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July 31, 2002

eMarketer: Cash, credit or mobile?

A brief update on mobile payments in Korea.

TowerGroup: Electronic Invoice Presentation/Payment and game theory

Lee Kidder from TowerGroup writes about the classic "chicken and egg" problem of many new services.
In this non-zero-sum game, all or most parties stand to gain as a result of participating, making the net result positive. EIPP is therefore a win-win proposition for all, and lockbox is dead. The end. The only problem with this scenario is that isn't happening now and won't happen in five years despite the interest and activity in EIPP and in business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce in general.

Concord EFS trading down almost 20%

Following its earnings announcement and conference call yesterday, Concord EFS is trading down almost 20% this morning. Analysts were pleased with revenue growth at the company but questioned the cost structure of the business and the pressure it's putting on margins. Concord EFS' largest competitor First Data Corp. is also trading down over 10% this morning.

Sonera Smartrust and Mosaic Software focus on mobile payments

Mosaic Software‚s Postilion and SmartTrust‚s Delivery Platform (DP) products have been integrated to make it possible for mobile operators and financial services providers to accept authenticated payments from a mobile handset. The solution employs SMS or GPRS messaging to create a secure payment channel from the handset‚s SIM card through to its user‚s bank account.

Scotiabank launches cash-back feature on Classic Visa cards

Scotiabank has announced a new cash-back feature on its Classic Visa cards.

USA Today: Paying by fingerprint

USA Today reports on paying with your fingerprint.

July 30, 2002

FDIC: Role of Risk Management: Basel and Beyond

The FDIC is hosting a seminar tomorrow in New York (which will also be webcast) on this subject.

Cooper Newsletter: Learning from the mistakes of Internet banks

Chris Weeldreyer writes how Internet banks haven't changed the world -- at least not substantially.
Customers don't care about the latest technology if it doesn't satisfy their basic goals. The Internet-only banks provide a good cautionary tale here. Among many other customer service gaffes, many of these banks have failed largely because they didn't provide a good way to accept deposits or dispense cash. It seems obvious in hindsight, but designing a bank that didn't satisfy the basic need for depositing and withdrawing money was doomed to failure. How can you avoid making expensive mistakes like these?

July 29, 2002

Korea Times: Hyundai Dept. Store to Launch Mobile Payment Service

Based upon the carriers listed as offering the service (KTF and LG Telecom), this appears to be a Brew application.
Yang said that customers will need a Kookmin Card service and to download the mobile payment settlement program from Kookmin Card's website onto their handsets in order to use the service. Only KTF (016 and 018) and LG Telecom (019) mobile service users will be able to utilize the service. ... Customers will be able to settle payments by pointing their phones at the point-of-sale (POS) device at the sales counter and pressing their password into the phone's keypad, just as they do when they switch TV channels with remote controller. Then the money will be charged to their credit card.
I'm interested in learning more about this -- if you have more information on this offering, please email me.

Visa updates Proximity Payments specification

Visa International has posted version 2.0 of its Proximity Payments Messaging Specification.

Wireless Report: New generation payments call for proximity

Sue Gordon-Lathrop, VP Emerging Consumer Enviroments at Visa International, pens this article on the need for proximity payment solutions.
With all proximity payments technologies, Visa is providing support to its member banks based on the demands and requirements of their customers. Even as a mature technology proximity payments will not replace the trusted plastic payment card; rather it will add value and utility to the cardholder, and improve efficiencies for merchants.
More on proximity payments from Visa's corporate web site.

American Express: Introduces new "up to 5%" rebate credit card

American Express this morning introduced the new Cash Rebate Card.
Cash Rebate of up to 5% - The cash reward is based on customer spend and payment behaviors. The annual cash reward for purchases is up to 3%. There is an additional rebate of up to 2% for purchases in months in which the account carries a balance. An account is eligible for a rebate applied to a maximum of $50,000 of eligible annual spending.
American Express is uniquely positioned to be able to offer the highest cash rebates to consumers -- should this become a new industry battleground -- because, all other things being equal, Amex's higher merchant discount provides more revenue than that achieved by the other card brands. Discover, long the leader in the rebate card category, is likely in the worst position (from a P&L perspective) as its merchant discount is typically the lowest of the card brands.

July 28, 2002

Omaha World-Herald: Eula Adams

The Omaha World-Herald has an interview with FDC's Eula Adams.

July 26, 2002

A look back from 2009 (Semantic Web)

A delicious article about how the world might evolve...Google winning "all".

RFID Journal: Speedpass - convenience equals loyalty

RFID Journal profiles ExxonMobil's Speedpass.
"Giordano says the company‚s market research finds that more than 92 percent of Speedpass customers are highly satisfied with the technology. Giordano says Speedpass are likely to make one additional trip per month to the gas station, which translates into a significant increase in revenue. "We‚re very happy with our investment," he says."
Earlier this month, the New York Times also had an article about RFID technology titled "Tollbooth Technology Meets the Checkout Lane". Folks often want to know what the business case looks like for a new technology. Here's at least part of the answer based upon the Speedpass experience:
The benefits to merchants are many. They can collect data that are untrackable through cash purchases and, by moving customers through more quickly, save on labor costs.
and
It says Speedpass customers tend to make an additional visit a month, which translates into a 20 percent increase in their spending. Although the use of Speedpass in convenience stores is still fairly low, the average sale tends to be larger than those by cash or credit card. A typical cash transaction is $3 to $3.50, on average, while credit card sales tend to be 60 percent higher. The average Speedpass transaction is more than double the cash amount, Mr. Clayton said.
You do the math!

NY Times: At grocery checkout, no wallet needed

Grocers say that users like the convenience of the system. "It speeds up the checkout process," Mr. Huddleston said. "The female customer does not have to bring her purse in the store."

July 24, 2002

Microsoft: Updates .NET Passport overview

Microsoft has today released a new .NET Passport overview document titled "NET Passport: Balanced Authentication Solutions For Businesses and Consumers".

July 23, 2002

VeriSign: Trusted Commerce Initiative

VeriSign announced a "Trusted Commerce" initiative today.
The initiative, which will extend through the holiday shopping season and into 2003, aims to increase merchant, consumer, and industry awareness of the importance of authentication as the underpinning for secure transactions; drive the development of authentication standards by key industry participants; increase consumer awareness of what's necessary to ensure a trusted online experience; and notify consumers and online merchants about risky practices of "quick" or reduced authentication that doesn't adequately identify online businesses.
There isn't anything particularly new in this initiative -- it looks like a new marketing effort to re-package existing VeriSign services with a new wrapper.

July 20, 2002

Internet.com: Smart card technology making corporate inroads

A profile of Sun's JavaBadge program and other enterprise smart card initiatives.

July 19, 2002

Opinion: Liberty Alliance and

"Carol Coye Benson" of "Glenbrook Partners" had a bit too much "federation" reading through the Liberty Alliance specifications earlier this week.

First Data Corp. acquires PayPoint

First Data Corp. announced today that it is acquiring PayPoint from BP.
"This transaction underscores a strong and strategic commitment First Data has made to meeting the future payment needs of merchants in growth segments such as petroleum, supermarket and QSR," said Scott Betts, president of First Data Merchant Services. "Our first priority is to ensure new benefits and continued quality service for PayPoint clients, and to complete the BP implementation. Both First Data and PayPoint clients will benefit from the combined strength of First Data and PayPoint. It will enable us to deliver market- specific payment-processing solutions to more merchants. That includes capitalizing on First Data's ongoing success in penetrating the PIN-based debit market," Betts added.

July 18, 2002

BBC: Cambridge opens AutoID center

Another AutoID demonstration center focusing on showcasing applications for "smart" RFID tags is opening at the University of Cambridge in the UK. It is similar to another center at MIT.

TheDeal.com: Benchmark loses Juniper Financial lawsuit

Benchmark Capital lost the lawsuit it filed in Delaware Chancery Court last week against one of its portfolio companies, Juniper Financial.

Glenbrook Partners supports Identity Venture Capital Working Group

Glenbrook Partners is supporting a new identity-focused venture capital working group announced today by Digital ID World.
Digital ID World today announced the formation of the industry's first venture capital working group to focus on opportunities within the emerging digital identity industry. Participants include Brad Feld of Mobius Venture Capital, Walter Knapp of Novell Technology Capital, Dave Chen of OVP Venture Partners, Gus Tai of Trinity Ventures, Rick Patch of Sequel Partners, Alex Tosheff of St. Paul Venture Capital and Shawn Luetchens of Saffron Hill Ventures. The group is supported by Allen Weinberg of Glenbrook Partners, a consultancy focused on identity, and by Digital ID World, the premier source for digital identity news, views and the presenter of the Digital ID World Conference.

July 16, 2002

Amazon introduces web services

Amazon has introduced a set of web services which developers can use to add Amazon content to their web sites.

July 15, 2002

Economist: Be my PayPal

The Economist reports on the eBay/PayPal deal.
The real surprise is that it took so long. For months, rumours had been circulating on Wall Street that eBay, the leading online-auction service, would buy PayPal, the dominant provider of Internet payments. When the takeover was finally announced on July 8th the terms, too, were much as expected.
The article also contains a rumor about Google potentially being acquired by Yahoo.

CNET News.com: U.S. government plans online ID gateway

CNET is reporting that the "federal government is working on a plan that would require citizens and business to pass through one central online gateway when they need to get their identities certified with the federal government."

Liberty Alliance: 1.0 specifications available

At today's Burton Group Catalyst Conference in San Francisco, the Liberty Alliance announced and released version 1.0 of its specification for simplified user sign-on. A flock of vendors have announced their plans to support it. Sun announced it will be making a complete announcement tomorrow. Separately, the Alliance announced 26 new members joining the organization. Phil Becker, editor of "Digital Identity World", shares his perspective on the announcements.
But Liberty's biggest achievement with the Phase 1 specification is likely to be the softening of the market for federated identity. The language of the specification talks of multi-level authentication of users --- i.e., the ability to authenticate Johnny's bank transaction at a different level than Sally's Amazon purchase. This language is an extension of a core concept of the Phase 1 specification. It allows separate silos of identity to be linked, so that, while Silo B can determine the strength of authentication Silo A used, Silo B cannot at any time learn the data associated with the identity in Silo A.
Peter Drayton shares some of his thoughts about the specifications.

WSJ: The Cordless Consumer

Jay Krall reports on wireless shopping in this morning's ecommerce special section.

NY Times: Online bets are becoming harder to collect

Matt Richtel writes about the inquiry by the New York attorney general's office into the use of PayPal's service for gambling.
Mr. Sinclair said that during the last year he received virtually no business plans for new online casinos but more than 100 business plans from people looking to find a way around the payment problem. "The opportunity to create the better payment mousetrap is just huge," he said.

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