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« April 7, 2002 - April 13, 2002 | Main | April 21, 2002 - April 27, 2002 »

April 20, 2002

Wired: Name your own price on PayPal

Identifies potential risks to merchants who use PayPal's WebAccept system.

April 19, 2002

USA Today: MasterCard to stop third-party transactions

A new rule by MasterCard could crimp online commerce by stopping merchants from accepting credit card payments through third parties, such as the popular PayPal, USA TODAY has learned. Unless a settlement is reached, on May 1 Internet merchants and other mom-and-pop firms that rely on third-party billing could miss out on sales via the USA's No. 2 online credit card. And MasterCard holders could have a harder time using their cards at many sites that use PayPal and similar services, says Gartner analyst Avivah Litan.

Mobile Commerce in Singapore

"The TelePay consortium, which comprises Systems@Work, Gemplus Technologies, Mobile e-Services Bazaar of HP, VISA International and Suntec City, will be working with 35 more merchants, bringing the number to 50, during this trial period."

April 18, 2002

CNET: Microsoft witness defends Passport

"In entering into agreements with Web site developers, Microsoft has not required Web sites to use Passport on an exclusive basis," Cole testified. "By contrast, I understand based on Mr. Borthwick's direct testimony that America Online has entered into an agreement with Amazon.com...to use its Screen Name Service authentication service exclusively."

American Banker: For Wal-Mart, E-Check Gains Outweigh Ills

Commentary from the NACHA Payments 2002 conference on Wal-Mart's experience with check conversion at POS.

Mobile Payments: Hutchinson 3G to use Networks365 technology

"The Networks365-based technology will enable single click payments from the mobile phone displays for micropayments while larger sums will require password entry."

ZDNet: Identity services starting to harmonize

"We're not suggesting that Passport is going to be the login of the enterprise," says Sohn. "That's not what Passport was designed for." Instead, Microsoft now concedes that Passport will simply be one of several consumer authentication services on the Internet.
The article also includes speculation that Microsoft may end up joining the Liberty Alliance after all.

April 17, 2002

Efinance Insider

The latest edition of Bill Martin's Efinance Insider is now available.

PayPal achieves profitability

PayPal, in its first quarterly report as a public company, reported its first profitable quarter today. In providing guidance on future earnings, PayPal said:
"PayPal estimates second quarter 2002 revenues could range from $52 million to $53 million, resulting in pro forma after-tax earnings of approximately $0.07 to $0.08 per share, with between 63.5 and 64.5 million fully diluted shares. PayPal also estimates 2002 revenues could range from $220 million to $230 million, with pro forma after-tax earnings of approximately $0.34 to $0.36 per share, with between 63.0 and 64.0 million fully diluted shares."

Microsoft's Money Explorer

Microsoft has launched its new Money Explorer product with BankOne as the first customer.
"Under the terms of the agreement, Bank One will release Bank One MoneyManager, its own private-label version of Money Explorer designed to give consumers unprecedented control of their finances by bringing their financial accounts together in one location. The software allows Bank One customers, through current user IDs and passwords, to automatically retrieve and consolidate financial information from bank accounts, loans and investment accounts from more than 2,000 financial companies. The software also helps consumers maintain accounts, pay bills, and create budgets and financial forecasts."

CNET: Passport required - not appealing

"Consumer demand typically drives the adoption of new products and services, but the rollout of Passport services is clearly not following that general rule," Gartner analyst Avivah Litan said in a statement. "Most consumers are signing up because they have to and not because of a strong interest in the convenience features Passport offers."

CNET: Despite law, few people use e-signatures

The technology certainly exists, but the promise of e-signatures has fizzled in the face of security concerns, competing e-signature standards and the fact that people still like to handle paper when it comes to big deals.

Accenture: Who will deliver the digital cash society?

Whatever system or systems replace cash, it could, because of its convenience and ubiquity, replace credit cards and checks as well. The owners of digital transactions could then levy a „toll‰ (almost invisible to the consumer) on billions of transactions, and could build even more lucrative businesses related to the transaction˜exactly as credit card companies have done. What is more, companies at the center of multiple transactions will be in an extraordinary position˜extraordinary because owning retail transactions, for instance, would provide insight into the flow of transactions. And that information can be leveraged with sellers and suppliers in the areas of customer insight and supply chain management.
Here's the authors' punchline:
Overall, mobile devices, with their widespread use and built-in network connections, seem to have the competitive edge˜but the battle is not over, and the "best" technology does not always prevail.

Celent: Innovation in Internet Payments

Celent Communications predicts ACH and closed-end networks-based payments will capture 7% market share of US e-commerce by 2005. Alternative payment solutions will thrive thanks to "niche markets," which will account for 25% of e-commerce by 2005. In a new report, Innovation in Internet Payments: The Plot Against Credit Cards, Celent examines the competition between cards and emerging payment solutions in non-recurring Internet payments. Celent predicts non-card solutions will capture 7% market share by in 2005, up from 3% in 2001.

Computerworld: 7-Eleven readies bank services

"This is 7-Eleven's second effort focused on designing a financial kiosk for "third-shift workers and the underserved in financial services, such as immigrants, legal and illegal," said Charles Lemos, an analyst at Deutsche Bank LLC in New York. He said 7-Eleven is a major provider of money orders, check-cashing services, money transfers and other financial transactions to the 20% of U.S. residents who don't have bank accounts. According to the company, it sold $4 billion worth of money orders last year."

April 16, 2002

TheDeal.com: Biometrics firm Imprivata gets funded

"Unlike other biometrics companies that target military and commercial markets, Imprivata zeroed in on enterprises at the outset. Its open architecture software gives enterprises a unifying authentication system that can function across different back-end applications. Its product, soon to start a pilot project with Boston's State Street Bank, can function with various authentication methods used within an enterprise, including biometrics, smart cards, encrypted cards or secure tokens, said Patrick Morley, who recently joined as president and CEO."

Hyperion's Digital Money Forum: presentations available

Presentations for most of the sessions at last week's Digital Money Forum in London are now available online.

ePOS Consumer Online Payments Conference - presentations available

ePSO Final Conference on Consumer Online Payments: Trends & Challenges for Europe", held in Brussels in February, now has all of its presentations online.

Pro-Active: SmartCard Reader add-on to Visor PDA's

Pro-Active has an add-on smart card reader which works with Handspring Visor PDA's.

American Banker: BankOne's Jamie Dimon on outsourcing

This morning's American Banker reports on BankOne CEO Jamie Dimon's speech to the NACHA Payments 2002 Conference yesterday. He was apparently quite outspoken about outsourcing just not working for BankOne:
„Frankly it didn‚t work,‰ he said. „Bank One is taking back the management of its databases. We‚re taking back all our own programming. Our critical systems will be managed, produced, and maintained by Bank One folks and not by anybody else. We want to be in control of our own destiny.‰

April 15, 2002

TSYS reports earnings

Credit card processor TSYS reports its first quarter net income up 22.3%. A company presentation for the 4Q2001 is available. TSYS' 2001 Annual Report is now available on its web site. TSYS' 2001 10-K filing with the SEC is also available.

American Banker reports on First Data Corp.'s first quarter earnings report

FDC CEO Charlie Fote says to expect more merchant alliance deals in the future similar to one recently announced with SunTrust Bank and comments on the growth in payment services and the decline in revenues in the card issuer processing segment. The press release announcing first quarter financial results is available here. FDC's 2001 Annual Report is also now available. FDC's 2001 10-K filing with the SEC is also available online.

Motley Fool: Cash Cards Cost You

This Motley Fool article by Rex Moore highlights that stored-value cards just represent loans from consumers to big companies -- such as Starbucks -- and wonders if they're really worth the convenience. The article appears to have been stimulated by a Reuters article on Friday.

Smart Card Alliance Management Shuffles

The Smart Card Alliance announced this morning that Randy Vanderhoof has been named Acting President and CEO. In late February, Donna Farmer, formerly President and CEO of the Smart Card Alliance, resigned to start a new company.
"Ms. Farmer's new company will focus on secure ID programs and authentication, offering a range of consulting services, and marketing support. Ms. Farmer will continue her involvement with the Smart Card Alliance and the work of its initiatives, from her new position as a Special Advisor to the Board of Directors."
The SCA's web site has a whole section including a white paper devoted to "Secure Personal Identification Systems" which advocates smart cards as the best technology for implementing such systems.

More on MasterCard's OneSMART Smart Card Program

Last week, MasterCard announced OneSMART, a major new initiative for smart cards in the United States. There's a lot of supporting material available on this site including a brochure and an FAQ. The question that has plagued smart cards for so long has been finding the right combination of functionality to justify the huge expense of reader deployment. MasterCard indicates interest among U.S. card issuers is driven primarily by product differentiation opportunities. Obviously, the key will be in finding and exploiting those opportunities for differentiation.

NACHA Payments 2002 Conference

NACHA is holding its annual payments conference early this week. Watch this page for news from the conference. The conference schedule is available here.

April 14, 2002

MasterCard pulls out the Coles card

"The Reserve Bank of Australia's proposed reforms to the credit card system could provide a $150 million boost to retailer Coles Myer's bottom line, according to Mastercard."

InfoWorld: Comments on the demise of Microsoft's Hailstorm

Some thoughts on the demise of Hailstorm. A victory for the Liberty Alliance?

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