Previous issues of Bits about Money

Accounting for SaaS and swords

Revenue recognition for software companies is much deeper than many appreciate, and improbably implicates the age-old question "What is the economically useful life of an imaginary sword?"

Hybrid offline/online transactions

You can't upload cash... or can you? Convenience stores function as hybrid offline/online spaces for payments and identify verification.

Moving money internationally

SWIFT operates a messaging protocol which ties banks together with correspondent banks. This collaboration enables most international wires.

Finality does not exist in payments

Many people believe some transactions are final. The reality is a bit more complicated, and involves technical, social, and legal factors.

Mortgages are a manufactured product

Mortgages are popularly thought of as loans, but to understand the industry, it's better to model them as complex manufactured products.

The secondary market in gift cards

Gift card marketplaces largely (and surprisingly) match professional buyers and sellers of gift cards, rather than casual users. This creates an interesting ecosystem in the shadow of large retailers.

The fraud supply chain

Fraud is largely conducted by professionals operating in specialized firms, which have their own ecosystem of evil.

Payments in Japan

The payments industry in Japan is evolving rapidly. Some trends are globally relevant.

How credit cards make money

Credit cards make money through net interest, interchange, fees, and marketing contributions.

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