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« November 14, 2004 - November 20, 2004 | Main | November 28, 2004 - December 4, 2004 »

November 26, 2004

UK to Overhaul Consumer Credit Rules

Bloomberg reports on comments made by Queen Elizabeth II in her annual speech to Parliament laying out the plans of Prime Minister Tony Blair's government. In her comments she indicated that the government is planning to reform consumer credit rules for the first time in 30 years.

The BBC has more on this story.

Fiserv Negotiating for Australia Check Processing Business

Fiserv has announced that it is in negotiations with three of Australia's largest banks -- Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank and Westpac Banking Corporation -- to manage the operations of a proposed check processing joint venture.

Discover Seeks A Rediscovery

Robin Sidel and Ann Davis report in the Wall St. Journal on what's ahead for Discover.

"Over the last couple of years, we focused on credit quality versus growth. Now we're focusing on both and continuing to invest in marketing to grow our portfolio," says Roger Hochschild, president and chief operating officer of Discover, which is based in Riverwoods, Ill.

Online Identity Theft: Many Medicines, No Cure

IDG's Paul Roberts surveys the technologies that aim to curb online identity theft.

Saying It With Plastic

Monica Soto Ouchi reports in the Seattle Times on the expected growth in gift card giving this holiday season.

Jon Ortiz reports on the same story in this morning's Sacramento Bee.

November 25, 2004

Entrust IdentityGuard

Entrust has introduced IdentityGuard, a very lightweight (paper based) approach to two factor user authentication.

With Entrust IdentityGuard, users continue to employ their current user name and password, but are also provided with a second physical form of authentication based on an assortment of characters in a row/column format printed on a card. A user must successfully complete a coordinate challenge to demonstrate that they are in possession of the appropriate card.

More Secret History of the Credit Card

PBS' Frontline aired its show Secret History of the Credit Card earlier this week. The Frontline web site has additional resources on the topic including a transcript of the show.

November 23, 2004

Financial Access for Immigrants

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has just posted a series of talks from a national conference held earlier this year focusing on immigrant access to financial markets and services.

Implementing Contactless Payment

The November issue of the Smart Card Talk newsletter from the Smart Card Alliance has an article for merchants on implementing contactless payment.

READ MORE »

Visa Intl Projects $150 Billion in 2004 Ecommerce Sales

Visa International has announced that it expects 2004 global ecommerce sales volume to exceed US$150 billion by the end of 2004, a 56 percent increase over the US$96 billion in sales volume last year.

READ MORE »

MasterCard Predicts Best Times To Shop

Using transaction data from prior years, MasterCard recommends shopping on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Wednesdays this holiday season.

"The common myth among Americans is that 'Black Friday,' which is what the industry calls the day after Thanksgiving, is the busiest shopping day of the season," explains Manchisi. "However, as busy as Black Friday can be, there are other very busy times in the month of December. Typically, at MasterCard, we have processed nearly 33 million transactions on each of the two Saturdays before Christmas -- almost a million more than on the day after Thanksgiving."

Wright Express Files To Go Public

Fleet card provider Wright Express has announced it has filed to go public in a spinout from parent Cendant Corporation. The company filed an S-1 Registration Statement yesterday with the SEC.

November 22, 2004

Anti-Phishing Working Group October Report

The Anti-Phishing Working Group has announced the availability of its October report (PDF). The report indicates that phishers are increasingly using compromised broadband-connected PC's to host phishing sites.

Separately, an article in ComputerWeekly.com reports that UK banks are looking at trials of web browser toolbars designed to counter phishing.

Also, MailFrontier has an online quiz you can take to test how good you are at identifying phishing emails.

Gift Card Fees

Linda Lipp writes in the Fort Wayne News Sentinel about gift card fees -- saying "don't get blitzed by gift card fees this year."

The December issue of Consumer Reports Money Advisor newsletter warns that the built-in fees on some cards can eat up most, if not all, of a card’s value, however.

Retiring MasterCard IT Chief Talks About Challenges

ComputerWorld's Lucas Mearian interviews Jerry McElhatton, retiring head of MasterCard's global technology and operations.

Jack Cash

Fast food retailer Jack in the Box has announced the introduction of Jack Cash, its new reloadable stored value card program.

READ MORE »

Third Quarter Ecommerce Sales

The US Department of Commerce on Friday published its estimate of US retail ecommerce sales for the third quarter of 2004. Ecommerce sales in the quarter were estimated to be $17.6 billion, an increase of 21.5 percent over the same quarter in 2003. Total retail sales increased 6.2 percent to a total of $916.5 billion in the quarter. Ecommerce in the third quarter represented 1.8% of total retail sales. The Department's figures do not include travel, financial services or event ticket sales.

Note that the Department's estimate does not include eBay's gross merchandise volume which was $8.3 billion in the third quarter. If eBay's GMV was included, ecommerce would represent 2.2% of total retail sales.

Federal Reserve Reports on PIN Debit Fees

The Federal Reserve has issued a report to Congress on the disclosure of point-of-sale debit fees (PDF).

READ MORE »

Phishing Expeditions

IBM executive Sean Rush writes about phishing in a op-ed piece for the Boston globe.

November 21, 2004

How They Get You: History of the Credit Card

NPR's Jennifer Ludden talks with Frontline reporter Lowell Bergman about The Secret History of the Credit Card, a documentary by PBS and The New York Times. The documentary airs on PBS stations this Tuesday evening.

eBay Mails Catalog

Bob Tedeschi reports in the New York Times on eBay's catalog mailing.

EBay's mass mailing is an example of the growing use of catalogs among online retailers, who see their Web sites as strong for taking orders but weak in reaching new customers, especially those who are not frequent Internet shoppers.

Tagging Currency?

An article by Dan Atkinson from the UK speculates that electronic smart tags may start being embedded in currency over the next few years.

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