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« August 29, 2004 - September 4, 2004 | Main | September 12, 2004 - September 18, 2004 »

September 10, 2004

PayPal to Levy Fines for Gambling, Porn

Lisa Baertlein reports for Reuters on a new policy announced by PayPal that it will soon begin fining users up to $500 for uses related to gambling, adult content or services, and buying or selling prescription drugs from noncertified sellers.

Canadian Banks to Launch PIN Debit for the Internet

Digital Transactions reports that Canada's five major banks will roll out PIN debit payments on the Internet next spring.
The service, called iDebit, has been at least 18 months in the making and is expected to be the first major initiative in North America to allow the use of PIN debit cards as a payment option in e-commerce. The banks behind iDebit-- Bank of Montreal, CIBC, Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, and TD Canada Trust—control nearly all PIN debit card accounts in Canada.

September 09, 2004

MasterCard to Allow Surcharging in Germany

An FT Deutschland article reports that MasterCard will allow retailers to begin adding surcharge fees to its credit card transactions beginning in January 2005. Here's a rough English translation of the original German article.

Debit Cards Add Rewards

Jay Pfeifer writes in the Charlotte Business Journal about new debit card rewards programs being introduced by Wachovia and Bank of America.
Ken Kavanagh, debit and prepaid card executive for Bank of America, says rewards are an important step in boosting the use of debit cards. "A lot of people using credit cards are using them to get rewards," he says. "They're not revolving credit, they're just paying off their balance and getting reward points. With our debit reward program, we can convert those customers."

Singapore DVD Kiosks Use Biometrics

The Straits Times reports on the use of biometrics to identify renters at DVD kiosks using technology developed by Berkeley, California-based Upek.

September 08, 2004

MasterCard Reports Debit Growth

MasterCard International has announced that the number of its Maestro debit cards issued globally increased to over 545 million cards in the second quarter of 2004, a growth of 10.2% over the same quarter last year.

First Data Signs Nationwide Building Society

First Data Corp. announced this morning the extension of its processing agreement with Nationwide Building Society in the UK.

Feds Provide Brochure on Phishing

The federal bank, thrift and credit union agencies today announced the publication of a brochure with information to help consumers identify and combat a new type of Internet scam known as "phishing." The brochure is available for downloading.

First Data Holds Investor Day

First Data Corp. this morning is holding its annual Investor Day in New York. Presentations at the meeting are focusing primarily on FDC's international business (Pam Patsley) and on the Western Union business (Christina Gold). A webcast replay of the presentations is available at the FDC web site.

Tiny Bills = Big Deal

Dan Fost reports in the San Francisco Chronicle on the micropayments market including the latest round of funding received by BitPass as well as some of the other companies pursuing the micropayments market.

September 07, 2004

FDC Adds Support for JCB

First Data Corp. has announced that it is adding support for JCB to its VisionPLUS card processing system. The updated software will allow FDC's VisionPLUS customers to issue and acquire JCB cards.

Foreign Express Scheme Cuts Out Bank Card Issuers

Melbourne's Herald Sun reports on the launch by Travelex of a dynamic currency conversion system that allows travelers in Australia to pay by credit cards in their own currency. With the new system, revenues from currency conversion fees that used to go to the card issuers are now split between Travelex and participating merchants.

Digital Content Spurs Micropayments Resurgence

Matt Hines reports for CNET News.com on the resurgence of micropayments.

Separately, BitPass has announced that it has raised $11.75 million in Series B financing from Worldview Technology Partners, Steamboat Ventures (the venture capital arm of the The Walt Disney Company), RRE Ventures and others. James Robinson III, former Chairman and CEO of the American Express Company and a General Partner at RRE Ventures, will join BitPass' Board of Directors along with Peter Goettner, Venture Partner, Worldview, and John R. Ball, Managing Director, Steamboat.

Australia: Aldi Imposes Credit Card Surcharge

Melbourne's Herald Sun reports on a new credit card surcharge of 1 per cent that the discount supermarket chain Aldi has begun imposing on Visa, MasterCard and Bankcard credit card purchases at its stores in Australia. Previously, Aldi only accepted cash and EFTPOS.

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