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« October 5, 2003 - October 11, 2003 | Main | December 7, 2003 - December 13, 2003 »

December 05, 2003

First Data lowers expectations

In an 8-K SEC filing today, First Data announced that it expects 2003 revenue growth to be closer to 12% vs. the 14% expectation it had announced in October.

Internet gift economies

An article on First Monday by Kylie J. Veale looks at gift economies on the Internet.

Keynote reports on ecommerce site performance

Keynote reports that, according to its Keynote E-Commerce Transaction Performance Index, major online shopping sites took a severe performance beating the day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, and the traditional kick-off for the holiday shopping season.
“On the Friday after Thanksgiving several retail sites remained below 80% for the majority of the shopping hours. In effect, one out of five online visitors could not complete their transaction on the desired site. Performance stabilized on Saturday and Sunday as sites overcame the rush of Friday,” said Roopak Patel, senior analyst in Keynote’s Public Services group.

“On Monday, as people headed back to work, the response times skyrocketed to as high as 65 seconds for particular sites (average response time is typically between 14 and 17 seconds) and success rates plunged for several sites to well below 80%.”

Shopping during working hours? Naw...

UK Chip and PIN rollout delayed

The BBC reports on delays in the rollout of chip and PIN in the UK.
The chip and pin system has been hailed as a major step forward in the fight against the £400m lost each year to card fraud. But some banks have not yet issued a single new chip card. And only one national retailer has the right equipment to read the cards in place in all of its stores.

The Association of Payment Clearing Services (Apacs), the industry body responsible for the change over, said it cannot confirm progress so far. But it said it was confident that most Britons would be using chip and pin by the end of 2004.

More information about the rollout is available at the Chip and PIN website.

Comerica launches Visa Gift Card

Comerica has launched a Visa Gift card -- but is only making it available for purchase ($5.95 service fee) by Comerica customers using a Comerica credit or debit card. READ MORE »

Wendy's Restaurants now taking credit cards

Wendy's has announced that over 3,000 of its restaurant locations -- including all company-owned stores -- are now accepting credit cards.
"We're receiving very positive feedback from our customers," said Tom Mueller, Wendy's president and chief operating officer. "They like the convenience of paying with a credit card and they appreciate the fact that the systems we've put in place ensure rapid service, both inside our restaurants and at Pick-Up Window."
Wendy's accepts four major credit cards: American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa.

Checkfree amends agreement with Bank of America

Checkfree announced yesterday that its agreement with Bank of America has been amended. Among the changes disclosed were adjustments to long-term service pricing to take advantage of economies of scale and Bank of America relinquishing its rights to five million of the original 10 million warrants in the original agreement.

Using Less Credit

The latest Cambridge Consumer Credit Index survey indicates that American consumers intend to use less credit this holiday season.

"The results of the Cambridge Consumer Credit Index show that more consumers plan to use less credit for Christmas shopping, implying that more will be making purchases using savings and cash. Consumers already burdened with credit card debt also have high hopes of paying off their balances in full when the bills arrive in January. However, Cambridge's experience with the Reality Gap shows that consumers usually underestimate their willingness to take on debt and overestimate their ability to repay it quickly," said Jordan Goodman, spokesperson/financial analyst for the Cambridge Consumer Credit Index.

December 04, 2003

Cards in China

Craig Karmin reported in today's Wall St. Journal on the Chinese government's emphasis on card payment systems.

Success also could depend on prodding Chinese banks to issue cards. So far, they have been slow to embrace credit, but looming competition may provide the spark. Beginning in 2007, foreign banks will be allowed to offer cards in which bills are calculated in the Chinese currency. Already, Citigroup Inc. has taken a 5% stake in China's Shanghai Pudong Development Bank and, subject to regulatory approval, can increase its stake to 24.9%.
China hopes to learn from Korea -- where card abuse followed similar initiatives.

POS Terminals from India

The Business Standard reports that Visa International introduced the first indigenously developed low-cost point-of-sale (POS) terminal in India. The terminals has been developed by Hyderabad-based Linkwell Telesystems with technical support from Visa.

READ MORE »

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