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« March 21, 2004 - March 27, 2004 | Main | April 4, 2004 - April 10, 2004 »

April 03, 2004

Retailer Co-Brand Strategies

Donna Howells reports in Investors Business Daily on retailer co-branded card strategies.

April 02, 2004

FDC Incorrectly Handles Wal-Mart Card Transactions

Late tonight, First Data Corp. issued a press release reporting that on Thursday, April 1, a hardware problem at FDC resulted in some Wal-Mart Visa and MasterCard transactions being erroneously posted three times.

Life in a Branch Town

Boston Globe columnist Steve Bailey laments life in a branch town now that Bank of America has merged with Fleet and Boston's no longer the corporate headquarters of a major bank.
In the end, Bank of America will be judged not by what it says, but by what it does. Shuttering a tiny Fleet unit that made a difference is a chilling beginning.

Visa USA Realigns

David Breitkopf reports in the American Banker on recent organizational shifts by Visa USA.
Visa U.S.A., which until last year considered MasterCard International its main rival in debit cards, is making internal adjustments in what is being viewed as a response to a now-bigger threat, First Data Corp.

April 01, 2004

Foreign Fraud Hits US Ecommerce Merchants

MSNBC reporter Bob Sullivan writes about ecommerce fraud.

Triple DES Dare You

Ann All reports in ATM Marketplace on the industry migration to triple DES encryption.

Updated Guidance re: Retail Payment Systems

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) has issued revised guidance for examiners, financial institutions, and technology service providers on the risks associated with retail payment systems. The new Retail Payment Systems booklet is available for download.

Credit Cards Tap into Radio Tags

The BBC reports on RFID-based credit cards including a novel personal identification technique suggested by MIT Professor Ted Selker.

Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis

Sasha Talcott profiles Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis in this morning's Boston Globe. A separate column discusses the changes Bank of America is making in the early days following its merger with Fleet.

March 31, 2004

MasterCard's Jerry McElhatton

Tony Kontzer profiles MasterCard's Jerry McElhatton in Information Week.

March 30, 2004

Credit Card Fees Rising Faster

Ruth Simon reports in the Wall St. Journal on an industry trend towards more aggressive credit card fee increases (subscription required) by US card issuers.

New York City Cabs to Take Cards

Michael Luo reports in the New York Times on a significant fare increase coming for taxi-riding New Yorkers -- along with a plan for all New York City cabs to accept credit and debit cards by November 2005.

Problems with Digital Signatures

Jon Udell examines some issues associated with forging emails with digital signatures. The use of digital signatures on emails from trusted parties has been proposed as an anti-phishing countermeasure.

Visa USA Debit Payment Expectations

Ivan Schneider reports in Bank Systems & Technology that Visa USA expects debit card transactions are going to represent 15 percent of all consumer payments in the US by 2007.

Whither mCommerce?

Kevin Laws shares his perspective on what's happened to mCommerce in the US.
The US carriers have tried to control mobile services and mobile commerce, and all they have succeeded in doing is killing it. The barriers to providing applications are so high that the content is just uninteresting and expensive.

European Banks Sit on Cash

This morning's Wall St. Journal Heard on the Street column (subscription required) reports on the large piles of cash held by major European banks and speculates that many of them will use the cash to make acquisitions.
Although share buybacks and dividend increases are a possibility, many predict a rush of deal-making over the coming year, as banks seek ways to boost earnings and help them compete against larger rivals. This could involve anything from small "bolt-on" acquisitions to bigger and riskier ones, with some banks even contemplating large, cross-border European deals.

MasterCard Files Proxy Statement

MasterCard has filed its annual proxy statement with the SEC. Included in the statement is information about the directors of MasterCard as well as 2003 compensation details for the top five most highly compensated MasterCard executives.

American Express to Issue Cards in China

Jennifer Bayot reports in the New York Times on American Express' plans to issue cards in China.
Unlike previous credit cards issued in China by foreign banks, the American Express and Citibank cards allow payment not only in dollars but also in Chinese currency. That makes the cards viable for ordinary consumers.

More on the story in this press release from American Express.

March 29, 2004

ePSO's Payments and Settlements News

A new edition of Payments and Settlements News has been posted by the ePayments Systems Observatory at the European Central Bank.

Do You Use Autoresponse?

Read Jeremy Wagstaff's post on the perils of autoresponse when you're away from your email -- and you might think twice about whether you want to continue to use it.

Anatomy of a Phishing Trojan

Jeremy Wagstaff blogs about Daniel McNamara's Code Fish site and his analysis of a new phishing trojan.
Phishing emails don't need to be sophisticated to lure the unwary. Indeed, there's some evidence those behind the more convincing looking emails masquerading as bank emails are also behind a spate of key-logging trojans, which use basic methods to fool the recipient into making them active.

Gone Phishing

Kelly Mills reports in The Australian on phishing attacks in Australia.

Credit Card Receipts

Lisa Haarlander reports in the Buffalo News on a recent theft of credit card receipts from a local retailer.

March 28, 2004

Remittances to Latin America Booming

Forbes carries a Reuters story about the record $38 billion in remittances sent home to families last year by Latin American and Caribbean families working abroad.
The average cost of sending 200 dollars from the United States to Latin America was 7.9 percent, the IADB study showed. Ecuador was the cheapest at 5.4 percent and Cuba the most expensive, at 12.1 percent. Even though the cost is half of what it was five years ago, officials say it must be cut more.


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