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« November 21, 2004 - November 27, 2004 | Main | December 5, 2004 - December 11, 2004 »

December 04, 2004

Swipe and Go

Jackie Farwell of the Bangor Daily News writes about using cards at fast-food restaurants.

Having penetrated just about every other market, including gas stations, department stores and sit-down restaurants, credit card companies now are targeting quick-service industries by offering a transaction that rivals cash for convenience and ease of use.

December 03, 2004

Card Companies Ready for Holiday Shopping Crunch

Information Week's Steve Marlin reports on plans by Visa and MasterCard to support this year's holiday season shopping volumes.

Outsourcing By Financial Services Firms

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco has published a summary of the regulatory oversight of outsourcing providers to financial services firms.

Although outsourcing presents all firms with important challenges, financial services firms face two special issues.

One issue involves concerns about maintaining the privacy of customers' financial information; the other involves concerns associated with the relatively high degree of government regulation that these firms face.

The latter issue has led to important developments in the government supervision of financial services firms, particularly depository institutions (that is, banks, thrifts, and credit unions).

Fed Seeks Comments on Review of Regulation Z

The Federal Reserve has issued for public comment an advance notice of proposed rulemaking announcing a review of the open-end (revolving) credit rules of the Board's Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act. The full notice is available for download (PDF).

New Peppercoin President

Peppercoin has announced Mark Friedman as President. Friedman had been VP of sales and Market Development. Robert Kiburz will remain with the company as Chairman of the Board.

December 02, 2004

New PayPal President

eBay CEO Meg Whitman has announced that Jeff Jordan has been named President of PayPal. Jordan was formerly Senior Vice President, eBay North America. Matt Bannick, formerly Senior Vice President of Global Online Payments and responsible for PayPal has been named President of eBay International.

The Debate Over Credit Card Pricing

Rick Biggs of bankstocks.com shares an email he received from New York Times reporter Patrick McGeehan following some comments he made about McGeehan's November 20th front page story in the Times about credit card interest rates.

Barclays Enters US Credit Card Market By Acquiring Juniper

Barclays PLC has announced that it has acquired Juniper Financial from CIBC.

One of Europe's leading card and consumer finance businesses, Barclaycard, has now entered the U.S. credit card market through the acquisition of one of North America's fastest growing issuers. Acquiring Juniper underlines Barclays' strategy to grow its global product businesses. This includes the objective that, within ten years, the international credit card business of Barclaycard should be as meaningful a contributor to the Group as Barclaycard UK.

Credit Card Collector

Cynthia Neff reports in the San Luis Obispo Tribune about Walter Cavanagh, the world record holder in terms of number of credit cards.

Cavanagh has 1,497 valid credit cards to date (more arrive in the mail nearly every day), with a total potential credit line of about $1.7 million. The Guinness Book of World Records christened him "Mr. Plastic Fantastic," and has featured him nearly every year since 1971.

December 01, 2004

Wells Fargo Expands Remittance Services to India

Wells Fargo has announced a new partnership with India's ICICI Bank to offer US to India remittance services.

Amazon's Multiple Personalities

Strategic Management @ Wharton takes a look at what is Amazon?

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Paymentech Offers PayPal Support

Paymentech has announced that it will begin offering PayPal acceptance support to its merchant customers beginning in early 2005.

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Phishing Losses - Financial, Consumer Trust and Confidence

Tower Group has announced new research results that conclude that financial losses worldwide due to phishing attacks are estimated to total $137 million in 2004, lower than most other estimates of these losses. But even though the losses may be less than other industry estimates, their concerns about the potential loss in consumer confidence are serious.

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Cyota Announces Anti-Phishing Results

Cyota has announced some key results from several months of experience with its anti-phishing service.

Debit Cards and Fees

Jeff Gelles writes in the Phildelphia Inquirer about overdraft fees associated with Wachovia Bank Visa Check Cards.

Wachovia's practice, like most banks', is to pay the largest checks or debits first. Bankers say they do this because the most important checks are most likely the biggest ones. But one consequence, intended or not, is that extra fees can be generated.

November 30, 2004

Pitfalls of Prepaid Cards

Deborah Thoren-Peden, a partner at law firm Pillsbury Winthrop, discusses some of the hidden legal risks associated with various forms of prepaid cards.

RFID Transactions

Jeff Staples reports in Contactless News on "A (Contactless) Day in the Life".

Monday Biggest Ecommerce Day

VeriSign reports that this year the Monday following Thanksgiving was a busier day for ecommerce retailers than the traditional Black Friday immediately following Thanksgiving.

"VeriSign's latest data indicates that the Monday following Thanksgiving has replaced Black Friday as the most popular shopping day online. In fact, this year the number of purchases made on Monday was 71 percent higher than Friday," said Trevor Healy, vice president, payment services,

Internet Retailing

Boston Globe columnist Stephen Syre looks at the Internet retailing phenomenon as it matures this year.

"I think we've all intuitively believed the multichannel guys were the ones who would win in the long run," says Ken Cassar, at Nielsen/NetRatings. "With the exception of eBay and Amazon, that's the case."

November 29, 2004

Small Business Financing: Credit Cards

The Wall St. Journal has a special section today on small business financing -- including a report on the use of credit cards.

"The issue is that almost all credit-card agreements have fine print with very sharp teeth," says Fred Wainwright, executive director of the Center for Private Equity and Entrepreneurship at Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business. "If you miss even one payment, the attractive terms can convert to over 20% annual interest rates and outrageously high penalty fees."

November 28, 2004

MasterCard Reports 9% Growth in Transactions Over Thanksgiving Weekend

MasterCard has announced that credit card authorization transactions over its BankNet network during the Thanksgiving weekend (through Saturday evening) totaled 64.2 million, an increase of 9.29% over the same period last year. On the Friday after Thanksgiving, MasterCard processed over 35.1 million transactions, a 10.1% growth over the 31.8 million authorization transactions it handled on the same day in 2003.

Separately, Bloomberg reports that the National Retail Federation claims that US retailers' sales during the four day Thanksgiving weekend totaled $22.8 billion.

Providian's Joe Saunders

Business Week's Justin Hibbard profiles the progress that card issuer Providian has made under CEO Joe Saunders over the last four years and speculates about the potential sale of the company to the likes of Barclays, JP Morgan Chase or Citigroup.

Another article in this week's Business Week looks at the pressures on big banks that may slow down banks' earnings growth.

Here's the Hook: Gifts for Online Bill Payers

Jennifer Alsever writes in the New York Times about Gifts for Online Bill Payers. More businesses are out to convert die-hard check writers to electronic billing by offering perks, lower interest rates or discounted prices.

Visa USA Reports Strong Growth in Sales

Visa USA has reported that sales volume on so-called Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and traditionally one of the busiest shopping days of the year, totaled more than $4.1 billion, up 15.5 percent compared to the same day last year. Ecommerce sales have grown at a 32 percent increase since November 1st this year as compared to last.

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High Stakes Venture

Ross Wehner of the Denver Post profiles Andre Durand, CEO of Ping Identity.

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