Looking Back on a Decade of Payments, 2008-2018

A lot has happened in the payments industry since 2008, when ngenuity published its first issue. Here's our timeline that captures the milestone events in payments from the last 10 years.
Legend

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The Great Recession was the worst global recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and resulted in the collapse of the financial sector in the world economy.

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The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) was created. Now comprising 34 countries, SEPA is a payment integration initiative of the European Union for simplifying bank transfers in euros.

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The iPhone 3G was introduced. Apple shipped 14 million iPhones worldwide in 2008.

2009
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Heartland Payment Services announced it was the victim of a data breach that compromised its 250,000 businesses and millions of card customers.

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The bitcoin network came into existence after Satoshi Nakamoto mined the first ever block on the chain, known as the 'genesis block.' A volatile cryptocurrency, the price of one bitcoin (BTC) reached an all-time high of $19,783.06 in December 2017.

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An innovator in card acceptance technology, Square was founded by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey with technology for P2P payments and merchant acceptance. In 2010, Square created a payment app for Apple's new iPad.

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Popular P2P payment app Venmo was founded, allowing people to send money to each other by mobile text. Consumers exchanged $17.6 billion in 2017 through Venmo.

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The Credit CARD Act was signed into law, putting more restrictions and regulations on credit card issuers.

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Big retailers Walmart, Home Depot and Best Buy started the transition to EMV terminals and chip and PIN transactions.

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Faster Payments Service (FPS) in the UK was rolled out. This is a banking initiative to reduce payment times between different banks' customer accounts from the three working days that transfers normally take to typically a few seconds.

2010
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The Affordable Care Act was passed, marking a frenzy of promise for the payments industry. With more Americans assuming greater financial obligations for their medical bills, it made collecting on bills more important than ever.

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A massive piece of financial reform legislation, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was signed into United States federal law by U.S. President Barack Obama.

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Online payment processor Stripe was founded, with a suite of payment APIs that power commerce for online businesses. The software allows individuals and businesses to receive payments over the internet.

2011
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U.S. customers were introduced to a smartphone application with a Starbucks card stored within the app, providing a convenient and fast way to pay for purchases at the coffeehouse chain. Starbucks was the first retailer to use mobile to increase order frequency and ticket size while embedding payments in the experience.

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Cisco Systems published a white paper on the internet of things, a growing network of devices, computers, vehicles, appliances and other items that are all connected to the internet. Cisco estimates that by 2020, the world population will surpass 7.6 billion and the number of internet-connected things will exceed 50 billion.

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Spawned from the Dodd-Frank Act, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created. It was charged with overseeing financial products and services on behalf of consumers.

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In the face of the Durbin Amendment that cut interchange revenue, Bank of America announced a $5 monthly fee for using a debit account. This sparked an outcry among consumers, media and politicians, and made worldwide headlines. After a month of intense backlash, it dropped the fee.

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Software took hold in the merchant acquiring industry. The introduction of low-cost, cloud-based and multipurpose mobile POS devices transformed the industry and sparked a software arms race.

2012
2013
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Operation Choke Point was introduced as an initiative of the United States Department of Justice. It gave authority to investigate banks in the United States and the business they do with firearm dealers, payday lenders, and other companies believed to be at higher risk for fraud and money laundering. The program ended in August 2017.

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Google announced that Android 4.4 would support host card emulation (HCE). The technology allows near-field communication (NFC) applications on Android devices to emulate smart cards and financial institutions to host payment accounts in a virtual cloud.

2014
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The simplicity of incorporating previously complicated processes via APIs led to their adoption by upstarts like Uber and Airbnb. Companies were able to push payment technology into the background and focus resources on improving user experiences.

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Mobile payments took a significant leap with the launch of Apple Pay. The technology allows consumers to pay for goods with a digital wallet that is embedded in their mobile phone.

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In-store beacon technology emerged, allowing merchants to communicate with customers inside stores through mobile apps.

2015
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Amazon's Alexa is released. The artificial intelligence-powered voice-controlled device lets users play music, ask questions, check the weather and order products.

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October 1, 2015 became the liability shift deadline for merchants to transition to EMV chip and PIN terminals. The EMV deadline for gas station owners was extended until 2020.

2016
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Chatbots made their way into daily life. Financial institutions laid the groundwork to use chatbot software to automate customer service and manage finances.

2017
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Now in 10 countries, such as Kenya and Afghanistan, M-Pesa celebrated its first decade. Today it allows users to deposit, withdraw, transfer money and pay for goods and services easily with a mobile device.

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U.S. credit card processing company Vantiv bought Worldpay, the UK's largest payment processing company, for $10.4 billion. Other payment companies made feverish acquisitions as consolidation accelerated in the industry.

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Backed by a consortium of banks, the Zelle mobile app made its debut. The app gives the U.S. banking industry a foothold in the person-to-person payments space, where they compete with services such as PayPal, Venmo and Square Cash.

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The war to make China cashless is led by Alipay and WeChat Pay, processing more than $15 trillion in 2017 (compared to America's $150 billion).

2018
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The revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) took effect in Europe. The new rules aim to better protect consumers when they pay online, promote the development and use of innovative online and mobile payments, and make cross-border European payment services safer.

ngenuity 10-year anniversary cover imageClick here to read

There's a lot more predictions, reflections and analysis of the last decade in payments as part of ngenuity's 10-year anniversary issue.
Click here to read