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September 30, 2004

A Look at Viewpointe profiles Viewpointe Archive Services, a check archiving company that has images of some 40% of US checks in its archive.

Merchants Pay (and Pay) for Right to Use Credit Cards

Ellen Rosen reports in this morning's New York Times about some of the challenges small businesses face in "getting a credit card terminal up and running." READ MORE »

Intuit Holds Annual Investor Day

Intuit held its annual Investor Day yesterday. Jill Ward's Quickbooks-Related presentation (PDF) includes a discussion of Intuit's card merchant acquiring activities. Scott Cook's presentation on Intuit's Customer Driven Innovation process also makes interesting reading.

September 29, 2004

September Edition of Glenbrook's Flash

Alas, summer's over and it's time to get back to work! The September edition of Glenbrook's Flash newsletter is now available. Read about what we've been up to lately!

AmEx Tries to Have It Both Ways With Banks

Robin Sidel and Ron Lieber report in Thursday's Wall St. Journal on American Express' plans (subscription required) to effectively compete with itself by enlisting card issuing partners among US banks.

American Express Adds Free Identity Theft Assistance

American Express has announced the launch of Identity Theft Assistance, a new no-cost benefit available to all American Express cardholders. More information about the new program is available online.

MasterCard's PayPass Moving To Staged National Roll-Out

CR80News reports on MasterCard's plans for a "staged national rollout" of its PayPass proximity payment product. READ MORE »

Phishing Losses Estimated to Reach $500 Million

The Ponemon Institute and TRUSTe have released the results of a national study that concluded that seven out of ten online consumers have unintentionally visited a spoofed web site with 15 percent admitting to having provided sensitive private information. In total, a little more than 2 percent believe they've experienced a direct monetary loss resulting from a phishing attack. The study estimated a loss to this group of approximately $500 million.

Update on Bank Cards in China

Dow Jones Newswires reports on a discussion about bank cards in China with with Willie Fung, senior vice president of MasterCard International.
In a nation of 1.3 billion people, only 100 million Chinese have a clear idea of what a bank card is, based on a Mastercard survey focusing on China's emerging middle-class household conducted in May, said Fung. But by 2010, the number of Chinese middle-class households with annual income above US$5,000 will rise to 150 million from 65 million currently, based on MasterCard data.

September 28, 2004

A Look at Western Union

Business 2.0's G. Pascal Zachary takes a look at First Data Corp.'s Charlie Fote and Western Union (subscribers only).
Fote not only earned himself a promotion (he was named First Data's CEO in 2002) but also pulled off a remarkable feat: He turned one of America's best-known brands into a trusted household name among foreigners -- a market that most U.S. businesses still haven't learned how to serve.

"Bankers are struggling to understand this trend," says Dean Seifert, Western Union's vice president for product development. "We're riding it."

Feinstein Fights for California Financial Privacy

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has released the text of a letter she's written to the US Comptroller of the Currency questioning various regulations adopted by the OCC that may invalidate some of the core protections of California's SB1 financial privacy law.
I cannot emphasize how concerned I am that your new regulations may very well wreak havoc with the privacy laws that California has established for its residents, and with the state's banking laws more generally. 

SEC Files Charges Against Former NextCard Execs

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that it had filed charges against the former Chairman, CEO and three other senior officers of NextCard, Inc., a San Francisco, California-based credit card issuer. NextCard, which is now in bankruptcy, was the first major credit card issuer to offer cards exclusively over the Internet.

Marketing Excellence Award: ING Direct

I've been admiring ING Direct from a distance for a long time. Maybe now I'll actually become a customer!

I just received a gift of a book from a friend. Included in the box from Amazon along with the shipping paperwork was a simple, no-nonsense flyer from ING Direct offering me a $25 bonus for opening an ING Direct Orange Savings Account. Odds are that Amazon customers are online capable.

There's a reason that ING Direct has grown over the last two or three years from almost nothing to something like the fortieth largest bank in the US in terms of deposits! Want to learn more? See their recent Investor Relations Symposium presentation (PDF).

VeriFone Announces Enhanced Broadband Communications Strategy

VeriFone has announced an enhanced communications strategy for its point-of-sale devices based upon IP-based broadband networking.
"VeriFone's message to the marketplace is: 'The Wait is Over' at the point-of-sale," said Douglas G. Bergeron, Chairman and CEO of VeriFone. "Enhanced Communications solutions from VeriFone deliver fast and secure payment processing that can greatly improve speed of service and profitability."

FDC's BidPay Introduces Direct-to-Bank Payment Option

First Data Corp.'s has introduced a new direct-to-bank payment option for online auction payments. Sellers can receive payments from BidPay within approximately three banking business days. The BidPay service is free to sellers with buyers paying all of the BidPay service fees starting at a minimum of $1.95 per transaction.

An Integrated Google Payment System? - Google Payments?

Update - 2/25/06: See Google Payments in the Payments News Archive for the latest postings on this topic.

Morgan Stanley analyst Mary Meeker published an initial report on Google this morning, initiating coverage with an Overweight-V rating. Included in the report is an interesting comment regarding Google's current lack of an integrated payment system. READ MORE »

Citi Expands Family of Small Business Cards

Citi has announced a new CitiBusiness card which participates in its ThankYou Network rewards program. Details at
Designed to respond to the unique and diverse needs of everyday small business owners, the credit card is enhanced with extra features and capabilities -- all with no annual fee -- and offers everything from a business-size credit line to unlimited free employee cards to a superior rewards program, and a suite of business services and solutions.

September 27, 2004

iBill Update

Seth Lubove writes in about the latest regarding iBill and its merchant payment processor relationships.

First Data to Host Card Issuing Client Conference

First Data Corp. will be hosting a client conference for card issuing customers in Omaha on November 17-19, 2004.

Strong Debit Growth Continues

Visa USA and Harris Interactive have announced results of a recent poll of debit card holding consumers who say that they will use their debit cards more for fall shopping this year. Visa USA also reported that for the first two weeks of September payment volume on Visa check cards increased 26 percent over the same period last year.

AAFES Selects Triversity POS

Triversity has announced that the Army and Air Force Exchange Service has selected its Transactionware Enterprise POS solution for deployment at over 1,000 stores worldwide.

Genpass: Bipin Shah interviews Genpass CEO Bipin Shah.

Payment Solutions for Modernising Economies

Visa International and the Commonwealth Business Council have announced publication of a new white paper "Payment Solutions for Modernising Economies". READ MORE »

September 26, 2004

Vending Machine Dispenses RFID Cards and Keyfobs

CR80 News reports on a new vending machine by Accelitec that encodes and dispenses RFID-equipped cards and keyfobs so that they're ready for immediate use. READ MORE »

Electronic Check Conversion

Michele Singletary writes in the Washington Post about electronic check conversion -- actually the conversion of paper checks to electronic ACH items at various points in the process.
NACHA estimates that about 225 million (2 to 3 percent) of checks written in retail stores are converted to e-checks. And approximately 10 percent of all consumer bill payments made by check are now converted into electronic payments, the group says.

September 25, 2004

Perks of Plastic: Credit Card Rewards

Mellody Hobson of ABC News takes a look at the kinds of rewards programs now available on many credit cards. Today, credit card rewards programs are what many card issuers are using to try to attract new consumers. READ MORE »

Use of E-Check Growing Rapidly

Michelle Singletary reports on the increasing use of e-checks.
An e-check is a one-time electronic debit made from your checking account. So, your checking account statement would reflect an electronic funds transfer. Under electronic check conversion, your check is simply used to obtain information -- bank routing number, check number, etc. -- to process your purchase or payment. All that information is used to make an electronic withdrawal from your account using the Automated Clearing House network (ACH).


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