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Payments Guys Acting Badly—And Strangely

Digital Transacations

There has now been a year of pandemic, but also of regulation, litigation, and malfeasance in the payments business. What’s going on, and has anything really changed?

Like everyone else in the “Time of Covid,” the people of payments woke up just about every day last year wondering what new surprise was in store for that day. Commerce was in chaos, streets were deserted, everything had moved online.

Somehow, most of the industry seemed to make it through 2020 largely unscathed—even newly resilient in spots (such as the buy now, pay later boomlet).

But that’s when an otherwise unremarkable news item came through the ether at the outset of this year: Federal investigators from three agencies were probing business card sales practices by American Express Co. Why that, why now, amidst so many other concerns?


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