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« October 10, 2004 - October 16, 2004 | Main | October 24, 2004 - October 30, 2004 »

October 23, 2004

Identities Stolen in Seconds

Timothy O'Brien reports in the Sunday New York Times about the biggest case of identity theft ever uncovered in the United States.


Put Away the Plastic

Richard Webb reports in The Age from Australia about consumer credit card debt in that country.

October 22, 2004

Google Hiring Payments Folks

Google has a couple of interesting job postings up -- one for a Manager, Risk Control, and a second for a Senior Manager, Payment Infrastructure.

Yahoo! Closing Down PayDirect Money Transfer Service

Yahoo! has announced that it is closing its PayDirect money transfer service effective November 22, 2004. Yahoo! is no longer accepting any new PayDirect accounts effective immediately. There will be a transition period through May 15, 2005 at which time the PayDirect web site will be shuttered completely.

The Wall St. Journal reported:

"Without a large user base to support PayDirect, the business doesn't scale," said Yahoo spokesman Brian Nelson. "We're discontinuing the service in an effort to focus on the businesses that are core to our future growth."

National Geographic Special: Inside the U.S. Secret Service

The National Geographic Channel will be airing a TV special this Sunday, October 24, at 8 PM ET/PT titled "Inside the U.S. Secret Service".


Upgrading or Replacing ATMs

Ann All reports on on bank strategies to meet the withdrawal of support for IBM's OS/2 operating system and regulatory mandates requiring triple DES encryption and audio capabilities.

Korean Wireless Payment Joint Venture

Reuters is reporting from Seoul that South Korea's three mobile operators (SK Telecom, KTF Corp., and LG Telecom) have agreed to setup a joint venture to allow customers to pay for goods using their cell phones.


Transit Cards Get Smart

Arik Hessenldahl reports in Forbes on the movement of transit cards to smart cards.

Smartcards are a technology I keep hearing about but have yet to encounter in daily life.

The article goes on to discuss the role of Cubic Transportation Systems in deploying smart cards for transit applications.

TSYS Stock Price Hit

Tony Adams reports in the Columbus, Georgia Ledger-Enquirer on the decline in TSYS' stock price following its earnings announcement and a conference call with analysts.

Citi Launches Anti-Phishing Approach

Citi Cards is telling cardholders about a new "email security zone" that will be included in every legitimate email it sends them. The purpose of the "zone" is to convince the cardholder that the email is legitimate by including the cardholder's name as well as the last 4 digits of the cardholder's account number at the very top of the body of the email.

Chenault Driving Amex Growth

Bloomberg reports on American Express' growth under CEO Kenneth Chenault.

The Shift to Card-based Payments

Tavia Evans writes in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about the shift to card-based payments.

Economists long have predicted a cashless society, where digital transactions replace paper money and coins. Now, nearly one in three in-store purchases is made with a debit card, a study by American Bankers Association and Boston-based Dove Consulting shows.

October 21, 2004

I4 Commerce Launches Private Label Credit Offering

I4 Commerce has announced a new private label credit offering. Ross-Simons, a current Bill Me Later customer, is the first merchant to expand its relationship with I4 Commerce by offering the Ross Simons Preferred Customer Card.


October 20, 2004

PayPal Reports Third Quarter Results

eBay reported third quarter financial results (PDF) earlier this afternoon including results for PayPal, its payments subsidiary.

Some highlights:

  • PayPal's transaction-related revenue for the quarter was $166.3 million, up 5% from the prior quarter and a 56% increase as compared to the same quarter a year ago. Total revenue was $172.0 million. 30.1% of revenue was international.
  • PayPal had 56.7 million total customer accounts at the end of the quarter, up 13% from the second quarter and a 61% increase as compared to the same quarter a year ago.
  • Active accounts (accounts with at least one transaction during the quarter) were 17.4 million during the quarter.
  • PayPal’s Total Payment Volume was $4.6 billion in Q3-04, up 7% from the second quarter and a 52% increase as compared to the same quarter a year ago. The number of payment transactions also grew 7% from the second quarter. PayPal's average ticket was $55.60. Auctions remained responsible for 70% of PayPal's payment volume.
  • PayPal's revenues were 3.59% of total payment volume, down 5 basis points from the prior quarter. Expenses came in at 1.30%, down 4 basis points while losses declined from 0.25% to 0.22% in the quarter.

Apple Readies Self-Checkout in New Retail Mini Stores

Charles Jade on covers the recent opening of the new Apple "mini" retail store in the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto. Included is a picture of Apple's new self-service checkout facility. Here's another view.


Visa's Rodrigues Talks About Economic Growth

The Wharton School's Strategic Management newsletter highlights a talk by Visa International CEO Christopher Rodrigues at a conference last month in London.


TCF's New Miles Plus Card

John Ewoldt writes in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune about TCF's new Miles Plus card.

TCF, you have our attention. Whose ears wouldn't perk up hearing about an airline miles credit card without blackout dates?

The Cashless Society

Reuters reports from Toronto on the cashless society as created by Dexit.


Users Face New Phishing Threats

The BBC reoprts on research by Markus Jakobsson at Indiana University into new kinds of phishing attacks.


MYbi Cards reports on MYbi cards -- and a card strap for enabling RFID-based payments intended for use with cellphones.

Western Union Faces Scrutiny

In a page one story this morning, Glenn Simpson of the Wall St. Journal reports on increasing scrutiny of First Data's Western Union (subs. reqd.) unit.

October 19, 2004

Credit Card Repayments Up

Moodys reports that US consumers paid back credit card debt at record levels during August.

"The payment rate has increased from its year-earlier levels for the past 15 consecutive months, demonstrating an improvement in cardholders' willingness and ability to make payments on their credit card debts," Moody's said in a statement.

Gartner Predicts Growth in Microcommerce Market

Gartner reports that it believes microcommerce opportunities will generate an estimated $60 billion in revenue per year by 2015 -- using the definition that a micropurchase is a purchase conducted electronically that is valued at less than $5 and where the settlement can be either prepaid, by subscription, on-the-spot, of invoiced.


Wells Fargo Online Statistics

In its quarterly earnings report this morning, Wells Fargo Bank reported some interesting statistics about its online Internet-based business:

  • 5.9 million active online customers, up 29 percent from last year
  • 49 percent of consumer checking accounts are online
  • 2.1 million bill pay and presentment customers, up 38 percent from last year
  • Over 500,000 online small business customers, up 33 percent from last year

Keynote Launches Credit Card Web Transaction Performance Index

Keynote has published the initial results for its new Keynote Credit Card Web Transaction Performance Index. The initial results from Keynote's Credit Card Transaction performance index showed a wide range of performance for some of the largest credit card issuers' Web sites.


October 18, 2004

Curb Store National Bank

Cornerstone Advisors' Tripp Johnson chides the banking industry with his article on the Curb Store National Bank.


E.piphany Helps Power ING Direct's Growth

E.piphany announced this morning that its customer relationship management solutions have been helping drive the growth of ING Direct.


Online Resources to Acquire Incurrent Solutions

Online Resources Corp. has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Incurrent Solutions, Inc. for $15 million in cash and stock.


Visa International Reports Growth in Commercial Payment Volume

Visa International has announced that dollar value of all purchases and cash withdrawals made with Visa Commercial payment solutions globally reached $200 billion for the year ending June 30, 2004, an increase of 26 percent over the same period last year.



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