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April 30, 2004

Online Card Design by Cardholders

Visa Internatiional has announced a strategic partnership with Serverside Graphics Ltd. (PDF) to allow Visa members banks to offer payment cards designed by the cardholder.

April 29, 2004

The Future of Phishing

Jonathan Tuliani writes on about an SMS-based approach to countering phishing attacks.

Why Online Bill Payment Is Booming

Terry Savage reports on MSN Money on the boom in online bill payment.

Fighting Card Fraud

Innovations Report from Germany reports on Euclid, a technique that allows cardholders to remotely enable/disable their credit card accounts to help prevent fraud.

Diners Club and MasterCard Alliance

Diners Club and MasterCard have announced an alliance that allow Diners Club to issue new cards as MasterCards to enabled expanded merchant acceptance for Diners Club cardholders.

April 28, 2004

WSJ: Card Upgrades Could Result in Higher Fees

Kathy Chu reports in the Wall St. Journal on card upgrades (subscription reqd.) that some consumers are receiving from their credit card issuers.
Upgrades, while they can provide more favorable terms and benefits, can also backfire for consumers because higher credit lines can push them more into debt. And companies may market changes in contract terms as upgrades, even if they result in higher fees or other costs for consumers. The practice is legal under federal truth-in-lending laws if cards are sent to existing customers rather than to new ones.

Nova Acquires Rest of euroConex

Nova announced this morning that it is acquiring the remaining 50 per cent interest in euroConex from the Bank of Ireland. READ MORE »

April 27, 2004

Union Bank Sells Merchant Portfolio to Nova

Union Bank of California announced today the sale of its merchant card portfolio to US Bank's NOVA Information Systems subsidiary. Union Bank has also formed a long-term marketing alliance with Nova to continue to market merchant bank card services to its customers.

Fiserv Introduces Combined Debit/Credit Processing

Fiserv has announced the introduction of a combined debit and credit processing solution that will allow financial institutions to consolidate all of their debit, credit and ATM card offerings on Fiserv's platform.

Visa Asia Pacific Launches Visa Wave Contactless Card

Visa Asia Pacific has announced Visa Wave, the first ever Visa contactless smart card. READ MORE »

April 26, 2004

Merchant Surcharging

Lilly Rockwell reports in the The Daily Texan on the University of Texas' decisions regarding surcharging credit card transactions and the responses of Visa and MasterCard.

Going Cashless

Steve Dinnen writes in the Christian Science Monitor about PayByTouch and the trend away from using cash and checks for payments at retail.

Phishing Gets Uglier

Suzanne Choney reports on phishing in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

April 24, 2004


New Scientist reports on Beepcard, a credit card that will not work unless it hears its owner's voice.

More about Beepcard in Bruce Schneier's latest Crypto-gram newsletter.

UK Phishing Attacks

The BBC reports on phishing attacks in the UK including estimates of financial losses suffered to date as reported by APACS.

More Smart Card Standards Needed reports on a recent NIST study (PDF) that found a need for additional technical and policy standards as agency officials discover more uses for smart cards spanning organizations.

FDIC Warns About Phishing

The FDIC has issued a warning about phishing emails.

April 22, 2004

Verifone's Rob Regan on Contactless

Verifone's Rob Regan writes in The Green Sheet about contactless/proximity payments.
The benefits of contactless payment for consumers and the retailers have been proven in numerous implementations. Increased convenience for the consumer has resulted in increased sales and faster transaction times for the retailer. Retailers also enjoy lower costs due to fewer requirements to handle cash, improved operational efficiencies, and lower maintenance costs due to the reliability of contactless readers.

Chase Launches Instant Credit Card Issuance Program

Chase and Universal Studios today announced a new instant credit card issuance program for the Universal Entertainment MasterCard from Chase. READ MORE »

PayPal's Financial Performance

eBay reported earnings yesterday - including results from PayPal. At the end of the quarter, PayPal reported 45.6 million user accounts, a growth of 67% over last year. PayPal's total purchase volume for the quarter was $4.3 billion, a growth of 64% over last year, and generated revenues of $158.2 million, a growth of 66% over last year. PayPal's loss rate came down to 27 basis points vs. 31 basis points in the December quarter.

Based on this report, PayPal now has more users than AOL (AOL has 40.2M users according to a recent comScore Media Metrix analysis). Given PayPal's currrent user account growth rates, they'll likely pass up HotMail this month, and Yahoo in June.

First Data Announces Earnings

First Data Corp. announced its first quarter 2004 financial results this morning.

April 21, 2004

Retail Loss Prevention

CSO Magazine has a feature article on retail loss prevention.
We're definitely seeing more and more organized theft, as opposed to opportunists and amateurs. Part of the reason for this could be the ease of getting rid of the merchandise. In the past you would find stolen products showing up in flea markets across the country. But today with Internet auctions like eBay, there's a whole new outlet for stolen products.

eFunds Announces Two Acquisitions

eFunds has announced two acquisitions in the fraud and risk management arena.
"We are pleased to welcome both Penley and LCS to the eFunds group of companies," said Paul Walsh, chairman and chief executive officer, eFunds Corporation. "These acquisitions will allow eFunds to offer an integrated platform for risk management, fraud prevention and revenue optimization through our industry leading ChexSystems(SM) product suite. In addition, these acquisitions provide us with an entry point to extend our solutions into the Credit Card, Insurance and Broker Dealer markets.

April 20, 2004

Smart Card Alliance Issues Report on Contactless Payments

The Smart Card Alliance has issued a new report on the benefits of contactless payments to merchants, consumers and issues.

CyberSource Enhances Small Business Offering

CyberSource has announced that it has enhanced its small business offering by bundling in additional risk management tools.

Visa's Global Debit Volume Surpasses Credit

Visa International has announced that, for the first time, its global debit card volume has surpassed its global credit card volume.
The company reported that global Visa debit card volume reached US$1.48 trillion at the end of 2003, an increase of 17 percent over the previous year. At the same time global Visa credit volume increased five percent from the previous year to US$1.45 trillion.


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