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Payments Systems in the U.S. Paperback – September 15, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 166 pages
  • Publisher: Glenbrook Partners (September 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098278970X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982789704
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 0.4 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #676,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bill Harris on December 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
Without question, the best overview of the payments industry. Essential for payments professionals.

Bill Harris - Intuit, PayPal, PassMark, Personal Capital
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Petersson on October 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have been a payments professional for over 15 years, and I have often wished there was a book I could use for training employees and partners on the details of the various types of payments they would become exposed to. In the past, I have used portions of various books, articles I found here and there, and training material I created myself. Starting today, I will use this book for training. I also found lots of background information in this book that was helpful to me. Without doubt, this is the best book available on the U.S. payments systems today. It covers all payment types, and it covers all participants in the payments system. It covers the economics of payments, technical aspects, the perspective of the participants and current trends. The book is very well written: concise, it avoids uncessary and hard-to-understand terms, and it does not require much prior knowledge of the payments industry. An excellent book!

John Petersson, Co-Founder, Vendorin, Inc.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Darren Blakely on October 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
I've spent nearly 20 years establishing and growing organizations that provide electronic payment processing solutions for mid-size and large companies throughout the U.S. One thing that has always been a challenge is finding tools to help existing and newly recruited sales talent quickly gain an understanding of the payment systems with which our solutions interface. This book is a great fit for sales organizations responsible for introducing products or services that interface with any aspect of the U.S. payments systems. The entire book require less an hour to read, provides a high level framework of payments systems information that can easily be used as a basis for deeper payments systems learning, and is written with the type of no nonsense approach that any busy professional will appreciate.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David Birch on October 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
It does what is says on the tin, as they say here. This excellent paperback covers checks, cash (to a limited extent), ACH, cards and EFT in a clear and consistent way. It explains how each of the payment systems works and then, in a perspectives section and the end, explains how the various stakeholders (such as retailers and banks) see them. This helps the reader to understand not only the current situation but also the drivers for change.

Given Scott and Carol's expertise and experience, I was not surprised that I found it so useful. It will stay on my shelf as the introduction to the topic for some time to come and, I suspect, will become standard issue for newly-promoted managers in all sorts of businesses who have been told that they are now supposed to be dealing with payments. I found it especially useful (I am not from the US) when it went into the details of the US check environment and ACH schemes, both of which are uniquely American.

The next edition could benefit from a few more charts to help clarify some of the issues and trends, and I did find some of the "aside" boxes a bit distracting, but these are minor (and, I hope, constructive) criticisms.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Gutierrez on October 28, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I began my career in the Payments Industry 30 years ago or so, a friend asked me a question: "What do you do for a living?" My answer "I program computers providing banks services to make payments for businesses and individuals." His response "That can't be too hard. How do you make it happen?" My answer, "Well...1) people enter data on computer terminals that are connected to a computer that connects to a program that takes in the account and money information from the person transferring the money and account number and bank information of the person who is owed the money 2) puts the information on a database, 3) takes the money away from the account, 4) connects to another program that sends the money through a phone circuit to the Federal Reserve Bank's computer 5) who sends it to the bank's computer where the person owed the money has their account, and adds the money to that account." His response - "Oh. Sounds complicated." Over the decades money has been moved as data on behalf of businesses, consumers and banks with technological changes improving the devices, methods, and communications networks, resulting in the ability to move money/data seamlessly. What is considered by end users a conceptually simple task of making a payment; information entered on the internet, a card swiped in a point-of-sale reader, a computer generating information, and most recently, Smartphones, is not simple mechanically as articulated in this publication.

This book provides payment detail articulated in a well written and concise description of the payments industry in the United States today.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By cswift on December 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have a whole bookshelf of Fed white papers and industry studies that is a multi-year effort to cover what "Payment Systems in the U.S.", by Carol Coye Benson and Scott Loftesness of Glenbrook Partners, does in barely 150 pages. The book is based on Glenbrook's two-day Payments Boot Camp, which I attended a few years ago. I still have the loose-leaf binder of printed slides from Camp, and now I have a narrative to go with them.

It's tough to write briefly about complex topics without straying into inaccuracies, but "Payments Systems" gets it as close to right as any effort in this space I know. The book consists of overviews of the "core" payment types - checking, ACH, cards, cash and wires. The chapter on cards is probably one of the best available, no matter what length. Those chapters are bookended by an opening overview of payments models, flows and volumes and closing looks at payments users and providers and emerging payments. No book on payments could stay up to date very long, and the authors invite readers to keep up with changes at Glenbrook's payments web site, paymentsnews.com.

My first reaction was that such a short book can't go deep enough to be a resource for payments professionals. I thought its right role was as a desk reference for people who work regularly with payments professionals but who aren't full-time payments people themselves. Now that I've finished it, I'm sure that's a good way to use this compact book. But if payments professionals are as siloed as payment instruments and channels, maybe a lot of "pros" who work with one payment type don't understand the nuts and bolts of other payment types and could use a quick, clear explanation of the similarities and differences, too. They'll find that in "Payments Systems".
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