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« May 9, 2004 - May 15, 2004 | Main | May 23, 2004 - May 29, 2004 »

May 22, 2004

UK Chip and Pin Update

The Register updates progress on the chip and PIN rollout underway in the UK.

Beepcard

Anne Eisenberg reports in the New York Times on Beepcard, a credit card with an unusual security feature: it works only when it recognizes the voice of its rightful owner.

Cards Replacing Checks

Gerry Gilmour reports from Fargo, North Dakota on the shift from paper to plastic card payments.
McConn breaks down Alerus customers into three general demographic groups: the younger generation, which has fully embraced debit cards as a way of life; those in their 30s to 50s, who like their credit cards but are adjusting from checks to bank debit cards at the checkout; and older folks, who still prefer checks – and sometimes balance their checkbook in the checkout line.

May 21, 2004

Silos

Edgar, Dunn takes a look at the organizational silos in financial institutions and how some saavy bankers are pursuing enterprise-wide payments strategies that break those silos down.

In the Groove

Amanda Kooser reports in Entrepreneur on the uptick in Silicon Valley and, in particular, on BitPass as an example.

May 20, 2004

The Prepaid Promise

MasterCard VP Murdo Munro writes about mobile prepaid services and MasterCard's rePower payment solution.

Paying Through The Mouse

The Economist says PayPal is turning into a huge online-payments business. READ MORE »

PORTIA Workshop on Sensitive Data

The PORTIA Project (Privacy, Obligations and Rights in Technologies of Information Assessment - funded by the National Science Foundation) is sponsoring a workshop on sensitive data in medical, financial and content-distribution systems at Stanford on July 8-9, 2004.

Sprint Introduces Mobile Banking Services

Sprint has introduced Mobile Loan Officer, a service that will allow bank employees to process loans, establish accounts, transfer funds and complete other financial transactions using wireless handheld devices certified to operate on the enhanced Sprint Nationwide PCS Network. READ MORE »

Australian Bank Fees Up

The Reserve Bank of Australia has published its latest statistics on bank fees in Australia (PDF). Bank fees associated with credit cards were up 38% in 2003 to a total of A$604 million on total credit card purchase volume of A$108 billion (up 12%).
The continued rapid growth in credit card spending, together with increases in annual membership fees and higher charges for overdrawn accounts, late payments and cash advances, contributed to banks' fee income from credit cards.

Interestingly, Australia is a market where the financial regulators have been very aggressive with respect to credit card interchange fees. In spite of those efforts, the Australian banks have figured out new ways to drive credit card-related fee income.

MasterCard Procurement Opportunities Guide

MasterCard has released a new Procurement Opportunities Guide that provides small businesses in the United States with detailed information that assists them in marketing products and services to large corporations and state, federal and foreign governments.

Phisher Sentenced

The US Department of Justice reports that Zachary Keith Hill of Houston, Texas has been sentenced to 46 months in prison for orchestrating a scheme to defraud consumers of personal financial information via phishing emails. READ MORE »

May 19, 2004

OCC Issues Letter re: Payroll Cards

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has issued a letter to banks regarding payroll card products.
A national bank should fully consider and appropriately address several important issues before offering payroll card products. These include compliance issues and any role of nonbank third parties. Failure to properly address these issues can expose the bank and its customers to significant risks.

Navigating the Payments Landscape

The CO-OP Network has made available a recent study titled "Navigating the Payments Landscape" (PDF).

AT&T to Provide Check Image Network

AT&T has announced that it has been selected by SVPco to provide a networking solution that enables the reliable and secure exchange of digital check images among financial institutions of all sizes across the United States.

Importantly, the announcement also indicated that AT&T's network service will serve as an industry utility to carry other types of payments and payment information, such as real-time retrieval of demand deposit account information and other data-sharing as needed between business partners.

IT Spending in Payments at US Banks

Celent has published a new report on IT Spending in Non-Card Payments at US Banks.
The report reveals that U.S. bank internal IT spending on non-card payment systems will grow 37% between 2004 and 2003 compared with 24% between 2003 and 2002 and 14% between 2002 and 2001. Massive investment in check processing will drive this short-term spike.

Bank internal IT spending on non-card payments will reach $1.0 billion in 2004, up from US$0.7 billion in 2003 and US$0.6 billion in 2002. This spending will account for 2.7% of the total IT budget of U.S. banks in 2004, up from 2.1% in 2003 and 1.7% in 2002.

Credit Card Banks Brace for Rate Hike

Ted Griffith reports in Delaware Online about expectations for a rise in interest rates and the potential affects on major card issuers.

May 18, 2004

The Best Mileage Earning Credit Cards

Gary Leff shares his recommendations on the best mileage earning credit cards. His favorites are the Starwood American Express card and Diners Club.

Some UK Retailers Balking at Smart Cards

Silicon.com reporter Sylvia Carr writes on a recent survey conducted among UK retailers which indicates 26 percent of them are unconvinced of the benefits of chip cards.

Phishing for Dollars

Newsweek's Jennifer Barrett reports on recent phishing attacks.

Mobile Phones: Credit Cards of the Future

Rafe Needleman writes in AlwaysOn about Netpace's SMS-based commerce service.
What really speaks to me about this idea, though, is that Netpace and its competitors are hastening the expansion of the mobile phone carriers' business models. The idea that your mobile phone becomes not just an identifying key for commerce (like a signature), but also a kind of wallet (like a credit card) is powerful and transformative for the communications business—even more so than the 900-number concept, which has generally been used only to bill voice-based services delivered over the phone itself.

Visa USA Introduces Commercial Index

Visa USA has announced the Commercial Consumption Expenditure (CCE) index, a financial metric to standardize how business and government spending is tracked within the United States. According to Visa, the new index will enable the payment industry, including Visa and its Member financial institutions, to measure and forecast the actual and future penetration of commercial payments products in meeting the market's needs. READ MORE »

May 17, 2004

Metavante Presentation on Recent Acquisitions

Metavante has made available online a presentation on its recent acquisitions including today's announcement re: NYCE. READ MORE »

Metavante to Acquire NYCE

Metavante announced this morning that, subject to regulatory approvals, it will be acquiring all of the stock in NYCE for approximately $610 million in cash. FDC, the largest NYCE shareholder, will receive $389 million in proceeds.

NYCE had 2003 revenue of approximately $143 million and net income of approximately $30.7 million. According to the announcement, the transaction is expected to be approximately neutral to M&I's earnings per share in 2004 and accretive in 2005. READ MORE »

Bank of America Announces Environmental Commitment

Bank of America this morning announced that it will "enhance its environmental programs with climate change and forest policies that take significant new steps in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, protection of intact forest ecosystems and transparent public reporting to all stakeholders."

New Jersey Looks at Escheatment

The Cherry Hill (NJ) Courier Post reports on plans by the governor of the state of New Jersey to have legislation adopted that would allow the state to benefit by taking any funds in gift card accounts after a three year period of inactivity.
New Jersey is one of 10 states that doesn't now count gift cards and gift certificates as unclaimed property, though another nine states shield only some types of the gifts, based on the kind of issuer or the value of the gift.

Be Careful re: Online Work-At-Home Job Postings

Bob Tedeschi reports in this morning's New York Times on how some people fall for work-at-home job postings on online job sites that unwittingly put them into the wrong business.

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