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« June 20, 2004 - June 26, 2004 | Main | July 4, 2004 - July 10, 2004 »

July 01, 2004

NAB Fights Phishing with SMS

Simon Hayes reports in Australian IT on plans by the National Australian Bank to use SMS to send a one-time PIN to the bank's customer a logon time to thwart phishing attacks.
Under the new security regime, which will be piloted in September and rolled out at the end of the year, National's one million internet banking customers will be offered the option of registering their mobile phone number with the bank, which will SMS a unique PIN to the phone during each transaction. Customers will then enter the PIN on the website to confirm the transaction.

Fed: Credit Card Issuer Profits Rise

The Federal Reserve has released its annual report to Congress on the profitability of credit card operations by banks showing pre-tax net earnings of 3.66% of outstanding balances in 2003, up from 3.28% in 2002 and 3.24% in 2001. READ MORE »

Bankers to Appeal California Financial Privacy Case

Jennifer Coleman reports in the San Francisco Chronicle on plans by banking industry groups to appeal yesterday's dismissal of a lawsuit attempting to block California's new financial privacy law from taking effect today.
The bankers contend the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, passed by Congress in 2003, pre-empts California's restrictions on how affiliated companies can share customer data.

"The court has ignored Congress, has ignored the FACT Act, and has used outdated cases to justify a poor decision," said Joe Belew, president of the Consumer Bankers Association. "We are confident that this flawed district court decision will be overturned on appeal."

Clearing House Payments Company

The Clearing House, SVPCo and affiliated payments businesses have been merged into a single payments company, the Clearing House Payments Company.
This reorganization involves: The Clearing House, Small Value Payments Company (SVPCo), Clearing House Interbank Payments System (CHIPS), Electronic Payments Network (EPN), Electronic Clearing Services (ECS), and National Check Exchange (NCE). Together, these companies represent the entire spectrum of clearing and settling payments -- from paper to electronic.
READ MORE »

Banking in Iraq

Last week's Economist explored the state of the banking industry in Iraq.

Phishing for Mutual Funds

Christopher Oster reports in today's Wall St. Journal on a rogue mutual fund site (subscription required) recently shut down by the SEC. READ MORE »

Mistakes in Credit Bureau Reports

The US Public Interest Research Group has issued a white paper on errors in consumer credit reports. It concludes that 25% of credit reports it surveyed contained serious errors that could result in the denial of credit and that 79% of the credit reports surveyed contained either serious errors or other mistakes of some kind. The paper is available online (PDF).

June 30, 2004

California Financial Privacy Law to Take Effect

Jennifer Coleman of the AP reports in the San Francisco Chronicle on a US District Court decision today that threw out a challenge by several banking associations to a new California financial privacy law scheduled to take effect tomorrow. READ MORE »

US Navy Deploys Navy/Marine Cash, Cashless ATMs

The US Navy has announced initial deployment of Navy/Marine Cash™ on 175 Navy ships. Combining a debit card with a smart card-based electronic purse, the system uses on-board cashless ATMs to transfer funds from bank accounts to the on-card electronic purse. READ MORE »

UK Banks Criticized for Slow Clearing Times

Freelance UK reports on criticism of UK banks for their slow clearing times.
The Daily Telegraph reports the Office of Fair Trading is investigating the problem of slow electronic payments that can often take five days for businesses to complete, compared to just a few hours in Sweden.

June 29, 2004

Visa USA Reports Increases in Ecommerce Volumes

Visa USA has announced that, during the first quarter of 2004, e-commerce spending in the United States on Visa branded credit and debit cards reached $22.3 billion. Through May 31st, Visa USA's year-to-date e-commerce dollar volume increased 59 percent over the same period in 2003. READ MORE »

The March Toward Micropayments

Slashdot picks up the discussion on Peppercoin 2.0.

June 28, 2004

Consumers Happy to Use Internet for Planning Travel

The Conference Board has released the results of a survey of 10,000 consumers that indicates that two-thirds of consumers are now using the Internet to make travel arrangements. However, consumer concerns about the security of credit card information remains the primary reason consumers don't actually book their travel online. READ MORE »

LowerMyBills.com Introduces Yodlee-powered Online Bill Payment

Yodlee has announced that LowerMyBills.com has selected Yodlee's BillDirect to power its BillPay Plus electronic bill presentment and payment service. READ MORE »

Phones as All-Purpose Payment Devices

DesignTechnica.com reports on some Gartner research exploring the use of mobile phones as all-purpose payment devices -- highlighting the importance of the acceptance infrastructure being in place.
Gartner says that a contactless credit facility is the most interesting part of the offering. How many retailers' point-of-sale terminals will be able to process contactless credit payments is unclear. Acceptance at the point of sale will be critical to the success of contactless payment schemes. If few retailers accept contactless payments, customers will tire of trying to use them and revert to traditional payment methods.

Peppercoin Introduces 2.0

Micropayment provider Peppercoin has announced version 2.0 of its small payment service including support for small value transactions at the physical point of sale.

Saving Email

Thomas Claburn reports in Information Week on activity focused on restoring trust in email.

Separately, eWeek reports on plans by VeriSign to introduce an anti-phishing service this week.

The service allows VeriSign to monitor the Internet for signs of new phishing schemes, such as phony looking e-mail messages and new malicious Web sites that play off a customer's brand. VeriSign will then work with ISPs to have those sites removed, and it can help with the forensic investigations.

The full text of the announcement of VeriSign's Email Security Services is now available.

Steps Out of Credit Card Debt

MSN Money's Terry Savage has some advice for consumers on how to deal with consumer debt.
Americans are now carrying $683 billion in revolving credit card debt. That’s not the amount we charge every month; it’s the outstanding unpaid balances on which people pay interest. And, according to a report by Cambridge Consumer Credit Index, 47% of the people who paid less than the full amount on their credit card bills in a recent month, made only the minimum payment due. In fact, only 13% of Americans with an outstanding balance could afford to pay more than half the balance.

June 27, 2004

Washington State Bans Gift Card Expiration

Peter Lewis reports in the Seattle Times on a new law in Washington state taking effect July 1st that modifies a number of gift card characteristics.

[Update: Slashdot has picked up a discussion on this topic.] READ MORE »

JP Morgan Chase - Bank One Merger

Landon Thomas Jr. writes in the New York Times on the Yin, the Yang and the Deal, exploring the personalities of William Harrison and Jamie Dimon. "William Harrison may be the acquirer in the J. P. Morgan-Bank One merger, but it is becoming clear that James Dimon and his posse will call many of the shots."

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