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  • Google: Payments About To Go Into Overdrive [View article]
    " An Apple payment system will use touchID on your iPhone and ipad to verify you as well as in combination with a iwatch or iBand which further verifies you."

    Look at French company Gemalto's Project E-go, which allows payment via touch. You wear a device and the signal travels across your skin. This will also be used to open doors, etc.
    Aug 26 07:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Visa: 'V' Does Not Stand For Value [View article]
    "They are USING an existing payment network like V/MA/DFS/AXP when they quote those rates."

    Ex-act-ly. Thank you.
    Aug 26 12:43 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Visa: 'V' Does Not Stand For Value [View article]
    "P.S. Also imo,This writer sounds very much like hedgeye."

    lol, they're not THAT bad. ;-)
    Aug 25 05:53 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Visa: 'V' Does Not Stand For Value [View article]
    Still promoting bitcoin lol. Nothing against bitcoin at all, but this constant harping over bitcoin taking over credit card use is getting silly.

    Also, how is BAC any sort of apples-to-apples comparison? Blah.
    Aug 25 01:59 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Save Your Stomachs And Your Wallets - Stay Away From McDonald's [View article]
    "Trust me on this one, McDonald's isn't going anywhere. McDonald's is as iconic as Coca-Cola and Walt Disney."

    McDonalds has also cemented its place across the American landscape in a way that no other restaurant can really hope to, probably. Chipotle may be popular, but it's not 'everywhere you want to be' in the way that McDonalds has managed over the years. People on a road trip in the middle of nowhere are going to be to find a McD's. I know people who are very much into the Whole Foods way of life, but they'll eat at McDonalds when they go out on the road because it's there (what else is), decent bathrooms and free wifi and maybe they'll get a coffee and something else.

    I think McDonalds needs to be innovative again and I think there are definite negatives that it has to tackle, but it isn't likely going anywhere.
    Aug 25 07:33 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Save Your Stomachs And Your Wallets - Stay Away From McDonald's [View article]
    "SBUX and get fat, is Howard Schultz to blame? "

    One of my favorite lines is from comedian Jim Gaffigan's take on McDonalds: "Keep telling yourself that Starbucks frappucino is not a milkshake."

    Gaffigan: McDonalds (youtube link:) VERY funny:

    "So how is it MCDs fault if folk are stupid enough to eat too much."

    It's not but people don't take personal responsibility. They eat too much of X then blame McDonalds (or whoever.)

    "Healthy eating is everything in moderation."

    And I wouldn't invest/make the bet that people are going to learn that if you paid me to.

    "Anbody half educated knows that if you eat larger sized MCD for breakfast, lunch, dinner and the snack opportunities in between, then you're likely gonna get fat. "

    So people with PhD's can't be fat?
    Aug 25 07:28 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Save Your Stomachs And Your Wallets - Stay Away From McDonald's [View article]
    " I am not holding my breath for people to get smart about their health. "

    I agree with you on that, although I'd rather go long healthcare/pharma instead.
    Aug 25 07:19 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Save Your Stomachs And Your Wallets - Stay Away From McDonald's [View article]
    KO does need a refresh in a similar manner that McD's does. I've suggested KO buy HAIN (you get the beverages, healthy food options including Terra Chips, sell or spin-off the personal care products - suddenly Coke becomes a more diversified company in the manner that Pepsi is, although while Pepsi's diversification is chips and other salty foods, Coke then offer's Hain's healthier options), although that'll probably never happen.
    Aug 25 07:15 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Save Your Stomachs And Your Wallets - Stay Away From McDonald's [View article]
    I went through my thoughts in another thread, but I'll summarize them here.

    1. Somewhere along the way the term "quality" and "healthy" merged. Higher quality food may be better for you, but keep telling yourself eating a Chipotle burrito seven days a week is "healthy". Chipotle, 5 guys and the others may have higher quality, but that doesn't mean "everything in moderation" doesn't still apply.

    2. I'll agree with the people who are saying that if you don't have any physical activity, whether or not you're eating McDonalds or anyone of these places, it's not going to be good for your health. Physical activity plays a part, and maybe McDonalds could go the Walgreens route and give you some benefit if you walk to McDonalds and maybe you get a discount on healthier menu options.

    3. I don't have enough interest in McDonalds to invest in it, but I'll admit that when you have a company that can get through the "Super Size Me" controversy and have articles every so often where people realize that a McDonalds burger left out looks the same a year later (and people look at that and go, "That's Awful......I'll have a Big Mac, large fries, diet coke..."), they'll probably manage their way through this period, as well.

    4. I guess my problem is that I like a "broader" play on something, when available. I'd rather invest in credit cards as a proxy for consumer spending then pick retailer who may fall out of favor because they didn't stock some dopey latest fashion. Instead of McDonalds, I'd rather invest in big ag companies (whose ingredients likely end up at McDonalds, flavor companies and Pharma. As for the last, if people don't change how they eat in this country, pharma will get more customers.

    5. I do think that McDonalds is in need of a refresh in a number of regards and while I'm very skeptical of current management's ability to do so, they have announced some attempts to change in the customer experience (new app, other digital projects) that I thought at least was a step in the right direction.

    Additionally, while people have looked at the poor ratings for McDonalds in the recent consumer reports article, what was interesting was that they were joined in the bottom by other "old school"ers - KFC and Taco Bell. KFC and Taco Bell are already starting new chains. I do think McDonalds needs to come out with a defined plan.

    Lastly, one irritation remains how many different menu items are available in other countries. I'm not a fan of McDonalds (I like to cook, I don't eat fast food that much as I think cooking is a creative outlet with the bonus of being able to eat what you do), but there's been so many instances where I've really, really wanted to try some of the things I've heard about in other countries at McD's.
    Aug 25 07:03 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • McDonald's: China Supplier Concern Is An Opportunity [View article]
    (Bleeped), Burger King in talks to buy Tim Horton's. Oh well.
    Aug 24 09:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Google: Payments About To Go Into Overdrive [View article]
    MCX is supposedly focusing on ACH-funded transactions (unless something has changed) and maybe it's just me, but I don't see that having an appeal to consumers or really what benefit is has to the customer.

    Additionally, MCX had French company Gemalto as creating the Wallet, to the point where the CEO was discussing in conference calls as to how it would benefit the company. Gemalto was then dropped in favor of Paydiant, but no one seems to know exactly why - some have guessed that Gemalto talked too much about MCX, but who knows. FIS is still listed as handling transaction processing - I really like FIS a great deal, but I'm not putting a lot of weight on its participation in MCX.

    "I also don't favor consortiums as being overall winners here (ie either MCX or ISIS). Google and Apple will both be dominant players."

    I'd agree with that.

    " Monetize (listed on the LSX) is an emerging player in the space, some of the terminal providers are larger but also listed, including Verifone, could potentially benefit from the POS upgrade cycle to NFC terminals."

    The POS terminal business is really rather remarkable, as you have two companies (Ingenico and Verifone, NCR in third) that dominate a business that is essentially everywhere. Everyone does seem to suddenly want to be in this business, but not sure people can unseat two companies who have had a massive head start. Ingenico has been way more consistent than Verifone over the years, but the latter is now under new management. Ingenico also offers a decent dividend.

    Monitise is probably the most popular speculative stock in the industry, but it's been obliterated over the last few years. It's either a really great entry point or not. The change in business model seemed to coincide with the decline, but you have a business that feels like it's being slowly groomed for takeover from the inside out (investments by Visa and Mastercard, former Visa exec now co-CEO, etc.) You have had a real increase in short interest, but I dunno, it still feels like eventually gets bought. I don't own it, although I've considered it.
    Aug 23 04:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Candy Gets Crushed: Presents Investors With Opportunity To Collect A KING's Ransom [View article]
    I'd rather just invest in Tencent, but that's just me.
    Aug 22 09:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Google: Payments About To Go Into Overdrive [View article]
    I'd place a significant amount of blame on the idiotic actions of ATT/Verizon and T-Mobile with Isis, which they took forever to roll out and has largely been a failure. They blocked Google Wallet, so they largely ruined Wallet and screwed up their own mobile wallet that they dragged their feet endlessly on.

    LOVE using Google Wallet - it's delightfully easy but it becomes where to use it. I can show the loyalty card for a particular retailer and then, without doing anything else, hold the phone up to the POS system and be done. There will be a point where you hold the phone up to the POS system and everything is done - loyalty card, coupons you'd scanned previously and payment - in one swipe.

    The other note is that, when you use Google Wallet, you are using a master Mastercard, then your card is charged after. So, you are not presenting your credit card at point of sale, which is a nice security bonus in this day-and-age.

    How poorly mobile payments have been handled in this country is immensely frustrating and hopefully that will change sooner than later.
    Aug 22 07:36 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Visa: High Dividend Growth Stock To Consider [View article]
    Credit risk. Note performances of AXP, DFC, COF in 2008. That said, nothing against those companies and I think they're certainly worth exploring, too.
    Aug 22 11:53 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Visa: High Dividend Growth Stock To Consider [View article]
    "Square, Google Wallet, Apple Passbook, and Paypal"

    All of these things are just different ways to pay with a card. For example, when you use Google Wallet, you are paying with your credit card, but what is used at the actual point of sale is a master Mastercard (then your card is charged.) Google Wallet's use of a main card at the point of sale (then your card is charged after) is a nifty added bit of security that no one really talks about.

    Square devices are point of sale devices. People talk about Amazon or Apple going after payments, they are not going to want to build out a payment network the likes of which V/MC have built (although they may get into payments at the point-of-sale.)

    To make a long story short, I think V/MC are fine, but you may see an increasing amount of competition for the point-of-sale companies (such as Ingenico and Verifone, the two companies that have previously dominated that industry.)
    Aug 22 11:07 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment