It was 1945. The world record for the mile stood at 4:01.3, held by one of the great Swedish runners of that generation Gunder Hagg. That was the fastest recorded mile in human history. Naturally there was pressure to break the four minute barrier.

It took 9 years for the record to be broken. John Landy came close in 1952 with 4:02.1 but declared:

“Frankly, I think the four-minute mile is beyond my capabilities. Two seconds may not sound much, but to me it’s like trying to break through a brick wall. Someone may achieve the four-minute mile the world is wanting so badly, but I don’t think I can. “

So close – yet so far.

May 6th, 1954 Roger Bannister ran the mile in 3:59.4.

He broke the four minute brick wall barrier. He did what many did not think was humanly possible. And 46 days later John Landy, who had said, “I don’t think I can,” ran the mile in 3:57.0

Today Apple announced that they have created an iPhone that is essentially a wallet. It’s a closed payment system that uses something called near-field communications or NFC technology.

According to an article in CU Times this morning:

iTunes users still could use credit cards and banking accounts to fill up their iTunes accounts, but that would be the extent of financial institutions’ involvement in an Apple mobile payment system.

Creating a new payment system would cut out middle men like VISA and MasterCard.

Just last year I heard a now retired CUNA CEO say “We’ve been talking about smart phone technology for years – I still think it’s way off.”

The four minute mile has been broken in the financial industry.

And Steve Jobs just lapped us.

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