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« February 16, 2003 - February 22, 2003 | Main | March 2, 2003 - March 8, 2003 »

February 28, 2003

Seattle Times: Small banks prosper from personalized client service

Bradley Meacham writes about the Northwest Business Bank and its success in dealing with clients who want personal service from their bank.
Northwest and other tiny banks are prospering from business that falls between the cracks at larger local and nationwide lenders. Six banks have opened in Western Washington in the past year to meet demand from small businesses. "Customers are looking for personalized service, where they have a direct line to their banker," says Singh, who worked at Key Bank until two years ago. "Big banks like to think they own clients. They don't."

February 26, 2003

New Mobile Payment Services Association announced

Orange, Telefonica Moviles, T-Mobile and Vodafone have announced that they are forming a new Mobile Payment Services Association.
For customers, the aim is to provide the opportunity to purchase a wide range of digital and physical goods and services with their mobile phones using an easy, secure solution. The solution aims to become the industry standard for m-commerce payments. Merchants and merchant acquirers will benefit from a standard set of interfaces through which they will gain access to a potentially huge international customer base. Software and solution vendors will benefit from published technical interfaces enabling the development of compliant m-payment products and services. Operators will benefit from a standard way of integrating and efficiently managing their relationships with merchants, merchant acquirers and content providers.
Former NatWest executive Tim Jones will be CEO of this new organization.

February 24, 2003

FT.com: Shoppers to test PIN-code cards

Jane Croft reports on the UK's upcoming test of PIN's to replace signatures for credit card transactions.
The system, dubbed "chip and pin", will see Pin codes securely stored on a microchip embedded in the credit or debit cards. Customers will type in their Pin on a number pad by the till and hacker- proof technology will compare it with the Pin on the card. The system is designed to end Britain's position as the card fraud capital of Europe by replicating the low fraud losses of France, which uses an early version of chip and pin. It will also make theft of cards pointless because the card will not be usable in Britain without the secret Pin code - even if the thief can forge the signature on the back.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Coke in payroll deal with Citicorp, MasterCard

Scott Leith reports on Coca-Cola's plan to market a payroll card program to workers in the hospitality and restaurant business.
Coke will market the cards, while Citicorp will handle enrollment and customer service. The cards can be used at places that are part of the MasterCard network.
Jennifer Bayot covers the story in the New York Times.

Electronic Business: RFID Platform Supports ISO/IEC 14443 Type B

Mark Long reports on TI's announcement of a secure ISO/IEC 14443 Type B technology platform for proximity payment transactions.
Offering increased security option and faster data rates, the ISO/IEC 14443 standard enables transaction information to be securely stored on the RF chip and securely transmitted over the contactless interface. American Express, Mastercard and Visa have already announced their respective endorsements for contactless payment applications based on the new standard.

Omaha World-Herald: Berkshire quietly buys 1.5% of First Data stock

Grace Shim reports on Berkshire Hathaway's increased holdings in FDC stock.
Berkshire increased its First Data holdings from 4.8 million shares on March 31 to 11.2 million shares on Dec. 31, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings released Monday. That's about 1.5 percent of First Data's shares. Although Berkshire more than doubled the number of First Data shares it owns, the value of the investment declined from $419.9 million to $397.8 million during that same time period. First Data's stock price dropped from $43.63 to $35.41 per share and closed Monday at $34.57. That would make 11.2 million shares worth $387 million.

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