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« June 2, 2002 - June 8, 2002 | Main | June 16, 2002 - June 22, 2002 »

June 14, 2002

Citibank agrees to block online gambling

The AP is reporting tonight that Citibank has reached an agreement with New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer to block all online gambling transactions that use its credit cards.
Citibank, the nation's largest credit card issuer, has agreed to block all online gambling transactions that use its credit cards, the state attorney general said Friday. The agreement announced by the bank and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is expected to significantly reduce illegal, underage and potentially addictive Internet gambling, Spitzer said. It applies to all Internet gambling transactions, not just those in New York.
The New York Times is reporting on the story in its Saturday edition.

June 13, 2002

First Data Corp. -- Paris Analysts' Day Slides

FDC held an analysts' day last week in Paris. The slides from the presentation are available online here (22 MB Powerpoint download).

American Banker: Regulatory crackdown near for card issuers

AB is out tonight with a story running in tomorrow's edition about a comprehensive regulatory crackdown coming for credit card issuers.
Though the details are still being finalized, the overall aim is to create a uniform account management structure in an industry that, in the absence of strict regulatory and accounting rules, has developed a broad range of practices. Among the areas where regulators are expected to demand changes are credit line management, over-limit accounts, workout requirements, and accounting for settlements. The standards are also expected to set new requirements for loan-loss reserves, specifying the amount banks must carry against accounts where borrowers are current, but also requiring institutions to hold reserves against the uncollectable portion of fee and finance charge income. In credit line management, regulators are expected to require that banks make sure they understand the implications of changes in policies for setting credit lines, particularly the impact on credit losses.

Bismarck Tribune: Privacy vote could start trend

Voters in North Dakota on Tuesday sent a firm message to the financial services industry when they voted almost 3 to 1 to prevent banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions from selling consumer information to others without first getting their customer's permission. This is an issue of increasing importance -- in my opinion, somewhat delayed because of the events of September 11th which put privacy issues, for the moment, largely on the back burner. The North Dakota vote seems to send a clear message to the financial services industry -- a message they certainly haven't wanted to hear. Here's the New York Times story on the vote.

Card Management: Friendly fire from the ACH

Could new electronic payment guns aimed at checks cause collateral damage to card payments, especially on the Web?

American Banker: Reality sets in on debit card profitability

AB reports on bankers imposing fees on consumers for using PIN's rather than signatures with their debit cards. Of course, smart merchants have installed systems which detect cards that can work either way -- and are prompting consumers for PIN's simply because the transactions are much less expensive for the merchants! Who's going to blink?
The executive in charge of Bank of America's debit card program - the nation's largest - warned recently that the growing trend of charging customers to use debit cards could doom debit products. "We may price folks away from this product, and then everyone's back to handling paper," Darrell Esch, a senior vice president at B of A, said in an address to the 14th annual Card Forum and Expo, sponsored by American Banker parent company Thomson Media. Mr. Esch called himself "no big fan of the fees."

San Jose Mercury-News: PayPal execs plan to sell shares

Yesterday, PayPal filed an S-1 with the SEC for a secondary offering of shares -- with all of the up to 6.9 million shares being sold by selling shareholders, primarily executives of the company. In the filing, the company also disclosed that it has moved its credit card merchant business from EPX to Wells Fargo Bank.

June 10, 2002

Supreme Court won't block MasterCard/Visa lawsuit

The US Supreme Court today refused to throw out a class action lawsuit against MasterCard and Visa.

American Banker: Can banks' clout break momentum of PIN debit?

Merchants are getting more aggressive about pushing PIN-base debit card acceptance over signature-based debit cards (which are more profitable to issuing banks). Who's going to win?

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