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paypal-indepth-featurePAYPAL TO ACQUIRE PAYDIANT

March is coming in like a lion in the world of mobile payments!

When PayPal announced it was splitting off from parent company eBay in the closing days of September 2014, the payments ecosystem seemed to collectively offer a variety of opinions on a single question – “Now what?”

Today, it looks like the ecosystem may be getting one piece of its answer. PayPal has announced its intention to acquire Paydiant, a white-label, cloud-based mobile wallet platform for retailers, banks and payment processors (as well as cardless ATM access). According to sources cited by re/code, the purchase price will be $280 million. Read more >>

finalistsBoston Herald: “It’s Woodstock for payment geeks

FROM: Boston Herald (MA)

March 17, 2014
‘It’s Woodstock for payment geeks’

High-profile payment industry executives visit Boston this week to talk about the future of how we pay for things at an exclusive, invitation-only conference.
“It’s really about bringing together the elite innovators in the payments and commerce space to have two days of discussion about where the payments and commerce system is going,” said Karen Webster, president of

The Innovation Project, a two-day conference at Harvard starting tomorrow, will be 48 hours of high-level executives from companies such as MasterCard to Boston-based LevelUp discussing bitcoin, payment security and everything in between.

Security will be a key topic this year, Webster said, in large part thanks to the high-profile Target breach. Also high on the agenda will be bitcoin and changing retail environments, including mobile wallets. Read more >>


Admit it.

You’ve thought to yourself (and maybe even said out loud) that if only the regulators had listened to you, that the current regulatory environment in payments and financial services would be better. Where “better” is defined, of course, as advantaging your own particular venture or set of interests.

For instance, interchange would be lower – or higher. Regulatory oversight for non-FIs would be more relaxed – or more stringent. The government’s role in protecting consumer privacy would be more defined – or less involved. Bitcoin would be regulated – or kicked to the curb. Read more >>

finalistsFinalists Announced for 2015 Innovator Awards

Online voting opens today with prestigious awards to be presented in live ceremony on March 19, 2015 at the conclusion of the Innovation Project 2015

Boston, MA—, the premier source of news and commentary on innovation in payments and commerce is pleased to announce the list of finalists for the 2015 PYMNTS Innovator Awards. More than 80 finalists will compete for Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards across 16 categories including Most Innovative, Most Disruptive and Best Technology.

The PYMNTS Innovator Awards are viewed as the most prestigious recognition in the payments industry and boast a submission, selection and voting process that is unmatched in intellectual rigor and competitive energy. With more than 600 submissions this year, a panel of judges made up of executives, investors and innovators across the payments spectrum viewed and deliberated on the submissions and narrowed them down to 5 finalists that will compete for awards in categories like Most Innovative, Most Disruptive and Best New Technology. Read more >>

General_Keith_B._AlexanderThe Cure For The Not-So Common Coupon

Coupons have become game changers in India.

Yes, the ordinary coupon.

While loyalty programs often deliver disappointing results when it comes to driving profitable consumer acquisition and engagement, India-based FreeCharge has found a way to make it click.

FreeCharge users earn a coupon when they pay their bills online or when they add money to a prepaid phone plan.

You’d have to really understand the pain and suffering associated with bill payment in India to really get why this is a big deal. Read more >>

General_Keith_B._AlexanderConnecting The Dots On Cybercrime

“We had no way to connect the dots.”

That’s what General Keith Alexander told a reporter at The New Yorker was one of the key failings of the U.S. government’s security efforts in preventing 9/11. To quote what he said,” Around 9/11, we intercepted some of [the hijackers] calls, but we couldn’t see where they came from. So, guys like [Khalida-] Mihdhar [one of the 9/11 hijackers living] in California – we knew he was calling people connected to Al Qaeda in Yeman. But we thought he was in the Middle East. We had no way to connect the dots. If you rewound 9/11, what you would have done is tipped the F.B.I. that a guy who is planning a terrorist attack is in San Diego. You may have found the other three groups that were with him.” Read more >>

BarrMichaelLooking For The Future Of Financial Services?

Almost five years after the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was signed into law, a multitude of alternative finance schemes have emerged to challenge the banking status quo and to develop platforms that have re-imagined almost every aspect of traditional banking and financial services – transactional credit, P2P payment, invoicing, merchant cash advances, and banking, just to name a few.

So, who better to lead a panel of innovators who’ve disrupted that space than Michael Barr, the primary architect of Dodd-Frank and former U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions?

Barr will draw inspiration from his background as a legal scholar, his time as a regulator in D.C. and now Advisory board member of the recently IPO’d Lending Club to drive an off-the-record conversation about the role of technology and data in innovating financial services, the role of regulation in creating or destroying value for innovators or incumbents, and who’s best positioned to emerge and flourish. Read more >>

General Keith AlexanderFormer Director of the NSA General Keith Alexander to Lead Authentication Panel

Boston,®, the premier source of news and commentary on innovation in payments and commerce, is pleased to announce General Keith Alexander as the newest panel speaker for the foremost thought leadership industry event, The Innovation Project 2015® hosted by

General Keith Alexander is the CEO and President at IronNet Cybersecurity and the former Director of the National Security Agency. As an expert in cyber-security, cyber-attacks and information systems protection, General Alexander will be leading a panel entitled “From Authentication to Identity”. As a thought leader driving the panel discussion, Alexander will help explore the range of issues that are emerging as payments move digital and how to improve the overall security and integrity of the payments ecosystem. Read more >>

Co-Founder of Square Jim® Announces New Speaker to The Innovation Project® 2015 March 18 – 19 2015

Co-Founder of Square Jim McKelvey to Explore Innovator Case Studies

Boston,®, the premier source of news and commentary on innovation in payments and commerce, is pleased to announce Square Co-Founder as the newest speaker for the industry’s foremost thought leadership industry event, The Innovation Project 2015®.

As a serial entrepreneur, McKelvey co-founded Square with the aim of revolutionizing the way people make payments – without the use of an old school cash register. Today, McKelvey is a General Partner at Cultivation Capital, where he is an advisor to several startups including Kabbage and LockerDome and his new venture LaunchCode, helps anyone learn programming and land a job in under 6 months. Jim will participate and lead the panel discussion, “Learning from the Pivots”, where he will help take the audience through four case discussions about industry players who are innovating the way in which payments and commerce happen. Read more >>

nominate-innovator-awards“The Davos of Payments”: 5 Comparisons That Earned The Innovation Project® That Respected Moniker

This week marks the beginning of the 2015 Davos World Economic Forum where global leaders from business, government, international organizations and academia convene with one shared objective: to improving the state of the world through cooperation. This March, hundreds of payments and commerce industry experts will descend upon Harvard University to address a different shared goal at The Innovation Project 2015.

Now in its third year, The Innovation Project® has earned the reputation of being called “The Davos of Payments” by attendees and panelists alike for it’s commitment to driving innovation through 16 hours of uninterrupted conversations. Like Davos, The Innovation Project is by invitation only, ensuring that our delegation is comprised of only the best minds in payments. Read more >>

nominate-innovator-awardsNominations For® Innovation Project’s 2015® Innovator Awards Are Now Open

Panel of Judges Announced for the Most Prestigious Awards Ceremony in the Payments and Commerce Sectors

Boston, MA – December 11th 2014®, the premier source of news and commentary on innovation in payments and the broader commerce ecosystem, has announced the call nominations for 2015 Innovation Project’s Innovator Awards.

Viewed as the most prestigious recognition awards in the payments industry, the PYMNTS Innovator Awards boasts a rigorous submission, selection, and the voting process is unmatched in competitive energy. The call for nominations includes sixteen (16) best-in-class award categories including the slate’s most coveted awards, Most Innovative and Most Disruptive.

All category nominations are due by January 19, 2015. Nominations can be submitted via an online entry form and will be reviewed by a panel of 6 judges with deep expertise in running, funding and launching innovation in payments and commerce. They will narrow the list to 5 finalists in each category. Those finalists will then be revealed to the PYMNTS community on February 1, 2015 who will then have two weeks to decide who will win the Gold, Silver and Bronze medal winners in each category. Read more >>

Sir Tim Berners Lee To Lead the Conversation At The Innovation Project® 2015 March 18 – 19 2015 Payments Most Coveted Invite Also Includes Live Broadcast From Fox Business News Anchor Liz Claman

2015 Theme “Innovation At The Intersections” Will Feature CEOs From The Various Ecosystems That Drive Payments Innovation

Boston, MA –®, the premier source of news and commentary on innovation in payments and commerce has released its preliminary agenda and announced the speakers for the industry’s foremost thought leadership industry event, The Innovation Project 2015®.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Inventor of the World Wide Web, will kick off Day One of The Innovation Project® by sharing his perspective on the impact that the web has on payments and commerce in recent years. Following his initial remarks, Berners-Lee will then preside over a panel of industry visionaries who will share their perspectives on how they are leveraging new, internet-based technologies to enable new types of payments and commerce schemes aimed at creating increased interactions with consumers. Read more >>

Pump Up The Coverage

Exclusive Access To a Global Television Audience

Media interest in the Innovation Project® has never been stronger as a result of the stature of our delegates and the richness of the conversations that we enable. Liz Claman, anchor at Fox Business News, will bring the Innovation Project® to a global television audience when she broadcasts live from this year’s event for both days. She will be doing 10 minute cutaways with participating company CEOs – just as she does when she broadcasts live from the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting and Davos’ World Economic Forum.

This, of course, is in addition to ample coverage of the event before, during, and after the event on®.

about3Participation Opportunities

See. Be Seen. Be Part Of The Future of Payments
and Commerce

Opportunities exist for select companies to collaborate with® in developing a distinctive presence at The Innovation Project® 2015.

These opportunities include ample amounts of executive visibility, program participation, ownership over specific program elements, and brand and media exposure before, during, and after the event.

Innovation Project® 2015

March 18-19, 2015
Located on the Harvard University* campus in Cambridge, MA.

To sponsor this event, please contact our Team at


THE INNOVATION PROJECT®, THINKATHON®, PAYMENTS HALL OF FAME®, and all related logos are trademarks of® and may not be used without the express written permission of®

Panel Discussions

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2015 Innovator Awards

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*Please note that The Innovation Project® and® are not affiliated with Harvard University, nor is the Innovation Project® 2015 a Harvard University program or activity.