfolio. Not sure what the future holds in the US for wind power but willing to take a small gamble when I see our need for alternative power solutions and I see Warren Buffett putting emphasis on wind power in his holdings. I passed through Iowa in the last year and drove past a wind farm area and saw thousands of wind mills- they can be massive. I know my state would be up in arms if a wind farm would be proposed because too many would say it would detract from its beauty, especially if some wanted to place them just off the coast. Who knows the future but it was a better value than solar when I was comparing.
    Sep 8 12:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Future Of Mobile Payments: Part II [View article]
    Jonathan and other commentors,

    Big week for mobile payments with anticipated Apple iPhone 6 coming out next week and yesterday/todays announcement by MCX. Looks like there is going to be much fighting to see which system will prevail.

    Initially I thought this group could rival Apple and they possibly could have if they had debuted much earlier and maybe still could suggest a method customers may like and end up demanding.

    The Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) (you probably are aware of) is made up of many large retailers who are researching and coming up with "their method" for mobile payments (which will likely include coupons with bar codes [some already in place like at Target cartwheel]). For those who are not familiar with MCX, the merchants within the network are: Best Buy, Target, Walmart, 7-11, Darden, Shell Oil, Sheetz, Southwest, Wendys, Lowes, Michaels, Kohls, K-Mart, Old Navy, HMS Host, Rite Aid, Sams, Exxon, Dunkin Donuts, Dicks, Circle K, CVS, Conoco, Bed Bath and Beyond, Chili's, Publix, Phillips 66, Kum & Go, Quick Trip, 76, Alon, Shop Rite, WAWA, Giant Eagle, GetGo....

    Yesterday they announced Current C - "The CurrentC Network was built by leading merchants to simplify, enhance and secure their customers' shopping experience. " It will bring together coupons, offers with barcodes and then evolve that to checkout in the system the merchants have crafted.

    This involves those 110,000 merchant businesses and over one trillion dollars are spent at these businesses each year. This could be huge. If they're "hitting" customers with coupons when they enter with barcodes or if customers can scan coupons on shelves, it would behoove the customers to use their system. Or like at Target, if one already uses Target Cartwheel, you get savings already when you scan the barcode for your chosen coupon offerings that you get sent by email (these end up on your phone). It is being tested/used in some areas /stores and anticipated to be fully operational in 2015.

    PR release :

    Should this system, Current-C "win out" and become the one that customers use and I believe it will be the customers who will decide in the end... then here are some "plays" that benefit from this MCX mobile payment scenario. POS machine makers: PAY, and INGIY. Payment processor: FIS- they're contracted with MCX to do the payment processing and GTOMY- they're contracted with MCX to do security (had a huge contract earlier, not as large now but still involved.).

    Also, There are reports that Best Buy and 7-11 have removed NFC capablilty from their POS machines to disable Apple's efforts for mobile payments. (they're banking on Apple using NFC). It's going to be a WAR!
    Sep 4 01:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gemalto And A Wearable Future For Mobile Payments [View article]
    Thanks for the article. It's great to see some on this company. Gemalto is on the cutting edge for sure. Are you current on their involvement in MCX? They negotiated a huge contract previously to provide security but then I read they may have been replaced by Paydiant. Recently I read they're still involved. It's hard to get info.
    Sep 4 12:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Future Of Mobile Payments: Part II [View article]
    I believe you are not considering the liability if fraud/identity theft takes place. The issuing banks DO care and care lots about how the process takes place because it could involve them in cases of such.
    Sep 4 11:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • FDA Data: Good News For One Anti-Obesity Company, Not So Good For Another [View article]
    I'm surprised Q has double the subscriptions of B in Q4 based on this and I would have expected more adverse events.

    The Qsymia adverse event of pregnancy goes without saying. Another adverse event for Qsymia...memory issues. Their ingredient, Topamax and topiramate (generic) are terrible on memory, recall, etc. So many people want to stop taking it because of that. The new drug, Trokendi XR, which is an extended release capsule of topiramate, has much fewer memory side effects. It, however, is very expensive and hard to get coverage for since insurance companies assert there are generics that accomplish the same thing. It took appeals for it to get covered for me. In time when that price falls, that could cut into Q's market.

    I understand these drugs and their issues as I have personal current experience with them. It is my opinion that they are not ones anyone would want to be on if you need to be "productive". Some call them the supermodel drugs.... they make you skinny and stupid.

    Long ARNA...wouldn't have ever considered VVUS due to side effects.
    Aug 15 12:30 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Investors Recognize ChipMOS Arbitrage Play [View article]
    Thanks Jaret. Holding and hoping.
    Aug 13 09:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Investors Recognize ChipMOS Arbitrage Play [View article]
    Your thoughts on their recent decisions/transactions?
    Aug 13 12:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Outerwall, Inc: An Attractive Out Of Favor Business [View article]
    Good analysis...watching this one.
    Aug 13 12:05 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Acquisition Of SafeNet Help Gemalto Reach Its Long Term Targets? [View article]
    Thanks for the article and the information. I just saw above I probabaly should get updates for GTOFF as well as GTOMY, perhaps then I'll get more news. I've been long since before they contracted with MCX which I believe is no longer in force (too bad but they probably learned what not to do after negotiating a stellar contract since that time). They could use some news soon to get some upward movement and get the price level back to where it has been historically.
    I do feel as we get closer to more use of mobile payments in the US and north America, good things will happen for Gemalto and the stock will rise.
    Aug 12 09:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fidelity National Information Services Is Getting Interesting [View article]
    I think what happened with Gemalto was they bragged too much to analysts about the contract with MCX. They negotiated to be paid by the transaction for the mobile payments that would take place. That would have been a huge income generator for them since the members of MCX together generate over a trillion in sales yearly. Now I believe MCX is now contracted with Paydiant as the main technology vendor for the mobile commerce service.
    Jul 30 01:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fidelity National Information Services Is Getting Interesting [View article]

    FIS has a contract with MCX (Merchant Customer Exchange -which includes Target, Walmart, Darden, Shell, Best Buy, CVS, Lowes, and many others that generate over 1 trillion in sales yearly) to do their point of sale payment processing when using a mobile device. When mobile payments are begun at this large group of retailers, many others may follow their lead and use their vendors.

    This should bring bright things for FIS in the future. I don't know the details of that contract with MCX or if those details were released. When Gemalto negotiated one with MCX it was by the transaction. It has since been negated.

    Very long FIS.
    Jul 7 02:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Arena Needs To Hold Eisai Accountable For Re-Launch Of Belviq [View article]
    Interesting comment from Boiler74 and his/her observances being a pharmacist about the launch and the lack of product pushing that he would normally see. Couple this with the comment from Biogemfinder about Eisai's possible reason to not "pump sales" and my mind is spinning.
    Now the ARNA CEO selling shares. If that is what Eisai is doing they're excellent chess players and perhaps we should keep holding on.
    Seems this scenario could result in a lawsuit though for not upholding the marketing contract- there surely would be some language in it that could be compared to Eisai's lack of effort/result (or stories from pharmacists like Boiler74).
    You can tell my head is spinning though I'm not much of a believer of conspiracy theories but I know crazy things happen in business with greed.
    This could support Eisai wanting a low price if/when further trials come out positive supporting more reasons to market/prescribe Belviq.
    What do you think Spencer?
    Jul 7 12:06 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stop Wasting Energy On The VIX [View article]
    Chris, I respect your articles and think they're good. I believe it is easy to use hindsight to defend a position. I'm not saying I disagree. Let me know what you think...

    If one looks at April 2014, it is an interesting period to discuss the VIX and specfically when it was below its 50 SMA and above its SMA. It was below its 50 SMA until April 9 then for a few days it crossed above the 50 SMA. Look at what VTI or SPY did around those days when the VIX was above its 50 SMA. Lots of reactive selling and good sized declines. My takeaway is that on short term consideration, we must acknowledge that traders are watching the VIX closely and make decisions based on it. That affects things and moves the markets.

    I think the VIX is something to watch if you're trying to understand what moves the market and trying to decide whether to stay in or get out onto the sidelines. I'm not a big market-timing fan but if I'm controling my trades, I will watch and might make a change to protect my interest (provided it jives with the resulting tax consequences).
    Jun 15 04:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • FDA Delays Decision On Orexigen Anti-Obesity Drug - What This Means To The Stock [View article]
    Great entry point today if you were hoping for one. I took the bait.
    Jun 11 12:46 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment