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June 18, 2004

Blackboard Completes IPO

Ellen McCarthy reports in the Washington Post on Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ Symbol: BBBB), a company expecting to complete its initial public offering later today. Among other services provided to schools and universities, Blackboard operates a payment-related business with its BbOne offering. READ MORE »

Global Collect Selected by Microsoft for Payment Processing

Global Collect announced today that it has been selected by Microsoft to provide online non-credit card payment processing services, such as direct debit processing, as well as online bank account validation services for the Microsoft MSN platform. READ MORE »

Single Use Credit Card Number Patent

EDI Secure LLLP has announced that its partner and inventor Jeffrey Ice has been granted a US Patent (No. 6,598,031) on single use credit card numbers.

Fighting Phishing

Dave Birch from Consult Hyperion writes an opinion piece on how UK banks should provide their chip card equipped customers with a token reader solution to counter phishing.

Also, Steve Bass reports on MSN how to avoid bring tricked into divulging personal information online.

June 17, 2004

Check Card Growth

Bank of America reports on the growth it is seeing in usage of Check Cards.

Growth in Online Banking and Bill Payment

comScore Networks has released an analysis of the state of online banking in the US reporting that more than 22 million users logged into accounts at the nation's top ten banks in the first quarter of 2004, representing growth of 29 percent versus Q1 2003. During this same period, usage of online bank bill payment services has grown by 37 percent.

PayPal's New Fees Raise Bar for Merchants

Ina Steiner comments on AuctionBytes regarding PayPal's recently announced fee changes.
Prior to the pricing change, sellers could qualify for a lower Merchant rate of 2.2% plus 30 cents per transaction if they received an average of $1,000 in sales per month. Beginning in August, they must receive an average of at least $10,000 per month to qualify for a rate of 2.2%.

June 16, 2004

NTT DoCoMo Launches Wallet

Speaking of mobile commerce, the Financial Times reports on NTT DoCoMo's launch of a handset-based electronic wallet service. The mobile operator believes the addition of the new wallet capability will reduce the risk of subscriber's churning as number portability comes soon to Japan.
DoCoMo has signed on departments stores, a convenience store franchise, 20 McDonald's restaurants, airline ANA, credit card company JCB, and JR, the public railway operator, among others. JR users would, for example, be able to use their mobile handsets as travel passes.

Discover, Utix, WildCard in Prepaid Deal

Discover Financial Services has announced a partnership with Utix and WildCard Systems for a prepaid gift product program utilizing Discover's NOVUS network. READ MORE »

Electronic Payments Key to Canada's Growth

Investors Business Daily reports on a Global Insight study commissioned by Visa Canada that highlights the benefits that electronic payments have brought to the Canadian economy over the last 25 years. The study is available for download (PDF). READ MORE »

Trusted Electronic Communications Forum Launches

Another cross-industry consortium focusing on the issues of phishing, spoofing and other tactics of online identity theft has been launched. Called the Trusted Electronic Communications Forum, participating founding member companies include: ABN AMRO, AT&T Wireless, Best Buy, Charles Schwab, CipherTrust, DIRECTV, E*Trade, Fidelity Investments, GE Access, HSBC, IBM, National City Bank, PostX Corporation, Royal Bank of Scotland and Siebel Systems.

Editorial comment: TECF certainly appears to be have been orchestrated by PostX. With these anti-phishing consortia now proliferating, it's becoming pretty clear just where we're at on the "hype cycle" for this topic. Reminds me of the proliferation of mobile commerce consortia a year or two ago! Next thing you know, there will be an analyst report from Gartner or some such firm examining the anti-phishing consortia themselves, the likely winners and losers, etc.

Visa Opens Vietnam Office

Reuters reports that Visa International is opening an office in Vietnam. Country manager Gordon Cooper will be heading the local office.

Credit on Campus

Claire Cahoon writes in the Chillicothe Gazette on college students and credit cards.
According to Nellie Mae, a company that works with colleges and universities to establish student loan programs, college students with credit cards are on the rise. The organization reports 54 percent of undergraduate students have a credit card by freshman year, and the number increases to 92 percent once they're sophomores.

June 15, 2004

PayPal Introduces Tiered Pricing

PayPal has introduced a new tiered pricing plan which adjusts fees paid by sellers to PayPal for receiving money as their monthly payment volume increases. An FAQ on the new pricing is also available. The new plan takes effect August 6th.

FTC Cites Email Authentication Issues

The Federal Trade Commission has issued a new report (PDF) declining to implement a "National Do Not Email Registry" -- because of the inability to properly authenticate the origin of email messages.

The FTC also said that anti-spam efforts should focus on creating a robust e-mail authentication system that would prevent spammers from hiding their tracks and thereby evading Internet service providers’ anti-spam filters and law enforcement. To help focus these efforts, the FTC also announced that it will be sponsoring a Fall 2004 Authentication Summit to encourage a thorough analysis of possible authentication systems and their swift deployment.

Exploring PayPal's Buyer Credit Offering

We've just posted some reflections on PayPal's new Buyer Credit offering which was introduced recently in partnership with GE Capital Consumer Card Company.

Comments and reactions to the piece are welcomed here.

Citigroup Launches Bi-National Credit Card

Citigroup has announced a bi-national credit card allowing US cardholders to share a common account with another cardholder in Mexico and to pay for their purchases on their cards rather than sending them money using more expensive remittance services. READ MORE »

eBay/PayPal Presentation

Alex Kazim, PayPal's VP of Marketing and Operations, spoke earlier today at a Bear Stearns investment conference in New York. A copy of his presentation (PDF) is available online.

Industry Delivers Core XML-based Payment Kernel

The International Standards Team for Harmonisation has announced that it has delivered a standard XML core payment kernel for corporate-to-bank payment initiation and status messages. Nine banks have been involved in the effort: ABN AMRO, Bank of America, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Nordea, Standard Chartered and Wells Fargo.

June 14, 2004

FT: Extremists Funding

Mark Huband reports in the Financial Times on how counterfeiting, forgery and credit card crimes have become the financial backbone of terrorist cells in western Europe.

Visa USA Appoints Susanne Lyons as CMO

AdAge reports that Visa USA has appointed former Charles Schwab CEO Susanne Lyons as EVP and Chief Marketing Officer of Visa USA. Lyons replaces Becky Saeger who left Visa USA recently to join Schwab as executive vice president of brand management and branding communications READ MORE »

Preliminary Settlement Reached in PayPal Lawsuit

Update (July 28, 2004): See our post "PayPal Class Action Settlement Claims Procedures" for the latest.

PayPal announced today that it had reached a preliminary settlement agreement with a proposed class of PayPal customers who allege that "PayPal did not appropriately communicate about customer transactions and did not appropriately process limits that were placed on some customer accounts." READ MORE »

Gartner: 2 million U.S. checking accounts raided

MSNBC technology correspondent Bob Sullivan writes about a soon-to-be released survey by Gartner that will report that nearly 2 million Americans have had their checking accounts raided by criminals in the past 12 months, each reporting an average loss per incident of $1,200 resulting in a total of more than $2 billion in losses for the year.
Gartner researcher Avivah Litan blamed online banking for most of the problem. "There has been a big increase in the abuse of existing checking accounts," Litan said.

JCB Launches Office Watch with Casio

JCB has announced that it has announced a two month trial of its new wristwatch "Offica" corporate solution. READ MORE »

Online Merchants Benefit from More Payment Types

CyberSource has released the results of a recent study it performed that concludes that merchants can convert as many as 20% more customers by offering them more payment types to choose from.
Those merchants offering one payment type, such as general purpose credit cards, for example, convert 60% of their shoppers. Those offering four types, e.g., credit cards, gift certificates, eChecks, PayPal, etc., convert 72% of their shoppers -- a 20% increase.

The survey results are incorporated into a new industry whitepaper from CyberSource, "The Insider's Guide to eCommerce Payment".

PayPal Payments

Sterling Allan of Pure Energy Systems News reports on PayPal's recent changes that allow payments for certain types of transactions to be completed without requiring a PayPal account.

Payroll Cards

SmartPros reports on payroll cards.
About 56 million Americans don't have a bank account, and just 55 percent of American workers are enrolled in direct deposit. These statistics indicate that the two main forms of paychecks -- direct deposit and printed checks -- leave room for yet another paycheck solution.


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