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March Madness: The Elite 8 of Payments

March Madness: The Elite 8 of Payments

March Madness is officially upon us and millions have (incorrectly) picked their brackets because no one picks every game correctly…and we mean no one. March Madness has also now brought about copycats (how flattering)—from brackets on books to restaurants to cities to sportswriters and more…there might even be one on Members of Congress (hello mid-term elections!!!!). And I think 2017 marks our second annual Rantings Madness bracket, though our bracket does not involve 64 or 68 teams, as that would be nauseating. We’ve whittled ours down to the Elite 8…in this case, the Elite 8 of Payments.

Mark, sadly your alma mater’s basketball team didn’t have a shot at being invited to The Big Dance…and my alma mater’s basketball team is so bad that words do it no justice (not to be confused with former Blue Devil Justise Winslow…and oh, how I loathe Duke!!!!). But I digress, it’s time for another Elite 8. Who’s made it through to LA, Cleveland, The Cuse and Houston (editor’s note, the Elite 8 basketball games are being played in these cities)?

A more appropriate list of cities for our purposes would be “The Valley,” “The Alley,” “The Prairie,” and “Austin,” but I digress too… This is my second favorite time of the year, the first being the fall show season—both in terms of primetime premiers as well as payment conferences. Getting to fill out a bracket with hope that I will be THE ONE at the top of ESPN’s list, only to have that hope dashed by the second batch of tip-offs on Thursday afternoon, there’s nothing quite like it…

Truer words couldn’t be spoken (or written).

Without further ado, here’s my Elite 8 of Payments:

  • The traditional Princeton-esq, no-showboating: QR Code (I can hear the boos now cascading from the rafters)
  • The Freshman Phenom (can I say Diaper Dandy?!): Ring-Enabled Payments (as well as glasses-enabled/jewelry-enabled)
  • The Stalwart Blue Blood: Credit Cards
  • The Mid-Major: NFC-Based Mobile Payments
  • The Selection Committee’s Head Scratcher: Checks
  • The Team Always in Trouble: Cash
  • The Highest GPA: Same Day ACH
  • The Ultra-Quick Players (that will beat you on the first step): Immediate Payments (Real Time)

Any predictions on whom will advance to the Final 4? My bracket was figurative toast by Thursday night!

In an upset, we’ll see QR Codes move on past Wearables. Maybe the selection committee, our favorite coffee brands and the former MCX were onto something...I doubt they'll move much farther, but it gives the committee some reprieve this offseason. 

The blue blood Credit Cards just can’t hold off NFC-Based Mobile Payments. Their growth over the past year signaled the tipping point for this clash; we may have to lift this mid-major into a new powerhouse conference moving forward. 

Not surprisingly, Checks will get their pockets picked by Cash. The speed of Checks make it a non-contest.

And in the final matchup, the power and volume of ACH is too much for the speed of Immediate Payments in the first half, but in the end, Immediate Payments notches the win!

So onto the Final Four: we have QR, NFC, Cash and Immediate Payments (Real Time). And someone please queue One Shining Moment! (I can’t get that song out of my head).