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October 31, 2005

BBC: Mobile Wallets Take Off In Japan

RIchard Taylor reports for the BBC on the growth in the use in Japan of mobile phones as wallets.

In a society where two out of three people own a mobile, and there is always one eye on the future, they have figured: why not take things one step further?

Yes, it is time to say sayonara to your wallet.

Here Comes The Wallet Phone

John Boyd writes for the IEEE Spectrum Online about NTT DoCoMo's mobile payments activities in Japan.

The critical element in DoCoMo's Osaifu-Keitai, or mobile wallet, is a wireless smart card chip, FeliCa (from the English word "felicity"), which was developed by Sony Corp. and Royal Philips Electronics for close proximity, low-data-rate transactions. The wallet phones can be used to make electronic purchases at stores or vending machines equipped with FeliCa readers; can act as boarding passes on certain domestic air flights; and can authorize entry through corporate security doors—all with a wave of the handset.

China: Rules on Online Payments Tightened

Zhu Shenshen reports for the Shanghai Daily on action by the People's Bank of China to impose limits on online payment amounts in an effort to manage the potential risk.

October 30, 2005

Interview: Visa International's Terry Milholland

Terry Milholland was appointed Chief Technology Officer of Visa International in May 2005. The current edition of The Visa Quarterly includes an interview with Milholland.

Q. Why did you choose to join Visa International?

Terry Milholland - Visa InternationalAt its core, Visa is a technology company. Everything Visa does, everything that is conveyed through its name, relies on the VisaNet processing system operating flawlessly and securely. Merchants, cardholders and even government agencies have come to rely on the 99.999% uptime of VisaNet–our processing network. That is an amazing accomplishment–every minute of every day, in nearly every corner of the world. And, I think it’s an incredible opportunity to help lead the teams that make it possible.

October 29, 2005

Red Herring: Google Wallet May Debut Soon

Red Herring reports on the rumored Google Wallet online payments system.

Google may launch its widely anticipated online payments system Google Wallet before the holidays, an analyst said Friday, giving the search giant yet another way to profit from its widening Web empire.

October 28, 2005

Chase, United Airlines Introduce New Business Card

Chase and United Airlines have announced the United Mileage Plus Business Awards Visa card for small businesses to earn travel rewards, Mileage Plus miles and Perks Plus points, for their business purchases.

United Business.jpg"With the introduction of the United Mileage Plus Business Awards Visa card, small business owners everywhere can earn rewards faster than ever before," said Joe Venuti, senior vice president, Chase's card services division. "Just by using one card, cardmembers earn miles for future United travel and Perks Plus points for a variety of exclusive benefits such as travel upgrades."

MasterCard Files Definitive Proxy Statement With SEC

MasterCard has filed a lengthy definitive proxy statement with the SEC in preparation for a special stockholders' meeting scheduled for November 28 where existing shareholders will vote to approve MasterCard's plans to reorganize and sell a portion of its equity to the public.

Visa Data Points to Good Holiday Shopping Season

Visa USA has announced its retail predictions for the 2005 holiday season.

Despite recent natural disasters and increasing energy costs, Visa USA's economist, Wayne Best, predicts that the 2005 holiday season in the United States will be moderate to strong, particularly as wage and income growth is expected to continue through the end of the year.


October 27, 2005

MasterCard Study Shows Automatic Payments Surpass Checks

MasterCard has reported the results of its 2005 MasterCard Recurring Payments Awareness, Behavior & Attitude study that concludes that more than two thirds of US household now pay some recurring bills automatically (67 percent) compared to those writing checks (64 percent).

Nearly four in ten households link payments automatically to a credit card (38 percent) and three in ten households charge them automatically to a debit card (31 percent). In addition, among automatic bill paying households, the number of bills paid automatically rose in the last five years, from an average of 3.1 bills per household in 2000 to 4.4 bills today. During the same period, the number of checks written declined by nearly 50 percent, from 4.4 to 2.4 among these households.

Chase Launches ''blink'' Cards In New York and Philadelphia Metro Areas

Chase Bank has announced the rollout of its new Chase contactless credit cards with "blink" in the greater New York and Philadelphia metro areas. Chase will start delivering the new cards with blink to more than two million cardmembers in the New York metro area for use at an initial base of approximately 1,800 merchant locations. Beginning this week, Chase will deliver the new credit cards with blink to approximately 900,000 cardmembers in the Philadelphia area for use at an initial base of approximately 1,200 merchant locations.

Working in conjunction with Visa U.S.A. and MasterCard International, Chase has identified locations where speed and convenience are important to consumers and is introducing the new Chase card with blink with an impressive roster of participating Philadelphia merchants.

The number of merchants accepting the Chase card with blink is expected to grow steadily throughout this year and into next year. The new Chase cards with blink also feature the traditional magnetic stripe and can be used anywhere Visa and MasterCard are accepted.

Separately, Chase announced a new co-branded Rewards Visa card with Wawa.

October 26, 2005

Behind The Scenes Credit Card Security

Mike Langberg reports for the San Jose Mercury News on Visa's risk management technologies.

Nancy Hilgers, vice president of risk for Visa U.S.A., said Advanced Authorization goes beyond individual transactions to monitor what's happening across accounts.

More: Mobile Payment Promotion Council Announced in Japan

Earlier, we covered news from Japan about Japanese credit card companies forming a 'mobile wallet' alliance. This morning comes the definitive press release on the new Mobile Payment Promotion Council established with the mission of promoting standardized mobile contactless payment systems in Japan.


Living With Debt

Lending Tree has announced a new research report "Living with Debt: A Life Stage Analysis of Changing Attitudes and Behaviors" by Robert D. Manning, Ph.D., economist and professor of finance at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and author of Credit Card Nation. The full report (PDF) is available online.

Lending Tree has also released a new resource for consumers "The LendingTree Guide to Smart Borrowing: How to Use Credit Wisely Throughout Your Life" (PDF) which is also available online.


Retail Banks Missing Opportunities Focusing On Products Vs Customers

SAS and the Peppers & Rogers Group have announced the results of a research study "Measuring Customer Value in Retail Banking".

"Many retail banks have yet to realize the full potential of integrating customer value metrics into their business models," said Jeff Gilleland, financial services strategist at SAS. "While banks have a good understanding of a customer's value across multiple products, they have yet to link this insight to 'customer potential' and then implement coordinated customer development plans across products and channels. Competitive advantage lies in a bank's ability to integrate customer knowledge, which only that bank has about the customer, and then to act on that knowledge in ways that create intimacy with the customers that matter most."
A white paper on the findings of the study is available online.

October 25, 2005

What Is Phishing?

O'Reilly has published an excerpt by authors Robert Miller and Min Wu from O'Reilly's new book Security & Usability. The article provides a great overview of phishing attacks, the techniques that phishers use, various defenses against attacks, and what the future might bring in term of controlling phishing.

The ideal defense against phishing might be an intelligent security assistant that can perceive and understand a message in the same way the user does so that it can directly compare the user's probable mental model against the real implementation and detect discrepancies.
The threat of phishing attacks succeeding was behind the FFIEC's recent guidance update to US banks regarding stronger authentication.

US Consumers Favor Electronic Payments

The American Bankers Association has announced the results of its 2005/2006 Study of Consumer Payment Preferences done in conjunction with Dove Consulting.


Japan Credit Card Companies Form 'Mobile Wallet' Alliance

Reuters reports on a new alliance formed by Japan's credit card companies to promote a standard to allow use of mobile phones in lieu of credit cards.

he new organisation denied that its move was a reaction to NTT DoCoMo and Sumitomo Mitsui Card Co. Ltd.'s partnership and said it was open to everyone, but both the No. 1 operator and the No. 2 credit card firm were absent from the membership list.

The mobile transaction alliance has 39 member companies so far including Mastercard International Japan Inc., UFJ Nikos and Toyota Motor Corp. It expects to sign on 10 more companies including Fujitsu Ltd.

October 24, 2005

Results: Payments News Strong Authentication Survey

Payments News published its first reader survey last week on the subject
of strong authentication for online banking - hot on the heels of the FFIEC issuing new guidance to banks on this subject.

The results of the survey (PDF) are in - unscientific but certainly very interesting!


American Express Reports Results

American Express has announced financial results for the third quarter that included growth in average spend per card of 12 percent and growth in total cards in force of 9 percent compared to the same quarter last year. Average per card spending during the quarter was $2,610 from 69 million cards. Amex's average merchant discount rate was 2.57% during the quarter, down 1 basis point from the prior quarter and 3 basis points from the same quarter last year.

TSYS Signs Agreement with Toronto-Dominion

TSYS has announced a long-term agreement with Canada's TD Bank Financial Group to provide a range of processing and support services for its consumer and commercial credit card accounts.

TSYS will support three of Canada's top five bankcard issuers after the conversion of the TD portfolio, supporting more Canada-based accounts than any other third-party processor.


Payment Cards That Help You Save

Aleksandra Todorova reports for the Wall St. Journal on two of the new savings approaches tied to payment cards: American Express' One card and Bank of America's Keep the Change debit card enhancement.


October 23, 2005


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