Article | January 2, 2014

Payments, Pt. 1: A Technology Solution Profile

By David Gosman, RSPA Strategic Technology Solutions Committee Vice-Chair

Can you teach me a little bit about payments?

‘Payments’ is a very broad term. For this article we are defining payments as electronic transactions other than cash or check that exchange money between a consumer and a business. There are two primary categories of electronic payments - open loop and closed loop. This article will focus primarily on open loop.

Open Loop payments primarily consist of credit and debit cards that can be used at any business that accepts them. With minimal exception, anything that carries a Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover logo falls in the open loop category.

Closed Loop payments are methods of paymethat can only be used at specific businesses. Often these accounts hold a balance at is pre-funded by the consumer. Popular examples would be the Starbucks card, or any store-specific gift card.

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