The 3 Dark Horses of the Payments Industry

Day by day, we witness radical innovations taking place in the payments industry. Not only are there new emerging payment systems that are more robust than ever before, but even consumer behavior is changing, creating more opportunities for the payments industry. There are a number of stakeholders involved who are actually bringing the change that the payments industry needs. Many of them are are worthy of acclaim for what they have done so far, but in this article I would like to cite three particular dark horses of the industry. These 3 companies have indeed made big moves and facilitated solutions that have helped them gain prominence. Let’s have a look at what these three have brought to the payments industry so far:


In the US P2P payments space, there are many companies in the spotlight such as Fiserv, Square, PayPal, Venmo, Google Wallet and Dwolla. But how about a well established P2P payments network that belongs to the banks, where our money actually resides. That is where clearXchange comes into the spotlight.

It is the first network in the U.S. created by, and for, financial institutions that lets customers send person-to-person (P2P) payments. Using either mobile number or email ID, customers can transfer funds using their savings and checking accounts without using account information. It started as a joint venture of three U.S. banks—Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. Since its inception, the network has added three more member banks, namely FirstBank, Capital One, and recently U.S. Bank.

The ClearXchange service does not move funds. Instead, it just provides the information needed by the member banks to complete the transaction. Each bank has the ability to control how ClearXchange appears on their respective websites and mobile apps. The financial institution can continue to drive and maintain its own customer experience and remain at the center of their customers’ financial lives. Enrolled customers conduct transactions on the banks' sites and receive support from their own banks regardless of where a transaction is initiated.

Banks representing more than 50% of the entire P2P payments market in the U.S. have joined the network to give their customers the ability to send funds through their existing online/mobile banking experience to anyone in the U.S. With the recent addition of U.S. Bank, ClearXchange now serves over 100 million online banking and 50 million mobile banking customers.


NXP is essentially a semiconductor company providing solutions for radio frequency (RF), analog, power management, interface, security, and digital processing products worldwide. From a semiconductor company, we would normally expect some core hardware products and not payments solutions in particular, but the strides that the company has made with its focus on supporting payment solutions has indeed made it one of the best contributors to the payments industry to date.

NXP Semiconductors is one of the leading players when it comes to NFC and contactless smart card solutions. The company provides mobile contactless solutions, combined with NFC, to enable secure and convenient purchases with a mobile device. NXP’s major clients related to the payments industry include Austria Card, Gemalto, Giesecke, Oberthur Technologies, SMARTRAC, Sony, and Samsung. Here are some examples of the strides that NXP has made in the payments industry:

  • NXP developed an NFC ecosystem that is integrated with Google’s latest version of the Android 4.4 operating system, KitKat. Android 4.4 now offers new platform support for NFC-based transactions through host-card emulation (HCE).
  • NXP recently announced the availability of its Secure Service Development Platform (SSDP), developed to facilitate the rapid introduction of applications that utilize NXP’s NFC and embedded Secure Element (eSE) module, PN66T. The SSDP provides a turnkey approach for the loader service on the PN66T, enabling a faster time-to-market for secure mobile applications.
  • When speculation was rife around Apple incorporating NFC into its products, NXP was the first name that came into the picture. Some industry analysts speculated that NXP had signed a licensing agreement with Apple, with NXP presumed to be its NFC-hardware provider, and now we see how this NFC technology has helped Apple Pay give a tough fight to existing competitors.


The entire payments industry is not only focused on coming up with innovative solutions, but is also constantly concerned about another major aspect, and that is security. Fraud prevention and authentication techniques form a considerable part of this security aspect, and there are a number of companies focused on providing related solutions. But there is one particular company that has indeed made a mark by leveraging techniques based on machine learning and big data science.

Feedzai is a data science company that uses real-time, machine-based learning to help payment networks, banks and retailers prevent fraud in omni-channel commerce. Feedzai has combined advanced risk and fraud functionality with data science—all on a Big Data scale. Feedzai has raised more than $4 million in funding and includes both SAP Ventures and Data Collective among its investors. It operates in Europe, North and South America, and Africa. FeedZai's fraud prevention software protects $85B+ in electronic payments per year for 2000 customers globally.

Using machine learning and big data science to make commerce safe, the company deploys machine learning models to detect 61% of fraud earlier than existing rules-only solutions, all of this without increasing false alarms. Feedzai deploys real time behavioral analyses, individual 1-1 behavioral profiling, and social & geolocation data into the fraud models. Feedzai Fraud Prevention blocks payment fraud in real time—online, in store, on mobile, and wherever customers shop.

Feedzai has developed e-commerce apps for the two leading e-commerce platforms, ‘Shopify’ and ‘Big Commerce’, to help online retailers identify potentially fraudulent transactions. Feedzai also featured in the LTP9 – Online Fraud & Authentication Leaderboard. LTP9 is an initiative by Let’s Talk Payments to highlight key players in important segments of payments and commerce.