Brian Barth and his team helped reinvent travel e-commerce when they created meta-search site SideStep, acquired by Kayak in 2007 for $200 million. Now Barth is set to make an impact on payments. His latest startup, UpLift, offers real-time insight on the customer's form of payment and enables online merchants to make targeted offers on that basis. One goal might be to increase loyalty to a co-branded card. Another might be to promote a cheaper option.

If you're thinking this sounds like something that could take advantage of the recent court ruling against American . . .

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